Global News Peterborough recently asked the five mayoral candidates in Peterborough some questions on issues facing town and their outlook or position on topics.
Candidates vying for mayor are:
- Henry Clarke
- Jeff Leal
- Brian Lumsden
- Victor Kreuz
- Stephen Wright
The municipal election is Oct. 24. Online voting opened on Oct. 1 and advance in-person polls are being held each Saturday leading as much as the election.
The next are their written responses. Each query, we rotated the response order:
Why do you wish the job as mayor of Peterborough? What do consider are your strengths?
Henry Clarke: City council is in need of leadership that may create a recent vision for town and a cooperative culture to bring it to life. My Quaker, government and military experience have provided me with the abilities to bring people together in pursuit of common goals.
Jeff Leal: Because I feel I could make a positive difference within the lives of our community and its residents. This has been re-enforced by friends, neighbours and folks I meet every single day who’ve encouraged me to make use of the abilities and knowledge I actually have developed in over thirty years serving the people of Peterborough to get things done.
I actually have experience as a city councillor, MPP, and provincial Cabinet Minister. These roles have given me first-hand insight as to how systems can and may work for the betterment of our residents. and what possibilities lie before us. I actually have developed good networks with leaders, revolutionary thinkers, and policy experts across the province, the country, and indeed, some internationally. I intend to interact these people, who represent all political stripes, to explore solutions to the complex problems that we collectively face.
For my part, being an efficient mayor is fundamentally about appreciating and respecting the people you represent. I thoroughly enjoy engaging residents, learning their views and understanding their perspectives. I’m a collaborative problem solver – I understand that the majority times one of the best solutions come from listening to multiple opinions. I intend to determine a culture where people feel confident in sharing their thoughts and concepts and, whether I agree or not, opinions will likely be valued.
I’m committed to work with council to forge a collective vision to raised our community and when essential, to make the tough decisions. We must all deal with Constructing Our Tomorrow, Together.
Brian Lumsden: To offer back to the community, to offer back to Peterborough. I’m truly grateful to be here and to have this chance. I do know I actually have the experience and I do know I could make a difference. I feel my unbiased position is critical when within the role as mayor; I’m committed to doing what is correct for the City of Peterborough.
Victor Kreuz: I’m a definite alternative to the opposite candidates with political backgrounds. I stand for the protection of green space, especially any bequests which have been made to town. I stand for strong motion against polluters, past and present. I stand against the sale or privatization of any publicly held assets. And for town to maintain any control over business and development, ‘red tape’ must be defended. Nevertheless, a mechanism for addressing bureaucratic deficiencies and holdups in administering the ‘red tape’ must be created, one that permits council more power to inquire about and assess the bureaucracy – a mechanism that may protect town from lawsuits when a bureaucrat takes offence.
Stephen Wright: We’re at a crossroads within the lifetime of our great city. Our community is unlike another anywhere in Ontario. I fell in love with this great city the moment I got here here, our people, our natural beauty, and our sense of togetherness; that’s why I selected to make Peterborough my home greater than 20 years ago. It’s why I selected to place down roots and put money into our city.
My daughter is a Trent grad; my son attended Sir Stanford Fleming College. It’s why I’ve taken the honour and privilege of representing the hardworking families of Ward 5 so seriously, bringing an unwavering dedication to service, never forgetting the individuals who sent me to council. And it’s why I’m asking for the community’s support on this incredible journey I’m starting to turn into Peterborough’s next mayor.
What do you see as probably the most pressing issue facing the subsequent council?
Stephen Wright: We will’t prioritize only one issue. The social and economic issues facing our city are inextricably linked – taxes and transit, development and livability/affordability, housing and secure streets … My campaign platform recognizes the necessity to handle these issues concurrently to maneuver the needle and convey about positive change for town
Henry Clarke: Essentially the most pressing issue is to create the culture that allows all city councillors to flourish in a civil and cooperative working environment with the intention to improve our services to all residents and businesses.
Brian Lumsden: After I’m mayor, probably the most pressing issue will likely be to scrub up George Street; first step, help find the precise housing that’s suitable at the precise time for the homeless.
