Occupation: Engineer at Toyota Cambridge plant
How long have you lived in Cambridge?
Do you reside in the ward/city you are running in?
Running for Ward 2, resident of Ward 1 but live less than 5 minutes away from Ward 2
Why are you running in this election?
I am running in this election for two reasons. The first is to be the voice of the residents of Ward 2 and ensure their voices are heard at city hall.
The second is to bring a fresh new perspective at city hall on the way problems are analyzed and solutions evaluated.
What qualifies you to represent your ward?
Being a successful city councillor requires someone who has good problem-solving skills and has a passion to serve the community. Independent thinking and an analytical way of approaching problems is important to develop innovative solutions to age-old problems. Solving problems is what I do every day as an engineer at the Toyota Cambridge plant. From solving equipment problems, to making processes easier and more efficient for team members, I have the strong problem-solving skills required to improve the city with a new perspective.
I am a passionate community leader who cares about people living happy, fulfilling lives. I volunteer at a youth shelter on the weekends where I spend time with vulnerable youth and coach them through job applications and resume building. I also personally prepare sandwich lunches and distribute them to the homeless in Cambridge.
Why should people vote for you?
I am a calm, disciplined, and well-informed individual who has his pulse on the needs on the community and a passion to fixing problems in the community so that we can all live in a better city. My skills and passion to help the residents of the city, as well as my organizational and listening skills are the main reasons why I would make an effective city councillor and why people not be disappointed if they vote for me.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward?
The main issues facing the residents of Ward 2 are not being heard by their city councillor, affordable housing, and infrastructure that needs to be updated.
As city councillor, I will regularly consult with the residents to ensure their concerns are being heard. Affordable housing can be solved by increasing housing supply in the ward by building higher density housing.
Infrastructure goes hand in hand with this as increase in housing supply means infrastructure needs to be updated as well, specifically corridors like Hespeler Road which are constantly backed up by traffic.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Cambridge on a broader scale?
On a broader scale, some of the main issues facing the residents of Cambridge include homelessness that is especially prevalent in downtown, attraction of high talent and skilled individuals to Cambridge, which would also help with the labour shortage with which businesses and health care are struggling, and infrastructure throughout the city that needs to be upgraded quickly to remove the traffic backlogs that are happening throughout the city.
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Cambridge?
I want Cambridge to be a unified, high energy, and prosperous city where the residents can live, work, and play in a safe environment. A city which is not just a bedroom community for Toronto, but where kids can thrive in the local schools, families can pay for property taxes and housing without worrying, and where businesses can prosper. Most of all, I want Cambridge to be a place where the residents are not waiting for their city councillor and local government to address their needs, but rather seeing the issues resolved quickly and efficiently.
What services need to be improved in Cambridge?
One of the most important services that need to be improved in Cambridge is infrastructure. Poor transit connectivity to GTA, and clogged roads during rush hour traffic, especially the Hespeler Road corridor are frustrating for people who want to get from one place to another quickly and without headaches.
While the LRT to Cambridge is in the works, road infrastructure and even below-grade projects such as water main upgrades need to be completed faster with less time of closed roads and lanes which cause detours and build traffic up.
Certain roads that are currently single lane need to have a commitment from the city to be upgraded to two lanes so traffic can flow smoother. Better transit connectivity to the GTA needs to be implemented by the city, region, and province so that people are not only dependent on Hwy 401 to get to GTA.
Is Cambridge growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough?
Rapid growth has been coming to Cambridge in the last 5 years as more people migrate to the city from the GTA and other parts of Canada and the world.
This has resulted in new businesses and a more diverse group of people who have been enjoying living in the city. However, shortage of housing is fast becoming the main negative aspect of the quick growth in Cambridge as people who want to move to the city cannot afford the increasing housing costs every year.
Cambridge growth should continue to increase but the city needs to commit to and implement more housing to keep up with the demand.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing?
The rising cost of housing in so many cities is due to large demand and low supply of housing. At the local level, the housing supply needs to increase to meet the large demand. The local government can do this by approving and pushing developers for high density housing, and pre-approving land throughout the city for housing so construction can begin faster.
As city councillor, I would push to get both of these done as a top priority.
What can be done locally about the homelessness issue?
People become homeless for several reasons:
1) Loss of economic opportunities
2) Poverty, affordability
3) Mental/substance abuse problems
Locally, the city can do the following:
1) Make it easier for businesses to thrive by cutting down red tape and thus increasing
economic opportunities in the city
2) Increase affordability by investing in subsidized housing for the poor
3) Investing money in shelters like The Bridges and mental health programs at the local
How do we make Cambridge an even better city to live in?
We can make Cambridge a better city to live in by fixing the problems we see quickly and in an efficient way. As residents, city staff and city council identify what problems exist, a logical and analytical approach to identifying the root cause of each issue and proposing several solutions which are discussed and consulted with residents and stakeholders will help solve the big issues efficiently.
It is up to city council to establish an efficient procedure such as this and as city councillor, I will make sure this happens.
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