(continued)

Teens Ask the candidates 

Teens/Election

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I would like to sincerely thank the few candidates that responded to the questionnaire my friends and I put together. Your time and effort spent addressing some of questions and issues that the youth of this community have concerns about is very much appreciated. The answers I received are shown below.

Thanks again everyone for being committed to our community!


Helen Harris


Editor:  See the candidates answers to the students questions below:

 

 

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 5 Sandy

 

 

GARY BROWN

SAUGEEN SHORES MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2010

Candidate Questionnaire

1. There is a huge issue regarding healthcare in this community. Many residents do not have family doctors and those that do often wait long periods of time before getting an appointment. This has resulted in many using the Emergency Room of the Southampton Hospital almost as a walk-in clinic. How do you propose to address this issue and make healthcare more available and accessible?

 I will work with the existing committees on Dr. recruitment and expanded health care in our community.As a major fund raiser for our hospital (Cruisers Cruise Nite over $165.000 to date and as a person whose life in 2001 was saved by our great hospital my support is and always will be 100%

2. Do you plan to implement and encourage preventative health care programs in this community to improve the level of health? In what other ways do you plan to keep the new doctors to this area happy?

see question 1

3. Many business owners in the Port Elgin downtown have expressed concern about the accessibility of their shops, especially with regard to senior citizens and with parking. How do you plan to address this issue?

Can I give a foolproof plan on accessability-no- but as counsellor I will work with bussiness owners and the existing plan ,including parking on this isssu

4. There are many residents of Saugeen Shores who live below the poverty line and/or cannot afford the increasingly high cost of living here. How do you propose to (1) increase the amount of affordable living within this community and (2) help these individuals obtain employable skills and procure work so that quality of life can be improved for themselves and their families?

Everyone is responsible for thier own lives both personal and professonal . For those that truley need assistance this is being addressed presently and I involve myself with exisiting plans and future plans.  

5. Although Saugeen First Nations is not part of this municipality many First Nations students attend schools in Saugeen Shores. It is a Canada-wide trend that Aboriginal individuals have lower levels of educational attainment than non-Aboriginal Canadians. Do you think that this municipality should play a role in addressing this issue within this community and, if so, what should this role be

If our First Nations Council want us involved than I'd be happy to participate

6. What level of communication do you think there should be between this municipality and that of the Saugeen First Nations?

see above

7. How do you plan to promote involvement and inclusivity within Town Council and within the community?

Communication,willing to listen and active involvement with all parties in respect to their concerns

8. There is a disturbing amount of intoxicated driving that occurs among the youth of this community. A factor that could be strongly associated with this is the fact that there is no public transportation and during weekend nights the numbers of taxis are limited and fares are expensive. What do you propose the municipality do about this issue?

If our ,your town can monetarily support public transit (this is the key issue ) I will support it 100%.Everyone is aware of the dangers of drunk driving young or old. We as a community could try every avenue possible to eliminate  drunk driving. Will it still happen-generations have proven-YES- You must take responsibility ,for your own actions plain and simple and if not face the music

9. Wind energy has been a huge issue throughout this election with many strong opinions. How do you propose to engage the citizens, especially those whom are most affected, in open dialogue as decisions are made and policies are put into place? Even if it is not ultimately a municipal decision how do you propose that this branch of government act as a liaison in assisting residents voice their opinions on an issue that is of so much importance to community?

How many public meetings can there be on wind farms.There is a ton of info available to the public whether for or against.The Liberals have put all communitees in a very sad state.I hope landowners in Saugeen Shores refuse to rent to these companies,but money does talk.

10. Saugeen Shores has many successful recreational or competitive sports leagues and a unique dedication to the arts with multiple community bands, choirs and a strong art school. These programs encourage community involvement and an all around sense of community. How have you contributed to these programs and how do you plan on strengthening these programs even further?

As a member of the Chamber of Commerce (past president) I have been involved many of these programs which beniffited our community. These programs can only exist if our community,volunteers and planners remain active.

11. Saugeen Shores thrives during the summer months because of tourism. How do you think that attractions and recreational activities in this area could be bolstered to potentially increase tourism during the winter months as well?

Again, your Chamber along with our business community promotes Saugeen Shores all year round,abd I feel these two groups working together to promote tourism is our greatest asset  

 

CINDY CARTWRIGHT

SAUGEEN SHORES MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2010

Candidate Questionnaire

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address these concerns. My phone and internet were accidentally disconnected last week and have just been restored so I apologize for taking so long to respond. I am submitting my answers to some of the questions so they can be available now before the election deadline.