Victor Kreuz: I used to be going to say, probably the most pressing issue is homelessness. But perhaps probably the most pressing issue is that so many individuals don’t realize that homelessness is an emergency, and never just an ‘eyesore’.
Jeff Leal: A top priority must be broadening the economic base of Peterborough in a good and equitable manner and where growth advantages all residents.
The fact is that with no strong economy, anchored in appropriate economic growth, we is not going to give you the option to completely address the challenges we face as a community. Our ability to handle homelessness and the shortage of reasonably priced housing, our ability to marshal the resources to combat drug poisoning and mental health addiction, our ability to handle food insecurity and precarious employment, will depend on our ability to grow the local economy, create jobs, and have the resources to take a position in solutions.
I actually have a three-point approach to this:
A key component of my approach will likely be to revitalize the activities of PKED (Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development). Throughout the pandemic, our focus appropriately turned to methods to maintain and protect the companies we had. Nevertheless, now it’s time to refresh our approach and aggressively market our community, not only throughout the province and the country, but in addition around the globe. By refocusing existing financial resources, and if essential, increasing resources, we must always engage an external marketing individual to actively work outside of Peterborough with a mandate to draw recent businesses to our area. Other strategies include lobbying the federal government for a control tower and a custom clearing house on the Peterborough airport to enhance our position.
I’m committed to work with Cavan Monaghan to secure for town and the greater Peterborough region recent employment lands. Such an agreement is prime to the success of not only town, but of the county and the eight townships as well. I say this not because the larger city dictating to a smaller community what they need to do but slightly as an invite to form a partnership – one whose objective will likely be to realize an increased way of life and an improved quality of life for all our residents.
Such a partnership must be built on three key principles:
- One, that the transfer of land to town should involve fair and equitable compensation to Cavan Monaghan or another jurisdiction impacted
- Two, that the event of latest employment lands includes the supply of municipal services that may benefit multiple jurisdiction
- Three, that the event of the Peterborough airport must be simplified by vesting ownership and jurisdiction in the identical entity
We want to assist PKED attract businesses- that begins by making Peterborough an excellent more attractive place to live, work, play, and lift a family. That’s the reason I’m committed to:
- Attracting recent family doctors to Peterborough in order that health care just isn’t a barrier to locating here
- Expanding, greening, and making more efficient local public transit
- Constructing recent recreational infrastructure in order that families have a possibility to enjoy life outside of labor
- Constructing accessible housing so that everybody has an honest place to live
Finally, we want to work with local organizations just like the recent Canadian Centre to spotlight Peterborough as a preferred location for inbound immigration. Every yr hundreds of talented individuals select Canada and Ontario as a recent home. I need them to see Peterborough as a destination of selection in order that their talents is not going to only profit them and their families but in addition the entire of the greater Peterborough community.
Do you’re thinking that town’s downtown is healthy and successful? In that case, how do you propose to take care of that? If not, what must be modified or improved?
Victor Kreuz: I need to assist the downtown shine just like the jewel that it’s, a jewel which is now hidden by a hideous tarnish that reflects our health crisis – the bandage solutions to homelessness, poverty, poor mental health, and addiction, and the desperate shortage of doctors and other health care professionals
Stephen Wright: There are specific changes we could make to reinforce the downtown for each business owners and residents:
- Improved transit, cycling and pedestrian pathway options to make the downtown core more easily accessible, increasing the variety of shoppers and other visitors.
- Cheaper downtown housing to extend residential density and in addition provide places for our homeless population to live.
While the continued presence of police inside business areas will likely be essential to reducing vandalism, shoplifting and break-ins, these negative behaviours may even be reduced by increased consumer traffic on our streets and sidewalks. Increasing residential spaces downtown, for instance, will bring more people downtown. More eyes within the neighbourhood will ultimately reduce criminal activities.
