I would like all of us to feel safe in our homes, have access to green space and have a sense of stability and optimism about our neighbourhoods and communities.
Crime and Community Policing: The crime rate is increasing year over year. The renovation of the Guelph Police Service headquarters to serve our growing population makes it timely for a service review of Guelph Police, particularly the approach to community policing.
The Opioid Crisis: We need a stronger and more comprehensive approach to illegal drug use and the opioid crisis. Addiction is a complex issue, and numerous agencies and levels of government are involved. Guelph needs an effective and wide-ranging strategy to address this issue and its impact on our residents. We should also look at working collaboratively with Waterloo Region (which is similarly affected) to share local knowledge, resources and approaches, and to advocate with the provincial and federal governments.
The Environment: We need to respect and enhance our urban forests and tree canopy in existing neighbourhoods and new developments. Trees are one of the most helpful mitigators against climate change, cost-effective and an investment in the future. We need more parks and managed green space, and to protect our natural heritage, rivers and groundwater.
Growth: The City needs to use the tools of zoning and planning to require greater variety, imagination and energy efficiency in our built environment. We need to provide for walkable communities with green space and commercial hubs, and make long-term commitments to building sustainably, to ensure both market desirability and mandated growth.
Housing: In order to ensure affordability and livability, we need a healthy variety of housing stock and a mixture of housing options for a broad range of incomes. There is a shocking level of homelessness in the city, and an ongoing and growing demand for housing assistance. The next Council must work proactively with the County, the Province and the federal government, as well as the for- and non-profit sectors to address this issue.
Jobs: Support local entrepreneurs and employers. Look to the opportunities posed by clean, alternative industries and new technologies for innovation and stable employment.