1. There is a huge issue regarding healthcare in this community. Many residents do not have family doctors and those that do often wait long periods of time before getting an appointment. This has resulted in many using the Emergency Room of the Southampton Hospital almost as a walk-in clinic. How do you propose to address this issue and make healthcare more available and accessible?

I believe we should be looking for alternative options, such as Nurse Practitioners and a Clinic. Most people are not aware that Nurse Practitioners can provide virtually the same services as a Family Doctor. They do not need to be supervised and can order tests and write prescriptions, in addition to excellent assessments. When dealing with an issue beyond their scope of practice, such as a person needing surgery, a Nurse Practitioner makes a referral to the appropriate health care provider in the same way as a Family Doctor.

A Walk-in or Fast-track Clinic would be helpful for residents who simply need a prescription refilled, a quick check, or cant get in to see their family doctor in a timely manner. This would free up time to allow doctors in the Emergency department and offices to focus on the patients that need their skills.

2. There are many residents of Saugeen Shores who live below the poverty line and/or cannot afford the increasingly high cost of living here. How do you propose to (1) increase the amount of affordable living within this community and (2) help these individuals obtain employable skills and procure work so that quality of life can be improved for themselves and their families?

There are landlords in the community who are trying to keep rental prices low by only covering their costs. I would like to see the Municipality offer financial assistance through grants which reduce taxes, water and hydro costs for landlords who provide low income housing in existing buildings. If the current council is willing to consider grant programs to help business owners change their storefronts, then obviously there is money available to help provide low income housing.

3. Although Saugeen First Nations is not part of this municipality many First Nations students attend schools in Saugeen Shores. It is a Canada-wide trend that Aboriginal individuals have lower levels of educational attainment than non-Aboriginal Canadians. Do you think that this municipality should play a role in addressing this issue within this community and, if so, what should this role be?

The first step is discovering why this trend exists so realistic solutions can be put in place. It is my understanding that First Nation students receive substantial financial assistance with post-secondary education but many do not pursue it. Why? Understanding the issue is the key to knowing if our municipality has a role to play and what that role should be.

 

4. There is a disturbing amount of intoxicated driving that occurs among the youth of this community. A factor that could be strongly associated with this is the fact that there is no public transportation and during weekend nights the numbers of taxis are limited and fares are expensive. What do you propose the municipality do about this issue?

I feel strongly that we need public transportation in our municipality but lack of transportation is not an acceptable excuse for intoxicated driving. People need to take responsibility for their actions call a family member or friend, have a designated driver, arrange a ride home in advance. The municipality should support our local police in their efforts to keep intoxicated drivers off the road.

5. Saugeen Shores thrives during the summer months because of tourism. How do you think that attractions and recreational activities in this area could be bolstered to potentially increase tourism during the winter months as well?

We live in a beautiful part of Ontario and need to promote the amazing environment and outdoor experience that is available here. We have many talented artists and musicians. I would like to see a winter festival developed that combines both and draws visitors here during the winter months and shoulder seasons.

 

LUKE CHARBONNEAU

SAUGEEN SHORES MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2010

Candidate Questionnaire

1. There is a huge issue regarding healthcare in this community. Many residents do not have family doctors and those that do often wait long periods of time before getting an appointment. This has resulted in many using the Emergency Room of the Southampton Hospital almost as a walk-in clinic. How do you propose to address this issue and make healthcare more available and accessible?

While the provision of health care services in Saugeen Shores is largely the responsibility of the Provincial Government and Grey Bruce Health Services, the municipality has played a role in doctor recruitment for the purpose of staffing our local clinics and the Southampton Hospital emergency room.

At the moment, I would estimate that approximately 18,000 patients are rostered at the two clinics in Saugeen Shores more than the total population of our community.

With pending retirements and growing needs, there will be an ongoing need for the municipality to engage in doctor recruitment. However, given the persistent issues with access to health care services in spite of the low number of orphaned patients, it is apparent that a more comprehensive review of the municipal approach to health care may be necessary.

I would favour working with local doctors, health professionals and the community at large to determine what actions the municipality can take to address issues like this one issues that affect the health and well being of the people of Saugeen Shores.

2. Do you plan to implement and encourage preventative health care programs in this community to improve the level of health? In what other ways do you plan to keep the new doctors to this area happy?

Many of the municipalitys activities in the field of parks and recreation can be classified as preventative health care measures. The municipality must continue to provide recreational opportunities for its residents in the form of parks, trails, sporting facilities and active parks (baseball diamonds, soccer fields etc.).

During the next term of Council, the municipality will be deciding on the future of aquatic services in our community. I believe that we must continue to have a pool in our community in order to provide a comfortable and safe place for swimming lessons and aquabics. I believe that we can continue to provide a community pool in a way that is affordable to local tax payers.

