My Pledge To You:
Connecting with Community
A once-in-a-century Pandemic proved challenging for public consultation and engagement. Virtual meetings became the norm and, for the most part, were the only way to connect collectively. I welcome the return of in-person meetings to continue my work to elevate the voices of Ward 4 residents by working collaboratively with staff and council colleagues on issues that matter to you most. I look forward to the return of Coffee with Christine at the Doon Pioneer Park Community Center.
The next round of public community engagement for The Lower Doon Secondary Plan study will be in early 2023. I remain committed to finding solutions for safe housing for students and regulations to protect the existing heritage uniqueness of the Lower Doon area. In addition, I will continue working towards building cohesive relationships with Conestoga College, students, area residents, and property owners.
Safe Streets & Neighbourhoods
Speeding is the top concern I hear across our Ward. Everyone deserves to live in a community where they feel safe, not only in the home but on the street as well. I am committed to our goal of Vision Zero and fully support traffic-calming measures across the city, including lowering the speed limit to 40K on all city residential streets and 30K in school zones, speed cushions, in-road flex signs and neighbourhood traffic calming initiatives. I will continue working with City and Regional staff and council, WRPS and neighbourhood groups in Ward 4 to ensure our streets are safe for everyone and I will advocate for automated speed enforcement cameras in all school zones.
Council declared a climate emergency in 2019. Balancing growth in a city this size while protecting our natural heritage system is challenging, but it's imperative in today's climate emergency. I am committed to Holding the Countryside Line and saving our protected wetlands.
Responsible Development & Complete Neighbourhoods
New developments in or near established neighbourhoods can be a balancing act. I will continue to work with existing homeowners, city planners, engineers and developers to ensure that the integrity of design and structure compliments existing neighbourhoods.
Local parks are an essential piece of development for every community as they create a sense of belonging and a healthy lifestyle. Along with my council colleagues, I supported the Places &
Spaces: Parks and Open Space Strategy, a progressive and equity-driven report on the nature of parkland in Kitchener. If elected next term, I will advocate for more creative park spaces in Ward 4.
A person's worth should not depend on their ability to pay rent. As a member of the Advisory Council for Kitchener's Housing for All strategy, the goal is to create 450 supportive housing units for homeless people, 5,000 community housing units for people with low incomes and 9,000 affordable rental housing units by 2025. To date, Kitchener's measures include using City-owned property for affordable housing, such as the YW Block Line Project, and adopting zoning bylaws to allow Tiny Homes in Back Yards.
Homelessness is one of the most complex and polarizing issues this city has faced in decades. We are a very caring and compassionate community, and it's heartening to see so many organizations and citizens come forward to assist those experiencing homelessness. However, it has also been challenging for residents living near an encampment and affecting their daily lives. I don't believe encampments are suitable for anyone experiencing homelessness, and I am strongly opposed to shelters over a 50-person capacity. The multifaceted issues facing people in encampments need to be flushed out to develop supportive housing policies that work. Then, appropriate support and care can be available to address each individual—issues facing the homeless include addiction, mental health and finances, to name a few. Keeping the cap at 50 in shelters and tailoring each to specific needs will help to transition people out of the shelter system and eventually into a place of their own. Homelessness and housing are under the Region's umbrella. As a city councillor, I will continue to work with council colleagues, city staff and the Region to support our community's most vulnerable residents.
Equity and Inclusion
We are fortunate to live in such a diverse city with the opportunity to learn about many cultures. I am proud to be a member of a Council when an Equity & Anti-racism Advisory Committee was established earlier this year. Since then, the committee has created the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Equity Fund.