2022 City Election



A new citizens’ organization, Rebound Owen Sound, has been working for three months to generate interest in the municipal election and focus on key issues. That process, including a Facebook page,  a website and several public meetings, has resulted in seven important questions (below) that they are inviting each candidate for Owen Sound Council to answer.

They will do their best to share the responses they receive as broadly as possible.

1. Owen Sound Council has fewer citizen committees and task forces than most similar cities. Opportunities for input are scarce, and many residents feel their comments and complaints are not respected. What specifically would you propose to improve and strengthen citizen input?

2. Many complain that property taxes are comparatively high in Owen Sound; however, there are significant problems that could benefit from a more funding. How do you propose to keep taxes down while addressing problems like homelessness, addictions and the desperate lack of affordable, licensed rental housing?

3. Owen Sound is facing a housing crisis. We urgently need action to build new, affordable homes for purchase and rental, and to improve and expand rental accommodations. Will you support reviewing the current practice of waiving development fees to entice companies to build? Will you approve a landlord licencing system to give the city and tenants more power to upgrade the safety and quality of rental apartments?

4. What can the City do about poverty, homelessness, and addictions and mental health problems, given that such issues are the responsibility of multiple levels of government? How can we show empathy and compassion - and find viable solutions – to help the most vulnerable residents of our city? Would you support assigning members of both Council and staff to the Poverty Task Force?

5. Let’s face it: the worldwide climate crisis is impacting all aspects of life; our children and future generations will pay the price. Municipalities directly experience extreme weather events including heat waves, floods, health effects and the cost of adaptation measures. Therefore, Owen Sound must work with other levels of government to reverse and adapt to climate change. What steps should the city take to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impacts of climate change? Do you support citizen involvement in the development of a local Climate Action Plan, and the hiring of a climate change coordinator?

6. There are far too many retail vacancies on most blocks of Owen Sound’s downtown core, and most stores are closed on Sunday. What can Council do, working with area landlords, to support social enterprises and innovative business ventures? Should subsidies or rebates for business owners be an option?

7. Owen Sound has many long residential streets with 50 km/h speed limits that inadvertently encourage speeding. Should Council explore the possibility of reducing speed limits in residential areas to 40 km/h or less?

source: Jan Chamberlain and Michael Craig, Co-Chairs, Rebound Owen Sound



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