Issues & Opportunities

Oakville is The Most livable Community in Canada; let's keep it that way and work every day to make it even better!

We should all be proud of our Oakville. We live in a clean, safe, green and friendly community that is constantly improving. With the support of our friends and neighbours, we have made this community the most livable community in Canada, and I want to keep us moving forward to make it even better.

During my 22 years as your Ward 5 Town & Regional Councillor, I have developed respectful and effective working relationships with all of my council colleagues, town and regional staff, the police and elected representatives at the provincial and federal orders of government. Working together at the local level helps get things done!

With over a decade of service on the Halton Police Board and as Chair since 2021, I work every day to ensure we maintain our status as the safest community in Canada
and make it even safer.  

There are many issues that Council will have to contend with in the next term; here are three that I will continue to focus on when re-elected.  

The Cost of Housing

Housing affordability is a significant issue that I hear about daily from constituents. Deleted Soaring purchase and rental prices have put Oakville out of reach for many, including our own children and grandchildren who grew up here. This situation cannot continue, but municipalities cannot solve this alone. First and foremost, we need to recognize this is not just a housing supply issue alone. We need to find real and long-term solutions. To do so, we urgently need a non-partisan task force comprising all levels of government to work together to prioritize helping provide more affordable housing options for all community members. 

Growth and Development

Oakville is a highly desirable place to live. In fact, it is the best place to live, work, play, raise a family and retire. With that distinction, many want to join us and call Oakville home. However, the desirability of our town and provincial requirements for municipalities to grow means that development is a reality we all must continue to face.

Council has limited powers when it comes to the final say in approving local development due to the constant threat of appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal. Notwithstanding, but we must use every tool we have to influence the shape and impacts of that development by working with our constituents, Town staff and the development industry to realize appropriate development that respects existing communities, preserves and enhances parks and open space, and protects farmland in other parts of Halton. 

I will continue to do everything I can to insist on mitigating growth impacts on existing residents, services, transportation, and our established neighbourhood.

I will fight inappropriate development concepts such as the ones currently being proposed on Sixth Line at River Oaks Boulevard, currently under review by Town staff, and the Smart Centres project on Oak Park Boulevard that has been directly appealed to the OLT.

We must continue to defend our community's interests when our will is tested through proposals that do not confirm with our official plan and appeals to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Managing the Cost of Government

The economy faces an uncertain future, and we are all trying to cope with the increased cost of living. The same holds true for governments and agencies like the Halton Regional Police Service.

The Region and Town continue to be in excellent financial shape, with healthy reserves, low debt, and a AAA credit rating. We continue to be accountable to the taxpayer, as demonstrated through annual third-party audits through KPMG (Town) and Deloitte (Region) that always come back as clean.

Even with our excellent financial status, we cannot be complacent in any way in light of rising costs and an uncertain economy. That means elected and public officials, on behalf of taxpayers, have to put an extra emphasis on keeping costs under control while also maintaining the services that our community wants and needs. 

Since 2006, Council has kept overall aggregate tax increases at levels that do not exceed inflation, but that will be a challenge for the upcoming budget, with cost increases in areas like road and infrastructure construction and fuel putting significant pressure on our finances.

Given all the financial pressures and uncertainties local taxpayers are already facing, it will be critical not to burden them further with significant property tax increases. 

In order to keep taxes under control without impacting services, we must:  

  • Strategically utilize financial reserves that we maintain for extraordinary expenses or pressures like the ones we are facing now. 
  • Leverage and expand other revenue sources, such as growing the town's dividends from Oakville Hydro as a result of its new partnership with Enbridge. 
  • Carefully manage all spending and revenue to continue to deliver on previous commitments to deliver tax increases in line with inflation. 

Supporting Links

Town of Oakville - Annual Financial Audits 2012-2021

Moody's affirms Halton's Aaa rating with stable outlook

Region of Halton Annual Financial Report & Audit 2021

 

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