Candidate for Councillor, Ward 2

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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 Jaison Waldman

The projected growth of 35000 people. That was projected before working from home was a reality for many people. So how valuable are the projections from 2017, and what assumptions where made at the time? Was this the same data used in planning for schools and hospitals?

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 Jaison Waldman

Complete communities is a concept that I can relate to. Its not so uncommon on a global scale. Some people are more comfortable in a small village type of setting and others feel the need to meet and engage others on a wider scale. For the most part there is no real choice here at the moment. Even a short bike ride to Earl Rowe park is daunting. Better infrastructure would help to connect our community. But we can’t compare our reality to California. A 15 minute walk is quite different in winter.

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 Jaison Waldman

Downtown businesses have been upended by the pandemic. My family’s favorite restaurant shut down and many service industries have been brought to their knees. We need concrete action to support local businesses, and more so action to grow new business. The prime real estate in the downtown cores is nice,  but you can’t have growth without the space to grow. Through diversifying our approach we can keep the historical elements we like but need better information to work with. What kind of support is needed to get the many home businesses to grow?

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 Jaison Waldman

Climate change. People don’t tend to like change when they think things are fine. Ignoring the threats to the environment is beyond words. Talk is cheap and we need to get our public servants working on real solutions,  not politically correct vague statements. We then have to be honest with ourselves and do what is needed, rather than what we have always done.

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 Jaison Waldman

Housing is very unaffordable. But on this subject I have to be more objective. As a homeowner I want my property value to increase. But I was renting and paying someone else’s mortgage a few years ago, that was good business for him. Such a basic human right should not be so stressful. Municipal housing done with dignity and respect can transform lives. For 6 years I was on the board of directors at a Housing Cooperative where I lived. So I have a positive bias towards it as one option. The cost of establishing something is not as inflated as it is made out to be. The real question is do we have the will to forgo higher profits for longer benefits? Are we willing to leave our comfort zones to help others up, or just talk about what should be included in another report?

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