The Whole Story

Preserve & protect our natural environment from the impacts of the climate crisis.
An accessible & attainable housing stock.
Creating a more diverse commercial sector.

Some Thoughts on Moving Forward

Protecting the Natural Environment

Protecting the environment and mitigating against climate change should be a top priority. It is the number one threat against our way of life.


Any project that comes to Council for approval will be assessed on a number of factors, perhaps none more important than considering whether it will mitigate or exasperate climate change.

I will be hard convinced to approve the projects that do the latter.

Furthermore, we should limit growth and new development on our lakes and waterways. 

In the municipality that I managed for seven years in Nipissing District, I obtained a large federal grant to hire a climate scientist to develop a Climate Change Action Plan to protect the infrastructure and environment there.

Part of our strategy in creating an effective plan was to develop very significant outreach to all other government bodies and the general public in the surrounding district. We wanted to inform everyone that even the smallest actions, taken together, could have significant positive impacts. 

Two of our key priorities were 1) transportation issues involving how both the personal and business sectors moved about in the District and what infrastructure was available to reduce carbon emissions, and 2) ensuring that alternative,
less impactful energy sources were promoted and made more accessible.

We can and should do the same in Gravenhurst. 

Attainable Housing

With some of the lowest standards of income and highest numbers of people on social assistance in Ontario, we need to provide affordable housing across the district.

Housing is a fundamental human right, but an increasing number of residents are struggling to pay rent or find an affordable place to live.

One of my top three priorities is a housing stock in this municipality that is accessible to everyone - current residents and those wishing to move here - regardless of

level of income.

The supply of both existing residential units, single family

dwellings, apartment buildings, and condominiums is very limited. In the first 100 days of this new term, I will propose that we undertake a comprehensive review of all policies, including planning and building, which might be amended to

enhance and enlarge our housing inventory.

As well, we should consult with local builders and other components within the local housing system for suggestions

as to how we might develop this Made for Muskoka policy.

Gravenhurst-Specific Issues

Strengthening the downtown core with diverse development, linking it to the south end of Muskoka Road, the Wharf area, and the underused commercial area on Bethune Drive North where the abandoned Muskokan Motel now sits.

As it takes twice as much money and effort to bring new business into town as it does to retain and expand existing ones, and in order to maintain reasonable tax levies, we must do all we can to revitalize our commercial sector

If not, a disproportionate share of the tax levy is borne by
residential taxpayers, as the amount of assessment in the commercial sector is taxed at a higher rate then the
same amount of assessment in the residential sector.

Furthermore, I'd compare the amount of money on programs and projects spent by the district in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville, and Muskoka Lakes to determine whether it is proportional to population and assessment.

Since I informally indicated to people that I was planning to
run for District Council, I have been told by a number of sectors in our commercial core that they feel unappreciated and not given the amount of support from council that they feel is required.

This must change. 

Why Am I Running for Council? 

My primary purpose in running for a seat on District Council is to serve my constituents - all of the residents of the Town of Gravenhurst - by finding solutions to existing problems and anticipating issues that they may have down the road. 

Most of my adult life has been devoted to public
service, and I wish to continue that here in my hometown. 

There are 3 different jurisdictions for issues and concerns that residents may have: the province of Ontario, the District of Muskoka, and the Town of Gravenhurst.

My extensive career in local government - and particularly
my years with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs - has given me a very focused and practical understanding about how to deal effectively with those different jurisdictions.

I will be able to resolve problems because I know how to constructively work within the local government system, at whatever level is involved.

Proactive Steps

The District has an Environmental Advisory committee which is a sub-committee of council. In December 2020, council adopted New Leaf, Muskoka's climate strategy developed by the Muskoka Watershed Council.

The Muskoka Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP) was developed from that document with 84 specific actions, including financing and resourcing considerations over the short and mid-term future. It includes calls for partnership to
be developed with Lake associations, the Muskoka Watershed Council, Muskoka Steamship and Discovery Centre, and the District Health Unit.

If elected to council this fall, I intend to ask the new District Chair to provide me with a role in the MCCAP so that I can be a strong advocate for your issues and concerns in protecting and preserving our natural environment. It's our greatest asset. 

My Philosophy

My philosophy of government is that it should be open, transparent, and accessible to everyone within its authority.

I believe in pragmatic decision making, and I do not have a dogma or rigid philosophy in terms of how I solve
problems. I've had a great deal of success in my government career and a significant factor in that is my ability to entice the best out of my colleagues and collaborators. 

Reasons I Love Gravenhurst & Muskoka
  • The pristine and scenic environment
  • Our welcoming nature to both tourists and new residents
  • The visible sense of community pride
  • Our role in the steamship history of Muskoka. Visit the Discover Museum!
  • HMS Segwun
  • The people! 

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