Jac Siemens

Thank you for the insightful questions being posted to the candidates for
City of Steinbach Council.  Answering each of these questions with a yes-no
or no answer is not an easy thing as each requires thought and additional
commentary to provide direction or vision.

1.         I think City Council needs to invite community discussion on how our
community could be designed to cope with a less abundant future.
No.  City council needs to be at the table and play a major role in the
discussions, but they should not lead the discussion or initiate the
City council has and will again provide opportunity for the community to
speak to how our community could be designed to cope with a less abundant
future.  As you are aware in the last 4 years we completed our Community
Plan and most recently our Zoning Plan.  Both where the combination of many
open forms with business,  general  interest groups and public. 

2.         I believe City Council should provide transport alternatives for those
who don't own a car such as pensioners, students and low-income families.
Yes.  City Council should play a major role in providing transportation
alternatives in Steinbach for everyone.  A public transportation system has
been briefly looked at by pervious councils.  The traditional cost of
providing this service is huge and will need considerable discussion and
tax dollars to become reality.  I vision is a public/private service that
could be a model for Steinbach.  I have not investigated other communities
to understand if my vision is accurate.

3.         I believe sound urban development should include ensuring equal solar
access to residential sites and building walkable, connected neighborhoods.
Yes.  Depending on the vision it is already in place through our Community
Plan and Zoning by-law by creating high density areas within our community.
We need to continue to provide developers with the tools thru policy to
develop these areas.

4.         I believe the City should provide incentives to individuals and
developers who intend to use energy conserving technology.
Good question.  No.  With different levels of government and private/public
utility companies already providing incentives should another level of
government put tax dollars into incentives? 

5.         I believe the City should purchase land to increase public green space.
Yes.  The city needs a vision of how much green space versus high density
living accommodations.  We currently purchase land for many reasons
including public green space which I am in favor of.
A further question is what is the correct percentage of land that should be
public green space?

6.         I think that local government has a role in the protection of native
flora and fauna.
Yes.  Currently happening on some scale with bush location beside soccer
park and behind Southland Church, today the intent is to leave in natural
setting.  Trails will be put thru the area, rest left natural state.

7.         I support a role for council in discouraging the use of plastic bags.
No.  While city council can play a role it will be driven by public
pressure for better design of plastics.  The only community to try to
enforce this issue in Manitoba is Leaf Rapids.  It has increased the sale
of garbage bags in Thompson and elsewhere.  By charging for bags in
grocery stores many shoppers are bringing their own bags.

8.         I believe that government should challenge its citizens' ideas or
habits regarding the environment.
Yes  we have an effective recycling program, we provide information
regarding composting, we need to provide information opportunities thru
appropriate partnerships. 
Government can’t go this alone nor drive this initiative.  There is too
much at stack politically that the message would get lost.  Need to have
interest groups drive the agenda with support from local government.

9.         I believe the use of chemicals for cosmetic lawn and garden purposes
contributes to human health problems.

10.       I believe the use of chemicals to control mosquitoes has a negative
effect on other pollinators and human health.

11.       In recent years large corporations have taken over the grocery and
stationery markets. Since large corporations have resulted in growing
stress on local businesses, I believe City Council needs to take steps to
stop this trend.
No but needs further discussion.  Our proximity to Winnipeg means that it
isn’t a big issue for people to drive to get to the box stores.  Making
Steinbach a hub with all stores that will serve the southeast means people
spending money in Steinbach instead of in larger centers. 

If we want to have less vehicle traffic and higher density we need to
attract business that will support those initiatives.  We all shop price,
will a small business be able to compete with larger stores in other