“Leadership starts with those elected to lead change… not those hired to implement it.”
Change The City Hall Culture
Currently, City Hall is closed off, secretive, and territorial… as Mayor I will:
Change the culture at City Hall to be open, inclusive, consultative and transparent, and staff will be accountable.
Senior staff will be moved to the main floor of City Hall so they can engage with citizens.
All public documents will be posted on-line, ensuring the public and media have direct access.
All meetings of council will stream live on YouTube, will be recorded and posted to the City website.
The procedural by-law will be amended to allow the Mayor, with input from council, to appoint committee chairs to qualified councillors.
All City By-laws will be reviewed to ensure compliance with provincial and federal laws and the constitution.
A third party review of all City departments and operations will be completed in the first twelve months.
I believe it’s time to move municipal representation in North Bay into the 21st Century I will advocate for a Ward system or Hybrid (Ward/At Large). I know consultations will be needed but I will lead the charge for direct representation via a ward system because you should know who represents your neighbourhood on council.
“Just because we’ve always done things a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right; times change, so should our approach.”
Review of City Services
An objective, third party review of all City departments, all City services and all City assets will be undertaken within the first 12 months of my becoming Mayor.
Changes will be made, consolidation and modernization will be undertaken, and innovation will be the driving force.
We will restructure City Hall from the top down with a priority on customer service and better service delivery.
“Our downtown used to be the social and economic hub of the community, and it will be again. If we, as a City, are unwilling to invest in our downtown, how can we expect others to.”
Re-developing downtown isn’t enough, we need to re-imagine it and we need to change our thinking about land use, commercial and residential development, and expansion.
My vision will turn Main Street into a people place year round. We will work with downtown merchants and property owners for summer closure of Main Street making this space a pedestrian mall and place for all.
The Farmer’s Market draws thousands of people downtown each Saturday and Wednesday. The outdoor Farmer’s Market will use Main Street for their open air markets during the summer months.
The food truck industry and culture will be encouraged and promoted…’Cooking At The Curb’ will find a home downtown on vacant land and will be added value and competition for our downtown core.
Available surplus, and currently unused municipal lands, will be co-developed with private investors. By pooling resources we can fulfill opportunities that will allow for greater public use.
Downtown North Bay is directly linked to our waterfront, but commercial development on the waterfront is non existent. I propose limited, low rise and low impact development to promote greater waterfront attraction for visitors and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
For more than a decade we have had round table discussions and committees talking about the addiction, homelessness and mental health issues in our downtown, but the problems have only worsened. What we have been doing isn’t working and we need a much different approach. We can’t expect people to invest in a downtown that is overrun with problems no one wants to tackle. This is our biggest issue and I pledge to find solutions.
“Immigration is about diversity, economic growth, long term sustainability and inclusion. Immigration is a big part of our history and an even bigger part of our future”
Over 30% of all businesses in Canada are owned by immigrants. These businesses, both big and small, create employment and opportunity and carry on the Canadian tradition of sharing prosperity. North Bay will only grow through immigrant attraction; for skilled workers, professionals and investors.
Economic Development will expand newcomer attraction components with a focus to increase attraction of immigrant investors. As Mayor, I will work closely with Canadore College and Nipissing University, providing the assistance needed to keep International Students here in our City after they graduate.
We will work closely with both the Provincial and Federal levels of government to increase North Bay’s profile to newcomers and on initiatives aimed at enticing newcomers to move here.
“Our children and grandchildren are growing up in a world where climate change is impacting their very existence. The science is clear, the evidence is visible daily and we need to take action.”
Clean Green and Safe Community
Sustainability plans will include strategies and tactics designed to mitigate our environmental impacts and get North Bay to carbon neutral. Net zero is the goal and as a community we should be doing everything we can to get there.
North Bay will:
Expand active transportation with actual bike lanes and expanded walking trails. Active living within the City is an important component of attracting new families and retaining our youth. As Mayor I will ensure sustainable healthy active living programs are considered in our decision making. We will work with all stakeholders to ensure our community embraces active living values.
Implement a green bin (wet) recycling program and community composting program. As we strive to be more environmentally conscious, the end results of community composting can be used by gardeners across the city.
Acquire hybrid, alternative fuel and electric vehicles for the municipal fleet; this includes transit vehicles.
Work with North Bay Hydro Services, or private contractors, on the installation of EV charging stations in all municipal parking lots by 2026.
Require all new developments to include EV charging stations; this includes all new residential builds.
Require all new developments, where possible, to utilize geothermal heating and cooling options.
Brown field and inner city developments will get priority, especially those providing mixed use and mixed residential that benefit seniors, those starting out and accessible housing.
There is no single solution for some of the social problems North Bay faces. Because of the addiction services available in North Bay, people from other communities come here for clinical rehabilitation. As a compassionate community, we have always been open to assisting those in need, but the current situation is unsustainable. For more than a decade we have had round table discussions and committees but the problems have only worsened. What we have been doing isn’t working we need a much different approach.
“Industry invests where land and labour are available. Opening up additional industrial land will bring investment, labour will follow and the tax base will expand. Tweeting about residential lots and dockside food deliveries isn’t a strategy…it’s a gimmick.”
Industrial and Commercial Development
The official plan will be reviewed to include expansion of the West Ferris industrial park.
Pushing services out to accommodate expansion of airport industrial lands will be costed for a phased approach.
Low density/low rise commercial development on the waterfront will be encouraged for four season food and recreational services.
North Bay should be an aerospace hub. We have all the assets needed to leverage investments in this industry and our Economic Development Department will work closely with the airport authority to create the conditions needed for additional investment.
Smart development will be targeted… going up, instead of out, will be prioritized.
“Housing is a key priority across the country…affordable housing for first time buyers, accessible housing for the elderly and disabled, transitional housing when needed and housing for the homeless.”
North Bay alone can not solve the housing crisis. It is a problem on many levels and it will take the combined efforts of all levels of government, the not for profit sector and the private sector to solve it. The lack of affordable housing means North Bay loses out on opportunities to attract business and industry.
The municipality can take constructive steps to help.
Development fee relief will be extended to those planning high density housing and multi unit developments.
I will instruct staff to apply for all available Federal and Provincial funding to spur affordable housing development.
I will bring together a select group, representing the private, public and not for profit sectors to create a plan which will have, as its corner stone, a community reinvestment strategy where the City will work with community groups on the development of affordable housing.
Housing for long-term care is important but so too is keeping seniors in their own homes longer so they can age with grace and dignity. I will work directly with existing developments and new developments focused on a continuum of care model.