Saturday, September 2, 2006
The Local Growth Management Strategy has set the foundations for a wide scale community input into how our city should grow, in response to the Places to Grow Act that was passed by the Province. Water Master Supply Plan, Wastewater Supply Master Plan; Guelph Wellington Area Transportation Studies are all in process to plan for our future needs. The International Malleable Iron Company (IMICO) is in development towards becoming a part of our community.
Downtown Investment Plan and Management Structure Report is coming forward to bring our downtown forward to house our new main branch library, provide parking facilities and to encourage more arts and cultural events. Guelph Soccer Dome is a positive recreational step for our kids to keep them active – affordable housing projects; social services projects were the focus of this council. Positive results.
2) Why did you decide to run for re-election?
I am running for re-election as I mentioned above the wide variety of Master Plans that we have been working on and I would like to continue to contribute to our future direction, particularly in our infrastructure needs as they are so interlinked that the tie – our home- Needs to be the focus.
3) The Guelph Civic League has highlighted four issues for the consideration of voting students. Please comment on the following:
a) What is your position on the proposed pipeline from Lake Erie to Guelph?
I sit on the Water Master Supply Plan and have read all material that was available on our water resources. In the first phase the primary area is conservation, capturing water leakage, bringing on new wells (Done in Arkell now) fully exploring our groundwater resources, looking at grey water systems for housing, commercial and industrial uses.
There is no pipeline to Lake Erie in the first phase. This will be the phase that will be concentrated on maximizing our own water resources. As we share our water resources with our neighbours, we will need to build strong relationships, as we will then need to explore the Guelph Lake amongst other areas for Reserve storage.
b) How will you address issues of development in the city and what is your plan for the continued growth of Guelph?
Places to Grow bring forward many positives. It looks at intensification of our core areas to ensure that there is a strong residential community, with the downtown core area becoming a strong commercial and business area to promote a walkable community and sustainable environment for our resources.
The Local Growth Management Strategy has been brought forward to get the communities input into what they want to see in terms of urban design and greenspaces and neighbourhood mixes. This committee that I sit on has been extremely productive as it is a sharing of ideas. The Development Priority Plan has been used for years to decide upon amounts of growth based upon water and wastewater capacity. It now comes down to how our land is used and servicing the areas so that it is complimentary.
c) If you are elected to council do you intend to lend your support to the continuation of the student bus pass?
Yes. I have four kids – need I say more?
d) The GCL is concerned about the size and number of bike lanes on Guelph roads, will you push for greater bike access?
Yes. It is now policy that when roads are re-surfaced or built, cycle lanes are put in.
4) Is there another issue(s) that you think voters should be aware of when considering their choices at the ballet box?
Yes. This is a chance to have a say in Guelph’s future. This is about the council working as a team to bring forward solutions to our needs in not only Environmental, Economic and Social areas but most importantly to protect what we value the most in our city – our community life. Council needs to have representatives that represent all parts of our city so that it serves as a great meeting place for debate, discussion, inclusion and consensus building so that all voices are heard, not just one or another.
Ward One is unique as it has our downtown, established neighbourhoods, historic neighbourhoods and new suburbs. Although our council has set aside areas for commercial and other services such as schools, it is now up to the private sector and school board to pick up their end. Brownfield’s are also in need of attention and have been worked on for the past 3 years – when IMICO is done; it will be worth the time and effort.
5) What’s you final message to U of G students?
This is your future and your opportunity to be involved not only by voting but getting having your say in this community, your community.
This is a great time to be involved as your voice can influence the look of our city as we move towards the Provincial Places to Grow growth plan and the strength of our city to respond through our local growth strategy on our vision of our future communities. Words like sustainable, walkable, are among municipal-speak but need to mean something and be demonstrated through our next planning stages with our master plans in our water, waste management, wastewater treatment and our transportation.
Vote for Laura Baily for Ward One Councilor – One who will work for you and our community!