Candidate for Deputy Mayor

Online Profiles


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 Michael Beattie

The key to taking pressure off of settlement boundary expansions is to make sure we’re doing everything we can to maximize on infill development and intensification opportunities. This will be a growing pain – we’ve never before experienced this pressure to build UP. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with some of the more recent applications that have come before Council. They’re using new and better-quality materials and they fit in much more nicely with our neighbourhoods and our urban design guidelines. They’re also incorporating more mixed uses in terms of style and type of housing, which we can all agree is very much needed. What New Tecumseth needs is strong, experienced leadership at both the local and regional level that can manage and leverage the growth that is coming.

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 Michael Beattie

I’ve always been impressed with the City of Ottawa in this regard. It’s much easier to walk or take transit in Ottawa than it is to drive. While we’re nowhere near Ottawa in size, I think there is much to be learned from cities and towns that have made their communities more pedestrian/cyclist friendly. As we grow, Council must ensure that we’re distributing both the residential and commercial/economic growth strategically, with complete communities the goal. I think that streetscaping and beautification projects are areas where we could engage our residents and arts and culture communities on.

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 Michael Beattie

I’ve always believed that if you want downtowns to thrive, people need to shop, work, and LIVE in them. When I was a kid in the late 70’s/early 80’s, most shops in Alliston were open until 9pm on Thursday and Friday nights. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of service-oriented business set up downtown. Not a bad thing, but our opportunity here, as I see it, it to work with our BIA’s, Chambers of Commerce, and Economic Development team at both the Town and County to create incentives and programs to revitalize our downtowns, and give those people thinking of taking the next step toward opening their own business a hand up.

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 Michael Beattie

I think the biggest threat would be urban sprawl. I believe our role as elected officials is to ensure that we’re growing sustainably and responsibly, and that the costs and pressures of that growth aren’t thrust upon existing residents. If growth is balanced, measured, and leveraged by working together in good faith, with shared ideals and goals, I don’t think it’s something to fear. Taking populist positions on growth and promising to stop it at all costs can win you elections, but it won’t move the business of the Town forward, nor will the legal bills be cheap.  Some decisions are bigger than elections, and bigger than politics. The next Council will be tasked with making decisions that will chart our course for the next 20 years – make sure who you vote for can see past the next four.

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 Michael Beattie

I think all levels of government have a role to play in this regard. We need to have open lines of communication and constant contact with our regional, provincial, and federal counterparts. Affordability is an issue that impacts us all – even governments. With growth on our horizon. I see great opportunity for us to significantly diversify and expand our supply of housing. Also, municipalities have the largest share of responsibilities in terms of services that impact you and your family the most, yet we only receive about 9 cents of every tax dollar. As Deputy Mayor, I’ll join the fight to advocate that a greater share of  your tax dollar spent here at home on the things that matter to us the most.

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