Scott Anderson




    Question 1When development is guided by an Official Community Plan that features smart growth principles, it results in lower taxes for residents, less gridlock, cleaner air and lower GHG emissions, more green space, more housing options and preserved farmlands. Following smart growth principles results in new, high-density housing being built in the downtown and specified neighbourhood cores, enabling more sustainable and cost-effective transportation options. How will you advocate for smart growth principles in the upcoming OCP planning process?
    Scott Anderson
    • Smart growth policies make sense from an economic and municipal growth point of view.  However, they may not make sense from a lifestyle point of view.  Folks often point out to me that they don’t move to Vernon from Vancouver or Calgary so they can live in a place like Vancouver or Calgary.  They move here for our wide-open spaces, lakes, forests, and quite often views, and those are attributes not often found in a downtown apartment. We face a challenge luring people into an urban microcosm, not only because of the challenges above, but because of the associated challenges of a lack of big-city services like timely mass transportation, jobs, and entertainment.

    Question 2 - Vernon has created an ambitious new Climate Action Plan addressing both the reduction of GHG emissions and preparing the community for climate impacts, but unless Council backs it up with immediate, effective action, the goals of the plan won't be achieved. If elected, what aspects of this plan do you feel are most important and urgent, and how can you help to ensure that they are implemented as soon as possible?
    •  How they are actioned determines my level of support.  Environmental concerns don’t operate in a vacuum; they are mitigated and influenced by other factors, and in turn impact other realities.

    Question 3 - What do you believe are the main risks to Vernon - its citizens, its infrastructure, its economy - from climate change impacts? What specific actions do you think the municipality should take to adapt to these risks and build a resilient community?
    • Flooding and fire.  Flooding is already being addressed by floodplain mapping with Lidar, and the results included in building plans.

    • Fire mitigation is being addressed through UBCM resolutions called for preventative forest mitigation (like preventative burning) I brought in 2019 and was passed by the collective of BC municipal politicians.  We have been (and continue to) advocate to the province for this kind of mitigation.

    Question 4 - The largest proportion of Okanagan municipal greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation (in particular, driving fossil-fuel powered vehicles), and the 2nd largest proportion comes from buildings. What do you see as the most effective ways of reducing the emissions in these two sectors?
    • Through technological evolution and not through coercive measures like taxation.



    Question 1 - The RDNO has recently developed a North Okanagan Regional Housing Strategy. Which actions of this strategy would you prioritise, and how would you implement them?
    • Affordable housing (defined by BC Housing as subsidized and supportive housing) is important, but actually helps only a small fraction of the qualifying population, while attainable housing helps many more.  The plain fact is that we lack housing across the entire socio-economic spectrum, and BC Housing cannot even begin to fill this need without ruinous taxation and cut backs in other areas.

    • The real answer to the problem of housing MUST be dealt with by the private sector.  That means no cost to the municipality, no cost to the taxpayers of BC, and no cost to the residents of Vernon. The major obstacle standing in the way of progress in home building is the permitting process at the municipal level.  If elected mayor, I will make this a priority.

    Question 2 - Across Canada, First Nations and municipalities are strengthening their regions by collaborating on service agreements, land use planning and economic development. What efforts have you made in the past, and what efforts will you make to build powerful new relationships based on mutual respect, understanding and a common vision for mutual prosperity with the Okanagan Indian Band?
    • As City liaison to O’Keefe Ranch, we have sought and achieved a much closer relationship with OKIB.  In fact, the Ranch hosted an exhibition of residential schools, and currently has an OKIB Band member seated as my counterpart on the board.  I have and will continue to advocate for closer ties with the band, and will continue to advocate for bridge-building measures like Indigenous public art.

