paul seaman

Saugeen Shores Hub reached out to readers and came up with the following questions for your municipal candidates.

Paul Seaman is running for Port Elgin Ward Councillor in Saugeen Shores. Here are his answers.

1) All municipalities have borrowing limits for debt. Given the many projects either underway or proposed what is the maximum percentage of borrowing capacity you are willing to commit to?

As I'm not currently on council I find this a difficult question to answer. Generally speaking, I'd describe myself as financially conservative and socially liberal. If elected I would work closely with my fellow councillors, town staff, and financial experts to ensure the town was financially prudent and not overextended.

2) What are your views or proposals for the future of the Port Elgin and North Shore Railway?

I sure hope someone purchases the current facility, puts in the time, money and effort to restore and reopen.

3) What, if any, assurances can you give business owners and their staff that local businesses will not be targeted for closure should the Town choose to repurpose their property in the future?

All I can do is give my word I would never support or vote for any such proposal.

4) What calming measures can be implemented to reduce excessive vehicle speeds in busy Saugeen Shores neighbourhoods?

I believe working with local law enforcement to increase focus and enforcement of laws is the only real deterrent. There is a place for signage, media campaigns, speed bumps etc., but I believe hitting offenders in the pocketbook is the best way to drive home the message and change behaviours.

5) What is your position on a YMCA coming to Saugeen Shores?

I have a problem bringing in any large corporation that could harm existing businesses. If elected I would carefully evaluate any firm proposal, speak with the public and all involved stakeholders, understand the financial and social impacts before arriving at a position.

6) What specific actions would you take to meet the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Report, especially as they relate to Saugeen Ojibway Nation? (

I have not yet read the report and evaluated what specific actions are achievable at a municipal level.

Seaman answered Questions 7, 8 and 9 with the same answer:

7) With businesses closing their doors or reducing their hours because they can't find enough staff, what can be done to create affordable accommodations for service workers or lower income residents in Saugeen Shores?

8) What can be done to create affordable housing for younger, first time home buyers as well as retirees in Saugeen Shores?

9) What can be done to create affordable housing for retired seniors in Saugeen Shores?

This is an issue that I have noticed has increasingly been getting worse. This is a threat to local business owners and something that needs serious investigation and action. I have no doubt that council will need to coordinate with town staff, the provincial government, local builders and the community at large to find realistic solutions to this problem. I see this a significant and time sensitive problem that needs to be addressed and this is something I would make a priority.

10) With fewer low to middle income families coming to Saugeen Shores, what can be done to help local businesses stay afloat?

Along with the answer to questions 8 through 10, this dialogue needs to start with the businesses themselves. A strong working relationships with the local BIAs and the business community itself is paramount to town council in addressing this matter. Speaking with the people most directly affected and getting their perspective and ideas needs to be the starting point. You can't come up with solutions in isolation and impose them on any group of people, the people themselves need to be involved from the get go.

11) As the town grows and new developments happen, how might you protect local farm land from development pressure?

I think each circumstance and piece of property is unique. I'm not sure there is a simple answer to this question. The town needs to act in a fair and balanced manner, working within the vision of the town, current laws and addressing each situation on a case by case basis in an open and transparent way.

12) With all the new development and the ever growing population in Saugeen Shores would you agree there is a need for an expansion to our water treatment facility and would you support action being taken toward this?

Yes. Infrastructure, as boring as the topic may be, is crucial to the workings of the town and must take priority over all of the "nice to have" facilities.

Other Port Elgin Ward candidates (two elected):

See: Kristan Shrider; Ask a Candidate

Jami Smith; Ask a Candidate

Saugeen Shores Hub gave each of the candidates equal opportunity to respond but has not heard back from Port Elgin Ward candidate Dianne Mini Jacques. If we do prior to voting opening October 12 we will update accordingly as time allows.