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New councillor for Ward 4 is ready to take on city's pressing issues

Newly elected Ward 4 councillor looks to address homelessness, CTS and affordable housing
Ross Earnshaw is the new councilor for Ward 4

After the dust has settled from a contentious municipal election, some new faces have taken on the role of city councillor. 

With Jan Liggett leaving her previous position as councillor for Ward 4, Ross Earnshaw stepped up and swept away the competition to become Ward 4’s new representative. 

“I was gratified by the hard work that my team and I had put into the campaign effort and felt that it had paid off,” said Earnshaw. 

Earnshaw and Liggett will not only be working together as mayor and councillor, but he hopes her experience and knowledge of their shared ward will benefit him in his efforts to represent his constituents. 

“I fully intend to sound her out with respect to any issues that come up where she might have special historical knowledge,” he said. 

While he is excited about his win, he doesn’t want to take away the effort put in by the other candidates. 

“They all ran a clean and respectful campaign. All of them were motivated by genuine concern and love for the city of Cambridge, and in particular Ward 4,” he added. 

Earnshaw is looking forward to meeting with his peers and learning as much as he can about his new responsibilities as a councillor and to the people of his ward. 

He is taking a very logical and sensible approach to how he is going to conduct himself during his time at city hall; knowing he can only do so much, but will fight for the voices of his ward to be heard. 

“I don't have any personal agenda, nor do I have any illusions as to the ability of any one counsellor to move mountains,” said Earnshaw. “I'm looking at this as a challenge, learning experience and opportunity to put the skills that I've gained over my life and career to work and advance the interests of the city as a whole.”

Having been a lawyer for over 40 years, he is confident that his ability to understand legal documents and certain commercial and real estate precedents will serve the city and constituents well. 

One of the biggest issues that came up during Earnshaw's canvasing was homelessness and affordable housing. He wants to see more affordable housing and housing alternatives in the city without compromising the historical qualities of Cambridge. 

“I want to be sure that growth pressures are planned for and handled in a way that will not detract from the heritage downtown,” added Earnshaw. “We want to work towards 15 minute walkable communities, preserve our green spaces and enhance the riverfront.”

Earnshaw is a big supporter of a tiny home community to help relieve some of the pressures that those who are experiencing homelessness are facing. 

In Ward 4 there is currently a large encampment set up at 150 Main St. where there is a proposed safe consumption site(CTS) planned by the Region of Waterloo. 
Earnshaw supports a CTS and sees the massive benefit of having one accessible to those in the city; the problem is he feels like this location is not accessible. 

“This is a very Galt-centric location,” said Earnshaw. “It works well for a short term solution, but I think another location would be more suitable for the long-term.”

He thinks he might be in for a rude awakening, when he looks into how something like the CTS location can be overturned or changed. 

He proposes a large campus that allows people from all of the region’s city centres to have access to wrap-around services, housing and other supports needed by an individual. This would be a large project that would require the city, region and province to sign off on. 

“This might be a long-term idea, too long for a four year term, but if we can get started in that direction my heart would be happy,” said Earnshaw. 

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Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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