    Question 3 - In August of 2020 Council unanimously passed the following motion: “THAT the City of Vernon, including Council and Administration, firmly rejects racist acts of all types, and supports each individual who chooses to make Vernon home, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed or socioeconomic condition." The motion did not indicate what this support might look like, especially for minority groups. How would you rectify this? Specifically, would you follow the lead of other communities in the Okanagan and vote to adopt the anti racism policy already drafted by City lawyers? More broadly what types of programs, initiatives, and actions would you endorse or be a part of to ensure that Vernon is a welcoming place for all “regardless of race, gender, sexuality, creed or socioeconomic condition”?
    • I made that motion, and of course it was passed unanimously.  I will not advocate for an anti-racism policy as I think it is divisive, unnecessary, and counter-productive.  I won’t reiterate my reasons in long detail, but here are some facts:

    • 1  Any such policy would affect ONLY City of Vernon staff

    • 2  When I asked administration, I was told that there had been no incidents of racist behaviour amongst staff.

    • 3  When I asked administration what would happen if such an event took place, I was told it would fall under the Bullying policy and be dealt with in that manner.

    • Given that an anti-racism policy would be a solution that already exists to a problem that hasn’t happened, I believe the only outcome to such a policy would be a slap in the face to staff, by suggesting that they need coercion to not hate each other on the basis of race.  I believe it needlessly highlights and exacerbates yet another division within our society, and does so for no good reason.



    Question 1 - What opportunities do you believe the municipality has to grow our art, culture and heritage sector?
    • The Cultural Centre is certainly one, and if elected, I intend to work toward the immediate creation of a policy to govern public art, like murals.

    Question 2 - What do you think of the 2016 Greater Vernon Cultural Plan? What aspects would you prioritise and how would you implement them?
    • (Answer was left blank)

    Question 3 - How do you personally engage with arts, culture and heritage in Greater Vernon?
    • One of the first things I will do is initiate a public art working group to develop a policy to govern public art.  Public art should include significant public support, and the policy must, in my view, include public consultation.



    Question 1 - Please provide examples of the ways you would support business retention and expansion in the City of Vernon.
    • If elected mayor, I intend to advocate for an “open for business” marketing plan across BC and western Canada (and further if advised convincingly of its value). That plan will be backed up by numerous measures, including but not limited to:

    • 1     Building permit streamlining.

    • 2     Property tax relaxation for choice businesses like high tech and suitable industrials;

    • 3     Creation of industrial land base;

    • 4     Adoption of suitable sports, recreation, and cultural amenities;

    • 5     Regional discussions through the RDNO and GVAC over land use; and

    • 6     Advocating to senior government for pro-market policies

    Question 2 - Over 40% of businesses in every sector are experiencing labour shortages. How should the City support businesses in meeting their workforce needs?
    • The municipal government has limited jurisdiction over workforce related issues, but housing is certainly one such issue.  I will continue to work toward streamlining building permits for both affordable and attainable housing, continue marketing Vernon as a more affordable and homier alternative to bigger cities like Kelowna, formulate enticements to family doctors, and continue working with police and Bylaw to reduce crime and enhance our reputation as a safe place to live.

    Question 3How should the City support emerging and growing information technology, and manufacturing sectors including agriculture products processing?
    • Creating more industrial land, enhancing regional transportation, and adopting new technologies.  I want to see Vernon break out of its wait-and-see stance and start leading the pack of BC municipalities.

    Question 4 - How should the City assist businesses in the medium term (3-5 years) to become more resilient?
    • Mostly by leaving then alone.  Entrepreneurs are risk takers and go-getters. However, when permissions are required, I believe the role of Council should be to issue them, as long as the impacts are positive overall.



    Question 1 -What would you do to protect the health of members of our community who have been made vulnerable to the effects of climate change?
    • This question is too vague to answer.

    Question 2 - What do you believe is the municipality's role in enabling and assisting ministries and non-profits as they address mental and physical health treatment issues and access, in populations affected by houselessness and the toxic drug supply? How might the municipality address the stigma that prevents people facing these challenges from seeking health services?
    • The municipality is much closer to the issues than the provincial government, so I would suggest that the role of the City is to

    • Help the ministries understand what the problems are, and suggest holistic rather than hyper-focussed solutions.

    Question 3 - How will you ensure that our Parks & Recreation facilities and programs meet the diverse needs of our population?
    • Polson Park requires revitalization, and that will be one of my priorities.  Parks should not only be clean and usable in all seasons, but should contain amenities to attract families and children.  Outdoor skating, spray parks, ponds were applicable, and adequate policing to maintain the atmosphere.