To be honest, I wasn’t going to run this term. I wasn’t sure that I could make the time to do the job effectively, as it deserves. I have many time consuming, important commitments such as raising two teenage sons alongside my wife, owning and operating a financial business and being an active member of a number of community and charity groups. I just couldn’t say no because I am passionate about this Region and I want to see it flourish and grow for generations to come. My love of this Region comes from my belief that it is the best place to live and raise a family in Canada. I can say that because I have lived in many different places but this one is unique in its vibrance, energy and so many other distinctive features.
It doesn’t mean the Region is not without its issues. We are experiencing some very significant problems around housing, community building and the lack of public and private investment in the Region. We need to be leveraging the strengths of this community to create beneficial partnerships between business, government and the people who live here.
I was raised by a family who said you didn’t have the right to complain about something unless you were willing to do something about it (sometimes my father used more colourful language to say this!). Through this upbringing, I learned that it is much more rewarding to be part of the solution and not just wait on the sidelines hoping for change or complaining when it doesn’t. I am running because I think I can help point the community towards solutions.
This region and its institutions have a long history and it all began with people working together, helping and taking care of each other. I embrace this philosophy and intend to continue with this focus in mind.
Homelessness is now at crisis levels in the Region. Everyone deserves proper, safe shelter. Once this goal has been attained and adequate housing and shelter has been expanded, the idea that anyone can pitch and live in a tent wherever they wish in the city has to be removed as an option. These encampments are not safe for anyone. Not the people who live there, not the people who secure these places and not for the neighbouring community. This simply cannot continue to happen.