For more than 50 years, I have lived, worked and raised my family in Niagara-on-the-Lake. During that time I owned and operated the Oban Inn, where we enjoyed serving many members of the community and their families. I was drawn into politics as lord mayor (2000-2010), regional councillor (2010-2018), and as town councillor (2018-2022). Throughout the past 22 years of service, I have developed a deep and valuable understanding of our strengths and challenges. At this point we are at a critical stage. We must immediately address: the Official Plan, including revisions to the zoning bylaw with streetscape; the transportation plan to address parking and traffic; the tourism strategy to navigate this changing industry; and clarification on the new municipal accommodation tax (MAT).
Growth must be better managed so developers are clear on what the town expects and requires. Significant changes to proposed plans cannot continue to be adjusted once plans have been approved.
The town must address development issues at Randwood, Parliament Oak School, as well as the old hospital site. We must support tourism by ensuring our visitors stay at our lodgings, eat at our restaurants, enjoy our wineries and visit our historic sites, including the Shaw Festival Theatre. We must also manage the impact of tourism, including short term rentals.
World-class farms, nurseries, vineyards and wineries, continue to thrive in our rural areas. We must support them on issues including viability, threats (such as phragmites), the protection of water sources and the enforcement of land fill regulations.
Over the years we have managed to navigate NOTL through pressures of progress and immense change. Today, however, these threats have never been greater. I have the context with which to meet these challenges and I will dedicate myself to working together to lead this town into the future. Please vote for me on Oct. 24.