Platform Overview:

I want to help alleviate poverty, attract businesses to boost our economy, build new infrastructure, improve transit, reduce emissions, and maintain critical services without increasing taxes more than inflation or the current rate of 3%.

  • protect drinking water
  • improve and expand infrastructure
  • expand public transit
  • work with province for increased funding for mental health programs and harm reduction strategies
  • increase number of supportive and affordable housing units to decrease the wait list
  • continue programs like discretionary benefit funding and increase number of childcare spaces
  • meet emission reduction targets
  • continued support for cultural services and the regional airport

 

Read More Below

My Platform

 

There are many different areas that the region is responsible for. I will be outlining my position and what I would like to see in order to help alleviate poverty, attract businesses to boost our economy, build new infrastructure, improve transit, reduce emissions, and maintain critical services without increasing taxes more than inflation or the current rate of 3%.


Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment:


I want to protect our drinking water supply by protecting critical natural areas and keeping new development to existing built lands. There are still many areas to build without expanding to protected lands. Reducing salt use further and looking to alternative methods of snow removal is also something I would like to work toward. 

The new cogeneration facilities for wastewater treatment plants in the region are going to be beneficial for the environment and for cost savings. Using biogas, the plants are going to be able to offset up to 60% of the electrical demand of the treatment plants. I want to see more cost savings that also help reduce emissions in other areas as well. Transit is another way to reduce emissions and is one of the key areas I would like to focus on.


Public Transit:


I personally use public transit and could not get to other areas of the city without it, but there are some definite limitations and areas that need improvement. There are many changes happening soon to routes including adding routes and expanding into areas with little to no service. The LRT, ION, will be up and running by the end of the year. I want to ensure that this happens. I understand the frustration of everyone waiting for it to be operational and want to make sure that once the date is set, and it is going to be running, that most of the kinks are worked out before hand. Many people who rely on express buses can potentially cut their commute time by an hour a day by using ION. This allows more time for family and activities. I will be using these services so I can offer constructive criticism and talk to users at regular intervals in order to make suggestions for improvements and connect with the department. I also want to see more connection and accessibility between the different types of transit infrastructure. The cycling infrastructure needs to be improved to entice more people to use active transportation. Trails and walkways need to be maintained and completed quickly to ensure the safety of those who walk or use mobility devices. I want to see our transit system be efficient, affordable, and have increased ridership. If many of these improvements can be made, we will be able to create a more cohesive network of active and public transportation.


Public Health:


This is a big area of concern for our region. Our region, our province and our country are all facing an opioid crisis. A total of 85 people died last year from overdoses and this year is shaping up to potentially beat that number based on the amount of calls and deaths so far. The Safe Consumption Sites were in the final stages of choosing a location, and then having public consultation and feedback regarding the chosen sites. I believe harm reduction measures are necessary and I want to see the work that has been done so far continued for when future funding becomes available. I want to increase support, and push for more funding for our region for mental health initiatives and programs that keep people safe and alive so they can seek treatment. With the provincial funding still unknown, we may need to focus on the available programs and come up with alternative solutions. There is no easy solution, but it is critical to work with both the province and the federal government to deal with this crisis. I believe this will be one of the biggest issues going forward in council for the next term and we need considerate councilors to help our struggling, and lowest income residents. I want to work toward effective solutions to keep our residents healthy.


Community Housing:


The lack of affordable housing and the high occupancy rate are creating a situation that is reaching critical levels in the region. The housing wait list is increasing exponentially and units are not available. I want to work with all members of council to find effective solutions and dramatically increase the number of affordable units. Community housing is important, but I want to find ways to incorporate affordable units in new private builds as well. There are incentives and programs in place and that are starting soon to help add some units at affordable rates, but the levels are so high, going to the province and the federal government is necessary. It’s not just our region that has this issue, it is country-wide. I would like to help build connections between all levels of government and look to solutions from other cities to try to alleviate this issue. I want to see our city, and our region be a leader in finding creative and innovative solutions to this issue.We have some new initiatives starting but I want to see more.


