PLATFORM

"I come from proud a family that has been involved with public service for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety - especially getting guns off the streets, a top priority. With nearly a decade of government experience, I know what it takes to find solutions, navigate the complicated governmental agencies, and get things done."
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  1. What contribution to making Thunder Bay a better place to live are you most proud of?

 

As the public Chair of the Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council I am proud of all the collaborative community initiatives that have been under taken over the past number of years in order to meet the mission of the Crime Prevention Council: “to enhance the safety and well-being of everyone in Thunder Bay by engaging the community and advancing ideas and actions that reduce crime, social disorder, victimization and fear of crime.” The Crime Prevention Council is a truly unique partnership and collaboration between citizens, community organizations and service providers.

Moving UP together means that we can develop solutions and use best practices to create a safer city for everyone. I believe this Strategy will make our city a better place to live, work and play - a community we will be even more proud to call home.

1.  What are three priorities that would guide your work on City Council?

Priority 1

People: collaborating with all citizens through community organizations and services that address the social determinants of health (addressing issues of poverty, housing, education, health and employment); encouraging a respectful, rich and vibrant community culture.

Priority 2

Places: Environment; parks; roads; community development for recreation and healthy lifestyles.

Priority 3

Things: Reconciliation and intergovernmental relationships; economic development; good governance.

2.  What three community organizations in Thunder Bay are you most interested in supporting?

I am involved and actively working with the Thunder Bay Crime Prevention Council, Thunder Bay Drug Strategy Committee, Respect Thunder Bay, and the Thunder Bay Situation Table; I support the collaborative work of the community organizations that are actively involved with these organizations.

3,  How would you build relationships between the City of Thunder Bay, Indigenous residents and neighbours?

Building Trust…development of relationships.

Respect…understanding, communicating and learning.

Transparent…listening and open.

Involved…active support of each other.

Invested…assisting and collaboratively working towards solutions together.

4.  What should the City of Thunder Bay do to pursue reconciliation with Indigenous peoples?

Continue to build upon the collaborative journey of working with Indigenous communities in order to build trust and respect into our relationships, and to create opportunity and security for Indigenous people.

5.  The city of Victoria, BC recently removed a statue of Sir John A. MacDonald from in front of their City Hall due to his role in starting Indian Residential Schools. What is your opinion on this?

If the collaborative voices of the Victoria community feel that this was an appropriate step to undertake for their community in order to pursue reconciliation, then this is an appropriate action.

6.  Is the City of Thunder Bay doing enough to mitigate and adapt to climate change?

The City of Thunder Bay has developed a Climate Adaptation Strategy. This community collaborative strategy will guide the next steps to be undertaken with regards to climate change in our community.

7.  The City of Portland, Oregon voted to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure. Would you vote to do the same in Thunder Bay?

Yes, I am in favour of working towards a 100% renewable energy for all…one that includes a transition that is fair and cares for all people’s employment as necessary.

8.  The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is currently looking at Ignace as a possible site to bury nuclear waste from southern Ontario. Would you vote to prevent the transportation of nuclear waste through our city?

Yes.

9.  Would you be willing to get arrested at a protest to protect our natural environment?

No. I believe that there are collaborative and peaceful ways to protest…to get a message communicated regarding the issue at hand.

10.  Tell us one example of how you would reduce homelessness and increase housing in Thunder Bay.

I believe that the priority should be on immediate needs where impact will be the greatest such as those who are chronically homeless, youth, veterans and indigenous peoples. The expansion of available housing must occur. Some suggestions that I have been made aware of include: a national housing benefit; an affordable housing tax credit encouraging private social housing investment; expanding investment in affordable housing for indigenous peoples.

11.  Would you appeal to the Province to re-instate the Ontario Basic Income Pilot? If so, how?

Yes…via the appropriate intergovernmental affairs process and via our community partner advocates.

12.  Tell us one thing you would do to support local businesses.

I would support a community education plan that informs people about why we should support local business such as: when a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community; you get to know the people behind the product; it allows us to keep our community unique; encourages personalized better customer service. Customer service and competitive pricing are important to citizens wanting to support local business.

13.  Tell us one thing you would do to support local food production.

I support local food procurement and the setting of targets when public dollars are being used for buying food. Currently, there are many good first step initiatives that are underway for the procurement of food from local businesses which benefits the local economy. However, as indicated in the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy report regarding public institutions “Shifting even 10% of purchases to locally grown and processed foods would create a $1 million market for farmers and processors.” Moving Up means that supporting these initiatives and expanding them such as increasing the current City of Thunder Bay local food spend from 38% to 48% would have a positive local economic impact. Also, a review of the City of Thunder Bay local food procurement objectives needs to be undertaken to see which targets have been met and what next steps could be undertaken by the community.

14.  Tell you one thing you would do to improve the public transportation system

People I have spoken to are interested in bus frequency, bus comfort (including wifi) and reducing greenhouse gases. Working collaboratively, I am interested in investigating these items.

 

15.  Do you support lowering bus fares?

I would like to keep fares as low as possible being economically responsible. In order to support people in the community, the exploration of funding supports needs to occur.

16.  Would you work to have the Memorial Link, a proposed bike lane linking Port Arthur and Fort William, built within three years?

I would have to investigate to determine if this is an economically responsible project? Are there other possibilities to consider?

17.  Tell us one thing you would do to help Thunder Bay neighbourhoods become safer and more vibrant.

The Crime Prevention Council has a Strong Neighbourhoods working group. I would encourage collaboration and bringing people together from those neighbourhoods seeking to become safer and more vibrant to work with and learn from those who are providing leadership and teachings on these areas in their own neighbourhoods.

18.  Tell us one thing you have done to support racialized people, to increase accessibility, or to support LGBTQ+ people in Thunder Bay.

As a leader and educator on the Lakehead Public Schools Equity and Inclusive Education committee I work on supporting all these matters with youth and our community. Some examples include being a former chair of the Accessibility Committee, supporting our Youth Embracing Diversity in Education (YEDE) Student Conference and supporting the Caribbean African Multicultural Association of Thunder Bay.

19.  Tell us one thing you would do to support urban infill.

Working with developers, I believe that the rededication and redevelopment of land in an urban environment or "land-recycling" is an appropriate opportunity to investigate in an economically responsible manner.

20.   How would you put pressure on the province to proceed with the planned safe injection centres in Thunder Bay?

As part of a responsible community harm reduction plan, working with our collaborative partners on the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy Committee and Thunder Bay and District Public Health an appropriate advocate strategy would be developed.

21.  Is there anything else you would like us to know about the vision you have for Thunder Bay?

By being an active, involved, invested and collaborative community member, my vision for the city is clear…creating a vibrant, inclusive, safe, environmentally and economically viable community for all. Thunder Bay, together we are better, together we are stronger, together we are more successful. Let’s move UP. Together!

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© 2018 by  Jeff Upton

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