Candidate for Deputy Mayor

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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 Stephanie MacLellan

Our growth needs to be managed in a way that benefits all residents which includes new and existing ones. If elected I will be advocating for 3 things in the 2023 review. The first being that we need a range of housing that suits our diverse population, such as affordable units for those looking to downsize, and family dwellings for people raising their families. Second, we need to attract more local employment. We cannot continue to grow as a bedroom community. We have some of the best skilled workers in the country here, and we need to promote that to companies looking to build or expand. Lastly, I want to focus on greenspace and building upon our existing trail system. There are examples around the globe of urban centres rethinking how they plan their communities. We in New Tecumseth should be doing the same.

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 Stephanie MacLellan

I believe it is important that we build as I said above, livable communities. This includes greenspaces, trails, and recreational spaces. I am proud of the parks we have and want to expand on them. Connecting the Trans Canada Trail is important and should be a focus of the next council. These things can be achieved through smart financial planning and utilizing the revenue from development in ways that benefit the entire community. Our residents deserve no less.

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 Stephanie MacLellan

The pandemic did indeed hurt our downtown cores, but I do want to mention that New Tecumseth came together many times to support local shopping and it made me very proud as a member of council to see how generous and community minded our residents can be.

Moving forward though, the council can further stimulate our economy in two ways.  One is to attract skilled labour employers, and with them, employees that will shop locally. Our economy will be strong when our local employment is strong.

Two, is to build as I’ve mentioned before livable communities. If residents can walk to shop they will, but if they have to drive then there is nothing but a few minutes in a car stopping them from shopping out of town. Our commercial areas are vital to sustainability and our towns should be designed and built to reflect that.

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 Stephanie MacLellan

Climate change affects many things and will create many challenges for our residents. Increasing storm activity affects our investments and our agricultural sector depends on the reliability of our climate which is increasingly unpredictable.

Although small by comparison New Tecumseth committed to fostering and implementing programs and projects that reduce our carbon footprint. There is much more we can do. Increasing greenspace is one of those actions as well as limiting the need for parking lots and paved spaces as we grow. Water conservation should be a priority of the next Council. There is much more to be 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 Stephanie MacLellan

Encouraging diverse development is one tool the town has, to increase the supply of affordable homes. A greater focus on second suites and garden suits is needed to make sure our seniors have more options to age in place. As the representative of all residents; we also need to be mindful of people’s investment as well. A strong attention to the balance of existing homeowners and the ones coming into the market is the key to creating a healthy housing system that benefits everyone. It’s this approach I would advocate for if elected.

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