• Statement on Blackridge Strategies

    During the 2018 Municipal Election Campaign, I contracted work to Blackridge Strategies for 2 items. Those items were a phone poll in Ward 2 to gage voter sentiments and a “get out the vote” phone message on Election Day as I did not have the capacity to execute these two items myself.  I chose Blackridge because they were local, not some firm out of Ottawa or Toronto.

    Throughout the campaign, my social media, printed materials and website content were produced 100% by me and my campaign team, not Blackridge Strategies.

    I consider former Councillor Ridley a friend, and in fact shared a campaign platform announcement with her, so recent news regarding a smear campaign allegedly coming from individuals with Blackridge bothers me considerably. Criticizing former Councillor Ridley’s parenting is especially troublesome to me because as someone who also has a parental role there have been occasions when a child in my care has had occupied themselves at city hall while I’ve had to fulfilled council duties. I have not faced criticism for this and I think that illustrates the double standard women unfairly face.

    Politics can be combative, but the focus should be the issues facing our community. Obviously in light of recent developments, I will not be contracting future work with Blackridge Strategies.

  • Multi-year Budgets and Provincial Uncertainty

    I recently had the opportunity to speak with London Free Press columnist Chip Martin about the city’s next multi-year budget cycle.

    Already the Ford Government in Ontario has downloaded or cut services that will add at least $4 million to the city’s budget costs. Staff have already told council just to stay on track next year we need to raise property taxes another 2.7%.  And of course we have a federal election looming this year that could result in more changes to affordability for Londoners. That concerns me a great deal. Seniors on CPP and OAS benefits aren’t able to keep pace with those kind of increases and stay in their homes. The rising costs of groceries, hydro bills, and everything else is making it harder and harder for people to make ends meet, and property taxes are the LEAST FAIR form of taxes possible.

    People should make no mistake, decisions of senior levels of government have profound financial impacts on municipal governance. Continue Reading

  • Time to Say No to a Bridge to Nowhere

    The 2014-2018 Council (including the former Ward 2 Councillor), set aside $5 million to potentially fund the “Ribbon of the Thames” portion of the “Back to the River” project.

    What has become known as the “bridge to nowhere”, a suspended lookout bridge and river facing amphitheater space, has already ballooned in cost from $2 million to $7 million, with additional costs for shoreline work, excavation, and flood mitigation measures coming in at another $3-4 million.

    Staff pegs the cost of the “Ribbon of the Thames” at a minimum of $12.8 million dollars, with only $2 million in private donations from the London Community Foundation, leaving the project with at least a $5 million funding gap even if we spend all $5 million of the public dollars set aside.

    And that’s without spending a penny on the removal of the decommissioned Springbank Bank that has gates and hydraulic systems currently sitting at the bottom of the river. Continue Reading