2022 London, Ont. Municipal election: Meet the candidates of Ward 8 – London


Londoners prepare to go to the polls on October 24 for the Ontario municipal elections as residents of Forest City elect their next mayor, councilors and school trustees.

Sixty-one candidates are running in 14 neighborhoods across the city, and four have their sights set on Ward 8.

Incumbent Steve Lehman is seeking re-election to the board, but three other challengers are also on the ballot.

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2022 London, Ont. municipal election: Meet the candidates

A full list of mayoral and ward candidates is available on the City of London website.

With many new faces in the neighborhoods, Global News reached out to everyone in the running and emailed a list of five questions on some of the city’s key issues, including addressing homelessness, addictions and mental health issues, affordable housing and accessible public transit.

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The responses of each contestant who responds will be shared below.

Global News has not received a response from candidates Steve Lehman, Patrick O’Conner and Sarvarinder Dohil.

Colleen McCauley

Q1. Over the summer, The Forgotten 519 group issued a call to action to find urgent solutions to London’s homelessness crisis. If elected, how would you address homelessness, addictions and mental health issues in London?

I support the call for a coordinated and informed response team to offer assistance to campers and indoor spaces with the continued support of social workers, as reported by The Forgotten 519. We must close the gaps between social services and improve partnerships with various grassroots organizations serving vulnerable communities. and neighborhoods, taking into account mental health, addictions and employment issues. We may consider implementing temporary permits for pop-up shelters in city parking lots and small temporary house communities, especially during the winter.

Q2. London business owners have recently highlighted some of the economic challenges they face, particularly in the city centre. What strategies do you propose to revitalize downtown London to help businesses thrive?

The recovery of small and medium-sized businesses is essential for the downtown area. To start, I would like to discuss other ways to cut red tape and improve business opportunities, such as the terrace parking allowance, with community members and business organizations. Also discuss ways to encourage more people to
explore downtown, like public transportation options, whether in-town or out-of-town.

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I’ve been told that homeless encampments and thefts add further challenges to getting back to business downtown. Law enforcement is important in deterring criminal and harassing behavior. I understand that our London police are overwhelmed with daily incidents that exceed their current capacity and are looking to hire more officers. I would like to further discuss ways to better deter theft and criminal behavior throughout the city with our law enforcement offices.

Q3. Affordability in the housing and rental markets is the most pressing issue for many Londoners. If elected, what changes would you make to ease the cost of living burden on Londoners?

I believe the city should explore partnerships with federal and provincial government offices and agencies for funding the construction of new housing and the retrofitting of all existing residential buildings, and address regulations that encourage speculation in the market real estate, including rentals used as temporary hotels, and the means to control rental rates.

We need to curb urban sprawl and make better use of already developed land, including rezoning actions for a mix of commercial and residential use in neighborhoods. We also need policies and programs that can fill vacancies and fill housing construction, without impeding environmentally sensitive areas and farmland and with consideration for vulnerable populations.

Additionally, we need better connections between property managers and neighborhoods to ensure tenants feel included and respect the rules of their community.

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Q4. London is building three sections of bus rapid transit, but challenges remain for the north and west ends of the city. What is your vision for the next phase of public transit in the city?

Public transit is critically important as with increased demand for mobility comes population growth and expansion, especially with what is happening now in the north and west of the city. We need to support changes to our infrastructure to provide more efficient and affordable ways to get around our city. I intend to encourage active transportation policies and programs (walking, cycling and public transit) for all new developments.

I’ve spoken with constituents in Ward 8 about how we screwed up the Ring Road proposal, and now the BRT project has been delayed and downsized. I support restarting the SRB as a first step as well as more bike lanes between neighborhoods for the safety of cyclists of all ages. To encourage safer trail sharing, I also believe we need more educational programs on safe cycling and other ways to get around the city in partnership with a variety of community groups such as those for cyclists and people with disabilities.

We also need to consider encouraging regional commuting options, not just Go Transit, and partner with federal and provincial governments to achieve this. Integrating fares for travel between transit systems and intercity electric bus service to connect all communities across the province would help solve transit challenges.
Q5. What is your vision for London in the next 10 years and how will we get there?

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I became a politician for the first time this year to help be the change I and many others want to see in this world. My vision is of a safe and sustainable London with a thriving local economy, inclusive neighborhood communities and a network of protected and public green spaces. It would include corridors to connect businesses and citizens to low-carbon goods and services, and allow wildlife to live among green spaces with and without human interaction.

A key way to do this is to align with provincial and federal government funding and programs to address common municipal challenges addressed in this survey, including: homelessness, transportation, business development and environmental factors such as the impacts of climate change.

— questions from Jaclyn Carbone and Maya Reid of Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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