Candidate for Councillor, Ward 1

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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 Chris Rapin

I’d like to see development go vertical as long as our water can maintain it. By going vertical we reduce the spread and we will create residential nodes that can lead to a transit system that will service these nodes.

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 Chris Rapin

I would love to see the Town of New Tecumseth shed the label of “Bedroom Community”. As it stands now many kids are dropped off at 6am for day care, then picked up at 6pm, then driven to rink/gym for the remainder of the day. The only way that families can afford our town is by having jobs in the city. We need to create more affordable housing and perhaps establish “work from home hubs” that encourage our residents to be more present in our community if possible. As it stands now all our youth activities are running low on volunteers due to the fact that no one has it in them to give an extra hour or two at the end of a 12hr work day.

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 Chris Rapin

I would love to see our downtown streets shut down to vehicular traffic at least once a week. This would allow businesses to expand their store front and entice residents to visit. Think of it, the Thursday Night Shin Dig, people from all over would come to our downtown. We could create shuttle service from outside nodes. I’ve heard talk of making some one way streets but I really don’t know enough about this. As a newly elected councillor I would definitely put this in my top five things to explore.

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 Chris Rapin

There is enough technology out there that as a town we should be able to avoid the use of fossil fuels in the not too distant future. Why not be cutting edge. Water will also continue to play a big role in all aspects of the town moving forward. We need to figure out ways to protect and extend its use.

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 Chris Rapin

As a town we should be encouraging and creative when it comes to increasing our housing affordability. Tiny home allowances on properties of a minimum size. Financial incentives to creating legal basement apartments. Perhaps commissioning a company to turn the old town hall into a five level apartment building.

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