“I feel that we are in a tax and spend mentality at Council with some Coucillors and think we need a change. We need to emphasize on the needs of the city and its residents and not just the wants of some.”
Why are you running for city council?
I feel that we are in a tax and spend mentality at Council with some Coucillors and think we need a change. We need to emphasize on the needs of the city and its residents and not just the wants of some.
Tell us a bit about your background and experience, and how that will inform the way you work as a city councillor?
I have lived in Guelph all my life. I raised my daughters here as I single working class mother. I understand the benefits of affordable housing. It gave me the opportunity to put my girls in sports and save for college. I have worked as a manger in the Restaurant industry and have learned to work within a budget while increasing profits. I have volunteered in my community with Habitat for Humanity as well as being a partner family and with the Seed preparing meals and delivering food to the food insecure residents of Guelph. I also foster for a seniors dog rescue.
What do you think was the most consequential decision made by city council during the 2018-2022 term?
I think the new library is the most consequential decision made be Councill. It has caused a great deal of contention in the city. Perhaps if it had of been put on a ballot, the majority of residents would not have voted for it.
Guelph has to make accommodation for 208,000 people and have 116,000 jobs ready by 2051. What’s your growth strategy, and how will you co-ordinate with developers, neighbourhoods and community groups to achieve it?
Our growth strategy is that we need to build more densely, We need to utilize land that we already have without building out and losing our greenspace. We also need a plan for infrastructure that can accommodate the influx of new residents. Hopefully neighbourhoods will be more welcoming. We need to curb the NIMBY mindset.
Homelessness and the mental health and addiction crises are having a profound impact on Guelph, what can be done at a council level to address these issues, and what will you do as an individual councillor to address them?
That is very difficult to answer, this has been a neglected issue for a very long time. We just didn’t wake up to this one day , We need to have more help with social services from the feds on down. We need more easily accessible help for mental illness as well as supportive housing for the homeless. We should also consider trying to secure funds for a detox centre so addicts have options to get clean
Would you support a more collaborative relationship between the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington? What would that look like?
Of Course, it would be very beneficial for the City of Guelph and the County have a better relationship. We would benefit from sharing services and funding.
How would you increase accessibility at city hall? How will you make sure that your constituents feel well-informed and well-represented in council?
I would keep an open dialog with my constituents, letting them know what is going on at city hall through social media
Movements like Black Lives Matter and the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools have made the creation of more equity and inclusion at city hall a top priority. How will you help promote greater representation and work to create more equity and inclusion at the City of Guelph?
We must be more welcoming and offer more encouragement for a diverse representation of the city of Guelph. We should offer more inclusion with open dialog in regard to issues and concerns
The City of Guelph, as a corporation, is responsible for three per cent of emissions locally. What will you do to encourage and assist the Royal City to reach it’s net zero and 100 per cent renewable goals?
We need to improve our public transportation. It is very difficult for people to get around by bus. We are a car using city, we can’t get anywhere in the city in a timely manner.
Excluding 2-way/all-day GO Train service, how would you work to expand regional transit options to and from Guelph?
We would need a transit service that would be able to be scheduled with work schedules and general transport in mind. It would have to be a regional plan
If you could dedicate your time on city council to one issue over the next four years, like you were a federal or provincial cabinet minister, what would that be, and why?
Keeping our budget on track as well as trying to find solutions for our most vulnerable population
It’s budget time: You have a heritage building redevelopment project, the modernization of a key city service, or you can reduce the proposed budget increase by a full percentage point. You can either fund one of these endeavours in their entirety, or you can assign each option a portion of funding. What’s your motion?
I would work on a 1% decrease in the budget. It is getting very expensive to live in Guelph as we are one of the highest taxed city in Ontario. With the cost of just life in general getting more expensive, we should try to ease the burden if we can.
Finish this sentence: I would be very disappointed if we got the end of this election without debating…?
The budget and the 10 plus cost increase on taxes in this city
Where can people learn more about you, and your campaign?
Email: deneseward5 [at] gmail.com
FB Denese Renaud Ward 5