Ian Sinclair – Regional Councillor Candidate Ward 1 (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?
a) Active Transportation is “non-motorized travel, including walking, cycling, rollerblading and movements with mobility devices,” according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Transit Supportive Guidelines.
The purposes of Active Transportation trips are to and from work or shopping, not recreation.
b) Active Transportation will have to become part of a multi-modal transportation system and infrastructure, in the form of safe pathways, racks on busses & streetcars, etc. [whenever Caledon is serviced by transit] and also implementation programs for signage and most importantly, marketing the advantages of using Active Transportation to people.
c) The Caledon Trailway is an example of connecting villages across Caledon with a limestone screening surface. City of Brampton has developed a magnificent cross town paved trail system with some illumination within their valley systems. Southern Caledon also has Etobicoke Creek and West Humber Tributary valleys which should be acquired by the Town, as development proceeds, for both the restoration of forest cover and Brampton type trails connecting the Caledon Trailway down to the existing Brampton trail systems.
d) An additional Active Transportation opportunity is to designate the many unimproved road allowances as linear parks within the Caledon parkland portfolio to be developed for multi-use trails.
What will you do to bring in new business that can thrive in Caledon and how will you help existing small businesses succeed?
This response is written from a Ward 1 perspective. A marketing plan for Bolton’s retail sector is required but involves a different approach.
a) There is a recent Provincial initiative to promote economic development in rural areas titled On Farm Diversified Use. This is targeted for Prime Agricultural Areas but should become the basis for Caledon to design a small business permitting program for the Caledon rural areas. Argri-tourism, On-farm Diversified Use, Home business and Home industry are categories which, if small in scale, could be promoted through policy in Caledon’ villages and rural area.
b) Productivity of Caledon Building Department and zoning land use approvals, which are notoriously, chronically slow and difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate, must be improved as some small businesses wish they never started in on an application to begin with.
c) A Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan for the vast gravel strip mines extending ¾ mile wide to 1.5 miles wide in places and 4.5 miles long south of Caledon Village is a significant opportunity for tourism based outdoor sports, recreation and accommodation uses. Many specialized small business could thrive on providing services to the GTA population that visit Caledon.
d) High Speed Internet implementation is now a key need for both school children and small businesses throughout Caledon. SWIFT has been contracted by the Town for several years but no network has been provided as yet. Other options to consider are using Bell and Rogers cable systems and linking them together across Caledon.
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?
a) The GTA is growing rapidly and the need to move goods by truck seems to grow faster. Caledon has large, greenfield lands available for new 22 acre distribution centres near intermodal rail yards and Pearson. Caledon also has vast sand and gravel deposits being strip mined to supply urban growth.
b) There was a citizen based reporting initiative started in Caledon called Road Watch which has petered out. With the use of dash cams and a revived Road Watch program, incidents of dangerous truck driving may be reported to police accurately and warnings or charges made. Citizens in support of police combined with consistent vigilance may be the most effective means of dealing with badly driven trucks…and any other vehicles as well.
What will you do to ensure council works together in the new term?
a) The majority of staff do not live in Caledon and have no contact with Caledon residents and do not know the history of Caledon communities and landscapes. There is a need for Council members to bring non-routine community issues to council’s and staff’s attention. Council has to be democratic. People’s issues need to be translated into solutions and policy through discussion.
b) The Mayor of Caledon, as chair of Council and Chief Executive Officer, must keep a steady hand on un-parliamentary behavior by individual members of Council. Members of Council must debate in a firm professional manner to solve community issues.
Previous Questions and Answers:
How long have you been a Caledon resident?
43 years, built my house in 1977, raised two children and ran my Landscape Architecture practice here.
What would you change and / or improve in Caledon?
The group dynamics on Caledon Council are unproductive and unprofessional, not reflecting the community values of friendly & safety characteristic of Caledon. Every meeting is characterized by negative personal relations and proper representation suffers. Representation sometimes requires robust debate not closed minds. Mutual respect must prevail overall.
If you were to receive a million dollar grant for the Town of Caledon, what would you do with it and why?
Combine the grant with Caledon funds to construct properly built paved roads in Ward 1. Yes, both boring and only focused on Ward 1. Ward 1 roads have been neglected over the years and are so poor vehicles are being damaged and the hard surfacing is being ground back to gravel by Town staff. Service levels have been reduced not improved.
What is your favourite place in Caledon and why?
The Caledon Rail Trail which runs twenty-two miles across Caledon and crosses the Niagara Escarpment, Peel Plain and Oak Ridges Moraine land forms. From Salmonville [Terracotta] to Blackhorse. Use of the trail promotes face to face relations among people and needed physical exercise. The Caledon Trailway is an important example of a linear park. The first Trans Canada Trail link to be designated in Canada.
Absent from the Council table for the last 14 years, Sinclair has none the less been front-line for residents, small business and community associations in Ward 1 on issues as diverse as aggregate initiatives, heritage village preservation , “sketchy” housing developments, hydrology, ecology and environmental impact and protection.
With a “platinum” political passport which spans both directorships and chair of such respected committees as Peel Region’s Audit, Waste Management, and Planning; the Niagara Escarpment Commission; Credit Valley Commission; Toronto Regional Conservation Authority; Greater Toronto Services Board; Credit Valley Conservation Foundation; Humber Watershed Task Force; Caledon’s Environmental Advisory, Aggregate Official Plan and Pesticide Advisory, as well as an advisory role on behalf of the Peel Federation of Agriculture, Pit Sense and CAMP (Citizens Against Melville Pit).
In his spare time, Ian Sinclair has also been a member of key volunteer committee groups including Caledon Community Services, Belfountain Community Organization (BCO), Inglewood Secondary Plan, Grange Property Steering Committee, former Caledon Rate Payers and Alton Grange associations and the Caledon Recreational Facility Review Committee.
Not surprising, Sinclair received the inaugural Caledon Community Recognition Award as “Distinguished Citizen” in 2016.
Sinclair’s academic “pedigree” is equally impressive with a Master’s Degree in Applied Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, specializing in ecology, urban and regional planning, and is one of a very few elected politicians who holds a certificate in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
A resident of Caledon for 43 years, Ian Sinclair successfully operated his landscape and design sole proprietor business from Caledon, focusing on rural estate design and planning for clients across Caledon and the Headwaters Region.