Action Plan for Oakville
The health and well-being of my family has always been a personal priority, and I know I share that view with every family in Oakville.
I started my not-for-profit, HealthyFam, to foster health by connecting kids to their food and each other. The demand for more programming led to more kids’ programs and soon morphed into programs for all age groups. This demand taught me that the focus on the health and well-being of all family members – child, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle and cousin, is vital to the health of our community.
In Oakville, parents are facing many challenges at every family stage, from limited spots in infant and toddler daycare and lack of teenage after-school recreation to the challenges of safety of their children as they grow and limited local employment opportunities when their child graduates. In addition, many parents have also become the caregiver for their own parents.
More Infant and Toddler Daycare and Youth Recreation
Infant and toddler daycare costs in the GTA are ranked among the highest in Canada, costing well over $1,000 per child per month. Many parents tell me how hard it is to find affordable options in their neighbourhoods.
Teenagers will be teenagers! We can’t get away from it. And because teenagers will be teenagers, many parents are concerned about the lack of after-school activities and programs available in our Town. With schools ending at staggered times, many high school students have hours of time before their parents get home from work.
The Town has many facilities where infant and daycare programs could be offered. Teen programming could also be improved. As Mayor, I will work with Town staff and Council to identify locations in recreational and other facilities where infant and toddler daycare could be housed during the day, and improved teenage recreation be provided in the afternoon and evening. We will invite not-for-profits to propose and implement relevant quality programming.
Safe & Healthy Town Recreation Facilities
I am passionate about healthy food! As Mayor, I will work with Council to ensure that all Town facilities, including canteens and vending machines offer healthy options. Period.
Many parents have shared with me their concern that contact sports will lead to concussions and the potential of a negative long-term impact on their child’s health. As Mayor, I will work with Council, sporting associations, residents and the recreation department to build a comprehensive anti-concussion strategy for the Town by engaging medical experts, coaches and sport organizations so our recreational facilities have a best-in-class approach to reducing concussions.
Keeping Children away from alcohol & cannabis
The potential for private and convenience store distribution of alcohol and cannabis is worrisome to many parents. As Mayor, I will work with Council to ensure that these stores are not licensed nears schools, playgrounds or other youth facilities.
See also: Policy on Cannabis Dispensaries & Drug Harm Reduction Strategy
Plugging Oakville’s Youth Brain Drain
The presence of young people and young families is a sign of a healthy, growing community. As a larger percentage of our population reaches retirement, attracting young people has become an increasingly urgent priority for municipalities across Canada. Unfortunately, Oakville is experiencing a Youth Brain Drain. Parents have little hope their adult children can work and live in the community in which they were raised. As Mayor, I am committed to a vibrant and flourishing community that will enable more of our adult children to stay in Oakville. I will:
- Attract good jobs to Oakville by championing economic development that attracts professional, high tech, office employers and businesses to Oakville.
- Demand a full review of the exceedingly onerous regulations and fees that discourage existing Oakville businesses from expanding and creating more jobs.
- Work with Council and Town procurement to stop small entrepreneurial companies from being shut out of Town business, and enable them to compete on equal footing with major multi-nationals.
- Ensure a collective benefit agreement is in place with the provincial government for the new Provincial Courthouse being built in Oakville that maximizes economic benefits for Oakville job seekers.
Enabling Seniors to Stay in Oakville
Seniors who raised their families in Oakville shouldn’t be forced to leave the community they love because they can’t afford to live here when they downsize. I believe in an Oakville that is affordable for young and old, allowing families to live, work and enjoy retirement in the same community. As Mayor, I will task the planning and budget committees to consider the impact of town fees and levies on the affordability for seniors and youth, and to recommend initiatives to improve livability for seniors in our town. I am also committed to ensuring Oakville planning includes a variety of housing options to better meet the needs of youth and seniors.