Guelph Today Response

The Candidate

I am a born and raised Guelphite, who has had the privilege to work, study and travel in other countries. I have seen the worst, and best that Guelph can become. I believe we all want a safe, liveable and affordable place to live.

My father and mother demostrated how public participation had constructive outcomes. They helped start recycling in Guelph - before the  blue box. My mother and friends started Guelph’s first day care and mental health association. My experience spans the corporate, institutional, labour and non-profit sectors. For fun, I love the arts; I play volleyball, sail, and hang out with family and friends.

Civic engagement is an important part of my work and volunteering. For example, while a student, I was a founding member of a committee that initiated the Human Rights and Equity Office at the University of Guelph. I was the first office volunteer of Hillside Festival, and a board member and volunteer coordinator of the Guelph Jazz Festival in it’s infancy. For years I was a volunteer mediator in the Guelph courts.

For as long as I can remember, I have participated in City of Guelph planning charrettes and public input sessions, written letters to the editor, and delegated to City Council. I was a member of the City of Guelph Smart Guelph Steering Committee.

I believe the solutions are within our community, so the key to a councilors work is with you, the community. I am a leader who cares, and has the experience to make Guelph an even better place to live. I will listen to you. I will represent you. I will work with you. 

 

The Platform

I believe that all decisions should be made with a balanced economic, environmental, social and cultural lens. By ensuring we take into account best practices under all these categories we will have a safe, liveable and affordable city. We will not only improve our quality of life, but leave a positive legacy for future generations.

 

Economic

I believe in making fiscally responsible decisions that provide value for one’s taxes. I support capital investments in infrastructure, clean energy solutions, transportation, and a library for the population target for 2041 (preferably in a Guelph owned facility). These investments are important for quality of life today, the savings they provide may be used for other projects, and they ensure future sustainability. I will encourage collaboration for the development of innovative technologies, support of businesses, and transit.

I believe that fiscal responsibility and effectiveness are not mutually exclusive. A lot can be achieved if we have both. Efficient and effective project management frees up monies to be used elsewhere. Thus, I encourage transparent project budgets and timelines be available to the public.

 

Environmental

Guelph has a reputation as an environmental leader. Therefore, we must continue to look for better practices and improve our technologies.  I will encourage effective development and built urban form that provides energy security, protects and enhances the environment, and saves money. Guelph’s natural assets are a part of our infrastructure protecting our water sources, mitigating floods and enhancing rain fall. We must continue to invest in green space, increase the urban canopy, respect the designation and purpose of the Natural Heritage lands, and re-open the discussion about the future of the Hanlon Creek Conservancy and Nature Reserve. Dutch Elm disease and, the Emerald Ash Borer proved that we cannot take for granted, our grand trees and parks.  It is our responsibility to leave a better legacy for the future generations.

 

Social

Social integrity is the sense of our place, our home, our Guelph. Whether you are 8 or 80 years of age, and no matter your background, abilities, orientation or identity, we need to ensure you feel a sense of belonging, that you are safe, have suitable activities, and that this is your community. I take my role in service and leadership seriously and would continue to demonstrate and advocate inclusivity.

It is time for us to have those difficult conversations about supporting people with mental health and addictions for these challenges touch every postal code. I commit to collaborating with you, and community partners for solutions, and to create a comprehensive Mental Health Strategy.

 

Cultural

Culture is descriptive of art and music. Also of a place, it’s build form, it’s way of life, the values of the people that distinguishes it from other places. You know what you love about Guelph, what brought you here, or keeps you here.

Therefore, I champion creating neighbourhoods - not just buildings. Places with a mix of housing types and affordability for all stages of life. To do this we will have to work closely with others. We must take advantage of this historical time when the other levels of government are committing to increase the affordable housing stock.

As Guelph continues to meet the targets of the Places to Grow Act, we need to use the tools of the zoning, planning and creativity to embrace new technologies. We need to protect our heritage buildings, and create new built forms that negate the effects of climate change and rising energy costs.

These new neighbourhoods should not be islands - they need access to schools, commercial nodes, day cares, green space, trails and recreational facilities. Their structures should be functional, beautiful and mindful of the human aspect. They must be connected to adjacent streets, and offer everyone a place to walk, cycle and explore. I will champion new and infill developments that respect the context of the area, protect the environment, and ensure the culture of Guelph is maintained. Where there is quality of life there are jobs and a prosperous community.

 


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