Candidate for Councillor, Ward 4

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Strong Town Responses

Question 1

New Tecumseth is forecasted to grow by 35,000 people over the next 30 years (an almost 80% increase to the current population of 45,000). The maximum amount of land to accommodate this growth is 450 hectares. The next Official Plan will be re-written in 2023 assigning where to put these new residents.  What is your vision for where and what kind of housing should be built to accommodate this growth? Should we consider reducing the amount of land required?

Response from Alan Masters

This is the million dollar question! Originally in the 1800’s farmers invited industry in to their regions to help grow and make their settlements prosper, now that shoe is on the other foot! We can’t stick to the “same old same old” mentality! We live in unprecedented times requiring much out of the box thinking and forethought before we proceed with any standard building development plan. We should take a page out of other countries who are taking new and innovative approaches to this urban sprawl and land use issue, such as building developments for the majority that include greening and use alternative energy, which also include a public mass transit system. Development is inevitable but how we manage it is extremely important, by taking extra steps in how we manage this development can reduce our footprint and save as much arable land as possible.

Question 2

What are your thoughts on building ‘complete communities’ where people can have their basic needs met within a 15-minute walk from their house such as access to retail, green space, school, a range of housing choices and safe modes of transportation (biking, walking, public transit)?  How can this be achieved?

Response from Alan Masters

My family had this and more for 42 years when we lived in the town of Beeton! I timed the walking time between all points in the village at 15 to18 minutes including shopping and other needed services and promoted walking in Beeton to residents for all their needs in the local newspapers! As a transportation auto consultant, in 2015 I submitted a transit plans to the Town of New Tecumseth which included hooking into the Bradford  transit system for direct links to commute to Toronto. 80% of Ontarians commute to work; we have to find a way to encourage residents to consider public transit, “IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!”   In planning future communities in our town we need to consider all of these basic needs with a vision to the future with today’s planning to include a complete community base!

Question 3

How do you suggest that downtown Alliston, Beeton, or Tottenham are revitalised after the pandemic has taken a toll on local businesses?  How can we increase economic activity without adding to the traffic congestion and more sprawling parking lots?

Response from Alan Masters

This has been an ongoing problem in our town long before covid!  Our traffic congestion is mainly through traffic, if it were all to stop in town and buy something this question would be academic and redundant! Also, we would need much additional parking down town to handle the increased business! The town has commissioned at least three studies of this nature I’m aware of in recent times, unfortunately little was acted on or done with any of them! We have no concrete marketing or business development strategy to work with or be guided by as far as I know! As a successful Sales & Marketing person I believe in the tried and true 4 P’s of marketing the corner stone of all business since time immemorial and I have some great ideas I would be willing to share with the town to get our business community going!

Question 4

The 2019-2022 TNT Strategic Plan has a Pillar of “Environmental Sustainability: Lead in promoting and preserving our unique physical environment.”  Climate change is not mentioned in this plan.  What are the biggest threats to the local environment and what are your proposed solutions?

Response from Alan Masters

This is a difficult question as it asks to predict the future! We don’t know what environmental issues will become more prevalent in our town in the future! However; we do know that most of TNT was built on reclaimed swamp land and if history in a predictor increased water levels will become a big issue in the future! Therefore any future building developments must include greening saturation areas (run offs ) with sewage and drainage that have this expected future increased capacity requirement accounted for.

Question 5

The price of home ownership or rent for many in TNT is unaffordable. What can be done municipally to increase housing affordability?

Response from Alan Masters

Again history and experience should guide us. We moved from our apartment and  bought our first home in Bramalea in 1973, it was a 950 sqft, 4 bedroom, back split bungalow with a car port. We paid $24,000 for it! Could I have raised my family of four kids and a dog there….you bet! The more influent millennials at 21% of the population are now driving the housing market along with outside investors, they are pushing the price of housing beyond the reach of the “average Canadian”. Canadian average mortgage rates increased from $2,000 per month to $3,000 per month currently! The average family requires a combined income of over $100,000 per year to pay the bills and meet payment obligations! The average Canadian salary for men is $50,000 and women $40,000 per family.  We need to go back to this strategy and build family apartments at a reasonable cost the average family can afford with next stage family bungalow divisions for expanding families. This could be done and designed tastefully and ergonomically viable with the right players in the mix!

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