As an Abbotsford resident since 1953, a city councillor for three years, and now the mayor of our city, Henry Braun has been leading the way forward in making Abbotsford one of the best places to live, work, learn and play.
Before his leadership role in the city, Henry Braun was the co-owner, president and CEO of Abbotsford-based Pacific Northern Rail Contractors Corp up until his retirement in 2003. Henry was also involved with companies that owned commercial, industrial and residential income-producing real estate properties. As a long-time Abbotsford businessman, he is enjoying the opportunity to put his years of business experience to work for the city and people of Abbotsford.
Henry was elected to serve as a Council Member with the City of Abbotsford in 2011 and served one term. In November 2014, Henry was elected to serve as the Mayor of Abbotsford. Henry is a champion for the City of Abbotsford. He is a strategic thinker and exemplifies this as Mayor with a strategic plan focusing on Abbotsford as the Hub of the Fraser Valley, which is composed of four integral cornerstones – a vibrant economy, fiscal discipline, organizational alignment and complete community.
Braun addressed the on-going gang conflict: Over the past four years, he has worked relentlessly with the Abbotsford Police Department so they have access to the resources they need, including the assembly of a specialized gang enforcement unit, to work at resolving gang conflict.
He believes changes to the administration of the criminal justice system are needed and has broached the subject of changes with Minister Blair (federal) and Minister Farnworth (provincial). Specifically, the Mayor believes that changes need to be made regarding charge approval. “In BC,” he says, “Crown Counsel decides whether to lay a charge. In other Canadian jurisdictions, the police lay the charge and Crown Counsel prosecutes. Many times, the police believe they have enough evidence to lay a charge, but Crown Counsel doesn’t. To get enough evidence to satisfy Crown can take years, and if time goes beyond two years, the Courts are unlikely to hear the case.”
During his first term in the office, Henry along with his council have adopted a new Official Community Plan (OCP), nine Master Plans (Abbotsforward) and the UDistrict Neighbourhood Plan that was most recently adopted. In the final stages are the City Centre and Historic Downtown Abbotsford neighbourhood plans. “Plan 200k takes us from a high-level view to the street level, where everything works together to facilitate community programs and events, as well as places for play, learning, and relaxation,” says Braun.
Henry Braun acknowledges that while the city is flourishing, there is always room for improvement. Over the past four years, the mayor has worked with the provincial government to facilitate rental housing for the homeless population and has worked with local organizations to provide relief to those on the streets. He hopes to continue doing that if re-elected mayor.
“Now is the exciting part,” says Braun, as the Master Plans he and his council have been working on for the past four years are adopted, “but there is always more work to be done.” Henry is proud of his community and his family members, including wife Velma, their three children, and seven grandchildren. His family is his inspiration for making sure Abbotsford remains a wonderful place in which to grow up and grow old.
On October 20th, Henry Braun asks for a chance to continue to work for Abbotsford through your vote; he encourages all Abbotsford residents to cast a ballot.