Greg Brown

Greg Brown

Smithers election: Greg Brown

Council incumbent Greg Brown’s answers on a wide variety of topics.

Bio

I’m currently serving on Smithers Council. Growing up in Kitimat, Smithers was always a destination for our family for skiing and hockey. Since 2004, Smithers has been my home. I have worked in a wide variety of sectors for industry, not-for-profits and government. Currently, I utilize my engineering degree and facilitation skills as a self employed consultant and I assist my wife, Christine, who owns are operates Two Sisters Cafe. My family and I pursue a healthy lifestyle eating good food, being physically active and spending quality time together. I’ve coached soccer and hockey for several years.

Top priorities for council

I envision Smithers to continue to be a community for people who want a high quality of life for themselves and their families. I see council pursuing a mix of priorities so that we continue to develop a strong community that works for many people. This mix includes economic, social-cultural, environment and infrastructure. As a current councillor I have supported a blend of priorities that have resulted in strengthening of our community. Two key governance approaches I prioritize are 1) proactive community engagement and 2) undertaking thorough decision making in order to optimize life-cycle costs. For example, I always consider the maintenance/operating/replacement costs when planning and designing projects.

3) LIBRAY/ART GALLERY

I support the current concept design and business case for a new Library/Art Gallery. In depth planning has been completed regarding cultural infrastructure, similar to the level of planning that previous councils did for the airport modernization project that this past council undertook. I support a public referendum for a loan that the Town may need to cover our 10% of the capital costs.

4) DOWNTOWN

Smithers’ vibrant downtown is unique compared to rural towns across Canada. As a councillor I have worked to ensure that long term viability of our downtown. Much of these changes were recommendations provided by our Small Business Task Force. In the age of on-line shopping we need to shore up the support for our business community.

5) HOUSING

I support increasing the diversification of Smithers’ housing stock in order to meet the housing needs of all our citizens. Currently, some people can’t find adequate housing and this weakens our community. I support the following: 1) Creation of a Housing Task Force to prioritize actions for the Town to pursue, 2) Work with Smithers based not-for-profit housing societies to secure provincial and federal housing dollars to build more housing units, 3) renew our Official Community Plan (OCP) and align our zoning bylaws in order to increase housing options and to build stronger neighbourhoods.

6) CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

I support the protection of community well-being through proper siting of cannabis stores, the regulation of public consumption similar to alcohol, and proactive education. The key is to ensure the protection of youth and the responsible use of cannabis by adults. I support scheduling a review of the regulation of public consumption bylaw in a couple of years in order to adjust to the community’s response.

7) TAXES AND SPENDING

As a family business owner, a residential property owner and Town Councillor I approach spending and taxation as a balancing act with many factors to consider. Municipal governments in Canada only have access to 8% of all tax dollars while the province has downloaded services (ex. emergency services), and we have increasing demand for services from our citizens (ex. more ice time, better snow clearing, ect…). There are solutions such as working with senior levels of governments and getting a greater share of the wealth created by the natural resources that are extracted from our region.

8) CRIME AND SAFETY

Smithers is a relatively safe community. I feel our RCMP detachment has done a good job serving this community and I think they are capable in serving our community well in the years ahead. However, the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women in NWBC is a serious concern that needs the attention from all of us.

9) INFRASTUCTURE

There is a need for re-investment in our basic infrastructure. I support well planned renewal, replacement and expansion of our sidewalks, road, and water/sewage/storm water lines. The key to this is have an up-to-date plan. The current council undertook some of this work (ex. we increased the budget for sidewalk maintenance) and we’re ready to make greater investments.

10) LNG

The construction phase of LNG Canada will bring big opportunities and possible stressors to the communities of the north. The Town need to be proactive in order to take advantage of the opportunities and to manage the stresses that may come. In addition, the province has promised greater support for the reduction of carbon emissions in order to meet the provinces legislated emission reductions. The Town would be wise to take advantage of what the province offers to reduce our community’s emissions so that we are part of the global efforts.

11) BUSINESS / WORKER SHORTAGE

Our experience running a small business is that there can be worker shortages at times. The labour market ebbs and flows regarding opportunities for employment. This is influenced by the level of industrial camps in NWBC. An increase in the housing mix/stock/portfolio would make living in Smithers easier and could therefore help ease worker shortages.

12) ENVIRONMENT

It’s my belief that human and community wellbeing is directly tied to the state of the air, water, forests and climate. Issues arise at different scales. Some issues are at neighbourhood/airshed scale (residential wood stoves), some issues are watershed scale (ex. river water quality) and some issues are global (stable climate). As well, our northern lifestyles require functioning ecosystems and sustainable development.

13) SPORTS / RECREATION

I believe that a community which recreates more, not matter what age, will be healthier. I think that the Town can improve how it works with, and partners with, groups to ensure recreation opportunities are available for the greatest number of people.

14) TOURISM

Tourism is a key economic driver of our community. I support the continued efforts by the town of Smithers and its partners to ensure that we maintain and enhance Smithers and the surrounding area to offer a quality product for tourists from near and far.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Terrace River Kings lost 9-3 to the Quesnel Kangaroos on Mar. 2, 2019 in the final CIHL playoffs. (Lindsay Chung Photo)
Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season

League open to playing exhibition games if possible

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
Regional district frustrated with CN response to grievances

‘A lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’: Houston mayor Shane Brienen

Ski hill scheduled to open Dec. 4

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort will open without its usual contingent of international workers

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Kitimat RCMP were requesting assistance locating 24-year-old Teah Wilken, who was last seen getting on a bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23). Kitimat RCMP Facebook photo.
UPDATE: missing woman found safe at residence

Wilken last seen getting on bus at City Centre Mall in Kitimat around 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 23)

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Most Read