Flin Flon byelection candidate questionnaires: Barry Kreller

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

Someone needs to prioritize the discussions that we are having as a community. We should be discussing what Flin Flon is going to look like post Hudbay and why the NHR is changing Flin Flon into a have-not health zone. Then, how we can stand up and influence these issues in a positive way. I would be that someone.

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2. What would you wish to address with local government if elected?

I want to see budget projections post-Hudbay’s closure and what will be Hudbay’s contribution after closure. I want to see how 700 job losses affect this city’s long-term sustainability. I want to know what their vision is for Flin Flon’s future.

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

With the imminent closure of our major employer, I don’t feel I could give an informed answer. We don’t know the money we will have. We haven’t been given any idea of it. Municipalities cannot run deficits so we will have to decide how to be sustainable with less financial resources.

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

Water and sewer should be at the forefront. You can’t fix the streets until you fix the sewer and water lines.

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 plan do you have regarding the Hudbay closure?

First thought; I was wanting to see what council has done and make it public, but as reported in the October 14 issue of The Reminder, there have been no concrete discussions on these issues.

My plan.... discussions between Hudbay, the province and the feds on help for this transition. Can we make this a transition and not a cliff we’re walking off?

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

First, what is sustainable without Hudbay’s contribution? Also, how many households will we lose?

It all comes down to dollars and sense. If it didn’t, we would be under construction with a new pool right now! If I can be shown it is fiscally possible, I’m all in, I am completely in favour of a new pool. Who wouldn’t be?

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

I believe we need to capitalize on the cheap real estate here compared to almost anywhere else. It will draw people here if our community is made safe again! Our natural resources and cultural community are huge assets in attracting people here. The Saskatchewan and Manitoba communities of this area all need to be part of this conversation about sustainability.

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

I would want to make sure they know that any infrastructures we are fighting for (whether it be the Whitney Forum, the Aqua Centre or Community Hall) is infrastructure they are beneficiaries of as well. If we lose the battle in Flin Flon, we all lose. Both sides of the border. They will need to be fighting right alongside us.

9. What are your thoughts on your opponents?

I congratulate every single one of us that has stepped forward to offer our time and talents to this city. I believe in democracy and the democratic process and have a huge respect for anyone willing to take part in such a huge way. Five candidates. Marvellous! Democracy is alive and well in Flin Flon. Get out and vote.

10. In 25 words or less - what is your elevator pitch for undecided voters?

I have had a 50-year business career. Go on Facebook: Barry Kreller for Council, read my resume. I stand on that.

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

My question is: What do you think of the presence of all the drunks and drug dealers on Main Street and what effect will continuing to allow them to be there have on your plans for the future of Flin Flon?

Five people have put their names forward for the vacant seat on Flin Flon’s city council. The Reminder has sent each of those candidates a list of 11 questions with specific rules and structures, designed to show the public their stances on several local subjects.

Each candidate was tasked with providing answers of 60 words or less - answers far over that count have been cut off, as per the agreed upon rules. Answers have been edited for spelling, grammar and Canadian Press style, but the content of each answer is as the candidate submitted it.

The answers solely represent the views of the candidates - they do not reflect the views of The Reminder.

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