As new developments happen in and around our ward, we have an opportunity to draw people into our downtown core to eat, shop and support the amazing small businesses that we already have as well as make it an attractive option for new businesses to set up shop. Improving the means for safe pedestrian traffic and the atmosphere of our small business areas will drive more customers through the doors of those businesses. Making our beautiful downtown core a destination for both residents of Cambridge and visitors alike will make it an excellent location for businesses to thrive.
An outside corporation is attempting to expand an aggregate pit to come within two hundred feet of the backyards of some residents of the Southwood Neighbourhood. We cannot let this happen. I am already collaborating with other concerned residents on a strategy to stop this and we are committed to action. Motions on this matter, while helpful in supporting our cause, are not enough. The health, environmental and financial impacts of this expansion on the affected residents is unallowable. I am not afraid to fight and to stand up for what I know is right for the residents of Ward 5.
Nothing else matters if we do not feel safe in our homes and when we are out in the community. Studies have shown that communities are safer when there is more foot traffic in the area. By improving our infrastructure through repairing sidewalks, improving parks, and through beautification efforts like cleaning up garbage and graffiti, we will have an increased desirability to be out and active in our community. Ensuring equal attention is given to areas all throughout our ward is crucial. One neighbourhood should not take precedent over another. Creating safe spaces for youth to be active will allow them to have a place to enjoy, in a positive way. Events and community engagement will get neighbours out getting to know each other. This sense of connection will have an overall positive affect on the safety in our area.
Fiscal responsibility is of the upmost importance to me. The cost of living is a real concern for all of us. The price of food, gas, and shelter continues to climb and put a strain on already stretched family budgets. I will use my educational background in economics and professional experience supporting people on fixed incomes to help make the city of Cambridge more financially accountable to the taxpayers.
There are some very exciting and much needed housing developments happening in our downtown Galt area however, with the current volume of traffic and specifically large truck traffic that uses our small downtown streets as a throughfare through the city, the gridlock that is to come will be extremely problematic. Since many of our main downtown streets are Regional roads, conversations and cooperation must take place between Cambridge Council and the Region to get the trucks out of this area and onto the bypass. I look forward to being a part of these conversations and bringing change to this area to improve vehicular traffic flow and increase safety for pedestrians.
The cost of rent right now in our city is outrageous. As someone who works with folks on limited incomes (ODSP and OW) and who has helped many people in their applications to Waterloo Housing, I know first hand about the limited inventory of affordable housing in our region. Waitlists of 5-10 years in some cases is not acceptable. If elected, I would work with and encourage housing developers to include affordable units/homes in their developments. I would also look to other options for large-scale affordable housing developments that contain many of the services and supports our residents need to prosper.