Barb Shaughnessy – Mayoral Candidate (Town of Caledon)
If elected how/what would you do to improve Active Transportation within Caledon and how would you improve existing connections between communities?
Active Transportation refers to ways of getting to work and shopping by self propelled means. In Caledon that is limited because of geographic vastness. It may work in part in our bigger urban areas but not rural Caledon. Safety is what I hear on a day to day basis. If we want to encourage other forms of transportation this is the key factor in its success. For those who live here we need to be able to safely walk, cycle, ride our horses (rural Caledon) and other self- propelled mobility options to get around this beautiful countryside. We must have links from one community to another. We need to protect corridors for what will come. We must be forward thinking. If it’s a busy road the connection must go under or over the road like we did with the Trailway on Hwy 10. We must be proactive in our design!
Over the years we have improved the Caledon Trailway and added bike lanes (paved shoulders) to many of our roads. This has help turn Caledon into one of the most popular places to bike and hike. This supports recreation and we will continue these initiatives.
Safety is always an issue. The Policing Advisory Council of Caledon (PACC) was terminated. This committee monitored Road Watch and involved several volunteers from our community. I’d like to see it reinstated.
Part two of this question is a little unclear. If we are talking transportation (not active) then we need to look at Uber connections and linking into Brampton Transit or Peel Transit system. (Not Caledon Transit as that would be unaffordable). Our senior’s population is going from 12% now to 32% by 2031 so we need to improve coverage by CCS. We need to provide transport for our Caledon seniors.
Simply put, we need both interim solutions and long-term big picture solutions.
With the GTA having higher densities people will continue to come to Caledon and use every trail or walkway available. They want a piece of Caledon even if they don’t live here. We must have the proper infrastructure in place. We must creatively plan for the future!
What will you do to bring in new business that can thrive in Caledon and how will you help small businesses?
You can’t talk business without addressing development. Caledon needs a Mayor who is not beholden to developers on the west side of Caledon nor one beholden to developers on the east. To do so would be continuing the fight of east vs west, developer vs developer. We need a Mayor for ALL Caledon
My platforms- policies have been on my website since August: 3 Point Community First Plan, Resident, Business, and Council Platform: www.barbforcaledon.ca.
As your Mayor I’m committed to creating a diverse portfolio of businesses, retaining companies we have and fostering greater investment in Caledon. We will work to regain your trust and respect. We will come to you to discuss your needs and concerns. We will go from a culture of NO to how can we say YES!
Our new Business focused culture will:
- Rebuild the Caledon Brand
- FastTrack new innovative and desirable businesses
- Streamline processes and policies to save you time and money
- Proactive in our strategies, people based in decisions and innovative in our solutions
- Realign planning and economic policies
- Fix the ratio of residents to businesses
- Town of Caledon to support and shop local
Caledon needs a Vision to become Future Ready:
We must first create an innovative strategy. What do we want Caledon to look like in 10,20,40 years? A vision that supports future generations but doesn’t hinder them.
Its about creating a community that fosters entrepreneurship, stimulates opportunity, creates a mix of jobs, fuels talent, walkable communities and enhances the community’s attractiveness, draws people in and improves quality of life.
Our Innovative Strategy needs:
- Comprehensive forward-thinking plan
- Leading edge- net zero, geo thermal etc.
- Development Community needs to come on our side
- Build a Town that is done in a sound manner that will benefit future generations.
- We need to provide leadership in looking after our natural environment
- Build a Legacy that we can all be proud of.
Bolton our Economic Driver:
Past Councils have had a complete disregard for the quality of life in our largest village. Bolton needs anchors that draw people in to support and expand business opportunities. This could include a live theatre complex, digital world, trade school, or a unique downtown business. To create certainty for investors and buy-in from the community, we will create an “Overlay Plan” of what businesses are needed for the Queen Street corridor. Nobody has ever addressed what is lacking and what is needed to drive people to Bolton and encourage Boltonites to shop and stay in their own community. It’ Time.
There has been a lot of discussion with respect to truck traffic in Caledon and the danger it poses on our main roads. If elected what do you plan to do to address these concerns?
Caledon is united on reducing truck traffic and we must manage the north/south commuter traffic better.
There is residential development north of Caledon with no jobs to support growing subdivisions. So, 74% of traffic coming thru Caledon is from outside of Caledon. Taxpayers pay for the destruction of the roads other people use.
The Province needs to step in and provide infrastructure money to fix our roads and build the Hwy 10 bypass around the Caledon Village bottleneck. This will encourage trucks to move over to HWY 10 and out of Alton, Caledon East and Mono Mills.
Hwy 427 needs to go north to Hwy 9. There is already a hydro corridor that could accommodate future rail and a trucking route. The trucking industry does not want to drive thru our villages and the Province has done nothing to solve the issue. We need to relieve the pressure on Bolton and Palgrave.
Allan Thompson wants a Freight Village in and around Bolton. I say no! We need to stop zoning for warehousing as it just brings more truck traffic. Businesses that attract truck traffic belong on 400 series highways.
Warehouses provide little economic benefit. They offer few low paying jobs. When you have a low number of jobs per hectare, the provincial formula requires higher residential density. Those who work in warehouses cannot afford to buy in Caledon. It’s a vicious circle.
