1/ Are you in favour of bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores in your municipality? Why or why not?
I am not in favour of cannabis stores in our municipality. Right now our main streets have many empty stores. It would not be a benefit to our municipality to encourage those wishing to buy cannabis to our area. It is more economically beneficial to entice sustainable businesses to the municipality and create jobs for our youth. Our schools are relatively close to our downtowns and having a cannabis store accessible isn’t in their best interests. Opting in now does not give our municipality the chance to opt out, but by waiting, we can opt in at a later date.
2/ What are your plans for future economic development strategies? With the Bruce Power extending its operating life for decades, an influx of new residents are expected in the region. How will we accommodate them?
After looking at the 5 year development strategy plan that was developed for South Bruce, I feel there is merit in the plan. Progression is happening according to the outline and the need for residential and commercial development is a priority. We need to also look at having short term accommodation available, rental units and homes. If people have to live in other communities because we cannot meet their residential needs, they will spend their money in those communities; their children will go to school there and South Bruce will not reap the many benefits of the Bruce Power influx.
3/ With prosperity, comes hardship. Many local businesses are concerned that they do not have enough employees to sustain their businesses because of the many high paying jobs that exist in the region combined with the low unemployment rate. How do we make local businesses sustainable, in your opinion?
Local businesses will be more sustainable if they can offer their employees regular hours, some type of employee package and a good wage. Minimum wage is quite acceptable if there is some guarantee of hours. Part of the dilemma in South Bruce is the lack of daycare. We need to address that problem so that working mothers can have regulated daycare accessible to them. This would also help keep employees from seeking employment elsewhere. The difference in wages is relative to many jobs and careers, but having the services available is important to keep people working here, in South Bruce.