The Burnaby NOW asked every candidate running for office in the Oct. 20 civic election to fill out a questionnaire. We hope this helps you make an informed decision at the ballot box.
Candidates were given strict word limits and a deadline to submit their answers. Those who missed the deadline will not have their questionnaires posted and answers exceeding word limits will be cut off.
Name: Mike Hurley
Current occupation: Retired Burnaby Fire Fighter and current Vice President of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Mike Hurley and I am an Independent candidate running for Mayor. Burnaby has been my home for the last 30 years, it is where I have raised my four children, and where I live with my wife, Jennifer. I joined the Burnaby Fire Department in 1988, eventually serving as Fire Captain. As President of the Burnaby Firefighters, I have been active in the community, establishing charitable programs including the Healthy Snack program, which feeds 30 schools. I have respect for people and will work with all levels of government to find the best solutions for Burnaby.
What are the top three issues in Burnaby right now and what would you do to fix them?
1. Housing: I would find affordable housing solutions for people at all stages of life and keep Burnaby’s families together. I would stop demovictions, allow laneway homes (where the neighbourhood agrees), work with not-for-profit housing groups, and lower the time and cost of permitting processes to save residents money.
2. Community wellness and access: I would work with our health community to expand access to care and increase community activity centres to meet pressures of demand. Offering collaborative support to the province, I would be a champion for the expansion and rejuvenation of Burnaby Hospital.
3. Local issues: from safety in our parks, pedestrian controlled crosswalks, traffic congestion, rat running, and opening up City Hall. We would work with neighbourhoods, make safety a priority and treat all people with respect, for a start.
If you have run for office before, what have you learned? If you have not, why are you running now?
I believe I can build a better Burnaby. I have held positions representing firefighters at local, provincial and international levels. In my current position (representing 315,000 members), I work with all levels of government in Western Canada and the Yukon. I sit on the Finance Committee, overseeing budgets and a $15 billion pension fund. I am a consultative leader by nature, I lead by example, and I work to bring the best out in people.
What is one achievement and one failure of Burnaby council in the last four years?
Failures – there are many. Burnaby has fallen from 1st overall to 182nd in rankings of Best Cities to Live In. We lead our nation in the loss of affordable rental units, ranking 520 out of 522 municipalities on housing supply and affordability. A singular focus on high-rises is short sighted and we need to focus on the right type of housing to meet resident’s needs.
Fiscal management could be considered an achievement, but it’s concerning that we have a huge reserve fund and a near $300 million annual surplus while our community facilities are overcrowded and in deplorable condition.
What would make you a good councillor/mayor?
My ability to work collaboratively with people to get the job done and achieve the best results. My track record in working successfully with all levels of government. As a volunteer and a first responder I have seen the daily struggles of our community – I am well grounded.
What movie is most relevant to your life and why?
Every Christmas my family watches an old classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. That movie reminds us of the values of helping and caring for each other in our communities. It also highlights the value of family, which is very important to me.
How can voters reach you?
Campaign Office: 4775 Hasting Street