Mark Anderson – Candidate For Duncan Council

Mark Anderson, candidate for Duncan Council (photo: Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen)

My name is Mark Anderson and I am running as a candidate for City of Duncan Council in the upcoming municipal election to be held on 15 October 2022. Here are the candidates for Duncan Council.

I believe the residents, taxpayers and businesses in Duncan have not been well served by Duncan Council since the last election in 2018. The current Mayor and many members of the current Council, with some notable exceptions, do not place Duncan’s residents, taxpayers and businesses at the top of their priority list.

I believe that needs to change. If elected, my top priority will be “Putting Duncan’s Residents, Taxpayers And Businesses First.”  

I have been a City of Duncan resident and taxpayer since 2007. I also operate a successful business serving Duncan and the Cowichan Valley, Greater Victoria and Nanaimo.

So I totally understand the leading issues that are most important to Duncan’s residents, taxpayers and businesses.

Mark Anderson with one of the cars owned by his business, West Coast Driver Training (photo: Cowichan Valley Citizen)
Mark Anderson with one of the cars owned by his business, West Coast Driver Training (photo: Cowichan Valley Citizen)

In my view those issues are taxes; public infrastructure; maintaining safe and attractive neighbourhoods and a safe and attractive downtown core; public safety; maintaining the livability and small town character of Duncan; and creating and maintaining policies to promote and encourage local business.

I want to ensure that Duncan is, and remains, a prosperous small town that is an attractive place to live and visit.

The ways of accomplishing this are not a mystery or a closely guarded secret. The 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith laid down the basic common features of successful nations and cities in his classic book, The Wealth Of Nations, first published in 1776 and still considered one of the most influential books ever written.

According to Adam Smith, successful nations and cities shared some common key characteristics.  The governments of successful nations and cities were:

  • serious about keeping their public finances in order. The governments of successful nations and cities are, in Adam Smith’s phrase, “not profligate” with public finances. Ensuring that the City of Duncan keeps municipal taxes at reasonable levels and ensuring those tax dollars are used efficiently are essential;
  • diligent in building and maintaining public infrastructure.  As Adam Smith emphasized, societies function far better with good infrastructure than with poor infrastructure or without infrastructure;
  • serious about maintaining public safety and the rule of law, without which society descends into anarchy while crime and public disorder become intolerable. Crime and public safety are very important issues for Duncan residents, taxpayers and businesses;
  • diligent in creating a climate in which business could prosper.  In Adam Smith’s classic phrase, successful businesses create a prosperous society through the actions of “the invisible hand“;
  • providing quality public education. (I will add comments on the District 79 School Board candidates in due time)

These things are as true and as important today as they were when Adam Smith first wrote about them in 1776.

If elected to the City of Duncan Council I will constantly keep Adam Smith’s admonitions in mind.

  • I will ensure that Duncan’s finances are kept in order and that the City of Duncan is “not profligate” with your tax dollars. Duncan’s municipal taxes must NOT be an onerous burden on its residential or business taxpayers;
  • I will be diligent in building and maintaining the public infrastructure that the City of Duncan is required to provide, and in keeping the cost of that infrastructure within the means of Duncan’s taxpayers;
  • I will be very serious about maintaining public safety and the rule of law. Crime, disorder and a lack of public safety do not lead to successful cities or desirable places to live; quite the opposite.
  • I will emphasize the creation and maintenance of a political climate and policies under which Duncan businesses can prosper. Successful businesses are a fundamental component of any successful city.

Here is a video with some of my comments about supporting business in downtown Duncan:

Here is a video with some of my comments about building housing in downtown Duncan:

Here is another video with my comments about housing policy in Duncan:



Here is a video with my comments on protecting and preserving single family residential neighbourhoods in Duncan:

Mark Anderson, 4 September 2018 (photo: Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen)
Mark Anderson, candidate for City of Duncan Council (photo: Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen)

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City of Duncan Council Meeting -19 November 2018

Duncan City Council Meeting – 19 November 2018

This was the first real business meeting of the new City of Duncan Council elected 20 October 2018.

Here is the Agenda for the City of Duncan Council Meeting of Monday, 19 November 2018. Here are the MInutes of the Meeting as compiled by City of Duncan staff.

Here is the video of the meeting:

Council Members Present at the Meeting – Mayor Michelle Staples; Council members Bob Brooke, Jenni Copps, Stacy Middlemiss. Councillor Garry Bruce was not physically present but “attended” the meeting by phone. Absent: Councillors Tom Duncan and Carol Newington.

Here Are Our Comments On The Meeting

Item 5 – Delegations

5.1 Inspector Chris Bear of the Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP Detachment presented the Quarterly Update on Policing for the period July, August, September 2018. Here is the Quarterly Update of Policing for the three month period July, August and September 2018. [Note: PDF]

This presentation consisted of Inspector Bear basically just reading through the highlights of the written Quarterly Update. It took about 13 minutes and there were no questions from Council and no discussion by Council.