The downtown needs improvement. I might:
- Create a recent level of cooperation among the many agencies that provide services to our most vulnerable, particularly within the downtown;
- Support the hiring of ten recent law enforcement officials and support staff;
- Double the variety of street teams helping street people;
- Bring forward measures to extend housing within the downtown to extend eyes on the road for safety and a growing customer base for businesses positioned there;
- Take recent steps to extend the cleanliness and attractiveness of the downtown;
- Review and improve downtown lighting;
- Increase public presence within the downtown through more community events;
- Work with the MPP to deal more effectively with the interrelated problems with homelessness, mental health and illegal drugs.
Jeff Leal: Our downtown core has many tremendous natural and built assets. Our downtown is situated on an historic and picturesque waterway; parks have been created adjoining to our industrial areas and trails and walking paths, and never just roads, bring people to and from our downtown core.
We even have implausible restaurants, excellent arts facilities, specialized medical facilities, and great shopping in locally owned shops and boutiques. People proceed to live in Peterborough’s downtown core. My vision is to facilitate the creation of a novel and vibrant downtown, where there may be a healthy mix of business, residential, and recreational activities and one where people aspire to live, shop, and rejoice.
That vision just isn’t yet our reality.
The Covid pandemic has exacerbated poverty, homelessness, and mental health, the impact of which is seen every single day on the streets of downtown Peterborough. Our community partners need more resources to handle these challenges and to offer individuals the support that they should live with good health and dignity.
Security concerns also manifest themselves and we want to offer City police with the resources they should keep people secure – including using recent provincial funding for deploying security cameras. A component of revitalizing our downtown core must be the event and construction of a recent entertainment/multi use sports complex anchoring recent accommodation, hospitality, and retail facilities. Many communities have successfully used similar investments to revitalize their downtown core – two examples are St Catherines and Guelph.
As your Mayor, I might encourage Council to judge all practical options to revitalize our downtown as we move forward in a strategic, comprehensive direction.
Brian Lumsden: For the one that thought up this query, do you reside in Peterborough? Are you referring to the diesel smell coming off of Jackson Creek, or the mental health related to the needle garbage bins? What I would really like to see improved is the integrity of the local media, ‘there may be nothing higher than the reality’
The town currently has a 10-year housing and homeless plan. Is it working or adequate? If not, what else could be done to handle chronic homelessness and improve reasonably priced housing in town? (Responses were submitted before Mayor Diane Therrien declared a state of emergency on housing and homelessness on Oct. 14).
Brian Lumsden: I’m going to take (Coun.) Andrew Beamer’s word for it: Mr. Beamer has been on the council for 12 years; and for the last 4 yr he was the Deputy Mayor. He states in his re-election flyer that he desires to “Develop a robust plan for the creation of latest housing units and houses; and, Recent and improved initiatives for housing affordability.” Based on what Andrew is saying, the present plan just isn’t working and recent one is required. The wait time on the list for reasonably priced housing is fifteen years; the list is the issue. I will likely be coping with this housing issue and homelessness on Oct. 5 and I will likely be providing specific details regarding some projects.
Victor Kreuz: The town must retain and acquire land, oversee development, and retain control and entitlement to all advantages. And we want more shovels in the bottom, sooner.
Stephen Wright: We want to correct our current imbalance in housing options. Our development and approval process have to be streamlined to effectively reflect the balanced growth of after we construct, what we construct, and the way we construct as our population grows. To satisfy these challenges, I might establish a Seniors and Housing Task Force that reports to the mayor’s office. I might also establish a reverse property tax system, recognizing that taxes have to be increased to pay for services.
I might examine zoning bylaws encouraging the development of latest infill housing throughout the City’s built-up area. Peterborough must grow upwards and never just proceed to grow outwards by constructing more car-dependent suburbs on priceless farmland. Through a discount in development charges, I might promote the incentivization of constructing of smaller, more cost-effective houses for first-time home buyers. I might also incentivize the development of more rental properties. And I might support the event of tiny homes projects with wrap-around services for our most vulnerable residents.
Henry Clarke: I’m the founding father of Homegrown Homes an revolutionary, award winning not for profit housing corporation, the driving force behind the Warming Room, and Council’s co-chair on housing. I support the present plan, nevertheless it requires substantially more determination and resources:
- Move forward with the brand new municipal services corporation to extend the availability of many recent units of reasonably priced housing;
- Create recent efficiencies to hurry up the planning and development process for housing, including reasonably priced housing;
- Increase town’s promotion of secondary suites resembling basement apartments, granny flats and tiny homes;
- Take it as my personal responsibility to advocate for extra funding from the provincial and federal governments.
