1) What can Brockton do to promote economic growth and youth retention?
Walkerton is facing two key economic development issues. We have a housing shortage. We need housing for both seniors and younger workers. The municipality should work in partnership with developers to ease bureaucratic regulations that add to the cost of housing units.
We have a shortage of labourers. This is having a negative impact on our famers and contractors. This is not a typical municipal issue. However, I feel that the municipality should get involved in lobbying the province to assist. As Mayor I would lobby for changes to the apprenticeship program to expand the number and type of apprencticeships offered.
Both of these initiatives; housing and apprenticeships, would assist with youth retention.
2) Should Brockton provide the same services in its rural villages and hamlets as it does in Walkerton? (sidewalk snow clearing, flowers along the main street etc.) If so can Brockton afford this cost?
As Mayor I would work to balance spending in rural and urban Brockton. Sidewalks in Chepstow a community with an elementary school does not have plowed sidewalks. We need to find a way to address this safety issue.
Brockton spends alot of money on flowers in Walkerton. A proportionate amount needs to be spent in villages like Elmwood. I would not increase spending but redistribute existing funds.
3) Would you support allowing a cannabis retail operation to set up shop in Brockton?
As Mayor I would encourage council to opt out of a cannabis store. With two high schools in Walkerton I do not feel this is a good idea. Current studies show that marijuana has a negative impact on the development of teenagers. If council chose to opt in, as it appears they are going to do, I would put forth a zoning bylaw to restrict sales within a certain range of high schools.