I believe that Saugeen Shores is attractive to doctors for the same reasons that it is attractive to every resident. Its a beautiful, friendly and safe place to live. By pursuing my proposals for improving our waterfront, revitalizing our downtowns, providing high quality recreational opportunities, and economic development, we will be building a community where anyone would be happy to live, work and raise a family.

3. Many business owners in the Port Elgin downtown have expressed concern about the accessibility of their shops, especially with regard to senior citizens and with parking. How do you plan to address this issue?

This has been a major concern of mine since I was first elected to Council. That is why I spearheaded the creation of the Port Elgin Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP). This plan was completed and approved by Council earlier this year and is currently being implemented. The plan contains three programs, one of which is the Accessibility Improvement Program. This program would provide grants, loans or tax incentives to business owners who choose to upgrade their facades to make them more accessible. Final implementation of this program will require funding. If elected, I will be proposing that Council fund this program.

The Port Elgin CIP also contains a Streetscape Plan program. This program will look at the public infrastructure in downtown Port Elgin and will take into account accessibility issues on the sidewalks and streets.

As Deputy Mayor, I will also be proposing that Council develop a CIP for downtown Southampton. This would allow the Town to work with Southamptons downtown businesses and the community at large to address accessibility issues in Southamptons commercial core.

4. There are many residents of Saugeen Shores who live below the poverty line and/or cannot afford the increasingly high cost of living here. How do you propose to (1) increase the amount of affordable living within this community and (2) help these individuals obtain employable skills and procure work so that quality of life can be improved for themselves and their families?

As part of my platform for this election, I am proposing that Council undertake to develop an economic development strategy for Saugeen Shores. A strategy like this would look at ways for the municipality to attract new commercial enterprises to Saugeen Shores. It would also look at ways for the municipality to support local businesses. The intent here is to promote the success of our commercial sector and create employment opportunities for local residents.

An economic development strategy would also look at local business and the available work force in an effort to determine what employable skills are needed in our community. I would expect that (based on those findings) the strategy would make recommendations on how the municipality can work with local educators to provide opportunities for residents to receive appropriate skills training.

With regard to affordable housing, I believe that Council should continue to work with the Bruce County Department of Housing and Social Services to find opportunities to develop new affordable housing in our community the affordable housing complex currently under construction on Wellington Street in Port Elgin is an example of how successful the Town and County can be when we work together on this issue.

5. Although Saugeen First Nations is not part of this municipality many First Nations students attend schools in Saugeen Shores. It is a Canada-wide trend that Aboriginal individuals have lower levels of educational attainment than non-Aboriginal Canadians. Do you think that this municipality should play a role in addressing this issue within this community and, if so, what should this role be?

I think that there is the potential for the economic development strategy that I am proposing to benefit aboriginals in our area. By identifying the employable skills that are needed by local businesses, this plan could help the municipality and the school board to provide appropriate educational programming that would help aboriginal and non-aboriginal people find employment.

6. What level of communication do you think there should be between this municipality and that of the Saugeen First Nations?

There needs to be a high level of communication between Saugeen Shores and the Saugeen First Nations. It benefits our community to keep in close contact with all of our neighbours since many of the issues that affect them effect us as well.

The outgoing Council has worked hard to maintain good relations with the Saugeen First Nations. We must continue to work hard at maintaining open communications with our neighbours over the next four years.

7. How do you plan to promote involvement and inclusivity within Town Council and within the community?

During the last term of Council, I helped to create the Saugeen Shores Marketing Focus Group. One of the items on this groups agenda has been to redesign the Saugeen Shores website. The hope is that the public will be able to interact more easily with the municipal government through the redesigned site. This would include more ready access to information on upcoming public meetings and on the services provided by municipal departments. We have completed a static preview of the new design. The next step will be implementation. As Deputy Mayor, I will be focused on finding cost effective ways to get the improved site up and running.

I also believe that Council should begin to invest in the technology necessary to begin webcasting Council and Committee meetings. Many residents were interested in viewing the proceedings of Council when it was broadcast on television. Now that it appears that the television service will not be returning, I think that webcasting would help to keep Council open and inclusive.

 

8. There is a disturbing amount of intoxicated driving that occurs among the youth of this community. A factor that could be strongly associated with this is the fact that there is no public transportation and during weekend nights the numbers of taxis are limited and fares are expensive. What do you propose the municipality do about this issue?

As Deputy Mayor, I will be serving on the Saugeen Shores Police Services Board. The police in our community work hard at public education with regard to impaired driving. They also work hard at enforcement of drinking and driving laws through the R.I.D.E. program.