Another section of this issue is homelessness. There have been increasing amounts of tents throughout the region. Some camps are active and some are abandoned. They are not always safe for the residents of the camps or the residents of the area where they are located. The numbers of tents are also increasing. Finding units for those hardest to house is an important aspect to increasing the number of units. Tents are not safe in extreme cold or heat, so it is critical to also ensure an adequate number of shelter spaces for those without a place to go until we create enough permanent housing units.


Community Services:


I know that building a strong social infrastructure is important for building healthy, happy, vibrant communities. I want to make sure that there is continued support of homeless shelters and crisis services. As well, I want to ensure that programs like the discretionary benefit funding for the lowest income residents continues so that dental and vision costs are covered for those who need it most. I want to work toward effective and efficient poverty reduction strategies including increasing the number of childcare spaces, including those that are subsidized, and really focusing on finding supportive and affordable housing solutions. There are many things we can do at the regional level and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work together to find lasting solutions.


Other Areas:


The Waterloo Region International Airport is a key connection to many other places. I want to see more direct flights from our region to make travelling easier for our residents for business or vacation, but that may mean expansion or purchasing nearby land and cannot come at the expense of protected areas. I also want to ensure that the region works hard to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 80% of 2010 levels by 2050. With improved infrastructure and projects like the wastewater cogeneration facilities, we will be able to meet that target. I want to continue supporting cultural services like the Waterloo Region Museum, Joseph Schneider Haus, and McDougall Cottage because I take pride in our heritage and I think it is important that we preserve our history. 


I also want to ensure that major roads are maintained and repaired while building new roadways where necessary. Emergency response is another area that we can make improvements and try to alleviate the burden as a result of major events such as festivals and the Ezra st. party. I am in favour of working with students to come up with a safer solution while still enjoying the holiday such as moving it to a bigger location with proper security, emergency response and washrooms, or creating a festival for that holiday (St. Patrick’s Day). We cannot continue to waste valuable services that city residents rely on, and the costs are too high. 


The other part of service I would like to see is more warning for residents living near major road construction projects where lights and sidewalks are taken out for months at a time. I propose continual walkthroughs to assess accessibility and any issues of getting around for those residents. Construction projects rarely meet proposed timelines so I would like to see a more realistic range of timeframes and updates on new closures, alternative routes, and progress reports. It is critical for the safety of the residents of the neighbourhoods undergoing major roadwork to be able to plan routes and access necessary services. I lived through the Ottawa st. reconstruction in 2017 and it is still not finished. I worked with the region to find solutions and spoke with the engineers to ensure accessibility, but it was still inadequate. I want to make it easier for other residents for future projects because I understand how frustrating it can be.


Climate change is going to be a big consideration for building and development in the near future. With evening temperatures in the mid 30s, air conditioning in public housing and public buildings will need to be discussed. As well, in order to reduce our plastic consumption and provide water for our residents, bottle refilling stations and fountains should be located in more areas and more prominently. Businesses, especially gyms, should be encouraged to have these types of stations instead of only offering one time use water bottles for purchase. 


The customer service for the region has improved and the systems are getting updated. I think that we should build on these advances and current methods by integrating new technology to receive more feedback from community members. I will try to ensure that I respond to any and all inquiries directed to me from community members. I want to understand the concerns that residents have.

Overview:

 

I want to help alleviate poverty, attract businesses to boost our economy, build new infrastructure, improve transit, reduce emissions, and maintain critical services without increasing taxes more than inflation or the current rate of 3%.


  • protect drinking water
  • improve and expand infrastructure
  • expand public transit
  • work with province for increased funding for mental health programs and harm reduction strategies
  • increase number of supportive and affordable housing units to decrease the wait list
  • continue programs like discretionary benefit funding and increase number of childcare spaces
  • meet emission reduction targets
  • continued support for cultural services and the regional airport