Leanne Piper

Saturday, September 2, 2006

1) What is your opinion of the job that council’s done over the past three years?

Unfortunately, the last term of Council has been over zealous towards rapid development and lack of long-term vision. This has resulted in a number of disastrous decisions such as, a) shut down of the municipal composting system, b) demolition of heritage architecture, c) a growth rate higher than the Places to Grow guideline, d) a 16% increase in tax rates, f) failure to secure the selected site for the new main branch library, and f) failure to stimulate new economic development, other than low-wage retail expansion. This is just a short list! Fortunately, there is still time to reverse some of these costly and unsustainable mistakes.

2) Why did you decide to run?

I want a thriving and prosperous city to pass down to the next generation. Clean air, clean water and a well-planned, people-first community are not unreasonable expectations. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and complain, but I have chosen to run for a seat on Council so that I can tell my kids that I put my energy and commitment behind my beliefs and values.

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 cannot begin to fathom why we would consider building a pipeline to Lake Erie. Guelph sits on top of one of Ontario’s largest aquifer recharge basins. A pipeline is an admission of failure. If Guelph can’t sustain its population on existing groundwater sources, there is something seriously wrong with the way we have planned and built our community.

b) How will you address issues of development in the city and what is your plan for the continued growth of Guelph?

1. Slow down.
2. Plan smarter.
3. Ensure growth pays for itself.
4. Expect more from developers.

c) If you are elected to council do you intend to lend your support to the continuation of the student bus pass?

Absolutely. I was part of the campaign to implement a student bus pass in Hamilton during my years at McMaster University. The bus pass provides universal access to city amenities and facilities and promotes the use of public transit vs. automobiles. Student life is much more than going to classes – grocery shopping, visiting friends and enjoying the city’s arts, culture, music and heritage. The student bus pass allows University of Guelph students to experience all that Guelph has to offer.

d) The GCL is concerned about the size and number of bike lanes on Guelph roads, will you push for greater bike access?

Yes. There are long stretches of unconnected bike lanes in the city that make it dangerous for cyclists. This is especially true of areas around the campus (Edinburgh, Gordon and Stone) where cycling is common. I will advocate for bike lanes on all arterial roads, as well as increased linkages between neighbourhoods and the city’s trail system.

4) Is there another issue(s) that you think voters should be aware of when considering their choices at the ballet box?

I have covered the hot topics in the answers above. In any elections, there are always issues that generate attention and dialogue during election campaigns. But issues come and go. It is more important to ask the candidates about their VALUES.

My values are: stewardship, balance, accessibility and collaboration. I have a proven track record of making excellent decisions based on these four values.

5) What’s you final message to U of G students?

You are part of our community. A prosperous, thriving community is good for all of us. I encourage you to vote on November 13th – become familiar with each of the candidates and make an informed choice. If you have any specific questions that are important to you but are not answered above, please call me at 519-824-9000 or email at .

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