Transparency, honesty, accountability, and openness will be at the heart of how I fulfill my role as councillor for Ward 12.
I will work collaboratively with other members of council and with community stakeholders and I commit to being fully accountable to the public. Thinking long-term and focusing on big picture topics will be at the centre of my approach to improve the lives of citizens today while we build a safe, resilient, and inclusive community that will thrive long into the future.
Let's work together to make this a reality.
Transparent & Accountable Leadership
Ancaster and the City of Hamilton deserve leaders who are accountable, transparent and fully engaged and who work collaboratively on the issues that matter to residents.
I will draw on my career in corporate leadership to:
- Advocate for City Council to adhere to Ontario's Open Meeting Requirements, as set out by Ombudsman Ontario, to end closed-door meetings. City Council must be forthright and transparent on matters that affect its residents. Withholding information from the public is unacceptable.
- Exercise fiscal accountability in annual municipal budgets through evidence-based policymaking in consultation with Ward 12 residents.
- Be available to and listen actively to residents from all parts of the ward. From the village core, to the suburban neighbourhoods, to the rural areas, I will facilitate town halls, attend local events and participate in meetings of local organizations.
- Establish dedicated communication lines including social media channels to make it easy to engage with my office and always treat residents fairly, respectfully, and with integrity.
- Respond directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action for municipal government, specifically Calls to Action 22, 23, 57, 87, 88, and 91. Indigenous peoples are an integral part of our community
- Accept campaign donations only from individual citizens, and decline financial support from professional developers
Flourishing, Safe & Inclusive Neighbourhoods
Thoughtful planning will ensure Ancaster is a community where people at all stages of life can live and thrive. Everyone deserves the freedom to enjoy their neighbourhoods and no one should have to worry about their own or their children’s safety when outdoors.
To improve our community, I will:
- Immediately request City Staff undertake a traffic audit for all parts of Ward 12, (urban and rural) to assess the current state of traffic, speeding, and road safety in order to guide the changes necessary to improve the safety and liveability of our neighbourhoods.
- Collaborate with residents and expert staff to implement design changes on our streets that prioritize accessibility and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the comfort of drivers, while improving traffic flow.
- Support Vision Zero’s goal to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries on Ward 12 and Hamilton roadways through evidence-based policy implementation.
- Support the staff-recommended Complete Liveable Better Streets (CLB) plan and ensure that its principles are implemented effectively and with urgency.
- Advocate for the expansion of community fridges to provide direct support to residents who need help meeting their basic needs.
- Foster engagement and input from all parts of our communities including Black, Indigenous and people of colour, people with disabilities, the Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community, and otherwise marginalized citizens
- Actively advance the scope of the arts and cultural sector in Hamilton broadly, including Ancaster’s arts scene
Responsible & Sustainable Growth
Hamilton’s population is expected to grow by almost a quarter of a million people over the next thirty years. We must plan carefully how to accommodate our new neighbours in a manner that not only preserves the quality of life of existing residents, but improves our community by generating the necessary tax revenue to build vibrant, walkable neighbourhoods.
To make this happen, I will:
- Ensure development practices throughout Ancaster blend new buildings into our neighbourhoods. In the village core, we must respect the Ancaster Wilson Street Secondary Plan and honour architectural heritage while redeveloping in ways that enhance the lives of residents. [Read Craig's position paper on this topic]
- Continue to advocate for maintaining a firm urban boundary and preserving our agricultural lands and Greenbelt. Propose updated zoning bylaws to enable “missing middle” housing throughout the city. Gentle density will increase overall tax revenues and reduce the tax burden on homeowners while creating more housing and allowing the City to meet provincial growth targets. City Hall can no longer use residents’ property taxes to subsidize the prohibitive costs of infrastructure that sprawling subdivisions require.
- Preserve our farmland and community’s green spaces. Add gentle density in existing neighbourhoods while preserving our green spaces, wetlands and parks like the soccer fields behind Ancaster Secondary School.
- Support an inclusionary zoning policy. Mixed-use developments are critical to create vibrant, accessible and liveable communities with a variety of desirable amenities that improve the lives of residents and reduce car-dependency
- Work to expand the vacant homes tax to include commercial properties to encourage development and discourage property speculation
- Complete an immediate audit and assessment of all City land assets and determine what land can be allocated and leveraged to build long-term deeply affordable housing and to create a municipal non-market housing program, including rentals for all income levels.
Climate Action & Environmental Stewardship
In 2019 the City of Hamilton declared a Climate Change Emergency. The City’s Climate Action Strategy must be at the centre of all decisions. We must proactively mitigate the prohibitive costs associated with the damage caused by increasingly frequent climate events (e.g. flooding) and the devastating impacts of climate change on biodiversity loss which adversely affects us all. As a supply chain leader for the first major food company in the world to become a carbon neutral, and tireless advocate for the environment, I know first-hand what can be achieved and how to achieve it.
I will work to:
- Protect our waterways through my ongoing work with Save Our Streams Hamilton and at City Hall. Keeping our water clean and preserving wetlands like the Garner Marsh are critical to the health of all ecosystems, to prevent flooding in our neighbourhoods, and to the overall health of our community
- Create a new senior leadership position (with the necessary funding and staff) to lead Hamilton’s response to the climate crisis through the Community Energy & Emissions Plan (CEEP) and Climate Change Impact Adaptation Planning (CCIAP)
- Implement mandatory Green Development Standards (GDS) for all new development – including an end to fossil fuel hook-ups and the installation of more electric vehicle chargers in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), decrease stormwater impacts to address reduce costs, improve public health, and preserve our natural environment.
- Commit the City to a target of 40% urban forest canopy coverage in order to reduce the impact and cost of climate change on residents, support biodiversity. Advocate to adopt Ancaster’s Private Tree By-Law citywide
- Advocate to the province for a ‘Made-In-Hamilton’ plan for growing the Greenbelt in our community. We must ensure that the entirety of our City’s urban river valleys are recognized and protected and that all remaining prime farmland located in the ‘whitebelt’ lands is brought into the Greenbelt and protected.
- Consult with the indigenous community in all aspects of planning and decision-making. Indigenous Peoples have been caretakers of these lands for millennia. Their wisdom and expertise benefit of all residents.