JASON MCBAIN | MEET A LOCAL… CANDIDATE
POSTMARK: SEPTEMBER 2018
Before Kimberley hit the polls (voting polls, not ski poles) to vote for Mayor, City Council, and School Trustees, we figured it would be a good idea to try and “MEET A LOCAL” all the local candidates. And that is how City Council candidate Jason McBain (spoiler alert: Jason was elected) came to metaphorically stop by the blog to say "hey" and leave behind some tips for getting the most out of a life lived (or a visit visited) around Highway 95 eh. Which you can read below.
WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a proud father of 4 kids and two step-children. My wife, Wendy, and I have a real-life Brady Bunch (3 boys and 3 girls)! I am a former professional hockey player that grew up in the Townsite area of Kimberley. I spent my childhood roaming the bush in the Lois Creek area (before the network of trails was formalized), playing in Triangle Park, and spending a ridiculous amount of time playing street hockey. I went to school at Lindsay Park, McKim, and Selkirk.
I left home at 17 to pursue my hockey career. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel around the globe and face-off against the best players in the world. After I retired from the game at 31, I decided that I would challenge myself by enrolling in university. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and a Master of Civil Engineering degree from Portland State University after only 5 years.
After school, I worked as a civil servant for the US Army Corps or Engineers. With the Corps I gained valuable work experience with opportunities to be involved in mega-projects at the federal level. After 6 years with the Corps I was recognized as a subject matter expert in the flood control community. I now work as a Geotechnical Engineer for Vast Resource Solutions. My primary duties include geotechnical assessments for residential and commercial foundations, retaining walls, and pavement design for roads. I am a licensed Engineer in British Columbia and the State of Oregon.
I enjoy hunting, fishing, golfing, and pretty much anything else to do with the outdoors. I am still involved with hockey; coaching at the minor hockey level. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the game to our younger generation.
WHY LIVE AROUND HIGHWAY 95 EH?
I live here because there is nowhere on Earth I would rather be; this is my home. I have lived in dozens of cities over the course of my life, in various countries; some good, and some not so good. In Kimberley, I am happy. I love the fact that I constantly run into friends and family when I am out and about. I especially love that you can be in the bush within 5 minutes from literally any house in town.
IF SOMEONE IS ONLY IN THE AREA FOR A FEW DAYS, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST OF MUST-DO’S?
Well it depends on the season, but in general I would suggest getting outside! Skiing (downhill and cross-country), hiking, biking, and golfing are activities that everyone should experience while visiting. After a long day of playing outside, hit one of our local restaurants; Kimberley has fantastic places to eat!
I’M HUNGRY… WHERE SHOULD I GO TO FIX THIS REOCCURRING PROBLEM?
I absolutely love a good breakfast. During the weekdays when I am looking for something on the run, it is tough to beat the fresh toast with raspberry jam at the Bean Tree (washing it down with a coffee of course). If I have a little more time on my hands, I will hit Our Place in the Platzl. The quality of food and quick, friendly service is fantastic. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Grubstake Pizza which is a family favourite!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY AND YOUR TOP PLACE AROUND HERE FOR DOING THAT ACTIVITY?
I really enjoy attending Kimberley Dynamiters hockey games. Not only is the team exciting to watch, but the games are an awesome social event. I love running into friends and chatting about what’s been happening around town.
FINALLY… PLEASE GIVE ONE COMPLETELY UNAIDED RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / LISTENING / EATING / THINKING / QUITTING / READING / ETC-ING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES A LITTLE BIT BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.
I recommend reading or listening to views that challenge and expand your understanding of a subject. Too often recently, we get caught up in reading headlines rather than stories. By only digging in to a subject at the surface level, we don’t allow ourselves to get a broader understanding. Our new bookstore, Paper and Cup, is a great place to start!
OK, ACTUAL FINALLY… ON OCTOBER 20TH, 2018 KIMBERLEY WILL BE HITTING THE POLLS TO VOTE FOR CITY COUNCIL AND YOU ARE ONE OF THE CANDIDATES, SO — IF YOU HAD TO CONDENSE YOUR RUNNING PLATFORM DOWN TO A PARAGRAPH OR TWO, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
I feel like I can bridge the gap between Kimberley’s older community and its younger families. I am an active listener and I will make decisions based on what is best for the City as a whole. I don’t believe that making decisions based on emotion or anecdote is prudent. Rather, applying logic and reasoning to act on after thorough discussion on the issue in question.
Improving and maintaining our infrastructure is of great importance to me. Without proper services, our quality of life suffers. The City has made some progress in recent years but I believe we can do even better. We must continue to search for resources through grants. Furthermore, when we decide to take on a project, it needs to be done to current municipal standards. I feel that my experience as an engineer can assist in balancing proper design and costs. I also would like to see the City retain the assets that we already have, namely the Sun Mine and the Marysville Arena. Expanding our recycling services is another issue that I would like to explore.
Obviously, costs will always be a concern. In order to keep moving forward, attracting new businesses to ease the tax burden from homeowners is paramount. I believe we can balance bringing in new business (light industrial) and still maintain our commitment to being a town that is known for its close proximity and access to nature.
There is no question the family dynamic in our town is changing. Increases in costs of living have affected how families decide where to live, how to bring in more income, and how to manage busy schedules. Consequently, it has become the norm for both parents to be in the workplace. I would like to see more affordable child care resources in Kimberley. I will look for opportunities to expand these resources (specifically more open spots and more qualified child care professionals) through grants and other financial vehicles. Additionally, I would like to work with local businesses to assist them in providing optimum access for residents to shop locally. We all have busy lives and many residents commute to Cranbrook or other areas outside Kimberley for work; which can create challenges when scrambling to get back to town to buy local products before stores are closed. It is a different time from when the mine was in operation.
All of these issues are interrelated. The fact that Kimberley is experiencing a shortage in access to affordable housing, only magnifies the challenges faced over the coming years. Therefore, proper planning is key. When new homes or multi-unit residences are proposed, upgraded services should be included. As the town expands, periodic evaluation of the residents needs and concerns should be relayed to businesses to allow them to adapt in order to keep our hard-earned dollars in town.
As I stated previously, the City has made some progress in recent years. Let’s work together in pushing forward!