Candidate for North Stormont Councillor
39 years old
Chief of Staff to our Member of Parliament, Guy Lauzon
1. What prompted your decision to run for trustee this time?
I have a long history in politics, most of which takes place behind the scenes. I have always believed that the call to public service is a truly humbling one. You have the opportunity to directly contribute to the improvement of your community, that you can add to the quality of life for your family, neighbours and friends. Municipal government is the level that impacts your daily life at the most basic, everyday level. The quality of our roads and parks, the collection of garbage and recycling, snow removal and water quality. Our daily lives are always impacted by municipal government and I look forward to working hard to deliver a better community to the next generation.
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
With over 20 years of experience in the political sphere, and the past 10 years working directly with the federal government as the right hand to several MP’s and Parliamentary Secretaries, I believe I offer a very unique skill set. I know how to advocate effectively with other levels of government to deliver results. Strong advocacy is essential! This to me is one of the most important traits a councillor can bring to the table. It’s easy to make promises, to say “I will build this” or “I will bring in that”, but the reality is that there is only one taxpayer at the end of the day, and without raising taxes on the residents, promises like these are unreal. The majority of public money in Canada comes from the top down, from feds to the Province, from the Province to the Municipalities. I believe I can offer the residents of North Stormont a strong, experienced voice at the table when it comes to dealing with other levels of Government. A councillor should be able to speak for the residents and make sure that those concerns they bring forward, are being heard and are being acted upon. I believe I can offer that.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
Two key areas that need to be addressed are responsible long-term planning, and competitive and attractive economic development. I have personally seen the impacts of unmitigated growth in my earlier years in the GTA, we see it unfolding to the west of Ottawa. It’s important that North Stormont have a solid plan for growth as people naturally migrate to the east of Ottawa. We need to protect our agricultural heritage, and natural environment while also keeping an eye on the potential for growth and improvement. A big part of that focuses on economic development. North Stormont should be seen as having some very solid selling points for businesses in the future. The new economy does not require massive industrial parks, it requires reliable high-speed internet, solid wireless coverage, access to international airports and major highways. North Stormont checks a lot of boxes, but we need to shore up a few areas that will make us more competitive in attracting business.
4. Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
I hope to see the Township grow and offer more to attract new families to settle in the area. According to Census data the population has been virtually stagnant since 2006 with over a quarter of the total population being over the age of 55. We need to ensure that our community continues to thrive in the future and a key factor in ensuring that is to see families choosing North Stormont as the ideal place to raise their families. As our community continues to age it is also important to ensure that seniors have the facilities available to access so they can continue to be close to their loved ones and live in the community that they have called home for generations. Having our seniors have to leave for larger urban areas like Ottawa and Cornwall to access senior housing is something we need to address.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
I love speaking with people face-to-face, listening to their issues and hearing their vision for what our community can be in the future. The feedback has been fantastic and if elected I intend to continue that conversation with the residents, as being the voice of the people is not something you do every 4 years, it’s something you commit to on a daily basis.
6. Voting begins on Oct. 17 — ironically the day of marijuana legalization. The new council will have to decide soon if your municipality will permit storefront cannabis sales, or opt out altogether. Should your municipality allow pot shops or ‘just say no’?
The legalization of marijuana is going to proceed whether people like it or not at this point. I think it would be irresponsible for the Township to shut down the potential for financial and economic gain under the auspice that somehow if we do not allow storefront sales in the Township that people will therefore not use marijuana. That is simply not true. We should not be putting North Stormont in an economic disadvantage simply because we do not like the decision by the federal government.