“The last Ward 3 Councillors have not taken homelessness and affordable housing seriously. That have voted against hundreds of new homes in Guelph as well as the “Home for Good” initiative, to help the homeless of Guelph. City council must start working together to provide the best for the city.”
Why are you running for city council?
The last Ward 3 Councillors have not taken homelessness and affordable housing seriously. That have voted against hundreds of new homes in Guelph as well as the “Home for Good” initiative, to help the homeless of Guelph. City council must start working together to provide the best for the city.
Tell us a bit about your background and experience, and how that will inform the way you work as a city councillor?
I have proudly served Guelph as a Search and Rescue Volunteer and as a Medical First Response Volunteer with St John Ambulance for 17 years. I have been a Volunteer with Red Cross as well as the Transit Advisory Committee. I am an active Member of Session as an Elder with St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Guelph. I was voted as one of Guelph Mercury’s Top 40 under 40 for my volunteer work in Guelph
What do you think was the most consequential decision made by city council during the 2018-2022 term?
The Baker Street Library. The 62-million-dollar (and counting) price tag is way too much to put on the hard-working taxpayers of Guelph. I fully support a new downtown library, but we can not afford another extremely overpriced project in Guelph. The price will continue to increase, like the Police Station, City Hall, the South End Rec Centre…to name a few.
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?
We need to build more housing units. Whether Single homes, duplexes, triplexes, low-rises or high-rises, we need to get shovels in the ground. More houses= cheaper rents/mortgages. This also brings with it more skilled jobs to Guelph, in order to build these houses. We do need to start looking up where we can as well. We need to protect our green spaces.
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?
Guelph must advocate to the federal and provincial governments to immediately improve health care and housing funding. We must also work with the amazing organizations that are already doing this work. The “Home For Good” campaign is a great example of this. Several existing organizations are working together to tackle these interlinked, but very complicated issues. I worked for several years as a Child and Youth Worker. I know first hand how difficult it is to access Mental Health supports. We must ensure that everyone in Guelph, has access to the Health Care that they need, by keeping up the pressure on the Provincial and Federal Governments
Would you support a more collaborative relationship between the City of Guelph and the County of Wellington? What would that look like?
Yes. We already collaborate with the County of Wellington when it comes to our Emergency Services. GWEMS, Guelph Fire and Guelph Police are great examples of how we can work together.
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 will make myself available to my ward, as well as all Citizens of Guelph. I hope to take some great ideas that other Counsellors have done such as regular newsletters, blogs and coffee meetups. I am a big fan of chatting face to face with folks.
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 first need to listen to these communities and build their trust. We need to find out what they need. For far too long their needs have been ignored. I can not begin to assume that I know what is needed, but I am ready to engage and listen.
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?
Excluding 2-way/all-day GO Train service, how would you work to expand regional transit options to and from Guelph?
We need to get our local partners to the table to talk. We can start with the Grand River Transit, then move out from there. Many of our citizens work outside of Guelph, if we can get reliable, safe Transit Systems in place, that inter connect our cities, then we can start getting more cars off the roads.
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?
Affordable housing. Not just for the unhoused, but for everyone. I am seeing friends having to uproot their families to move elsewhere, because they can not afford to live here. Their children crying because they don’t want to leave their friends. We need to work with our partners at a provincial and federal level to increase the amount of housing units in Guelph. We need to make sure that builders know that Guelph is a great place to build homes and businesses.
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?
Each of these items has its own merits and needs. I hope that we as a council can unite and find a way work on both items, but to do it in an efficient way that can reduce our already bloated budget.
Finish this sentence: I would be very disappointed if we got the end of this election without debating…?
How can we become a unified council? We need to put people over politics.
Council needs to start working together to solve increasing complex issues. We can not continue with the “Party” type politics that we are seeing Internationally, Federally, Provincially and yes…even Municipally. If we keep pushing our own agendas, nothing will move forward. We need to debate…that is imperative, but we must listen to the others at the table.
Where can people learn more about you, and your campaign?
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or my Facebook page Dallas Green for Ward 3 Guelph. I am working on a website as well.