I have worked extensively with community groups and City staff to revitalize important City and neighbourhood parks. Working with community members it was my Council motion that led to the recent revitalization of Doug Fluhrer Park, which is the biggest riverside park in north Kingston. Riverview and Friendship neighbourhood parks have also been completed in the past term with new amenities. With neighbourhood input a community garden has been added to Friendship Park.
For years I have opposed the Wellington Street Extension (WSE) as detrimental to the existence of Doug Fluhrer Park and unnecessary for the City’s transportation needs. In June 2018, as part of the North King’s Town Secondary Plan Process, the transportation consultant has said that if the City meets certain active transportation targets and traffic management initiatives, there will not be enough traffic to justify the WSE. Perhaps for these reasons, Mayor Paterson has indicated that he has changed his mind from 2014 and says the WSE is not necessary. My plan is to bring a motion to remove the WSE from the City’s capital funding schedule and thereby save Doug Fluhrer Park.
I strongly supported the development of Breakwater Park, one of the City`s most exciting recent initiatives. Richardson Beach renewal was delayed for Breakwater but is slated for completion in the coming term.
In the last term I worked hard to save Belle Park – and with community backing, it was saved. Currently I am working to renew Belle Park – with the removal of the golf course, I am asking residents whether they would like a more naturalized park like Lemoine Point downtown or a rugby field and stands or a combination of both or – are these compatible uses? To contribute your opinion, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was the Chair of the Arts, Recreation and Community Policies Committee when Council oversaw the redevelopment of major parks such as Lake Ontario Park and the Memorial Centre park including Leo Lafleur swimming pool. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan was developed during my Council tenure and provides for the care and renewal of our parks into the future.
Art and Heritage
I am a long time Council supporter of the arts and heritage. I helped initiate the Kingston Arts Council funding and the current funding for heritage. Currently I serve on the City of Kingston Arts Fund Operating Grants committee. I am also on the City of Kingston Heritage Fund Operating Grants committee. The arts and heritage are significant contributors to Kingston`s identity as a creative city and to tourism and our economy. To be effective in this role heritage funding at this time needs to be increased.
I am advocating the development of an Artists’ Housing Co-operative. This concept serves to combine our desire to develop our creative economy and our serious need for affordable housing. Artists generally have lower incomes. An artists`co-op would afford them the opportunity to integrate their creative and living space while living in a mixed-income co-operative environment with other residents who also need levels of affordable housing. If built downtown, an artists`co-op would supplement and enhance our creative economy and businesses, the music scene, high-tech private and public innovation and our cultural identity as a creative place to be – and supply much needed affordable housing.
Transit: When first elected, I and three other councillors initiated the overhauling of our City transit system. With annual improvements such as express buses, increased hours and creative pass programs – there are today nearly 7 million bus rides a year, 2.5 times more than in the beginning. The new Montreal St. express bus and the achieving of 10 minute rush hour service on Princess St. (the service level at which people start getting out of their cars) are the newest additions to this success story.
Affordable Housing: The City`s Housing First program has had some success in housing the homeless, but a serious problem persists. Some affordable housing has been built, but not nearly enough to diminish the wait list. Middle incomes are hollowing out. Senior governments need to step up. But the City itself also needs to do more.