The municipal election: 3 questions for candidates

London City Hall
London City Hall

On October 27, 2014, Londoners will choose a new Mayor and Council. It is clear from both our internal polling and that of the London Free Press that Londoners overwhelmingly believe that jobs and economic growth are the issues that matter most in this election. Progress London agrees. That is why we are urging Londoners to ask candidates where they stand on the following three critical issues:

A robust and high functioning infrastructure. This includes roads, bridges, sewers, water, fibre-optics, and transit. Right now our City’s infrastructure maintenance deficit is $52.1 million; if the status quo is maintained over the next decade that deficit could swell to $488.11 million . . . and this does not take into account new development. If we want jobs and growth, our infrastructure must be up to the task and it’s not going to be cheap.

As a voter, which candidates do you think offer the best solutions to solve our existing infrastructure deficit and how do they plan to fund and maintain our city’s infrastructure?

A competitive business climate.   A competitive business climate attracts new business and industry to our City and gives existing businesses a reason to continue to operate here. Currently London competes both at home and abroad for business. That means our business and property taxes, our water, sewer and development charges and the efficiency with which licenses and permits are processed must be assets, not detriments.   It has been widely reported that London gives the impression that it is not open for business; that impression must be reversed.

As a voter, which candidates do you think will create the most effective competitive business climate for London?

Industrial/commercial/residential growth. Prudently conceived and well-managed growth has enormous benefits for a community. Recently London has lost many of the well paid manufacturing jobs that helped drive the local economy in the past – jobs London must replace if it is to prosper going forward. For example, research by the Altus Group estimated that the expenditure generated by the average housing transaction in Ontario is $53,000. This money is spent on general household purchases, furniture and appliances, moving costs, renovations, related services and taxes, excluding HST.    Home sales also create what London needs most: jobs, not only those required to produce the goods and services purchased by homebuyers, but indirect jobs generated to provide the inputs necessary to produce those goods and services.   New builds generate significantly more ancillary spending and jobs, as do industrial and commercial growth, with the added benefit that industrial and commercial growth result in new workplaces and the jobs required to build and operate them and increase the City’s tax base. Every new build also creates additional permanent tax revenues as they increase the City’s tax base.

As a voter, which candidates do you think will best support industrial, commercial and residential growth in our City which will support jobs for city residents?

A commitment on the part of Council to progress. It has been proven time and time again that Councils which are more collaborative, more respectful and more strategic in their thinking and in their actions make greater progress than those which are divisive, disrespectful and overly focused on the minutiae of day to day operations.

As a voter, which candidates will best demonstrate that commitment to progress through teamwork, cooperation and dedication to Council’s stated mission and values – namely to be “at your service as a respected and inspired public service partner” and, whose values are “individual responsibility, collective accountability”.

If London stands still, it will stagnate. As the collective voice of economic progress, Progress London asks the electorate to take an active role in ensuring that the next Council is one whose decisions and actions result in more and better jobs for Londoners and a more prosperous future for us all going forward.

When deciding who to vote for, Progress London urges Londoners to consider how the candidates responded to these four questions as you head into the polls on October 27:

 

  1. Which candidates offer the best solutions to solve our existing infrastructure deficit and how do they plan to fund and maintain our city’s infrastructure?
  2. Which candidates will create the most effective competitive business climate for London?
  3. Which candidates will best support industrial, commercial and residential growth in our City which will support jobs for city residents?

progress-london

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