1) What can Brockton do to promote economic growth and youth retention?
Brockton has the prerequisites needed for growth – a tremendous hospital, excellent schools, and wonderful quality of life amenities. However, I believe economic growth and youth retention relate back to the creation and availability of good jobs. From a municipal perspective, Brockton needs to be an advocate for anyone with venture spirit to invest in our community. We need to work hand-in-hand with our real estate, County, SVCA, and Westario partners to favourably support development. Brockton should strive to be the gold standard in developer support for those with the confidence to move our community forward.
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?
Where safety issues are involved, we should do everything in our power to provide all residents with similar services. Sidewalk snow clearing is a good example. As for additional services that may currently be provided in Walkerton only, I would suggest that each be addressed with the villages and hamlets to determine the feasibility, as well as their expressed needs. I want all residents in Brockton to feel like they are equal partners in the community wherever possible.
3) Would you support allowing a cannabis retail operation to set up shop in Brockton?
With the unsettled and changing provincial regulatory framework around cannabis store licensing, I think Brockton would be advised to take an initial wait and see approach. Originally, the provincial government was looking at an LCBO-type distribution for marijuana. Now, that has changed and the government wants to move towards storefront sales, which in my opinion, is a model with less external controls. Effective on October 17th, recreational cannabis will be available online to all Brockton residents of legal age. Therefore, as a community, we would be naïve to completely reject all cannabis retail projects. Evaluating best practices before opting in however, gives us time to get it right, knowing that Brockton can opt-in at any later date.