Candidate – Councillor Ward 2
The Echo sent the following questions to all candidates running for a seat at the council table in Dysart et al.
1. Provide an introduction to yourself. (This could be about how you came to the area, your hobbies and interests, family life, education, accomplishments.)
2. What is the most important issue facing Dysart et al today? As a council member, how would you address that issue?
3. Are there services or facilities you would like to see in Dysart et al that don’t already exist? If elected, how would you go about making them a reality?
4. Explain how climate change is impacting Dysart et al, and what council can do to help mitigate its effects.
5. The chamber of commerce and local businesses have raised concerns that there are not enough young adults and young families choosing to live in the Highlands. This has led to shortages in some fields (skilled trades, for example) and fewer children and youth in the community. What can council do to attract and retain young people?
The ballots will be going out in the mail this week. Election day is Oct. 22. For more information on voting, contact the municipal office.
Next week, we will feature the Q&A from Highlands East candidates.
1. My name is David McKay. I moved to the area when I was about 10 years old and have lived here ever since. After graduating from HHSS, I enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces, but unfortunately I was discharged not long after due to a medical condition. So, I returned to Haliburton and started working in the construction trades and started my family.
I was a volunteer firefighter with two local departments for about twenty years combined and was also involved in Minor Hockey for the same length of time. I loved playing the sport myself and wanted the young kids in our area to have the chance to experience the same great memories I had growing up.
I also love the outdoors and natural beauty of the lakes.
I take great pride in calling Haliburton my home and that’s why I stayed. Walking down the Main Street and having people call you by name is the true meaning of a great community, not just a small town.
2. After speaking with many people just within Ward 2, it has become apparent that many want transparency and feel there has been a lack of it in the past. They also want to be heard.
I believe we need to keep an open approach with public involvement and round table discussions before making choices that effect the people at large and the future of Haliburton. I’m hoping that I can bring new ideas and be a team player to form a better understanding of the needs that people face every day. I plan on working hard to see affordable housing in place to help young families as well as older families maintain a sustainable lifestyle with the ever changing needs of employment and retirement.
3. I would really like to see a recreation complex with a pool, walking track, fitness area as well as rooms for meetings and small events. A facility that can be used by 100 percent of the population. With the declining numbers in hockey, our area needs more than just an ice pad. We need a safe and affordable controlled environment with variety for people of all ages to enjoy.
I would like to work closely with the three other municipalities in a county-wide study and approach upper tier governments for grants and funding to make this dream a reality.
4. Climate change, where do we start? With the lack of cold temperature patterns it’s making it difficult for seasonal businesses to operate such as our ski hill and snowmobiling. It becomes a domino effect. Without the cold temperatures and snow the conditions are poor thus keeping winter enthusiasts away resulting in less traffic to our local merchants, reduced hours of operation and less staffing. The poor ice conditions keep anglers off the ice not to mention the decrease in our lake trout population.
Also with the warmer weather we now have invasive species like the Pine Beetle which is killing our forests.
Rain showers that now structurally damage roads and properties due to the amount in short spurts rather than the odd drizzles of years past. All signs of the planet patterns changing from global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. We see water levels decreasing and reversed melting in the spring causing floods to the lower areas resulting in property and road damage.
It will be never too soon for municipalities to begin assessing their vulnerability to climate change and the impacts that are already occurring. We need to develop responses that protect the people, local environment and the local economy.
5. Despite the lack of young families and trades labour force, communities shouldn’t be discouraged in their efforts to attract young people. Community and economic development shows that 37 per cent of millennials want to live in the cities, 36 percent prefer the suburbs while 23 per cent say they want to live in a small town. They are more likely to move back to their hometowns after their first born due to the lower cost of living, proximity to family and friends but Haliburton must do some work in retaining them.
Some things I would like to see are:
*High speed internet which is a basic staple of modern life.
*Invest in youth priorities to create spaces away from work and home.
*Provide entrepreneurial opportunities. More than 70 percent of young people want to own a business.
*Actively engage and consult with youth making sure their ideas and opinions matter.
*Market the community to attract younger families.