Meet The Candidates Forum
June's Opening Remarks
Municipal councils have traditionally been non-partisan. I am running as an independent, as I have in the last three elections. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to vote or how to best serve the people of Ward 3 or the City of Guelph.
Guelph City Council is a team of 13, supported by an incredible staff and a passionate caring community. We get things done by debating the issues respectfully and openly, by collaborating and by working together to build the best future for Guelph.
I believe there needs to be a diversity of voices around the horseshoe. We need councillors who are willing to have their world views challenged, who actively listen with open minds and open hearts. We need to elect people who have strong values and who treat our constituents like citizens rather than taxpayers. And, most importantly, we need councillors who want to move us into the 21st century.
Before I outline my platform for this campaign, I would like to share with you some of the work I am most proud of - accomplishments that strongly reflect my values and demonstrate my contributions as a councillor.
- I am the founder of the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, an organization that advocates for system and policy change to address the root causes of poverty.
- I championed the adoption of the affordable bus pass so that low income households can access the many benefits of living in this city.
- I led efforts to ensure the City’s substantial investment in active transportation.
- I voted “yes” on the affordable housing strategy.
- “Yes” on the community energy initiative.
- “Yes” on the City’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050.
- "Yes” to the designation of Guelph as an age friendly city, because I believe it will help focus our efforts on making the city work better for our aging population.
- “Yes” to building the community splash pad/ice rink in front of City Hall.
- “Yes” to building a new main library in the Baker District.
- “Yes” to save the Loretto Convent from demolition.
- I voted “no” to the pipeline.
- And this past February, I co-hosted the first ever Guelph Wellington Women’s Campaign School, attended by more than 50 potential candidates.
These achievements happened in collaboration with all of you, with our community partners, our business partners and of course our very capable City staff. We can be proud of what we have accomplished together.
So what’s on the agenda for the next four years?
Guelph is situated in the Grand River Watershed and we rely on groundwater for all the water we use. We must protect these finite resources. That’s why I support the 'Grand Agenda for Groundwater Action'.
Clair Maltby is the last major green space within our city to be developed. We must put the environment first and protect our moraine and the natural heritage landscape as we move forward.
Throughout the city we need development that is compatible with existing neighbourhoods. We need to find creative solutions to meet our housing needs, including accessory apartments and tiny homes. I will support these initiatives and continue to work towards policies and programs that result in an abundance of affordable rental and affordable housing.
I will continue to work with our community, city staff and Guelph Transit to get our transit system right. We need a transit system that our citizens can depend upon to get to where they are going efficiently and on time.
In spite of what we hear from Queen’s Park, there are many benefits to transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient city. We led with our community energy initiative. We can be leaders in transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient city.
And our neighbourhoods… Our neighbourhoods need to be safe and to provide a place of belonging. Movie nights in our parks, arts and cultural festivals, community gardens in parks and surrounding apartment buildings, neighbourhood tree plantings, neighbourhoods with social activities for seniors, our newcomers and youth.
Let’s make the next four years the term where people of Guelph engage in the important issues facing our city and bring some imagination, creative solutions and ambition into the agenda at city hall.
Ward 3 Candidate