Chamber of Commerce questionnaire

As a municipal candidate, I periodically receive questionnaires from a variety of groups. I’ll be posting my responses here throughout the campaign.  This is from the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, and they’ve posted all the responses they have received on their website.

  • What is the next step for moving forward on the intensification of the Williamsville Main Street plan and what will you do to demonstrate growing Kingston as a livable, sustainable city during your 4 years on Council?

In Williamsville, I’m supportive of more projects like Sage Prestige at Princess and Victoria. I think they’ve done a great job with that design and I wish the city was holding more developers to that style (stepped back from the street), instead of going straight up from the side of the street like some of the current new builds.

There is lots of debate over the development styles in Kingston, especially close to downtown, and I’m in favour of smart development that respects the character of the city while promoting more economic sustainability, particularly amongst small businesses.

I’d also like to see greater access to recycling options in public, particularly downtown and in parks and other public spaces. Too many coffee cups and takeout containers are being placed in the garbage because there are no recycling bins at hand.

 

  • 2018 rental housing vacancy rate is 0.7%, the lowest in Canada. What steps will you take to increase the supply of housing?

Kingston’s priority needs to be affordable housing. The current waiting list of 1300 (as of the end of 2017) is far too long, and we can’t count on developers to solve the problem. Kingston needs to invest right away in affordable housing. Adding additional housing stock for low and middle income families is the first and most important step to ease the housing crisis, which will also reduce homelessness and poverty. The Housing First has worked very well in other cities and has shown positive results here, but making it a priority will really make a difference in the lives of homeless, marginalized, and impoverished Kingstonians.

 

  • What is the next step for moving forward on the Kingston airport expansion and what will you do to expand air service during your 4 years on Council? For example, which is a higher priority, another Canadian airline to compete with Air Canada or an American airline to access new US markets?

I am in favour of having as many airlines available as the market supports, with a focus on creating healthy competition and choice for Kingstonians. Choosing between the two, I would support adding a competing Canadian airline based on the Business Case for Expansion Kingston Airport.

  • What is the next step for moving forward on the intensification of JCB corridor expansion and new bridge and its linkage to the Third Crossing….and what will you do to encourage that growth during your 4 years on Council?

I’d like to see as much natural beautification of that area as possible. It’s a wide-open, flat area, and adding/preserving trees, berms, and other natural features will make it a more pleasant area in which to work, travel, and live. This, combined with good traffic flow and accessible active transportation throughout the corridor will allow businesses on John Counter to thrive.

 

  • What is your solution to the lack of parking inventory in downtown ygk? What is your financial plan for creating new parking spaces to add to the City’s inventory to promote local retail?

 

I would like to explore a policy of installing temporary sidewalk extensions for patios, instead of permanently removing parking spaces year-round. I have seen this recently in Picton and Napanee. A deck-style extension is added to the sidewalk when a patio is opened and removed when it’s closed. The municipality still receives parking income during patio season, and we have those additional parking spaces.

This is a small fix, and admittedly will only affect a handful of spaces, but I’d also like to see existing surface lots such as Byron, Anglin, and Upper Robert Bruce converted to accommodate cars on multiple levels, either through stacking or building additional levels.

 

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