The current Mayor sees Bolton as a good place to dump this type of development. I do not. I want our Economic Development Department to actively seek higher use, leading edge businesses. We need an economic model that is future driven. We need diversity!
What will you do to ensure council works together in the new term?
It’s Time to Build a Council that WORKS FOR YOU!
There are many reasons why Council has been dysfunctional these past four years. It’s time to fix that! If council doesn’t operate collaboratively then it can’t possibly work for you. You need a Mayor that works with all councillors, not just the favoured few.
The Ward system has its positives and negatives. On the positive, each Ward’s two Councillors completely understand your concerns. On the flip-side, Councillors can lose sight of the big picture when they focus on the microscopic, Ward-centric agendas. Wouldn’t you like all of council to work together and work for you?
Combined with my leadership, these important changes will do just that:
- Ward councillors will sit side by side
- No more being on opposite sides – literally, physically and symbolically! This past term, you may have wondered why the Council Chamber horseshoe was set up as a sparring match rather than as a collaborative round-table. Rearranging the seating will make sure all the elected officials build relationships with each other. And to foster ongoing team work, seats will rotate every six months.
- Council will “Go On The Road”
- Let’s hear directly from you, in your backyard! We will meet in all five wards, bringing the business of Caledon to your neighbourhood.
- Council Workshops will return
- Caledon has many complicated issues that simply can’t be understood and dealt with responsibly in a single council meeting. Caledon also has expert staff who deserve the opportunity to share information, interact with council and hear from the public. Let’s open the Chamber doors for everyone to attend and learn together!
- “Public Question Period” returns
- Your opinions, questions and concerns matter. Public question period gives you back your voice and gives council a public forum for engagement.
- Agendas posted a week in advance of a council meetings.
- This will allow your councillor more time to research and get answers from staff to do a better job for you and allows the public more time to understand the business of Council.
- Regional Councillors briefings ahead of Regional Council.
- Mississauga and Brampton are briefed, and so should Caledon Councillors. We need to be better prepared!
- Cameras in Council Chambers – finally!
- It’s Time you have the ability to watch your Council in action!
Previous Questions and Answers:
How long have you been a Caledon Resident?
50 years this year (family moved in May 1968 )
What would you change and/or improve in Caledon?
Caledon is like no other place to live – especially in the GTA. What we can do a better job of is sharing our stories and, yes, bragging – even just a little. I have not met a single resident who isn’t proud to call Caledon home – whether they have been here one month, one year, or their family traces back one hundred years.
What is the Caledon story? It’s about being blessed with unparalleled natural beauty. It’s about being innovative and cosmopolitan, while holding true to our hard-working roots. It’s about our ever-increasing diversity and our open-door, welcoming nature. I would work on sharing those stories that define Caledon.
If you were to receive a million dollar grant for the Town of Caledon, what would you do with it and why?
I wish I could have $100 million. Only then could we fix our roads, build recreational facilities, a centre for the arts, and make sure every Caledon resident has access to high speed internet.
But, we are talking one million dollars, so I need to scale down my wish list! But, that doesn’t mean I need to scale down the quality of what we can do.
Rather than deciding where to “spend” that million, let’s think about how to “invest” it.
Caledon is blessed with community organizations and their members who volunteer their time to make Caledon a better place to live. We all benefit from the work of our community. But, residents are frustrated, and their energy is being zapped when they try and work with the Town. There are – and were – rising stars at the Town. Dedicated staff who, quite simply, “got it”. They know community building, but, for some reason, their hands are tied.
The Town of Caledon needs to become a true partner with the community. With a million dollars, imagine what could get done. Imagine the partners we could attract. Imagine the quality of life we could build, together. Imagine the businesses we could attract. Imagine the amenities we could build and the activities we could launch. Let’s start with simple steps like providing access to Town facilities – that we all own. If you have residents willing to do the work and bring the energy, the Town needs to be able to provide the tools.
If we do it right, that million dollars will be leveraged time and again by our community volunteers. And that, to me, defines opportunity.
What is your favourite place in Caledon and why?
People come to Caledon to have a piece of Caledon … no matter how small. For me, my back deck looking over the Escarpment is my Shangri-La.
Barb has been a community builder long before she became a Regional Councillor in 2014.
She co-created the award-winning Family Day event SnowFest, expanding the festival to include the ever-popular Caledon Firefighters Challenge.
Barb was a spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She designed the concept layout for Bethel House during her volunteer time on the Bethel Building Committee, and she was a member of the Caledon West Rotary.
Barb, her husband of 28 years, Tim Forster, and their twin sons Patrick and Robert personify the hard-working ethic that runs deep in their family. Barb spent three decades as an architectural designer, including owning and operating her own firm specializing in both commercial and residential design. Tim has been a self-employed financial advisor for over 25 years. Patrick is a Junior Architect and Robert is a Paralegal.
Barb considers herself extremely fortunate to have spent some time living and working in the city – all the while keeping firmly rooted in Caledon and the exceptional quality of life country living offers.
Wife and mother. Entrepreneur and volunteer. Barb’s dedication, integrity and “community-first” conviction defines her and drives her.
Facebook: Barb for Caledon
For a list of all the registered candidates click HERE.