Friday, 10 October 2014

Saying Yes - Part 2

Thanksgiving is one of my two major "family" holidays (the other being Christmas). I think it's probably a holdover from my days as an undergrad at the University of Waterloo. Those were the two holidays when I made the utmost effort to get home, even if it meant spending hours on buses and skipping the odd class or two...

They've become even more meaningful to me now that both my sister and I have kids. Bar none, our son's favourite thing is to spend time with our two beautiful nieces and we take every opportunity we can to make that happen.

And so, after 11AM this morning, campaigning was put on hold and I loaded the car so we could make our way north to Sudbury.

The car is loaded.
It was a glorious drive and the leaves are in prime "peeping" state north of Barrie.

Parry Sound parking lot.
I'm writing this now from my Mom's dining room table and the lot of us are piled around various rooms doing family stuff. I wouldn't trade this for anything.

Having said that, I am happy to share with you the full text of my answers to the questionnaire I was sent from the Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination (HOPE) - please forgive the formatting, it gets a little weird from all the copy-pasting:

1. Access to affordable housing
a. Will you aggressively pursue the implementation of the City’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, “Everyone Has a Home?”

Yes. As we all know, there is a serious deficit of affordable housing across Hamilton and all residents should have access to a safe space to call their own.

b. Will you explore and implement an inclusionary zoning bylaw requiring a certain component of housing developments to be affordable?

Yes. This is of particular importance in Dundas since nearly all of the new development projects are "luxury" condos and I believe we would benefit from greater diversity.

2. Access to safe and affordable transit
                a. Will you create an Affordable Transit Pass for people living in poverty?

             Yes. I will support the creation of an affordable transit pass. The best way to lift families out of poverty is to give people good quality jobs and we need to make it as easy as possible to get to those job opportunities where ever they may be across the City.
                b. Will you support a ‘Complete Streets’ policy, making our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists?

Yes. In fact I was the first municipal candidate in Hamilton to take the Active Communities pledge which supports complete streets as well several other worthy livability initiatives.

3. Access to nutritious food
a. Will you actively pursue consultation and implementation of Hamilton’s Food Strategy in order to ensure every citizen has access to nutritious quality food?

Yes. Again this is an issue of particular importance in Dundas. While we have access to a lot of great food through our vendors and farmer's market, the nearest discount food retailer is in Ancaster, which means low cost food is difficult for people living in poverty to access.

4. Making the City of Hamilton a living wage employer
                a. Will you work to ensure that all City of Hamilton employees, full and part-time, are paid a living wage?

Yes. Earlier this year, President Barrack Obama delivered a speech saying "Nobody who works full-time should have to live in poverty" and I could not agree more. This is the fastest and best path toward eliminating child poverty which is a main platform plank of my campaign.

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