Candidate for Councillor, Ward 7

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 Shira Harrison McIntyre

I firmly believe that the majority growth must be concentrated in the Alliston area where many services are already in place and the infrastructure can more readily accommodate the population increases. We need a mix of housing options to create a healthy and liveable town-a place where people can age in place as well where young people and new families can thrive. Most of our current housing stock is single- family dwellings. We need to improve on this and be supportive of intensification as it will save our rural and agriculture lands.

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 Shira Harrison McIntyre

I am very supportive of building complete communities and have been pushing for  creative active transportation links during the planning phase of new developments. To  accomplish this, the expansion of our urban boundaries has to be contiguous rather than leapfrogging. The town needs to plan for bicycle routes to carry people safely  throughout the municipality and around the urban centres as more people are using  bicycles and electric bikes as their primary source of transportation.  

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 Shira Harrison McIntyre

The walkability of our downtowns needs to be preserved by directing traffic to the existing by-pass in Alliston. This is currently underused by trucks and vehicles traveling through. We also need traffic calming and streetscaping in our downtown areas.

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 Shira Harrison McIntyre

The biggest threats are habitat loss, stream degradation and carbon emissions. The  loss of green space to new construction can be controlled by intensification and infill housing. Stream degradation can be avoided by good planning and enforcement of  construction and by creating new drainage systems. As for carbon emissions, having  local jobs means that people can find other ways to work and there are less cars on the  road driving to the GTA. We also to need better access to transit both within the  municipality and to the GTA. Once we have the population to support transit, I believe  we have the will to make it a reality.

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 Shira Harrison McIntyre

We can be supportive of plans that come forward from the province or developers that  propose building affordable housing units. We can continue to support secondary  suites. We can also advocate and explore incentives for cooperative housing  developments which are purpose built and designed to enhance communities.

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