Jeff Leal: I recognize that the County and City of Peterborough have an in depth plan for housing and to finish homelessness by 2029. This framework accommodates several components to realize stated goals and it outlines a timeline for goal completion. In the general goal and the completion rate to this point, I recognize that Covid and related supply chain issues have undoubtedly constrained construction. I feel that because the impact of the pandemic lessens, it is suitable to take a look at constructive ways to speed up the goals outlined within the report
Along with the present plan, I’ll:
- Create Service Peterborough for Housing- a one-stop multifaceted centre for developers to use, process, and expedite approvals within the Planning Department
- Construct additional reasonably priced homes by leveraging the equity in town’s social housing stock
- Appoint qualified housing industry individuals to Peterborough Housing Corporation and the newly-proposed Government Business Enterprise
- Assess city zoning by-laws to find out the viability of more secondary units and small-scale residential units etc.
- Provide a full-service low barrier shelter in an acceptable location.
- Evaluate the prospect of tiny homes, container homes, and other options to offer secure homes where people can live with dignity.
Health officials proceed to issue alerts about opioid poisonings and report deaths in town. While many support programs are funded provincially, what are you able to do on a municipal level to assist address the crisis?
Jeff Leal: Last yr, there have been 44 suspected overdose deaths in Peterborough City and County, this tragic loss is heart-wrenching. Opioid poisoning impacts people from all social backgrounds and income levels, manifests itself in all our neighbourhoods and is a reality with no regard for an individual’s background or education. Sadly, the trend is continuous in 2022, in reality, as recently as September 14, Peterborough Public Health issued a Drug Poisoning Alert.
As Mayor, my priority is to maintain people alive. I’ll work with community partners, including those with lived experience, to make sure they’ve appropriate municipal resources to treat and look after people impacted by drug poisoning. I’ll advocate with senior levels of presidency to determine local Detox facilities and treatment beds.
Brian Lumsden: It’s not what I can do: it’s what WE must do. We must come together, on all levels and help each other during this crisis. I will likely be going further in to this topic on Oct. 3 for the Rotary Club debate.
Victor Kreuz: I would really like to see Peterborough seek to be “a centre of excellence” within the research and treatment of those human crises, which could attract health care practitioners excited by this field, but others as well, who could see that Peterborough is caring for its problems.
Stephen Wright: We must construct and strengthen our relationship with the Ontario government to offer solutions that fit our local situation. While we are going to need the continued support of our law enforcement services, we usually are not going to give you the option to arrest our way out of the present addiction crisis. The town needs reliable funding partners to proceed to answer this ongoing health care problem.
- Urge the provincial government to strengthen its actions on the foundation explanation for addiction, including poverty reduction;
- Proceed to support the Consumption and Treatment Services site;
- Provide greater attention to the supply of Naloxone and the training of its administrators;
- Implement an extra expansion of the crisis intervention team;
- Create dedicated attention to needle recovery and disposal;
- Improve our emergency communication of spikes in overdoses and the presence of tainted drugs;
- National motion to stem the production and importation of non-prescription opioids.
- Urge the funding of a treatment centre to assist get people off of those drugs.
We must provide police with the resources to stop criminals who attempt to cash in on the drug addiction of others and when essential to maintain residents secure.
How would you assess town’s current transportation system? What’s going to you do to assist improve the system?
Henry Clarke: Our road system requires improvement within the functioning of arterial roads, particularly in relation to the event of latest residential communities within the north end. The usual of road conditions is a persistent criticism; I’ll review ways to extend the resources available for road improvements.
I support a reassessment of the COVID-related routing changes made to our public transit system:
- Return to routes that improve convenience and the efficiency of connections for all passengers;
- Maintain a greater balance between the particular needs of Trent and Fleming students on one hand, and all other passengers on the opposite.
