Print Edition: November 2, 2011
Local chiropractor Bruce Banman has made the decision to attempt to enter into public office in the upcoming municipal election. On a regular day he can be found in his Abbotsford neighbourhood working at his home chiropractic practice, with his friendly dog Macy meeting and greeting patients as they arrive. He has a family history of involvement in politics, and is also a UFV alumni. Banman agreed to speak with The Cascade this week, outlining his goals as potential mayor and weighing in on the P3 debate.
Why did you decide to run for mayor?
The reason I decided to run was because of the youth of today. People under 30 are having a hard time trying to find a job and are robbed of the simple luxuries that I was given when I was younger, but worse than that, they’re going to get stuck with the bills because governments don’t know how to balance a chequebook. So everybody is bellying up to the buffet and leaving the bill for those who are coming, and I just think that is inherently unfair. I come from a family that had vision and foresight. My grandfather was what was called Alderman back then, for Chilliwack; serving is a part of what I grew up in. The community that you live in you are supposed to give back to, and what I think I bring to the table is a sense of vision.
What are your goals in running for mayor?
I would not run if I did not think I could do the job. I understand I am an underdog. The incumbent has an overwhelming advantage over anyone running, but I’m in it to win. I search for common ground most of the time. I’m watching the world of late becoming more and more polarized – the time for polarization in rhetoric has come to an end. What we need to do is stop beating the drum on the small difference everyone has, and start looking for ways to move forward together as a collective team. We need to look at not what is in the best interest of us today, but also what is in the best interest of the generations in front of us that are coming. What are we leaving behind? For me, I got involved because I want to leave Abbotsford better tomorrow—if I win—versus what it is today.
The election is going to largely be about water. What are your opinions on the proposed P3 project?
Perhaps against some of powers that be currently, I am going to vote no. The reason I am voting no is because there has not been enough dialogue for me. They talk about options and they say this is the best option. I would like to hear what the other options are. I’m going to be 80-years-old at the end of this contract if this is the way we proceed. It may be the best option, but it may not. As a chiropractor, I deal every day with informed consent. My job is to tell you, “This is what I think your problem is, this is where I think you need to go, and these are your options.” I need to give you information so that you can make an educated, informed decision as to whether or not you want to go forward. Do you know what all the risks are? Can you make an informed decision? Currently, I don’t think all those questions have been answered. I think we’re going to the people too soon. I think it’s being rushed. If I had my choice, I would [prefer] this be an in-house deal… that we control every aspect of it. If this thing fails, which I hope it does, I think we need to calmly discuss the options.
What differentiates you from other candidates?
I don’t want to run a city. What I want to do is get a team and lead the city. I want a team that has a vision of what are our strengths in Abbotsford and what are our weaknesses. Let’s focus on our strengths and expand upon them. Let’s find solutions to our weaknesses. A good leader calmly and clearly sits down and has open dialogue with all people and listens to all people, and helps get input as to what seems to be the same common themes, get[s] a consensus, and then… start[s] moving forward. I also think you need to have a vision. I have the ability to visualize Abbotsford 50 years from now – we need to start planning for that now.