Flin Flon byelection: 13 questions for Bill Hanson

1. Why are you running for council? What are your qualifications and what experience do you have with public office?

I did not run for reelection last time because I was getting too busy with other things - that has changed and I miss it . My qualifications are 19 years on council, 16 years as chair of engineering services as well as serving on all other committees. I’m also the chairman of the board at the library as a member at large.

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2. What are your main priorities as a candidate?

My main priorities as a candidate would be to make sure sewage and water renewals are ongoing, that planning of future projects is up to date in this changing world, to work with council to come up with a plan to clean up Main Street and deal with the criminal and vagrancy problem and to help to create a healthy work environment with the employees of the City of Flin Flon.

 

3. What are your policies on local finances and taxation?

The Manitoba Municipal Act dictates finance and taxation. Every year, the city figures out their budget and the mill rate is set to cover the cost of the budget . Municipalities are not allowed to run a deficit while at the same time trying to keep cost to the taxpayer at a minimum. The finance policies are set at a provincial level so I’m not sure what you are asking.

 

4. What do you believe should be the City’s priorities on infrastructure?

The City’s priorities as far as infrastructure have been set, as I said previously, are water and sewage renewal and road repair. We also have to be cognizant of our playgrounds and splash pool making sure they are safe and sound for our children.

 

5. Hudbay is currently planning to shut down most of its operations within Flin Flon within the next two years. As a candidate, how does this affect your platform and what plans do you have regarding the Hudbay closure?

I don’t know what post-Hudbay will look like financially within the City. I would hope a plan has already been put in motion and if not, that will be my priority. I would hope to have discussions with the province and Hudbay to see what the future will look like.

 

6. The City is currently planning several capital spending projects in the coming years, including a possible replacement for the Flin Flon Aqua Centre. What stance do you hold on these projects?

I believe that if the City had the money, the pool would already be under construction. That being said, what is the cost and what are the operating costs? Without knowing what the grant-in-lieu will be, it’s hard to plan for anything - but yes, Flin Flon needs a pool.

 

7. What is your plan for Flin Flon’s future?

Real estate in Flin Flon is less expensive here than anywhere else. I think we need to capitalize on that and promote it. Flin Flon is blessed with a very diverse culture from music to art to theatre and dance. We should be promoting all these things within the Water and the Wild.

 

8. How do you plan on working with nearby communities and councils?

A few years back, the three municipalities got together to hire an economic development officer and I believe although we are three separate municipalities, we are one community and what’s good or bad affects us all equally.

 

9. What are your thoughts on your opponents?

I applaud all who run for public office and wish them well.

 

10. How do you plan to promote Flin Flon for business owners, tourists or other entities outside the community?

The promotion of Flin Flon and area already has a committee under Karen MacKinnon and I would work within this committee to promote the policies and guidelines moving forward.

 

11. What matters involving Flin Flon do you wish to bring to the provincial or federal government?

I would like to know if the province or the feds have a plan to help post-Hudbay. Flin Flon has always had Hudbay, so the province has never had to contribute as much in Flin Flon as other municipalities. Long term sustainability has to be addressed with the province and the feds.

 

12. In 30 words or less - what is your elevator pitch for undecided voters?

My years of experience and commitment to the City, my knowledge of the infrastructure and my ongoing commitment to improve our City.

 

13. What question do you wish we would have asked?

(editor’s note: the candidate did not provide an answer for this question)

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