Sponsored by the Northumberland Affordable Housing Committee, the first public all-candidates meeting this morning focused, as expected, on affordable housing. There were about 80 people in the Salvation Army Hall – the early start time of 8:00 am may have kept numbers down. All candidates except Emily Chorley were in attendance – Emily had a family commitment in Vancouver but did submit a statement via a representative. Although subsidized housing is the responsibility of the county, zoning and planning are a municipal responsibility and all candidates made it clear that they thought the Town should spend time and effort working on the problem which John Henderson called a crisis. The meeting started with all candidates providing their written responses to three questions asked by the organizers – they were given 3 minutes for this.
Then there was a question period where audience members were invited to a microphone to ask any question. One minute was allowed to ask the question and each candidate had one minute to give an answer. All the questions were in keeping with the theme of affordable housing so other issues did not get addressed. However, the question period in particular was an opportunity to see how candidates could think on their feet.
But there were several points raised:
- Zoning laws are important and should be reviewed – the Official Plan is also important;
- Community improvement Plan (CIP) grants and Loans can be used to encourage development of living space above stores Downtown;
- Other levels of Government have grants that should be used;
- Partnerships would be helpful;
- The Tannery property may be a location for development of affordable housing – it will be handled by the new council (see links below);
- Affordable housing can be provided by Secondary Units such as the one recently approved on George Street;
- The County needs to be pushed – the Town’s representative on County Council will be the Mayor, John Henderson.
The next Public Meeting is on October 10. The format will use the “speed-dating” concept. More at the Municipal election page – link below.
Note that the posts on Candidates Answers to Questions will resume tomorrow with “Open Q & A session – Should there be one at Council meetings?”
- Municipal Election Page with comprehensive information about all the candidates in the upcoming election. Includes bios, campaign policies, web sites etc. Also includes how to vote and questions for candidates.
- Tannery Master Plan Public Meeting – 30 March 2018
- Tannery District Gathering Information – 23 June 2017
- Vision for Tannery District – 2 May 2017 – That is, it will be a showcase sustainable district.
- Tannery RFP – 31 December 2016