1) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound allow bricks-and-mortar marijuana shops to operate in its boundaries? Why?
Absolutely, yes! We have tried prohibition of other recreational substance, such as alcohol and tobacco, it never worked, and thus gave rise to the underground market where it flourished at the expense of the communities. As cannabis will shortly become legal, all access should be made to the general public just as we have done with alcohol and tobacco.
2) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound lower its property tax rate? If yes, how would you achieve this? If no, why?
Property taxes should be lowered in Owen Sound. Tenants and residential homeowner are absorbing the brunt of the costs. I believe the citizens are trying to cope. Property taxes need to be inline and should be comparable to other cities of our size. We should review and look for efficiencies in essential services and put a two year freeze on salaries. The other matter is freeze wages to city staff for a few years and also source out other efficiencies in that sector. DO NOT cut or take away services from citizens.
3) Yes or No: Should Owen Sound continue to offer a vacancy rebate on commercial and industrial property? Why?
Emphatically NO. This is a tax giveaway for complacent owners. They feel they have the revenues from the upper apartments a tax break by the city, if the numbers work, why hassle with possible tenants. On top of that spend money to provide the leasehold requirements for the new tenant. In my opinion, landlords who have property downtown that are vacant, should be made to upgrade their storefronts and provide facades that are well maintained so that they do not appear to be vacant. If they do not, then pass a by-law that will fit the issue, so either you comply or be fined. But there should be no more holidays for unleased downtown spaces.
4) What is your plan to attract new industry and jobs to Owen Sound?
I have none, but there are other possibilities. To attract new industry is a non starter. Owen Sound is no where near a transport corridor to have access of raw and finished products. Instead, we should be investing in small and medium IT business opportunities and the arts. Monies should be spent into and updating our infrastructure into high-speed fibre-optic systems. This could possibly bring IT investments and at the same time bring in families to relocate to our region where we have many recreational amenities for them to enjoy. And to provide facilities and grants to the arts community, visual art, music, theatre, we have it, let us embrace it.
5) What is one other issue facing Owen Sound you would like to speak to, and how will you address this if elected?
If we are a retirement community, we must then have the vision to be able to house the retirees when long term care will be required for these people. We don't want to send them away to other communities, but rather provide the required care in an atmosphere and environment familiar to them. I would therefore suggest a facilities for long term care be constructed in the hub of Grey Bruce, Owen Sound.
*Editor's note: this page was edited to change the answer to question No. 5, which did not previously display Mr. Patille's stance on the question.