St Catharines is our home .
As more newcomers, immigrants and young families make St Catharines their city, they need affordable housing both as renters and owners. Owning a home in St Catharines shouldn't be a pipe dream. I'm determined to work with all stakeholders to increase opportunity for home ownership as well as make rent affordable so that those rent can also save for home ownership.
Our seniors also need affordable housing that caters to their specific needs. That means housing close to the services they need to access easily such as healthcare, groceries, and transportation. They need more options as they retire and downsize in areas where they feel safe and connected to the community. I am determined to ensure the needs of our seniors are taken care of by advocating for their housing rights. I'm determined to ensure their retirement is a time of enjoyment rather than struggle due to poor accommodation and access.
As our higher education prospers and expands, as a City we need to be able to accommodate and sustain the growth. With more students coming to St Catharines we need more student housing and supports within the community so that they don't leave as soon as they graduate. If we are going to invest in the future we need these graduates to stay and make this city their home. If they have been struggling with finding housing, they are likely struggling in other basic needs to which doesn't make a good impression and doesn't inspire commitment. I'm determined to ensure that higher education students new to this city gain confidence in their future here so that they too can invest in this city.
St Catharines is not the only city looking for a solution that works for everyone. We need to work together to make sure that those who occupy the encampments and need safe shelter are not further marginalised by the needs of others. Other cities around the globe have legalised some encampments and ensured they are as safe as possible by working with the occupants of "Tent Cities" to create policies and measures that benefit everyone. I'm determined to find a strategy that works for all of St Catharines' citizens by ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all.
Housing and Homelessness
St Catharines is for all of us
EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
Women and Gender Rights
As we are facing the impact of the pandemic, both short and long term, we must be aware of how women and gender minorities, particularly racialized/BIPOC people were disproportionately impacted. I am determined to support all efforts to respond to their unique needs, with particular attention paid to Indigenous and other Women of Colour, those who are disabled, and the 2SLGBTQQIA+ people - all of whom deserve equitable measures to thrive in St Catharines. I am particularly and have always been passionate about preventing and mitigating the gender-based violence that is so very prevalent in our communities.
Truth and Reconciliation
As a city, St Catharines has been taking measures to respond to the call to action issued by the Peace and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. As St Catharines continues to acknowledge our moral and ethical responsibility, I'm determined to ensure that we continue to build strong and meaningful relationships with the Indigenous people among us. I'm determined to facilitate spaces to listen, engage, and act as we seek solutions to the problems created by our history and by the ongoing systemic discrimination and harm caused to the Indigenous people who live in St Catharines and beyond.
Racial Equity and Inclusion
As more immigrants and newcomers make this city their home, and as we acknowledge those who have been here for generations, we must open our eyes to the diversity within this city. As a city, we cannot continue to marginalise people of colour. I am determined to ensure systemic racism, exclusion, and the dismissal of people of colour do not continue to harm individuals and communities within our city. By working with the already established committees and structures that have started to address racism within our city, I'm determined to ensure that we strengthen our diversity and leverage it to build a safe, thriving community of belonging for everyone, with resources allocated compassionately and equitably.
OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
St Catharines is theirs for the future.
Evidence of climate change is all around us. As a city we must consider the future of generations to come. This considerable threat is one we must confront collectively and with intention. I'm determined to do my part in sourcing and implementing sustainable, clean, and renewable strategies to safeguard this city and the rest of the world for future generations. I'm determined to champion every action, big or small, that moves us closer to a safer planet.
Living wage and Youth Employment
Young people are concerned about building wealth and creating opportunities for more fulfilling lives. They do not believe in making ends meet. They shouldn't have to! The simple measure of a living wage means they are not continuously knocked down by inflation, economic recessions, and unstable global markets. The correlation between a living wage and building wealth is simple: a living wage allows them to save, where a minimum wage is simply that - the minimum. I'm determine to help young people in St Catharines build wealth, accomplish their goals, and enjoy life without unnecessary monetary struggle. I'm determined to support efforts that create entreprenuerial opportunities for our young people and attract more investment in youth training and employment.