5.2 Michelle Kirby, Childcare BC

Michelle Kirby is a former Councillor on District of Oak Bay Council who now works for Childcare BC.

She presented a 9 page PowerPoint to Council which is available on this link. [Note: PDF]

The highlights of this presentation were:

  • BC Provincial Budget 2018 has allocated $1 billion for Child Care over next 3 years;
  • There is an Application deadline of 18 January 2019 for local governments to apply to the Province for planning funds of up to $25,000 per local government. These funds are to be used for planning Child Care facilities within local government jurisdictions;
  • Michelle Kirby encouraged the City of Duncan to partner with the CVRD and Municipality of North Cowichan to apply for $75,000 in planning funding. This $75,000 figure represents $25,000 per local government (3 local governments x $25,000 / local government = $75.000)
  • There is a Province of BC program for subsidizing local governments partnering with non-profit child care providers to supply child care in local government owned facilities.

No questions from Council. This presentation went from 1814-1830.

Following this presentation a motion was passed: That Council support partnering with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to submit an application to the UBCM Community Child Care Planning Program to undertake a child care needs assessment within the Cowichan region.

Item 6.0  Report of the CAO

Here is a link to the CAO Report [note: PDF] presented at the meeting by the City of Duncan CAO . The key points of the CAO Report were:

  • Trans Canada Highway Boulevards
  • City Water Main Project
  • Cairnsmore Neighbourhood Plan – MacAdam Park Neighbourhood Open House
  • Meeting scheduled with BC Housing on grant applications for housing. [Note: given the attention to housing issues in the recent municipal election we will be following this topic closely. We will ask about the result of this meeting and post what we find.]

The CAO Report was only 4 minutes from 1839 to 1843. There were no questions from Council and no discussion by Council.

8.0 Cannabis Retailing Within the City of Duncan

City staff delivered a PowerPoint point presentation which is not attached to the Agenda. The main items covered in the PowerPoint are in this document in the Meeting Agenda. [Note: PDF]

Key points:

Councillor Jenni Copps asked:

  • does this apply to existing businesses which might apply for cannabis retailing licenses or just to newly formed businesses? Answer: Nobody knows yet.
  • Public hearing required for each Temporary Use PermitAnswer: Undecided at this point.

Mayor Michelle Staples asked:

  • has City of Duncan had discussions with Municipality of North Cowichan, CVRD and Cowichan Tribes on Cannabis licensing issues? What happens if a proposed cannabis retail location in Duncan is within 150m – 400m of a jurisdiction border? Answers: Staff has had a meeting with North Cowichan, CVRD and Cowichan Tribes but nothing definite yet. Staff says there have been No agreements with other neighbouring jurisdictions yet on any matters relating to Cannabis retailing.

CAO Peter de Verteuil stated that City of Duncan staff recommendations on Cannabis retailing are in line with what other jurisdictions are doing. Queries about starting Cannabis retail operations in Duncan are coming from companies, not from individuals. Langford and Cumberland are ahead of Duncan on developing Bylaws on Cannabis retailing so Duncan can watch these other jurisdictions to see what happens there.

Item 8.0 was Unanimously passed by Council. Discussion of this item took place between 1844-1907

8.5 Cultural Connections Workshops – The Village Project: The Journey of Our Generation

This item asked Council to approve the following motion:

That Council approve sending all staff hired since January 1, 2016, and all new Council members, to the “Cultural Connections workshops” organized by Social Planning Cowichan at a cost of approximately $41.33 per person.

Mayor Michelle Staples had to leave the room during consideration of this motion because was, until very recently, the Executive Director of Social Planning Cowichan and is still a member of Social Planning Cowichan.

This motion was passed by Council. All present voted in favour; Councillor Garry Bruce voted against the motion.

Our comments on Item 8.5:  Given Mayor Staples’ active involvement in Social Planning Cowichan [she was the Executive Director of Social Planning Cowichan until October 2018 and, as far as we know, is still an active member] we are very wary of any training being given to City of Duncan staff and Council members by Social Planning Cowichan. The fact that Social Planning Cowichan will be paid ($41.33 per attendee according to the Motion) by the City of Duncan to deliver this training workshop to City of Duncan staff and Council members is also a matter of concern to us. We will be following this closely.

8.6 Reports of Mayor and Council.

No Councillor reports.

Report by Mayor Staples: Raising Riel flag was done for Riel Day and she wants to continue this in future years; she recommends seeing a current Cowichan Valley Museum Museum display on Japanese internment during World war II, residential schools, racism, portrait of Simon Charlie.

Duncan City Hall photo, cropped for use as web page headers
Duncan City Hall photo,

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