Alan MacBean, seeking a seat on Cranbrook City Council in the upcoming Nov. 15 election, wants to thank everyone who is running for office locally.
“We are fortunate to live in such an enthusiastic democracy,” said MacBean, who recently moved to Cranbrook — “the best place in B.C.”
A decade after moving back to his childhood home on Pender Island, some house prices on Pender had increased fourfold in eight years, MacBean said.
“High housing prices destroy communities, as young people cannot afford appropriate homes, so they cannot afford to reproduce, at least not on purpose.
“We decided to leave, and because we wanted to live somewhere where our sons might have more opportunities, I looked up every town in B.C. that had at least a college, and my wife and eldest son visited almost every one. I also called realtors who gave them personal tours. We concluded that Cranbrook was the best place in B.C., relative to real estate values. Considering all that it has to offer, it is one of the best communities at any price.”
However, MacBean still sees areas where improvements could be made.
“Could it be better? Of course it could. I have read the city budget and way too many reports. I used to work for the government and am on the boards of four charities, so I am used to reading. There are always ways to be more efficient, and property taxes here are very high.
“You could vote to reduce taxes for your own sake,” MacBean adds, “but I would humbly suggest something else. What is outstanding about Cranbrook is that you can have children and grandchildren living in the same neighbourhood as yours, almost unheard of on the Coast.”
MacBean says the “something else” would be to deliberately invest time, energy and money in the lives of younger people.
“I am planning to be a senior, and am happy with that prospect, given the alternative. I do not expect to have anything like the challenges that our grandchildren are likely to have. Being more careful with tax money, and even deliberately reducing our own demands, leaves a little more behind for others.”
MacBean described the details of one charity in which his family is engaged which could serve as a model for local business development.
“We are currently in the later stages of planning a building that will run almost entirely on solar and geothermal energy, using off the shelf products, which cost less than a conventional furnace. Cranbrook is the sunniest city in BC, well suited to solar power. It is also great for geothermal heating and cooling, given the large temperature difference between winter and summer. Perhaps Cranbrook could encourage businesses in these fields.
MacBean also had comments about the recent meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
“I must mention that I really love the oil business, for a very personal reason, since my late father in law was an oil engineer. My sons owe their very existence to Royal Dutch Shell.
“Having said that, I believe it is reasonable that communities are concerned about dangerous cargoes, and Canadian oil could be processed in Canada into Canadian products, with far less danger and far less contribution to climate change. If that did happen and ten of thousands of jobs were created in Canada, there would be many towns needed for shift workers, flying in and out as they do now to the oil patch. Cranbrook could offer to house a few more families.”