Twenty-two years. Five campaigns. That’s how long I’ve either been actively working on an integrated and amalgamated transit system for Niagara or campaigning on it.

I am thrilled that – finally – after more than 20 years of political and community advocacy work, Niagara has agreed to integrate and amalgamate transit throughout Niagara. I was also part of two committees (Linking Niagara Transit Committee and Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee) that brought on-demand transit to west Niagara municipalities.

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Niagara District Council of Women

As they did last campaign, Niagara District Council of Women is holding an event tonight for women candidates for Regional Council and mayoral positions.

I wish that I could attend, as this was my favourite campaign event (yes, those are a thing 😁) last election; however, I will be just returning from New York City with my youngest child in celebration of their 15th birthday. This child who never asks for anything (nor does their brother, really, which makes gift-giving very challenging) asked to see a musical on Broadway for their birthday, so we made it happen.

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Integrity and Transparency

This campaign is my fifth election campaign. Yes, I ran three times for City Council and then – when I was convinced I was never going to do it again – I ran a fourth time. My fourth run was for Regional Council, and the decision to run came after Regional Council spent four solid years (2014-2018) engaging in what I’ll just call extremely problematic behaviour and decision-making. (Also my father-in-law had been telling me for years that I should run for Regional, rather than City, Council).

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Affordable Housing

In 2021, the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis presented to Regional Council that resolving Niagara’s affordable housing crisis would cost $60 billion. For contrast, the Region’s overall operational budget is approximately $1.1 billion.

The tweet says: “When it comes to the housing and homelessness crisis, the feds have the money, the provinces have the jurisdiction and the cities have the problems.” — @MikeSavageHFX, emphasizing the need for all levels of govt to solve affordable housing crisis in cities #FCM2022AC #CDNmuni

Whilst it’s imperative that we continue to find ways to increase our stock of affordable housing in Niagara – and this past term of Council did make some headway – we cannot solve this problem alone.

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