With every Election Campaign, there needs to be a Campaign Platform.
The Platform lets people know not only what the Campaign is focussed on, it gives a general direction on what the candidate believes should be priorities for their area going forward. Priorities need to be community-centric, and not be Personal Agenda issues.
When I sat down to build my Platform, the one thing that always comes back to me is Infrastructure.
Now when someone mentions infrastructure a lot of us think of our physical surroundings – roads, bridges, ditches/culverts, hydro lines, tree maintenance etc.. It is 100% true that these are all part of our infrastructure. But there is a totally different level & type of infrastructure that is absolutely essential to whether or not our communities thrive or wither away. This is our Human Infrastructure.
If you stop and think about it, everything we do in our communities is tied together in some way. For instance, inviting guests over for a barbeque – where is the food being purchased? Where did you go to buy the barbeque? Where’d you go for propane? Your guests are coming from a long distance late at night – is there a local gas station that is open? Can you get all this stuff here? And if no, why not? Supply chain issues, open/close time restrictions, lack of good local vendors – these are just a few issues of many all communities big and small are dealing with these days.
For our communities to survive and thrive, they need all kind of supports. Medical facilities, adequate housing, residential services, all sorts of businesses from food and pharmacies to trades and Government offices, the list goes on and on.
When I look at some of the needs that our community has that are not being met – and not just Ward 4, but Dysart and Haliburton County as this is a much bigger issue – there are some huge challenges that have to be bested and bested now. Out of many, for example here’s just three things where we as a community need to be working on.
1) Housing is at an absolute crisis. Throughout the County, there are little to no year-round rental units, low-income housing and senior-oriented housing. Our entire region is expanding, both in population and land use. If you can’t afford to buy a home or property or have family locally to stay with, there’s practically nowhere here that is financially viable for you to live. I have personally seen businesses here that cannot hire new employees from outside the County because there is no place for them to live here.
2) Our local Healthcare services are on life support. The waiting list for the medical clinic in Haliburton to be a regular patient is years long. There’s signs and billboards everywhere begging medical professionals to move to our region. The hospitals here are running ads asking people to call ahead to see if their Emergency Room is open.
3) Haliburton County is, by population, one of the oldest per capita counties in Ontario – every years scores of people move here to retire. We simply don’t have the services and manpower to handle this influx in needs for specialized housing, staffing, medical appointment transportation, in-home care supports and so much more.
In my August 29 post I laid out my Campaign Platform. There’s always going to be the day-to-day needs we all have in the Ward from potholes to septic issues, hydro to internet/cell service, and County/Municipal folks do their best to resolve these issues in a hopefully timely and conclusive way, and I am committed to facilitating in any way possible to get these issues dealt with as quickly and as smoothly as possible. My Campaign Platform includes all these daily issues, but a crucial component of any Government body to be successful is to have a Plan that is forward-looking, ambitious and doable, and has to take into account all the issues we face. And like all good plans, flexibility is also a key part of the framework to allow new ideas and issues to be prioritized.
If an Election Candidate is truly interested in helping their constituents as a whole, they Must. Have. A. Plan. Running as an Election Candidate means you take ALL the issues seriously. Running as an Election Candidate means you do not run simply because of a Personal Agenda. Running as an Election Candidate means you have a decent working understand of the way the level of government you are hoping to become part of functions.
There is so much more to being a local County Government official than one thinks. It is absolutely necessary to have both Good Governance and An Eye To The Future. I’m not Running in this election as Mister Popularity, or a Guy Everyone Knows, or someone that always has to be The Loudest Person In The Room. I’m Running not only because of my Governmental and Personal Life Experiences but because deep down my primary need is the same as yours – when it comes to my government, regardless of its level, I want the Job Done, and Done Well. With all the work our Local Government needs to take on in the upcoming Four-Year term, running because of a lonely single issue in our Community in this day and age Just Doesn’t Cut It – there’s too much at stake; too much serious work to do.