Smithers election: Colin Bateman

Council candidate Colin Bateman answers on a wide variety of topics.

Colin Bateman

Colin Bateman moved to Smithers in 2009 with his wife, Tara, and children, Liam and Nicole.

Joining the board of the Smithers Chamber of Commerce in his first year in Smithers and later taking two years as vice president and a four-year term as president, Colin has always been involved the town’s business affairs. Economic development is a driving force for both his business and volunteer life.

Colin has also spent time on the board with The BC Hotel Association, Tourism Smithers committee and the BV Soccer Society. Also coaching with Hockey and Soccer. Being involved in our community is very important to our family.

Top Priorities

I believe strongly in sustainable economic development and am always looking at ways to protect, improve and attract small, medium and large businesses. I believe in keeping an open mind on all businesses, regardless of size, and taking the time to work through the process of determining the right development for our community. We also need to find ways to protect our existing businesses, while building development for the future at a sustainable rate.

Secondly, I believe in looking into new ways to improve the amount of accommodations available in Smithers. I believe we need to address some of our town policies and zoning bylaws and think outside the box in researching better ways to encourage developers to build a wide variety of homes. That could involve looking at our current Official Community Plan and working towards updating, if and where needed.

 Affordable housing: Looking at ways of enticing developers to build affordable accommodations, such as duplexes or townhouses. We should re evaluate the towns Community plan and update if needed.

 Cannabis legalization: We would need to work with our local Law enforcement officers to ensure education to the public on the rules and regulations of Cannabis use. An important Consideration in regulated use would be how and where adult users may responsibly use cannabis without affecting the well-being of others. I believe Cannabis use should be policed as we would alcohol and ciggarettes

 Taxes and Spending: keeping a tight control on our spending is important. It is always important in business to work through upgrades while maintaining costs, in part by looking for opportunities to piggyback on government funding and by weighing the decisions we make from all aspects and not rushing through these decisions without an understanding that it is in indeed the direction our constituents would like to take.

 Infrastructure: We need to continue to improve our infrastructure while keeping tight control of our fiscal responsibilities.

 Business Worker Shortage: I feel we need to encourage people to make the move to northern BC. We need people to sustain our growth and also to support our amazing amenities. If industry is going to continue to grow in the north, it will be an ongoing issue to find people. Accommodations seem to be the main barrier to this, and looking at new ways to entice people from the Lower Mainland and other areas to look at the north as the great place to live that we already know that it is. I would like to work on ways to promote an open dialogue with major projects that are coming through northern BC.

 Enviroment: It is important that we maintain a healthy balance between growth and our environment. Working with our local recreational groups to find balance and protect the environment that we enjoy so much.

 Sports: Work with our sports groups to ensure towns facilitys are maintained and useable.

I would like to see closure to the Chandler field upgrade and possibly re visit the seating in the New arena so more people could sit and enjoy the game.

 Tourism: Continue to work with the Visitors center and the Tourism advisory committee to grow our visitor numbers. Look at ways to increase the visibility of our visitors center.

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