Nicole would like to thank Sustainable Cobourg for hosting an All Candidates Forum on Friday, October 14th at Venture 13. Sustainability and the environment is important to Nicole, which is reflected in her campaign statements and vision for Cobourg’s future. Nicole’s opening remarks are below.
Thank you to Sustainable Cobourg for organizing tonight.
PLANNING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE is one of my campaign’s critical focus areas. This means positioning Cobourg as a sustainable future municipality that carefully balances growth and long-range planning, commits itself to environmental protection, social equity, cultural diversification, and economic prosperity, and invests in clean energy sources and efficient infrastructure.
In addition, it means implementing green strategies for municipal land use planning, planting more trees and community gardens, promoting active transportation and electric vehicles, and naturalizing the West Headlands and West Beach.
I will let my literature and website speak to my experience and credentials as the Deputy Mayor candidate to address two questions in our opening remarks.
The first question relates to how I intend to make the budget more transparent and accountable to residents.
I commit to working with staff, Council, and the public to
- Introduce a public-facing community dashboard and quarterly town hall to communicate where tax dollars are going
- Pilot “participatory budgeting,” a form of decision-making whereby residents engage in deliberation regarding how a portion of the municipal budget is allocated.
- Develop a Financial Sustainability Plan and identify an annual spending cap for the Town of Cobourg reserves to ensure funds are available for future capital priorities
The second issue I’ve been asked to address is essential – ensuring that future developments address the need for affordable housing and are aligned with the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, including the Green Development Standards.
The Clean Air Partnership Municipal GDS Toolkit, funded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, says it best, “Municipalities are facing new pressures and increasing challenges from climate change, rapid growth, and urbanization. New developments represent a critical opportunity for municipalities to take bold action.” As Deputy Mayor, I will strive to
- Update the Town’s Housing Strategy to achieve ICSP and GDS objectives
- Prioritize the community improvement program’s sustainability, accessibility, and brownfield criteria to create new rentals in Cobourg
- Accelerate the first phase of the Tannery District, so we have shovel-ready lands for energy-efficient affordable housing projects.
- Support the concept of tiny homes
- Support land use recommendations to use a portion of the parking lot at the former Memorial Arena for an affordable housing project that implements the Town’s new Green Development Standards
- Explore options that a lower-tier municipality may have to activate inclusionary zoning
- Advocate for well-designed communities with a range of mix-use housing that has integrated greenspace, pedestrian, and active transit networks
For more details on how I plan to help position Cobourg as a sustainable-future municipality, please visit nicolebeatty.ca. Thank you to all of you for your care and compassion for Cobourg’s future.