Candidate for North Dundas Councillor
Age: Would not disclose
Farmer, owner of Thermohair Inc
1. What prompted your decision to run for council this time?
I think council needs a good business head as running the township is running a business, it needs a farmer that understands sustainable farming and it needs a woman’s perspective. I have all 3. I have lived here since 1983 and I enjoy the rural spirit here.
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
I have been well trained and blessed with problem solving skills and common sense. I know how to assess situations, collect data and information, strip off the fluff from the important points and find reasonable solutions.
I have lived years of cash cropping, dairy farming and mostly raising Angora goats which are now on the vulnerable list. I understand farming issues as well as environmental issues which will require win win mediation in council decisions.
26 years ago I started a value added business from the goats which has grown internationally and offshore, when those in the industry told me it would never work. My business sense overcame the hurdles and found solutions which is a talent I will bring to the table. I am efficient and well organized.
I have a postgraduate degree from the U of Guelph, I have been a director for the Canadian Goat Society and advisor on the OMAF Red Meat Plan. I organized the Angora breeders across Canada to ship their mohair through the Wool Growers Co-op and taught their wool grader how to grade mohair. I know how to get things done.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
The issues facing the township are growth, waste and water management. Four years ago I went door to door and listened. One sore point was property taxes. 40 to 50% of our taxes go to road maintenance. That’s a large portion. We are only 4000 households to maintain almost 400 km of road. That’s 10 households per km of road. In the city it could be 100 households supporting the same km. We need controlled growth to expand the tax base. I say controlled because we are limited by water supply and waste management. We all live from water wells, whether individual or commune and these have limited capacity. The dump is at its limit and in the process of expanding but people need to reduce their garbage output and we need more recycling. In Edmonton ALL plastics are collected, including grocery bags. Recycling here won’t even accept my water softener bags. Styrofoam is recycled there and compost is picked up. Very little goes in the landfill and there are countries in Europe where landfills are a thing of the past. The odour in Winchester has been an issue and Parmalat is working on it but need to keep monitoring the situation until the town is odour free.
4. Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
I would like to see more recycling in the township to lessen the burden on the dump and I would like to bring up the issue of landfill sites to the province to start province wide programmes that would eventually bring us to zero landfill. Water waste management needs constant monitoring.
We also could invite more businesses and families to establish here yet still maintain our rural lifestyle.
Building permit specs should be the same province wide. I have already heard complaints that they are not. I have heard from one developer that the summary of building fees in North Dundas are too high. These are issues I will look into.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
I have not been door to door yet to answer this question. Most of the feedback so far is that we need an intelligent common sense woman on council. Actually we need more than one to represent our population as half of five is not one. I’m not seeking the position because I am female. I am running because I am a person who can do a good job.
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’?
If we say no first time around, we have the option to opt in later for retail sales outlets. If people want pot they will have access to it around us, even on line. The issue here is how will the use of pot affect our bylaws with such little things as a close neighbour smoking in his yard and the smell affecting your living space. Then there are the more serious issues of smoking just before work, on the way and at the workplace. What provincial laws will be set? Driving while under the influence. How will that be monitored.