Questionnaires & Pledges

Guelph’s local media sources are trying hard to bring voters the information they need to make an informed decision. Here are my responses to date. You can also read all about mayoral, council and school board trustee platforms.

Guelph Politico :

Guelph Politico podcast: h (45:51)

Guelph Today:

Guelph Mercury-Tribune:

Guelph Arts Council: read my response here

Transit Action Alliance of Guelph:

There are also a number of organizations asking candidates to take pledges. To date, I have received more than a dozen - some provincial and some local. I look at each one individually. I only sign if I fully understand the implications of each and every point in these, and am 100% comfortable with the endorsement. Signing or not signing a pledge does not mean a candidate does not believe in the same principles, or with 98% of what is there. Some candidates sign everything. Some candidates sign nothing.

Similarly, attending or not attending an event is not an indicator of a candidate’s support. We are receiving two or three invitations daily. We cannot possibly attend everything and still get to your door.

I signed The Better Ballot Campaign

As a candidate in the 2018 Guelph municipal election I am responsible for the administration of my campaign and the conduct of those associated with it.

I believe that every in the community benefits from campaigns based on civility and respect.

Therefore, I affirm that I will:

  1. Run a positive, issues-based campaign;

  2. Refrain from resorting to personal attacks on any candidate or citizen in all interactions, in campaign literature, and on social media;

  3. Publicly disassociate myself and my campaign from people or organizations who attack any candidate with comments based on gender, race, or status; and

  4. Lead by example by engaging in constructive political discussion and encouraging others to do the same.

I signed the Rise for Real Climate Action

  1. I believe that addressing the causes and impacts of climate change is an immediate priority that can no longer be pushed to the next generation or future Councils,

  2. I support capital infrastructure investment projects and policies that contribute to reducing the effects of climate change, (ie. stormwater levy)

  3.   I support investment in incentive programs that will help citizens contribute to reducing the effect of climate change, (ie. GEERs)

  4.   I support the 2018 City of Guelph resolution to strive for a Net Zero City by 2050.

  5.   I support the 2018 City of Guelph resolution to strive for the Corporation of the City of Guelph to meet its energy needs using 100% renewable sources by 2050.

I did not sign the pledge from We are Guelph. Here’s why:

  • The We are Guelph pledge has 24 statements for City Councillors. I can easily agree with 22 of them - including the right to collective bargaining - and have extensive professional and volunteer experience to show how I have supported resilient and healthy communities, public education and inclusion. In fact, I’ve written three national reports on belonging!

  • My platform is ABOUT affordable and livable communities and a strong local economy where growth in good jobs translates into good pay AND shifts some of the tax burden from residential to commercial taxpayers.

    None one disagrees with :

    ·      Ensure that people receive value and quality for the taxes they pay.

    ·      Recognize the challenges faced by municipal governments as result of the downloading of responsibilities for service provision by the Provincial and Federal governments.

    ·     Support lobbying efforts to increase Federal and Provincial financial support to municipalities, rather than increasing property taxes and fees to account for shortfalls.

The sticking point for me is the blanket endorsement to :

  1.  Oppose in principle the contracting out of work and privatizing of services.

    At this point, I just don’t know enough about the issues or the financing of city services to be this categoric. Of course, we need a strong, professional civil service. We also need public services that serve different objectives than commercial ones - transit is a good example. At the same time, accepting this statement may be contradictory to the earlier point about value for taxes so, unless I know EXACTLY what I am endorsing. I won’t. I know some people use the “in principle” to give them wiggle room. I’m just not comfortable with that.

  2. Support the objectives outlined in the Groundwater Action Agenda of the Wellington Water Watchers. I looked for the Action Agenda and could not find it. I have asked the organizers for a copy but have not yet received a response. So, I won’t endorse something I haven’t read. Of course, I want to build on the city’s water conservation efforts to protect our local water supply and systems.  Not signing a pledge does not change that.

I did not sign the pledge from the Guelph and Area Realtors. Here’s why:

The pledge has three points. I agree with the first but don’t know enough about the next two to agree to them.

  1. Acknowledge the importance of the Canadian Dream of home ownership to strong families and a strong Ontario. - OK. I can agree to that.

  2. Oppose a municipal land transfer tax and any other tax measures on home buyers. - I don’t know enough about those policy options so make a blanket statement like this.

  3. Get more homes built in our province by reducing in [sic] regulatory barriers to development - giving families more choice on where to live. - Again, which regulatory barriers? All of them including greenbelt or environmentally sensitive areas? Safety?Regulations that help climate change resilience? Sorry. I won't sign something I don’t understand.

Ultimately, just because I am not comfortable with vague statements doesn’t mean I don’t support the principles behind them.

I am working on questionnaires or pledges received from: Wellington Water Watchers, Guelph Humane Society, Ontario Living Wage Network, Transit Action Alliance, Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt (MLGB) and many requests from Ward 6 residents.

If you have any questions about my values or my position on any local issues, please contact me. I’ll be happy to talk.