Key Issues

Protecting the environment: we are seeing a surge of development applications in the city that result in significant loss of green spaces, trees and habitat destruction. Bill 23 demonstrated the desire for stronger green protections across the province and Cambridge could be at the forefront. We need continued effort to protect our green spaces and more initiatives like tree giveaways and planned replantings all while expanding and maintaining trails and parks within the city

Affordable/attainable housing: in a period of expected growth, we need more housing within the city. In a recent Record article about the 2022 Vital Signs report, “the nature of the housing crisis is further exacerbated by the type of housing being constructed, the report says, with the increasing shift from larger homes to smaller condos deepening the problem, since fewer people can comfortably fit within the constructed units” (The Record, Oct 20 2023).  We cannot rely on condo developments to solve the housing crisis. Housing needs to include gear-to-income units and a mix of designs.  We also need expansion of the current affordable housing initiatives offered through the city

Safe and livable cities: although geographically sprawling, safety and making Ward 1 more livable is a major theme. These are a few of the key issues shared with me by Ward 1 constituents; a need for dedicated and safe bike lanes, mitigative measures around the Amazon building, safety around the entrance of Kressview and the proposed 255 King St development, more amenities and services within the outer boundaries, expansion of trail service in key natural areas like Chilligo Conservation Area, traffic calming measures and potential bypasses to alleviate stress around the cores of Preston, Hespeler, and Blair, and a higher level of engagement with Regional developments as Ward 1 has many regional roads and property

Smart development: we need to have development in this city that is sympathetic to our existing neighborhoods and respects 2.6.1 of the Official Plan. By clearly laying out what the city wants for development (and sticking to these guidelines) we may avoid seeing excessive by-law and zoning amendments or continued costly challenges to the Ontario Land Tribunal. We need innovative designs that become part of the rich fabric of our city that provide mixed use, affordable options with minimal environmental impact

Accountability: over the last several years we have seen an increase in distrust with Cambridge council when it comes to following proper process. With the loss of the Preston Springs, the Forbes Estate and the Blair MZO the citizens have been left questioning the accountability of council and we need more transparency and consistency in these important decisions. We also need consistent application of existing policies and by-laws to ensure residents and developers play by the same rules

Increased community supports: members of our community are struggling to access much needed crisis and addiction support. Chronically underfunded organizations are struggling with demand and we need to continue work on providing services at point of need

Taxation and budget: in order to fund the much needed infrastructure to support the current population and growth, we need to ensure developers are paying their fair share. An estimated $24 million of development charges were lost with the Core Exemption Policy (Cambridge Today, Feb 10 2022). We cannot afford this as we need this capital to go towards roads, fire, sewer, parks and recreation, and more. Waiving fees puts a burden on taxpaying citizens to come up with the difference and our taxes continue to be raised. We need a breadth of incentives that help the average taxpaying citizen, not developers. Further, more than 50% of every tax dollar contributed by Ward 1 citizens goes to the region. I will advocate that Ward 1 residents get the most for their tax dollars from regional services. I will also push for equity across the city as Ward 1 residents have historically felt under served in comparison to other wards