I think that the town of Saugeen Shores needs to continue to promote education and enforcement as tools to combat drinking and driving in our community.

 

9. Wind energy has been a huge issue throughout this election with many strong opinions. How do you propose to engage the citizens, especially those whom are most affected, in open dialogue as decisions are made and policies are put into place? Even if it is not ultimately a municipal decision how do you propose that this branch of government act as a liaison in assisting residents voice their opinions on an issue that is of so much importance to community?

I believe that the best approach for Council on this matter is to work with neighbouring communities in a unified effort to reassert municipal influence over the planning and development of industrial wind turbines. This process has already begun I have been part of it by acting as Councils representative on the Inter-Municipal Wind Turbine Working Group. Council has communicated to the Province on a number of occasions that we are dissatisfied with the communication between wind turbine proponents and our community.

I believe that the next Council must be part of a unified municipal voice speaking on behalf of people who have been marginalized in the Provinces push to approve these projects. The recent developments with regard to the gas powered plant in Oakville give me hope that the Province may yet listen to our concerns.

10. Saugeen Shores has many successful recreational or competitive sports leagues and a unique dedication to the arts with multiple community bands, choirs and a strong art school. These programs encourage community involvement and an all around sense of community. How have you contributed to these programs and how do you plan on strengthening these programs even further?

I have been heavily involved in the arts throughout my life. I am a former President of the Saugeen Community Players (a community theatre company that performed at SDSS and the Southampton Town Hall) and a former performer with the Sunset Theatres (a group of local actors that performed at the Walker House and the Old Church Meeting House). I am also a long time member of the Owen Sound Little Theatre and am always amazed at the number of talented performers and theatre technicians from Saugeen Shores who volunteer with that group.

I think that the best way to support local arts groups is to find ways to provide space in which they can work here in Saugeen Shores. I am excited by the ongoing efforts in Southampton to revitalize the Town Hall. I think that facility, with some improvements, could be a great space for artists of every discipline to work. As Deputy Mayor, I will work to support efforts to revitalize the Southampton Town Hall.

11. Saugeen Shores thrives during the summer months because of tourism. How do you think that attractions and recreational activities in this area could be bolstered to potentially increase tourism during the winter months as well?

The Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce and the County of Bruce already promote a number of events and activities that take place in our community during the winter.

The Town of Saugeen Shores needs to be a greater partner in these efforts.

As noted earlier, in my platform for this election I am proposing that Council undertake to create an economic development strategy for Saugeen Shores.

That strategy would address ways to continue to develop Saugeen Shores as a four season tourism destination.

Also, as part of my platform I am proposing that Council commit staff resources toward creating a municipal economic development office. That office would be responsible to support our tourism sector. I think that we need to have municipal staff dedicated to determining how the municipality can help to develop, and market off season tourism opportunities in Saugeen Shores.

 

VICTORIA SERDA

SAUGEEN SHORES MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2010

Candidate Questionnaire

1. There is a huge issue regarding healthcare in this community. Many residents do not have family doctors and those that do often wait long periods of time before getting an appointment. This has resulted in many using the Emergency Room of the Southampton Hospital almost as a walk-in clinic. How do you propose to address this issue and make healthcare more available and accessible?

I believe we need to have a community meeting to discuss how to best move forward with doctor recruitment and retention, then we can listen to the wisdom in the community and come up with a multi-pronged action plan to ensure we have a healthy community.

2. Do you plan to implement and encourage preventative health care programs in this community to improve the level of health? In what other ways do you plan to keep the new doctors to this area happy?

During this election, doctors have been telling me that wellness initiatives are very important to them, and we need better facilities for helping people to stay active: eg. Indoor walking track. By holding more public meetings and striking committees as needed, we can make sure the community is involved in decision-making to keep everyone active. We also need to make it a higher priority to plan a walkable, accessible community for active transportation and recreation. We also need to get regular input from the doctors who are working in our clinics to make sure their needs are being addressed.

3. Many business owners in the Port Elgin downtown have expressed concern about the accessibility of their shops, especially with regard to senior citizens and with parking. How do you plan to address this issue?

I have been working on an accessibility plan for the downtown cores for more than a year through the Accessibility Committee, and have proposed a plan that would incorporate a parallel sidewalk that would make all the downtown businesses accessible from the main street. I also believe we need to allocate more parking spaces for people with disabilities, and consider having ones for the elderly/young families as well.

4. There are many residents of Saugeen Shores who live below the poverty line and/or cannot afford the increasingly high cost of living here. How do you propose to (1) increase the amount of affordable living within this community and (2) help these individuals obtain employable skills and procure work so that quality of life can be improved for themselves and their families?

