This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The city has recently completed an unprecedented agenda of infrastructure growth through building arenas, the transit depot, the conference centre and renovations to city hall. What infrastructure initiatives should the city target for its next investments? For now, while the global economy is destabilizing it may not be wise to continue focusing on growth, rather focus on improving what is here. We don’t know what the full impact of the austerity measures that both the Federal and Provincial governments is going to have on population migration to Fredericton and the effects that is going to have on the current Fredericton Population. As money becomes less available, the needs of the people and priorities are going to change. Expansion at this time is very risky because if the economic growth is not there, then the taxpayer will have to foot the bill on loss investment. Last year figures released from the tourism industry showed that most Canadians took their vacations with one and a half hours from their residence there figures was consistent to the loss of sales that we experienced, what we found from going through our sales slip there was a significant drop from out of province tourists. This has been an ongoing trend over the course of five years but last year the numbers were considerably less than the previous year. We did not get the Quebec clientele during the 2 weeks workers holiday, the numbers from Ontario and United States, all down. Other operators in the tourism industry also agreed that there was a loss of out province tourism last year. Given that we know that on average people will only travel 1 and half hours, then at the municipal level you work on an infrastructure that will be attractive to that clientele. I used this industry as an example on how you can maintain revenues by improving what is already present without the speculative investments on the anticipation of economic growth. When times are good yes grow and expand, but unfortunately, the global market conditions at this time are not conducive for growth. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 2. What do you feel are the best indicators of prosperity, and why? 1. physical and mental health a. The greater the prosperity the better the health, figures from the New Brunswick Health council suggest that the life expectancy in Fredericton may be lower than the national average. While Fredericton may have the physical appearance of doing well and prosperous, the health figures don’t reflect that. Increases in smoking, and alcohol consumption has increased. b. Fredericton’s youth score much lower on the Health fitness then with other communities in Fredericton; High rate of teen pregnancies’, Fredericton has one of the highest incidents of chlamydia transmission. 2. Employment Vs. Unemployment Fredericton’s Unemployment rate is at 8.6 those figures do not include those on income assistance, or those who have exhausted their UI benefits. The actual figures may well be in the double digits. 3. In equality of income distribution The relationship between the number of low paying jobs, Middle Income and High income. The loss of buying power affects all, however the ones that are affected on a day-to-day bases are the low and the middle income, the high income can absorb the loss of buying power as a result of inflation. 4. The number of Fredericton using Soup kitchens, shelters, and panhandling
Figures seem to show that usage for services are increasing. 3. What efforts do you think the city should undertake to support local business and economic development? How will these efforts be different from the current approach and what resources should be dedicated to this issue? POPULATION GROWTH 4. Do you think the City should prioritize population growth as a key issue? If yes, a. What would you see as components of this plan? Social engineering incorporated in the Municipal plan; currently the plan allows developers to produce assembly line sleeping units and commercial centers. All new developments should include socio technology to make community people and environmentally friendly. New devilments should include recreation, green space and service based business. b. How do you suggest the City might work with post-secondary institutions, professional associations, and other organizations to encourage students (international and domestic), professionals and workers to stay in Fredericton beyond their degree and/or training program(s)? Move towards an Industrial base, Fredericton economy is based on is a service-based city, which creates a local economy with no new money coming in. The consequence is that money just changes hands. c. What role do you think immigration can play in growing the city’s population base? Immigration can play a very import role, until the local population thinks that the Immigrants are taking jobs away. The other issue that exists is the function of the Immigrant, is their function to produce cheap labour. PUBLIC TRANSIT 5. Do you feel that the transit system in Fredericton adequately services the city, particularly the new(er) areas of residential and commercial development? Why or why not? Under the current plan, the transit system cannot be improved; the big problem that has to be resolved is to move people quickly and conveniently. Depending upon where you live it can take up to over an hour to get to one’s destination. Because of the inefficiency of the transit system, the citizens who live in the bedroom communities have become very dependent on their cars for working and shopping. The city will not put money into the Transit system to make it efficient,. The problem is that if the city were to be successful in developing the perfect system, it would take considerable time to condition the people of Fredericton to give up their cars and us the system, which would mean no significant if any revenue for a long time. HEALTHCARE 6. In a recent MoneySense article, Fredericton ranked #96 out of 170 communities for healthcare. Are you concerned about access to primary healthcare in Fredericton? If so, how would you work with provincial stakeholders to address the issue? The data that New Brunswick Health Council gives tells a grime story about the health condition of the youth in Fredericton.
