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

Patrick Jilesen is running for Saugeen 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?

For most municipalities, the Annual Repayment Limit (ARL) is set at 25 per cent of their annual “own-source” revenues (a ministry-determined amount which includes property taxes, user fees and investment income) less their annual long-term debt servicing costs and annual payments for other long-term financial obligations.

There are many reasons for municipalities to take on debt. Examples include: Spreading out the cost of a capital project over their useful lives; Limited internal and external financing sources; Low interest rates or escalating project costs.

There are also many things to consider before taking on debt: Need or urgency, Interest rates, Financial flexibility, Long-term financial plan.

Municipalities may also qualify for long-term financing through Infrastructure Ontario.
Debt is one of several capital financing tools available this municipalities. When used responsibly, it can be a powerful tool to help finance long-term capital needs.

I would encourage our municipality to consider all of the tools they have for a balanced approach to finance capital expenditures.

Taking on too much debt could impact the level and quality of service provided by the municipality.

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

It was unfortunate that the Port Elgin and North Shore Railway did not operate this past summer.

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?

Targeting any business for closure seems inappropriate. Obviously, meaningful consultation with the business owner would be required.

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

Declaring vulnerable neighbourhoods as “community safety zones” has shown to be an effective deterrent for speeding.

The council of a municipality may by by-law designate a part of a highway under its jurisdiction as a community safety zone if, in the council's opinion, public safety is of special concern on that part of the highway.

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

The YMCA has a long history in Canada. The YMCA is a charity that has been helping Canadians improve their lives since the first Y opened in Montreal in 1851. YMCA programs are offered at more than 1,700 locations across Canada and help people become healthier in spirit, mind and body.

I believe that Saugeen Shores has an opportunity to build upon its own successes by partnering with the YMCA. It is my hope that this will ensure retaining the programs that we are all proud of (Life Saving Team), as well as providing much needed access to more opportunities for everyone, including students, seniors, and families.

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 look forward to receiving, and accepting, an invitation from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation to sit down together and discuss possible outcomes.

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?

This is a concern that is affecting us all, including those of us in the Agriculture sector. I believe that we need to find new avenues for solutions. This can be accomplished by expanding this discussion to the Economic Development Committee or reviewing the partnership Saugeen Shores has with the County.

Jilesen answered Questions 8 through 10 with the same answer:

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?

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

One place where a municipality can make a big impact on the creation of affordable housing is in owning land and making affordable housing creation a condition of its sale. We could also look into models that allow homebuyers on the edge of ownership to borrow part of their down payment from a developer.

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

Official Plans outline which areas within the municipality will be designated agricultural, residential, industrial, commercial, recreational, or institutional uses. Official Plans also regulate the growth of these competing land uses within the municipality. Zoning by-laws focus on specifics, such as how lands within each major designation will be used, where buildings and structures can be located on each parcel of land (setbacks from roads and lot lines), the types and sizes of buildings permitted, lot sizes and dimensions, and parking requirements.

Comprehensive Zoning By-Laws may not reflect the current realities of farming today. When establishing and updating Comprehensive Zoning By-Laws and Official Plans, consult with your agricultural community to reduce or eliminate negative consequences.

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?

Municipal Council must ensure that municipal drinking water is safe, that proper testing is performed at regular intervals, and that regularly scheduled maintenance is performed on structural components. If Saugeen Shores is in need of an expansion to its water treatment facility, it is my understanding that our community is must be prepared to accommodate the necessary infrastructure.

Other Saugeen Ward candidatess (two elected):

See: Dave Myette; Ask a Candidate

Saugeen Shores Hub gave each of the candidates equal opportunity to respond but has not heard back from Saugeen Ward candidates Matt Carr and Mary Foley. If we do prior to voting opening October 12 we will update accordingly as time allows.