1) My community involvement includes: Past member of the Port Arthur Rotary club, Fort William Rotary club helping various groups and organizations in the city and internationally
Member of Thunder Bay Trail-Northern Ontario that looked at developing a trail system in Thunder Bay for walking, cycling etc.
Partner and supporter in the Food for Soul Program, which helps raise funds for the Symphony
One of the Founders and former chair of, The Sleeping Giant Writers Workshop Event, held for 7 years. Encouraged community writers to expand their knowledge and experience of writing.
Participant in the CF Telethon for over 20 years, providing hair care services for participants. Proceeds went to the Cystic Fibrosis Association.
Founder of an annual cut- a- thon: volunteered to cut hair for a donation for a day each year and all the proceeds went to Northern Cancer Society
Volunteered for years at the police cut-a-thon, raising money for Northern Cancer Society
Co-published a book, “How to Appeal your Property Taxes “. All proceeds went to the Lutheran Community Care Centre
Coached and refereed various sports in the community. Helped start the women’s soccer league in Thunder Bay
Provided free gift certificates for almost every organization in the city to help raise funds
As a business owner was a Chamber of Commerce member for 30 years
Italian Hall Member for over 44 years
I have supported almost every organization in the city by providing free gift certificates for services at our salon. We also sponsored several charitable events, each and every year for 31 years
2) Key priorities are in no specific order: Continue addressing community safety issue, continue to try strategies addressing the homelessness and poverty issue. Continue working with the Indigenous population to make Thunder Bay safe and inviting for all. Attract targeted businesses to relocate in Thunder Bay. Create a business environment for businesses to thrive. Do anything and everything possible to make Thunder Bay a great place in which to live, work and play.
3) Publically owned services are extremely important to our community and our future. There is a very high standard of care when the public service performs a job. People are confident that the job is done right and safely. We are also very fortunate to have both Tbaytel and Thunder Bay Hydro owned by the public. They are instrumental in providing great jobs, millions in revenues and have continued to grow in value for the citizens of Thunder Bay. As a bonus, we get a 17 million dollar yearly dividend from TbayTel which helps subsidize our taxes.
4) Collective bargaining is very important and I do wholly support that process. Hopefully both parties can reach an agreement that is satisfactory. The right to strike is important except where essential services are involved. Putting people at risk is not acceptable in this day and age. I know the majority of people do support our essential services and want them to be treated fairly at the bargaining table.
5) Contracting out public services should occur only if we do not have the expertise in a certain area or we need help in completing a job. No city employee should be replaced when this occurs.
6) Economic development is critical if the city is to move forward and survive. Attracting new businesses and people here has been challenging in the last couple of years .We have to do a better job promoting the city as a place of opportunity, and a great quality of life for all. Working together with all of our local businesses, institutions, Indigenous partners and regional neighbours is critical in bringing in new business opportunities and opportunities here.
As far as job protection is concerned, I believe that people’s jobs should be protected up to a certain point. If the person is putting themselves or others at risk, they should not be protected. People’s jobs should be protected if they follow the rules, work hard, maintain a good attitude and follow procedures and standards set by the labour ministry and as laid out in their contract.
7) I agree that everyone one should have a living wage, but it should come with certain conditions and supports. The idea is to get the individual on their feet and at some point becoming a contributing tax payer, if possible. I also believe businesses should have been consulted more and given some type of support in initiating this policy. If everyone has a living wage, we create a healthy society and a good part of a healthy society is the ability to survive economically.
8) Municipal Living Wage Policy? Does this mean that the city should supply a living wage for all? If so, the city would require a lot of funding from other levels of government. Practically speaking, the city would not be able to sustain this type of approach because we do not have the giant tax base required. This would be a federal or provincial responsibility in my opinion. The city only gets 9 cents out of every tax dollar. From that we are expected to pay for all city services. The rest of the money remaining goes to other levels of government to help pay for things like health care, military, Highways pensions etc.
9) As a councillor you lead by example and you do so by your action such as setting policies that are inclusive, providing equal opportunities for all, speaking out when there are incidents of racism or inequality in your city. It also means taking moral responsibility when required and admitting when you have made a mistake. Having the backbone to stand up to unwarranted criticism and defending your community against unfounded accusations is also just as important.
10) The city is working hard together with all indigenous groups that chose to participate .Can the city do better? Of course! But it takes all parties to participate. Expecting the city to solve all issues without the participation of the groups we are trying to help is nonsensical? Communicating with your indigenous partners, encouraging indigenous representation on boards and committees is critical in moving forward.
11) It is important to liaise with labour. We have to work together to solve issues and not including labour, a key player, seems negligent. Having labour on committees and boards opens the opportunity to get a diverse perspective of issues, the more diverse representation you have the better.
12) Continued education through programs like Respect, foster inclusion. Support for indigenous groups, multicultural activities. Working with the multicultural centre, ensuring open communication with all racially diverse groups are some examples that help people see diversity and celebrate it. That is hard to do when you are labelled as a racist city and murder capital of Canada. Truly not reflective of whom we are and what we stand for. We have to let the world know that we are better than that. And there are many ways of doing this. It takes the whole community to solve this issue and having pride in our city is a start. Caring about one another and helping one another goes a long way to creating a truly strong community. Working together with all our regional neighbours and leading by doing is the only way.