Infant Mortality+death from cancer + injuries. Depression, Acid reflux problems.
Functional health perception. Youth mental fitness. After hour clinics and ER departments. Longer times for service delivery for mental illness. Access to regular medical doctor, seeing an eye specialist. Distorted self-perception about weight . Inactivity: walking or bicycling to school. Cigarette Smoking and marijuana. Unsafe sexual behaviour. What this story tells us is that we are not paying attention to health needs of our children. We design our city for economic growth, the promote spending but in the process we leave the needs of the youth, as a city we have to take affirmative action with youth health, via partnerships with the education system, University and other volunteer groups to start to improve youth health.
REGIONAL COOPERATION 7. The new Regional Service Commission structure will change regional cooperation in the province. As a city councillor, how will you foster productive working relationships with the other members of Region 11? This cannot take place unless the LSD agrees, it’s an all or not situation. To arrive to consensus deliberations have to be with the stakeholders. I may live in Fredericton, but I am very connected with Maugerville, Sheffield and Jemseg, a connection that was created before the 1973 amalgamation of the city. Good information has to be provided and when the descions is made it has to be a win, win for all parties. CRIME 8. In a recent MoneySense article, Fredericton ranked #103 out of 170 communities for crime. Are you concerned with Fredericton’s crime rate? If so, how would you work to address it? Locally speaking the crime rate has been decreasing, which is a reflection our police for being proactive in curtailing crime. I do expect that as a result of new offences being created the crime rate will go up. There are many factors to consider what can either increase or decrease crime. Most crimes are related to economics, so with that said whatever happens to increase costs and decrease affordability you see a corresponding increase in crime,, eig illegal tobacco sales, taxes go up, illegal sales goes up, more arrest more jail time, more cost to the tax payer for enforcing and housing the offenders. The city should be very supportive is supporting the City police in professional development making sure that our police officers have the best tools to work with so they can adjust themselves to the current conditions. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY 9. What do you think is the City of Fredericton’s biggest environmental challenge, and what steps would you take to address it? The city biggest challenge is stopping environment contamination from outside it’s boundries. Currently the big issue is shale gas extraction, As tempting as it is to improve New Brunswick’s economy, the risks
are far greater then the benefits. On this issue the city has to work with other communities and as a collective front demand a moratorium or an outright ban. Legislation does not protect, check the new Brunswick law review to see the ligations regarding violations of legislation. After the fact is no good in this matter. Development and Urban sprawl is another area that the environment takes back seat to profits and revenue. The municple plan should be rewritten to be strict on how developers develop. Total clear cutting should be outlawed devolopers have to be forced in developing commercial and residential communities that are environmentally compatible. AIR SERVICE 10. Travelers (business and leisure) would like to see more carriers servicing our airport. Why do you think we have been unable to attract additional carriers at this time? Together with your fellow councillors, how would you work with the Fredericton International Airport Authority and other stakeholders to improve service? Dan Innis has to be relieved of his duties, he is creating more problems than he solves. CLOSING COMMENT(S) 11. If there are any additional municipal issues or opportunities that you would like to address, please do so below. Governance, how council carries on it’s business have to be modified, under the current system the opportunity for conflict of interests exists, If you look at the appointed members of the planning committee you can see that there are members who’s business can directly or indirectly gain from their presence on that committee. To control for that an ethics committee needs to be created as the watchdog. The purpose of closed meeting has to be made public, the details doesen’t have to be published just that a closed meeting discussing an issue has to be made available to the public.