WAYE  MASON,  CANDIDATE  D7  -­‐  ANSWERS  TO  MSC  QUESTIONAIRE     Section  1:  Visionary  Transit   • Do  you  support  car-­‐focused

 road-­‐widening  projects  such  as  those  for  Bayers   Rd,  Herring  Cove  Rd,  and  Bedford  West?  What  would  you  do  to  halt  projects   that  have  already  been  approved  that  you  disagree  with?     No  I  do  not.    For  the  short  and  medium  term  our  focus  needs  to  be  on  transit   and  getting  buses  around  traffic  bottlenecks.  I  only  support  road  –widening  to   accommodate  dedicated  busways  or  HOV  bus/car/bike  lanes.    As  for  halting,   depends  on  the  nature  of  the  contract.    I  don’t  want  to  halt  a  $5  mil  project  if   we  have  to  pay  $5  mil  anyway  for  nothing.    Bayer’s  Road  can  be  stopped  dead   right  now,  if  we  just  say  we  are  not  interested.     • Do  you  support  the  proposal  for  the  cross  town  connector  bike  lane?  If  not,   what  would  you  do  instead  to  improve  cycling  safety  in  downtown  HRM?     I  support  CTC  on  Agricola  even  if  that  means  a  30kph  speed  limit  with   Sharrows  from  Cunard  to  Almon,  the  narrow  choke  point.    I  feel  we  can   experiment  with  3  month  trial  runs  with  temporary  markers  etc  and  make  sure   we  have  maximum  buy  in  from  residents  and  business.     • Late  night  transit  affects  students  studying  late,  working  late,  and  enjoying   recreational  activities.  Students  have  called  for  this  since  at  least  2008.  It  is   an  issue  of  safety  as  well  as  service.  How  will  you  respond  to  the  calls  for  late     night  bus  transit?     The  report  Violence  and  Public  Safety  in  HRM  calls  for  24  hour  bus  service.    This   is  an  issue  for  students,  late  night  workers,  for  low  income  earners,  for  families.   It  seems  clear  to  me  we  need  some  form  of  late  night  bus  service,  probably   routes  like  the  1,  10,  80  and  7  every  half  hour,  or  even  45  minutes.     • For  students  who  commute  back  and  forth  to  school  and  work,  they  need   access  to  busses  that  go  beyond  the  peninsula.  Where  do  you  see  as  the  key   areas  for  growth  of  the  public  transit  system  beyond  the  urban  core?       I  think  we  need  a  busway  or  commuter  rail  that  goes  from  downtown  through   Mumford  to  Bedford  and  Duke  Street.    The  107  connector  from  Burnside  to   Duke  Street  means  a  fast,  reliable  trunk  service  from  Duke  to  Downtown  could   become  the  focus  of  most  local  transit  in  Burnside,  Sackville  and  Bedford,   allowing  for  fast  interlining  and  better  service  from  those  areas  to  Downtown,   and  between  those  areas.    Moving  to  a  fast  express  bus  system  connecting   serious  terminals  (like  the  new  Bridge  Terminal)  is  key  to  a  successful  system.    

  Section  2:  Culture   • HRM  currently  only  funds  event-­‐specific  expenses  through  its  grants   program,  leaving  many  important  community  organizations  in  the  midst  of  a   constant  chase  for  funding.  Would  you  support  opening  up  the  criteria  and   under  what  conditions?  How  will  you  ensure  groups  remain  accountable  and   effective  if  given  operational  funding?     Organizations  that  are  building  communities  and  neighbourhoods  should  be   able  to  access  multi-­‐year  funding,  though  of  course  HRM  would  still  need  yearly   updates  and  financial  reports.    Operation  funding  is  not  carte  blanche,  the   province  gives  it  to  community  service  providers  and  arts  organizations,  and   those  organizations  have  to  be  auditable  and  report  regularly.    This  is  not   rocket  science,  other  jurisdictions  do  it  all  the  time.     • There  has  been  much  discussion  these  elections  about  the  need  to  increase   municipal  arts  funding  to  the  national  average.  Do  you  believe  this  is  a  good   idea  and  if  so  how  do  you  intend  to  fund  this?     I  wrote  the  op/ed  that  the  Herald  ran  in  May  identifying  this  as  an  election   issue  and  was  lead  author  of  the  CPA  Alternative  Budget  arts  section.    Clearly   we  need  to  increase  funding  to  the  national  average.    Anyone  who  argues   against  that  has  no  idea  what  they  are  talking  about.      We  need  competitive,   stable,  multiyear  funding  for  makers  and  operators  of  cultural  events.    The   HRM  Cultural  Plan  is  usless  and  acknowledged  as  needing  to  be  totally   replaced.    We  need  councilors  who  understand  the  difference  between  tourism   funding    coming  from  hotel  levy  funding  and  arts  funding  from  general   operating  that  funds  art  for  the  people  who  live  here.     Section  3:  Public  Space   • University  Ave  and  Argyle  Street  are  hubs  of  pedestrian  and  cyclists.  Yet,  the   potential  for  these  to  act  as  community  hubs  is  hindered  by  traffic.  Do  you   support  turning  these  areas  into  limited  traffic,  pedestrian-­‐focused  zones?  Do   you  see  it  as  the  city’s  job  to  pay  for  the  expenses  associated  with  each  of   these  transformations  or  would  you  look  to  other  partners  to  help  fund?   What  else  would  you  do  to  support  the  concept  of  walkable  cities?     Yes,  qualified  yes  and  yes.    University  Ave  conversion  is  key  to  the  institutional   bikeway  plan.    Modal  shift  out  of  cars  to  bikes  and  transit  will  only  happen  with  

In  past  negotiations,  HRM  has  demanded  that  all  students  pay  the  full   semester  fee  to  extend  the  U-­‐pass  into  the  summer  months.  However,  only   10-­‐15%  of  students  take  summer  courses.  Would  you  commit  to  providing   an  opt-­‐in  summer  u-­‐pass  option  for  students?     Yes,  for  sure.  