First of all, we need to hire an economic development officer so we can have someone with expertise on staff that can support businesses in town and help reshape our economic future. In rural communities, cultural strengths can be leveraged to make our economic base stronger and increase our quality of life.

Secondly, we need to start a mobility transit system in town that is available to everyone, that would connect our main stops throughout the town and be able to pick up everyone, no matter what ability.

We also need to better utilize the resources we already have in the community, and work toward an economic development corporation that could bring more funds to our community and have representation from services like VPI, Employment Ontario, Service Ontario, etc. Community economic development needs participation from the community, and I want to be the voice of the community on council.

5. Although Saugeen First Nations is not part of this municipality many First Nations students attend schools in Saugeen Shores. It is a Canada-wide trend that Aboriginal individuals have lower levels of educational attainment than non-Aboriginal Canadians. Do you think that this municipality should play a role in addressing this issue within this community and, if so, what should this role be?

I believe Saugeen Shores needs to have a cultural shift in order to be more welcoming to First Nations people and build on the existing partnerships (eg. Museum) to show that we want to have more. Although it isnt a traditional role, I do believe that municipalities can strive to be open to diversity and welcoming to people of all cultures and backgrounds. We also need to establish a more respectful relationship with the Saugeen First Nations Band, with closer ties. It would also be useful to work with them on some regional tourism strategies, and this could help to secure more jobs for people in both communities.

6. What level of communication do you think there should be between this municipality and that of the Saugeen First Nations?

I believe we need to have regular meetings, including asking to attend some of the Joint meetings of the Saugeen and Chippewas of Nawash First Nations. Also, the Mayor should be in regular communication with the Chief, as well as having open communication between the staff of both communities.

7. How do you plan to promote involvement and inclusivity within Town Council and within the community?

I believe we need to have more committees, particularly for seniors, youth, waterfront and economic development, which would help us listen to the expertise in the community. More open public meetings would be beneficial as well, so we can have more involvement from people in our town.

8. There is a disturbing amount of intoxicated driving that occurs among the youth of this community. A factor that could be strongly associated with this is the fact that there is no public transportation and during weekend nights the numbers of taxis are limited and fares are expensive. What do you propose the municipality do about this issue?

Once we have a mobility transit service, I believe we could look at extending the service to evenings or weekends. We also need to do more education so people know more about the consequences of drinking, and work with Public Health on a strategy to alleviate the alcoholic trends in our area.

9. Wind energy has been a huge issue throughout this election with many strong opinions. How do you propose to engage the citizens, especially those whom are most affected, in open dialogue as decisions are made and policies are put into place? Even if it is not ultimately a municipal decision how do you propose that this branch of government act as a liaison in assisting residents voice their opinions on an issue that is of so much importance to community?

We need to have a public meeting where all sides of the issue can be presented, with follow up where resolutions to the issues can be discussed. The Mayor has the responsibility to be the voice of the community, and I would advocate to other levels of government about the issues that are being raised. I would also work with all people concerned and do my best to find resolutions while minimizing taxpayers money being spent on lawyers.

10. Saugeen Shores has many successful recreational or competitive sports leagues and a unique dedication to the arts with multiple community bands, choirs and a strong art school. These programs encourage community involvement and an all around sense of community. How have you contributed to these programs and how do you plan on strengthening these programs even further?

Through the Saugeen Sustainability Volunteer and Resource Centre, I have been supporting non-profits in the area by helping them with governance issues, filing non-profit applications, and giving general advice as a volunteer consultant. We also are currently conducting a Feasibility Study for a Sustainable Volunteer Centre, and are looking at ways to strengthen the community and support the volunteer sector. I have performed in many musical fundraisers in town, attended Museum and Art School exhibit openings, given advice to one of the Vibe founders, and tried my best to perform in, attend and/or support other cultural activities in town as time allowed. My schedule as a councillor and public speaker doesnt allow me to be in groups that require regular attendance, but I do my best to support them as much as possible.

I believe we need to have a Cultural Master Plan, as part of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, to ensure we continue to have the quality of life we deserve in our vibrant community.

11. Saugeen Shores thrives during the summer months because of tourism. How do you think that attractions and recreational activities in this area could be bolstered to potentially increase tourism during the winter months as well?

As part of an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, we would work together to form a plan to do more to attract people in the off-seasons as well as to try to get more people to convert their seasonal residences to permanent ones. In order to do this, we need better planning, and particularly a community economic development. Specifically, I believe we need to start an annual event in Southampton and Saugeen Township to highlight the special features of each community.

 

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