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Does Education Prepare One For Work or Free a Mind to Think for Oneself?

Is education a tool of corporate America to control youth, prepare consumers, and mortgage souls to the company store?

Never let your schooling interfere with your education.

An open mind is free to explore and appreciate all that life offers.

A closed mind is prejudiced, knowing only the bounds of its fears.

Some in society will recruit you to compete in fear, building hate.

Organize your own affinity groups to build what you love in life.

Volunteer with seniors groups, homes, hospitals, special needs, the disabled, poor, IV drug users, the hungry and any less fortunate than you to learn where our society has failed them. Try to do better than your parents have done.

Yours truly, Paul Latham


For a Change of Guard in 2000

For the City of: Abbotsford,

Part A

1. Give some brief biographical information about yourself. For example: Why did you get involved in Municipal politics? What political experience do you have? How long have you been in office? What do you consider your best accomplishment as a councilor?

I am a retired federal peace officer, born and raised in BC. I have a degree in Psychology from UBC, am computer literate, well travelled, bilingual in French and English. I have lived in Abbotsford the past 12 years. Municipal politics appeals to me because of its closeness to the land and development issues, which effect people's lives on a daily basis, over generations, and lifetimes. I have been elected to student council at UBC, run for council here in Abbotsford in 1996. parliament in 1997 and the legislature in 2001. I have been politically active since I was very young, successfully campaigning for nuclear disarmament, when it was not popular to do so. I opposed the MAD Trident Nuclear Submarine program, and its docks in Bangor, Washington, some 50 kms south of Victoria, BC. My lifetime campaign for nuclear sanity, humanity, and minority rights are my best accomplishments.

2. What do you see as the most important issue facing the community as a whole in the municipal election and why?

Electoral apathy, hidden slates and block voting. The whole community of Abbotsford must address the issue of continually re-electing the same old slate of councilors, mayor and school board, term after term, and hoping for anything better than the same old mistakes, intransigence and arrogance that has paralyzed decision making by these bodies over the past few decades. In order to grow we must take reasonably calculated risks to move forward with hope for a better future. I represent this hope for a better future and will advocate for all the citizens of Abbotsford.

3. What goals do you have for the next term? What issues do you wish to see most addressed and why?

My goals for the next term are to change the guard at city hall, renew their common sense, and commitment to public service through departmental outcome based evaluations, management performance audits and a review of all major road building and service contracts. The rhetoric about building a new hospital and Mount Lehman overpass will end, and the foundations for these will be dug and poured. The seniors and workers of Abbotsford deserve the best infrastructure support available to live, thrive, and survive the commute to and from work with their health and sanity.

4. Should you remain on city council for the long term (say another 15 years) what goals or issues will you be pursuing in that length of time?

I am committed to serving the citizens of Abbotsford for precisely 15 years. As a matter of fact I recommend term limits of precisely 5 terms. I will seek new revenues for our city, including surplus budgets, tax freeze, and improved services. If you cannot accomplish your goals in 10 or 15 years in public office, it is time to move on, elect someone who will.

Arrogance and intransigence arises when the old guard comes to expect your continued support on election day, telling you what you want to hear, then following their same old agenda, year after year. Do you expect anything different, with the same old guard at the helm? I want to expand tourism and improve the westcoast fishery. I foresee an expansion of trade, convention and hotel space throughout Abbotsford. I hope to improve the access and egress from the airport as well as enhancing the high tech industrial services. I foresee an expansion of film production, development, editting and recording services requiring computer skilled youth.

Part B

5. What do you consider the most pressing issue for UCFV students in this municipal election and why?

Think globally, act locally. Globalization of trade, capitalization of vital natural resources like water, and the fallout of economic cold warfare, downloading of federal tax burdens onto the "mean" streets of Abbotsford is depressing our local economy. Is big brother a better manager of money, or a bigger bully, for balancing the federal budget, by off loading healthcare, education and other financial commitments onto the provinces and cities?

Poverty, hunger, homelessness and joblessness are increasingly the result of the systematic attack on the middle class economy of Abbotsford, by irresponsible multi-national corporate raiders. The MAI, NAFTA, WTO, APECers and others are crafting a bill of corporate rights, which subjugate any lesser national laws to coercive litigation, enslaving the world to serve their tyrannical un-elected agenda, written by and for the privileged. These are not human values, but the values of greed for excess profits, through arrogant manipulation and deliberate deceit with quasi-legal means.

6. What issues do you see as being of the most concern for UCFV students at the Federal and Provincial levels?

On the federal and provincial level you are challenged to see through the quasi-legal manipulation and deceit offered as good government. Your best insurance against being deceived is to develop your own common sense and consciousness, through meditation, prayer, or spiritual practice of your choice. Trust in your instincts, check your sources for vested interests, and hidden agendas. Know that you can verify and cross check through various sources. But don't be lulled into a false confidence simply by hearing the same old gossip. A point of view repeated over and over again, by the same newspaper publisher who happens to also own your radio and TV station, controlling their editorial bias does not make it true. Check with people, not just a strategically editted sound and video byte.

7. As a City Councilor or in some other capacity what involvement do you expect to have with UCFV students during your next term on City Council?

I expect to be invited to come and speak to the students of UCFV at your graduation and welcome new students, sometime during each term, to hear your hopes and concerns for the future. Your board of governors, president and executive are always welcome to bring your concerns to city hall. I expect they will call for my help to lobby the province for additional funding for UCFV infrastructure, parking, gym and staffing levels.

8. What, in your opinion, is the biggest contribution UCFV students have made to the community in the past, and what specific political activities/contributions would you encourage them to make in the future?

UCFV students are voting with their minds and feet, everytime they go to class, excel in their studies, and move on to take their place in our society. Participation in extra-curricular activities like sports, clubs and volunteer organizations helps to round out the intellect, which can be a double edged sword, when confined to rigid black and white thinking styles. Enjoy the multicultural diversity and different points of view that this community brings to your table every day. Don't wait. Say hello. Enjoy the day.

9. How can UCFV students make the most impact in municipal politics?

Look, listen, learn and share your opinion. Know that your voice counts more when it is well informed, organized and repeated. Vested interests can afford excess legal counsel to sway city hall, but a loud and concerted voice of the people will also be heard. Organize yourselves into political action groups on vital local, regional, provincial and national issues. Educate yourselves, your parents and this community. Delegations will be heard by council.

10. What advice do you have for UCFV students when they go to the polls?

Don't vote as your parents often do, for the incumbents, based on familiarity and past hopes. Meet your candidates at the all candidates meeting at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. Make your own decision on the basis of issues important to your future. Vote for a whole new council, and school board, to break the gridlock of tax increases and the same old mistakes we keep making. Vote for a Y2K worth working for and a youthful continuity into the next century.