  •  

investment  in  infrastructure  to  make  transit  a  good  fast  efficient  choice  and   biking  feel  safe  and  comfortable  for  average  users.    I  think  the  University   conversion  will  end  up  being  a  cost  split  between  HRM,  Dal,  possibly  CDHA,  and   the  province.    I  think  everyone  needs  to  take  a  share.    Argyle  can  happen  in  part   through  investment  by  HRM,  by  making  the  Nova  Centre  pay  for  that  block,  and   by  making  sure  the  storm  water  and  sewer  separation  happens  before  the   redesign,  so  when  we  put  in  the  trench  drain  and  lay  the  new  concrete  we  can   use  some  of  that  Water  Commission  money  for  the  renovation.    Walkable  cities?     We  need  to  make  sure  that  ALL  developments,  in  the  downtown  or  on  the   suburbs,  are  walkable,  dense,  transit  serviceable,  mixed  use  communities.     HRM  has  continuously  failed  to  implement  its  own  development  plans  that   aim  to  curb  sprawl.  How  would  you  counteract  this  trend?       Staff  reports  have  a  “budget  implications”  section  but  don’t  have  a  “strategic   implications”  section.    Every  report,  every  plan  needs  to  be  aligned  to  move   HRM  toward  its  strategic  goals  in  the  Regional  Plan,  the  local  development   plans,  and  the  Economic  Plan.    Council  needs  to  be  explicitly  voting  for  the  plan,   or  voting  against  the  plan,  every  time.    It  will  make  it  much  harder  to  just  slide   through  bad  policy  and  plans  that  go  against  our  strategy.   Do  you  support  the  Williams  Lake  development  proposal?  If  not,  what  would   you  do  to  halt  or  adapt  this  development?   No!    No  water  on  Purcell’s  Cove,  no  sewer,  no  development,  not  for  AT  LEAST  25   years.    I  will  vote  against  any  of  those  things.  

  Section  4:  Liveable  Communities   • Housing  issues  appear  to  be  an  ongoing  turf  battle  between  the  municipality   and  the  province.  What  do  you  see  as  the  role  of  the  municipality  in   improving  access  to  quality  affordable  housing  and  improving  tenants  rights?     From  my  website:     There  are  four  areas  that  I  think  HRM  should  focus  on  to  directly  address   affordable  housing  issues:     1. Public  housing.  HRM  needs  to  push  the  Province  to  renew  and  rethink   public  housing  in  HRM.  Even  though  Metro  Housing  Authority  (MHA)  is   provincial,  HRM  could  invest  or  partner  in  new  and  renewed  housing.   We  should  be  very  concerned  about  the  operations  and  long-­‐term  plans   of  MHA.  It  is  fair  to  start  making  demands,  since  MHA  is  funded  in  large   part  by  a  property  tax  levy.   2. New  models  that  encourage  creative  solutions.  Affordable  housing   could  benefit  from  the  land  bank  model  -­‐  all  HRM  &  school  board  

property  sold  in  the  core  could  create  a  fund  that  is  used  to  invest  in   affordable  housing.  This  fund  could  be  used  for  public  initiatives  or  to   invest  in  co-­‐ops,  private  and  not-­‐for-­‐profit  projects.  It  is  unacceptable   that  projects  like  the  final  phase  of  the  Creighton/Gerrish  Association   development  have  stalled  for  literally  decades  due  to  lack  of  funding.   3. Define  affordable  housing.  Right  now  there  is  a  federal  definition  of   affordable  housing  (30%  of  income  for  low-­‐  and  middle-­‐income  earners)   but  HRM  has  not  made  that  definition  a  matter  of  policy.  HRM  needs  to   pass  a  policy  that  binds  staff  and  developers  to  create  housing  to  meet   the  needs  of  those  at  risk  in  the  low-­‐  and  middle-­‐income  brackets.  Using   affordable  housing  to  achieve  height-­‐bonusing  downtown,  developers   could  then  either  meet  this  criteria,  or  contribute  cash  directly  to  the   affordable  housing  fund  proposed  in  point  2.   4. Speed  approvals  and  permits.  From  secondary  suites  to  small  row   houses  to  apartment  buildings,  we  simply  need  more,  new  and  diverse   apartments  and  homes  for  citizens.    Otherwise,  when  supply  is  so  much   lower  than  demand  prices  rise  dramatically.    We  need  to  see  what  HRM   can  do  to  make  sure  we  have  a  balance  between  new  condos  and  new   rental  units.     Full  article  here:    http://www.wayemason.ca/affordable_housing     How  would  you  go  about  ensuring  that  efforts  going  towards  downtown   revitalization  do  not  result  in  the  gentrification  of  historically  marginalized   communities?     Affordable  housing  and  tax  reform  will  help  keep  diversity  in  our  communities.     A  lot  of  people  are  selling  historic  family  homes  because  they  cannot  afford  the   taxes.    We  need  to  ease  that  burden.                        

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