Researching the candidates

The list of candidates for Regional Council in St. Catharines is lengthy. There are 23 names on that ballot (Paul Allan has withdrawn, though).

Whilst the City of St. Catharines does list all of the candidates on their website, along with the contact information that has been provided by each candidate, there isn’t one place where one can find and compare candidates’ platforms.

Here are three places where you can read about or see most of us speaking to various issues:

Meet the St. Catharines Region candidates (St. Catharines Standard)

Meet the candidates for St. Catharines regional council (Niagara This Week)

And here’s a “debate” that 16 of us attended at the Unitarian Congregation:

Cogeco also gave us each two minutes to speak to the citizens of St. Catharines/Niagara, but the links no longer appear to be working.

I don’t have transcripts of what everyone said, of course, but here’s my transcript from that video:

I’m Laura Ip, and I’m running to represent the people of St. Catharines at Niagara Regional Council.

This year’s election is the most important in years, because we need to Reset the Region.

We need to return integrity, accountability, and transparency to Niagara Regional government.

When you vote for me for one of the six St. Catharines seats, you’re voting for someone who has a well-rounded base of experience in municipal government. In addition to having worked for two mayors and a municipal CAO, I also sat on St. Catharines City Council. This means I know what the Municipal Act does and does not permit us to do as individual councillors, as a whole Council, and as a government body.

I’ve been active in the community for more than 25 years, including having been the founding Secretary/Treasurer of Quest Community Health Centre; sitting on boards and organizing committees, as well as participating in numerous charitable events; and founding Underdogs Boxing Club, a volunteer-run, non-profit that – among other things – provides programming for survivors of violence.

We need a Council that will work to improve transit, increase our stock of affordable housing, and spend taxpayer dollars effectively and efficiently, whether it’s on $50 million projects or how they claim their expenses.

We need a Council that prioritizes and understands the needs for seniors’ and children’s services, public health, waste management, road maintenance, and good management of the many other essential services they deliver.

We need a Council that cares about you; that makes decisions in the best interest of the citizens of Niagara.

On Monday, October 22, 2018, vote to Reset the Region. Vote for me – Laura Ip – for Regional Council.

Remember, you get to vote for up to six candidates in St. Catharines for Regional Council, but that doesn’t mean you have to vote for six. To ensure that only the people you want end up on Regional Council, only vote for the number of candidates you believe to be worthy of your vote.

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