As a small business owner and someone who calls Pickering home, I know firsthand about the issues that are impacting our ward and community at large.
I have an ambitious plan to move Ward 1 FORWARD by saying YES to dynamic housing options, YES to lower property taxes and YES to better representation at city hall.
QUICK OVERVIEW OF KEY PLATFORM POINTS
Make our community an even better place to live in.
Bring fair representation by approving the new ward boundary proposal which costed taxpayers more than $60,000
Zero-Based Budget in 2023 and ensuring it as a Standard of Practice every decade to reduce the Cost of Government
Historical Village Designation
Move the following communities to be recognized by the Pickering Heritage Committee as Historical Communities: Twyn Rivers, Woodlands, South Rosebank, Fairport Beach, and West Shore. This would restrict additional buildings in these neighbourhoods and preserve the community’s identity and environment. This would expand the exclusionary zone for tree removal and green space reductions.
Pickering City Council should still have the ability to approve applicant proposals because of the individuality of every property in our historical areas, but you will have my commitment that I will be firmly opposed to modifications which encroach on the frontages which the communities were zoned with or the height restrictions in the zoning by-law section.
Expanding the City's Adjustment Committee should be done to have representation of local community members to protect Character.
Only Approving Amendments to the Parent Zoning Codes which respect a 70:30 ratio between residential and commercial/industrial primarily focused on Bungalow Development.
Broadening the Tax Base (3 Year Small Business Property Tax Rebate)
Durham Region has one of the highest Youth Unemployment Rates in Canada yet we also have the highest Educational Attainment Levels. As an Economist, the root cause of this issue boils down to labour force participation and engagement in our local economy which benefits our municipal tax base without burdening shared services. We have the potential with the residents we currently have here in our neighbourhood. We just need to engage them to partake in our local economy.
This is why I am proposing a Small Business Tax Rebate for Pickering Residents who would like to start a Small Business here in Pickering a Three Year Property Tax Subsidy which is of no expense to the city but a forgone revenue in hopes of creating a sustainable small business tax base.
This would fund an increase in the seniors property tax rebate for fixed-income seniors regardless of income and to keep pace with the cost of living.
Permanent photo radars in Key Priority Areas and Greater Police Funding to be more resposive and preventative in community safety.
Kingston Road Intensification Project
Currently the Provincial Government would like to stop urban sprawl yet encourage growth in built parts of our City. We currently do not have the capacity to entertain adding residential high-rise buildings on Kingston Road when our electrical grid and sewage system cannot reliably sustain our current residents.
This intensification is a non-starting issue until we have a Subway built along Kingston Road to effectively transport the new residents of these high-rise buildings. This should be fully-funded by the Province and the municipal taxpayer should not subsidise this infrastructure investment.
Evaluation Criteria of Development
There is two key criteria which I evaluate any development in our community:
- Quality of Life Impact on Residents
- Capital Appreciation
Development and progress in the City should not come at a cost to the current residents of the City.We need to build in a way which is mutually beneficial to everyone in our community, Pickering is beautiful and strategic planning in the future will be key.
The death spiral for a municipality is when assessed values for homes start to decrease as it starts panic selling and a shrinkage in the overall municipal tax base. Every decision should be made to protect the homeowners and their asset price of their property.
Scarborough Subway Extension on the Kingston Road Corridor
The Scarborough Subway extension will be completed by 2030 and will be within 10 km. of Pickering. Just as Vaughan was able to secure a Subway extension into their jurisdictions prior to Development, council needs to demand equitable treatment from the Provincial government to subsidise a Scarborough Subway extension into Pickering which will be within 10 kilometres of our City.
This will truly be the magnitude of the investment we need in our City to integrate the transportation necessary to handle the new residents projected to make Pickering home if we go along with the current City Growth Plan.
I will be a clear voice, no more high-rise intensification in already developed neighbourhoods until we receive a Subway. There is no bus or train that can substitute for the Subway which can effectively and efficiently transport people into the City in all seasons throughout the year.
Support for Lobbyist Registry
Developer Money has been at the forefront of mind for many Pickering Residents as their interests have not been the sole priority at City Hall. I am committed to supporting the implementation of a lobbyist registry for campaign contributions to Municipal Political Candidates.
Open Bidding Process for Capital Infrastructure Projects
I would like to initiate an open-bidding process for any WSIB-certified companies to bid on Capital Infrastructure Projects. Companies should have an attached personal contact form the contact associated with the bid on the project. There should be fines and penalties imposed for inadequate work and an open-bidding process would encourage a more competitive market price for these projects. If there is inadequate work completed, the contact person associated with the company along with the company itself would lose its right to bid on future City projects.
Public Disclosure of Daily Agenda
In the last handful of years, Pickering Council has had about 50% of their meetings in-camera and behind closed doors. Even though we know the City Clerk has strict guidelines to follow in-camera discussions, I will commit to Pickering residents that I will make my daily agenda public as a City Councillor so you as the residents can see what I am doing on working hours and with whom I am meeting with in community and its stakeholders.
Overnight Animal Rescue Services
Currently in Pickering we do not have any overnight Animal Rescue Services. I would like to integrate it into the Capital Expenditure Budget and stagger the funding over the next four years to fund an expansion to the animal shelter with a full-time worker along with Overnight Animal Rescue Services. These animal rescue services would protect healthy and injured animals found astray.
I would like to foster the delivery of this service with Team Chelsea which will enable passionate and knowledgeable individuals in our community to deliver these services in a fiscally responsible manner.
I am committed to not reopening the debate regarding the Pickering Airport.
I would like to see a more economically sensible use to the lands by ending the innovation corridor in the North along the 407 to attract business investments. Moreover, I would support the federal initiative to try and create an agri-food industry to create a stable source of agricultural products for our residents and stimulate economic growth in our municipality to broaden the tax base.
Pickering Nuclear Facility
The Pickering Nuclear Facility is coming to the end of its life-cycle. The Provincial government in its jurisdiction would like to see this project continue as there are not many other ways to keep up with the energy demand of the Province. The facility itself is getting older and it now concentrated in a populous area.
I would support the transition plan towards converting the Nuclear Plant into a Biomedical Research Facility which does cancer research using isotopes. This would help alleviate two key concerns:
The void created by the loss of high-income jobs which sustain our Municipalities Tax Base
Find an alternative use which is not as high of a risk for our beloved community here in Pickering and the Greater Toronto Horseshoe Area (GTHA).
Industrial and Commercial Jobs are the backbone of our economy and I want to create sustainable jobs that keep up with the cost of living.