- Maintain a reasonable fare system as a way of maintaining and improving ridership.
Jeff Leal: During this campaign period, I actually have heard many concerns concerning the changes to the transportation system that were made as a consequence of the Covid pandemic. While essential on the time, it’s now time to judge the changes and address the problems. Our route system have to be senior friendly, support our student use, and be efficient. Because our Canadian climate has extreme temperatures and may produce massive amounts of snow, seniors have to have the power to transfer buses in a secure, temperature-controlled area. For that reason, I will likely be revisiting the previous hub and spoke system with modifications. I also propose that the upload of the bus GPS systems be accelerated in order that riders can access the precise location of the bus for which they’re waiting. I also wish to step by step replace our fleet with electric vehicles- we must do our part to handle climate change.
Brian Lumsden: Transportation is a large topic, whether it’s the general public transit, road works, highway extensions, airport development, or the long talked about train route. I actually have heard quite a lot of concerns concerning the recent changes to the transit and potential projects. Development is crucial and organic growth is good, if a project is smart then it would get done. My duty as mayor will likely be to make sure that that each one concerns are voiced and heard; that each one facts are presented; that each one deals are fair and reasonable; and that, the City of Peterborough reaps the best profit.
Victor Kreuz: Public transit needs to vary to attach as much of town as possible on to the downtown, but in addition provide for ring routes. I need to see speed limits reduced in key areas, especially downtown, and photo radar deployed as much as possible. Photo radar would deter speeders, and generate revenues. Some European jurisdictions assess fines based on income/assets, in order that wealthy persons are more seriously deterred, and more revenue is generated.
Stephen Wright: Pondering beyond the subsequent 4 years, town must implement an urban re-design process whereby we move away from car-centric development by constructing recent suburbs that take away priceless farmland. We want to maneuver toward constructing more density on land that’s already serviced with roads, sidewalks, water and sewers. One other long-term planning motion that may support such a re-design process could be to boost the zoning limits for the utmost variety of floors in core development areas as identified within the Official Plan.
When it comes to addressing short-term issues over the subsequent 4 years, town needs to enhance cycling infrastructure by constructing more trails and by putting the plowing of those trails a top priority during and after snowstorms. Walking infrastructure also must be improved by repairing buckled sidewalks. We also have to re-invest in a reliable public transit system and a bus route system based on consumer input.
City police report a rise in crime and more violent acts including shootings. How concerned are you and what are you able to do as mayor to assist address the situation?
Stephen Wright: While the continued presence of police inside business areas will likely be essential to reducing vandalism, shoplifting and break-ins, these negative behaviours may even be reduced by increased consumer traffic on our streets and sidewalks. Increasing residential spaces downtown, for instance, will bring more people downtown. More eyes within the neighbourhood will ultimately reduce criminal activities.
Henry Clarke: There’s a growing concern that crime typically focused on the downtown has expanded to other portions of town, much of which is expounded to problems with addiction and poverty.
- I support the hiring of 10 recent law enforcement officials and support staff;
- will work with the Police Services Board to extend our response to criminal activity generated from locations outside of town;
- I’ll advance a community culture that urges people to be vigilant in support of their neighbours and neighbourhoods.
Jeff Leal: The Peterborough Police are reporting a recent increase in crime rate and a rise within the severity index, each are very troubling. Our police are requesting a rise in resources to have the capability to do their job more effectively. We also need to extend funding to our community partners so that they can assist the police by implementing proactive measures with our vulnerable populations and offer support post crisis.
Brian Lumsden: I’ll work with and cooperate with the police department on every level.
Victor Kreuz: I might encourage consultation with Hamilton, where police work with partners trained in health and social work, resulting in less incarceration. Providing access to treatment (including secure drugs and spaces to securely use) would cut back crime related to desperate, offended impulses. And what number of prostitutes would then still have to stand on street corners to get what they need?
How would you rate town’s relationship with surrounding municipalities? What must be done to spur further development and economic growth together?
Victor Kreuz: Based on what I’ve heard and browse, my rating could be a failing grade. I would really like to enhance that rating, by speaking clearly about whatever particular issue is at stake, because that’s something lacking now.
