...and in the Hot Seat

Overflow questions from our Ward 1 debate and my answers!

Question #1

What is your commitment to providing more affordable housing in Barrie and how will this happen? 

 My Answer: 

Part of the problem with affordable housing is supply and demand. There is a shortage of rental properties in Barrie right now and so landlords are able to charge high rents. We need more (well placed) rental properties to help increase the supply. Currently Barrie has an expectation that 10% of new rentals and new developments be set aside for affordable housing and I would like to see this number increased. 

Question #2

 Given Premier Ford reduced Metro Council from 45 to 27, in a  mathematical comparison, Barrie should have only 5 Councillors. How much  money would we save? Would you agree with this measure? 

 My Answer: 

It is in the public’s interest to bring the government closer to the people. This becomes a lot more difficult when the number of representatives is reduced. If Barrie Council was condensed to 5, they would need to be full time, require a larger honorarium and they would need more support from City staff. Ultimately, I do not see this as serving the citizens well or a cost savings measure. We can make better, more balanced decisions with 11 representatives. In my opinion, 5 members of Council and a Mayor provides a dangerously small quorum requirement of only 3, putting too much power in the hands of too few people. 

Question #3


Do you believe Ward 1 should remain developmentally stagnant?

If so, how should Ward 1 expect their share of the budget be spent if no development is happening.

If not, where and how would you like to see Ward 1 expand/develop?

My Answer:

  Depends  what you mean by stagnant and over what period of time.  Seems to me  the north end of the Ward is relatively new, not to mention more recent  student housing developments.  

There is really no opportunity for expansion within the current boundaries of Ward 1.

Development is supposed to pay for itself (Development Charges) and not impact the budget.

The Budget is not divided up into Ward shares as the question suggests. 

Question # 4

 How will you help to guide our neighbourhood out of single family  detached housing and into more diverse housing types and density, which  the Province has prescribed? 

My Answer:

  Ward  1 is already a very diverse part of the City offering many single and  multi-residential options including County, affordable/low income rental  options, senior care spaces, towns, walk-ups, apartment buildings and  condos. Ward 1 has already met the goal  of providing a diversity of housing and residential space at a variety  of price points and has for decades provided a compact urban form and  has arguably already met density standards prescribed by the Province. I  have no interest in changing our single detached housing other than  supporting homeowners applying for legal second suite status. 

Question #5

 What do you see as the barriers to accessibility in Barrie? What changes  would you support to make Barrie more accessible for all? 

My Answer:

  According  to the City’s Website Barrie is “One of Ontario’s Leading Communities  in Accessibility”. I won’t pretend to know a lot about this issue but I  do know the City has a Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, an  Accessibility Coordinator, and an Accessibility Advisory Committee all  of which I will support with a view of making Barrie more accessible for  all.