Forum Questions – Answer Themes

During the Morden City Council All-Candidate forum, a clear theme was evident in the questions being asked. That theme was one of community. While there was an underlying theme in the questions, the candidate answers developed their own themes. My favourite theme, the one I tried to nurture throughout my answers, is the third one.

Theme: Wastewater

A number of the candidates clearly were concerned about the issue of wastewater and fresh-water. This is an important issue and one that was, is, and will continue to be discussed, developed, and acted upon regardless of which candidates are elected. I highlight this because it is a known issue. There are no candidates running for city council that will ignore this question. Zero.Morden needs to have the wastewater problem resolved in order to grow and sustain itself. City Council will address this issue, and I hope to be part of the team that is able to make this happen. This underpinning issue is not one that should stop any other issues from being addressed, and no one should consider this to be the only issue the next City Council addresses.

Theme: Why Did it Fail?

Another theme that developed over the course of the evening was made clear when questions asked for the direction the City Council may take on new initiatives or developments. Whether this was regarding the idea of an indoor pool, traffic lights, bike paths and pedestrian corridors, or fixing up Stephen Street. “We’ve looked into this in the past, why did it fail?”

This dismissive attitude, and flippant response, is hurtful in many ways. It disregards specifics regarding the proposal in the past. This attitude minimizes the person asking the question, and writes off the idea entirely. When someone asks a question, it is because it is important to them. Dismissing this question so flippantly is a clear indication that the candidate does not want to engage with people on topics of interest.

The fact that an idea failed is reason enough to not reconsider it. There is always the possibility that extenuating circumstances prevailed; Was there sufficient political will? Did funding not materialize or dematerialize? Was it not the correct time? Or did another project take precedence? We do not need city councillors who dismiss ideas solely because they didn’t materialize previously.

We need a city councillors who, when brainstorming ideas, are not handcuffing themselves to the failures of the past. When brainstorming we should not look for all the reasons not to do something. If we do that then we will never do anything. We need councillors who are willing to look for ideas that build our community up, and find ways to make that a reality. We do not need naysayers who are looking for reasons to maintain the status quo, or to stop community projects because they have their own agenda to fulfill.

Theme: Community

The last theme, and the one I was trying to nurture, was one of community. Morden is my home. My wife and I chose this for our home, and we want to nurture a community of caring for everyone here. Solving the wastewater problem is important because it affects all of us. Ensuring we all have clean drinking water is important too. Fixing sidewalks, building up a city square, and making Stephen Street a hub for the city are all ideas which build community. An indoor pool, winter recreational activities, and bike paths all promote active healthy lifestyles. Promoting the idea of drawing in higher-education satilelite campuses and trade schools is one the benefits the whole community. Standing up for and giving a voice to marginalized groups is essential to nurturing a community of caring. It is necessary to begin to reduce inequalities and intolerance.

Morden is fantastic city full of caring and compassionate people, and I want to help ensure this continues. We all can do this together. That is why I try to make “community” the theme for my life and for my campaign.