Stephen Wright: The town must restart the dialogue with neighbouring townships about acquiring additional employment lands. I might also establish partnership committees with representation from First Nations communities and town to look at how our respective governments can collaborate on the event of shared solutions to common problems resembling public transportation, economic development and social services.
Henry Clarke: Our record may be very poor and requires immediate attention. The reply lies in a return to civil and cooperative relationship constructing; a determination to enhance the frequency and quality of our communication with the county and townships; and a recent level of respect for township needs and interests.
Jeff Leal: As a former MPP, I enjoyed productive and collaborative relationships with the eight municipalities that constitute Peterborough County, the City of Peterborough, and the federal government. Within the 1990’s, I used to be the Chair of the primary Joint Services Committee of the City of Peterborough and County of Peterborough overseeing housing, social services, and EMS services. I feel that when one takes a respectful approach in coping with other governments, positive results are at all times possible.
As Mayor I’ll work with area municipalities to pursue objectives that work for all our residents and that contribute to the economic and social well-being of all the region.
As I said in my economic platform, to spur economic growth, I’ll negotiate with Cavan Monaghan. We want to work hand-in-hand for the betterment of our area. Let me be clear, Peterborough can’t be the larger City dictating to a smaller community what they need to do, but slightly offer an invite to form a partnership – one whose objective is to realize an increased way of life and an improved quality of life for all our residents. Such a partnership must be built on three key principles: 1) that the transfer of land to town should involve fair and equitable compensation to Cavan Monaghan or another jurisdiction impacted, 2) that the event of latest employment lands includes the supply of municipal services that may benefit multiple jurisdictions, and three) that the event of the Peterborough airport must be simplified by vesting ownership and jurisdiction in the identical entity.
Brian Lumsden: Based on the present mayor’s (Diane Therrien) foul language it’s no wonder we have now poor relations with other municipalities. As soon as town is under recent management relationships cross all levels will improve. On Oct. 6 I will likely be addressing this issue with the Chamber of Commerce.
In the event you could reverse any decision made by a previous city council (including the present one), what wouldn’t it be and why?
Brian Lumsden: Why are you wasting my time asking this query? We don’t live on the planet of ifs and buts; I’ll should work with what’s already happened.
Victor Kreuz: If I could reverse one decision, I might stop the desecration of Morrow Park.
Stephen Wright: The sales of PDI (Peterborough Distribution Inc.)
Henry Clarke: My focus is at all times forward looking; I don’t look back on previous council decisions.
Jeff Leal: Hindsight is at all times 20/20 but rarely serves much purpose. It has been my experience that decisions made by previous councils, of which I used to be a member, were based on best evidence and data available on the time. My goal is to deal with the longer term, not relitigate the past- in order that collectively we are able to Construct Our Tomorrow Together.
If someone gave you a $1-million grant to make use of for town in any way you wanted, what would you do with the funds and why?
Jeff Leal: There are numerous priorities where one could spend $1 million nevertheless, I feel that the cash could be best spent right now in specialized housing. Everyone deserves a roof over their heads in a secure environment. I’m open to a wide selection of options resembling tiny houses and container homes. I also imagine that we must always construct on the success of Habitat for Humanity. Finally, I feel for our most vulnerable, resembling those living with Autism, we must always emulate the Casa de Angelae model in order that families know that their family members are cared for and secure.
Brian Lumsden: Again, why are you wasting my time asking this query? We don’t live on the planet of ifs and buts; I will likely be looking for out those million dollar grants. The City of Peterborough will profit from my investment experience and banking connections.
Victor Kreuz: I might use the cash to determine a ‘tiny home’ construction enterprise, constructing on the nice work of PATH (Peterborough Motion for Tiny Homes).
Stephen Wright: I might establish an intergenerational program that may allow and establish a mentorship program between our youth and seniors in the neighborhood.
Henry Clarke: I might invest the funds within the creation of our next major city park, much like Jackson Park and Nichols Oval. This might create a natural heritage park for our city for generations to return.
Recent live interviews on Global News Morning Peterborough (Victor Kreuz declined to participate):