Friday, May 08, 2009


John Boychuck: I will represent my constituents' values
By John Boychuck

B.C. general election candidate statements for the Georgia Straight

1. As candidate for the Green Party of B.C. in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, I wish to share a little about who I am as a person. As a long-term resident of Vancouver with family roots that go back two generations, I have dedicated the past 12 years to being a small business entrepreneur and a community volunteer. Small business and volunteerism are key community areas in grass roots involvement that have generated a positive outcome both personally and professionally. With my spouse and business partner of 14 years and the support of my family, I will continue to be a community leader and strive to build long lasting relationships with the residents and business community of Mount Pleasant.

2. What do I stand for? Growing up with Vancouver as a part time playground, seeing how many of the neighbourhoods have changed over the past 40 years some for the better and some with unnecessary struggles, I believe it’s time we think differently when we look at building healthier communities, in taking care of each other, how we plan for our future and who best can represent the diversity of the seven neighbourhoods that make up the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant electoral district. Homelessness, crime, drug abuse, affordable housing, accessible education for all and reliable transit are just a few of the issues that when the Green party policies are examined, the Green party solutions make the best sense in planning for a better community.

3. Why am I running to be your MLA in Victoria? As a leader in the GLBT community for the past five years and my involvement with many community organizations, I realize that in order to break down the barriers that hold us back from building and reaching organic, respectful, dignified communities, we must start with electoral reform and a change in the type of people we elect to represent us.

4. I have been asked what I feel are the most important issues that are facing the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant riding that I am hoping to represent. With a common sense approach to business, community and life, I believe that I could better represent the growing demands of the Mount Pleasant constituents. I will work to enhance each vital historic neighbourhood before we lose out to freeways, high-rises, poor planning and what dignity is left in our most challenged neighbourhoods.

5. When asked where I stand on B.C.-STV. I firmly believe that the citizen’s assembly who was tasked five years ago with examining and reviewing our existing “first past the post” system versus other electoral systems from around the world, was a fair and unbiased project. The 160 people from across the province over the period of a year examined many different types of electoral models and decided that we would be best suited to adopt a “single transferable vote” system to provide a more representative, balanced government that works for the people and their communities rather than their parties and funders. I support the citizen’s assembly’s recommendations and will vote “YES” on B.C.-STV.

6. In asking for your support, I realize that Vancouver-Mount Pleasant is an ever growing neighbourhood that is looking for real change in the way it looks to the future and how the problems will be handled. Promises have been made and broken time and time again. Constituents now want to have someone represent the new values, historical importance and diversity that make up Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. It is no longer good enough to think that the Downtown Eastside is a dumping ground for social decay and to turn political tail on and ignore. “We must create solutions now, we need to see changes now, and we need a stronger voice in the legislature, now”. This is what I’m hearing and that is why I’m asking for your vote.

John Boychuk