THUNDER BAY – In September, I announced my candidacy for councilor of Westfort, and every day since then, I have been out knocking on doors and listening to what Westforters have to say about their neighbourhood. They have concerns ranging from high taxes and bad roads to feeling unsafe walking down their own streets. I take all their concerns seriously and below are some of what they have told me and what I plan to do about it.
One of the issues coming through loud and clear is the outsourcing of jobs in construction. I am prepared to lobby city council to pass a by law that says at least 60% of all city construction jobs are to be hired from the citizens of Thunder Bay.
Instead of spending money on visits to sister cities (good will doesn’t pay the bills), let’s use that money to invest in teams from the CEDC to show up at a factory’s front door and give them all the good reasons why they should set up shop in Thunder Bay. We don’t need to wait for an invitation, let’s just do it!
Our seniors are going to need help to stay in their own homes. One bright spot is that seniors are healthier now than ever before, so making every effort to keep them in their homes is important. But most of them live in older homes that are harder to heat and may not be suitable if they have special needs. I will work with the Province on increasing funding to the Northern Home Repair program and target these homes. I would also work with the province to reduce heating rates for seniors living alone.
Restraint will be needed now to reduce our debt and keep taxes as low as possible. This is not an easy task when everyone is all ready being asked to do more with less, but, I know that very often restructure is an effective tool when trying to save money. It isn’t the only answer, but it is a place to start.
Very soon, I want to work towards the Kam River Recreation area. This is not a new idea, it’s been around for years and I believe the time is right for Westfort to take a closer look at it. Boardwalks, picnic areas etc, would bring people into the area and make an ideal location for families to spend time together. This in turn would boost the coffers of the businesses in Westfort and create a loyal customer base.
Public safety is high on my list of what needs to be taken care of. As a retired police officer who was the first supervisor for Neighbourhood Policing, I know about crime prevention and its effects on our long term goals. I know how effective more police on the streets can be. I will lobby to bring back Neighbourhood Policing because I know this programme works. In its first year of inception, crimes to property were reduced by nearly 60%. That’s real progress!
I am a strong leader with excellent interviewing skills that allow me to ask hard and probing questions to make sure I have all the information before making decisions. I believe in people being held accountable.
With your help, we will bring a common sense approach back to city council. I am committed to Westfort – I am committed to YOU.
Thank you for supporting our troops