Questions & Answers

Why are you running?

I am running because I believe it is possible, by serving effectively as a local representative, to make a positive difference in our quality of life. I am determined to continue to strive towards making us a more livable community.

Why should voters choose you?

I have proven to be an honest, thoughtful and independent voice for the people of Port Dalhousie Ward. I promote responsible use of your tax dollars and stand up for the North End.

What do you feel are the main issues in your ward?
The main issue here is the same as it is across the city: trust and integrity. I have served with a clean record, do not accept campaign money from vested interests and was an early, leading voice pushing for answers about the operations of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.  As a candidate whose election campaign is not funded by financial contributions from big, vested concerns ensures I can serve impartially without being influenced by conflicting interests. It also frees me from the burden of being tied to monetary backers, making it possible to continue to act and vote in a way which solely reflects the good of the people. I consistently fight for full public disclosure of information. I have proven to be an honest, thoughtful and independent voice for the people of Port Dalhousie Ward. I promote responsible use of your tax dollars and stand up for the North End.
The other major issue we face is our ability to pay for the costs of our massive infrastructure deficit. Many water mains, sewer pipes and roads need expensive investments to restore them to operational sustainability and financially manageable levels. This is a critical challenge because once conditions get beyond a certain threshold the cost of replacement is great deal more than the costs of regular maintenance.
Have those issues ever been addressed at city hall?
It is ultimately the voters who provide accountability in regard to trust and integrity.
 
In terms of the infrastructure deficit, some progress is being made with such programs as the capital asset management plan. However, the public money needed is staggering and construction costs have escalated quickly.
What do you see as big issues facing the city in general and how do you think they can be addressed?

Of the issues within our control the biggest change we need to see is in land use planning. As it stands, citizens’ voices in regard to the compatibility of infill developments being imposed in established neighbourhoods and in special places like our waterfront are often ignored. Turning over public waterfront lands to private developers to facilitate oversized buildings which curtail public access and views is irresponsible public policy. Forward-thinking cities have progressive visions to enhance, enliven and preserve lakefront land for public access, use and enjoyment despite the intense pressures of a hot real estate markets to sell waterfront views. Land use planning should not be an all or nothing scenario where either the real estate speculator or the community wins, and one or the other loses. It should be a fair negotiation between the land owner and the community where both the public good and the private investor’s interest are weighed to arrive at a development which is fair for both sides. We are far from such a balance in this city and as a result the general public interest is not being served.

What is unique about your ward?

Port Dalhousie Ward is an incredible combination of great north-end residential neighbourhoods, lakefront open spaces, parks, trails, remnants of three old canals, Martindale Pond, the canal village, the harbour and Lakeside Park. It is important to not lose perspective about what a great quality of life we enjoy and look forward to the day we can once again walk on newly restored piers.

How do you intend to ensure that the concerns of all residents of the Port Dalhousie ward are properly and fairly represented?

I will ensure the concerns of all residents of Port Dalhousie Ward are properly and fairly represented by continuing to listen carefully and by being responsive to residents. Reflecting the overall public interest in decision-making is at the heart of providing proper and fair representation.   

Will you support and defend the newly approved Secondary Plan, especially the provision for the restriction to a three-storey frontage and a six-storey setback within the commercial core of the Port Dalhousie Heritage District?

I will defend the Secondary Plan as it applies to the commercial core of the Heritage District. With the significant number of units already approved for a confined area it would be irresponsible to do otherwise. The SP does not reflect what the public asked for through the consultation process.

Parking in Port has always been a problem and will worsen with approved and proposed developments. Are you in favour of paid parking in Lakeside Park and on village streets and if not, what is your solution to this issue?

My preference has consistently been against paid parking. However, with the higher density and insufficient parking in the newly approved buildings time limits may need to be placed on public parking to ensure long-term parkers do not unfairly take up spaces. The situation will need to be monitored.

The Union Waterfront Development is now in receivership. What is your vision for the commercial core, should it be developed as a tourist/visitor destination or for population intensification?

I believe a mixed-use development with speciality retail and commercial on the ground floors may be the best alternative for the small business block.

Do you have any personal business or financial interest in Port’s commercial core or harbour area?

I have no conflicting financial interests in Old Port and recognize it is a place for multiple purposes, including commerce, active and passive recreation or simply a close by waterfront escape for people to enjoy free of charge. Lakeside Park and the new piers must remain open to everyone.