Platform

New South Niagara Hospital in Niagara Falls:

It will be a huge leap forward for Niagara Falls. Current health care at GNGH will be replaced by modern, leading edge health care and wide-ranging clinical services for residents. When fully complete this 1.2 million square-foot state-of-the-art facility will cost upwards of $2 Billion. It will be the largest single investment ever made by the Ontario provincial government in the Niagara Region.

The new facility will provide a vast range of clinical services including emergency services, diagnostic services such as MRI and CT scan services, stroke care, as well as mental health and addiction services.

Our new hospital will also house a Centre of Excellence in Health Care in Applied Artificial Intelligence which will be the first of its kind in North America. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes and quality of care. For example, AI can help clinicians with powerful tools including home and community applications to support older adults or help identify the most effective drugs for individuals based on their genetic code.

This Centre will be supported by leading academic health science systems, health professionals, and the technology industry to advance practical applications of AI in health care.

The Centre will also contribute to the economic health of Niagara Falls. The integration of AI tech within the new South Niagara Hospital will be a catalyst for the development of an AI cluster, creating well-paying, high-tech and health science jobs and promoting economic diversification in Niagara Falls.     

This all means we will have faster access to higher quality health services right here in Niagara Falls without the need to travel elsewhere for them.

Under my leadership the city planted the seed for this mega-project by acquiring the land required to build the hospital site. In the early stages we lobbied the provincial government relentlessly to locate this hospital in the City of Niagara Falls.

Working closely with the leadership of Niagara Health we continued pushing the project through the various government and health care agencies planning process. Most importantly, we were able to obtain the vital Provincial Government commitment to allocate the necessary dollar funding to build this new state-of-art hospital in Niagara Falls.

But we still have work to do.

Major projects like this can be sidelined or delayed when there is a change in the provincial government as occurred recently. As your mayor, keeping this project moving forward will remain one of my top priorities.

I will continue to spearhead the new South Niagara Hospital Project to keep it top-of-mind with the provincial government and to see it through to completion.

Roads and Sewers: 

When speaking with Niagara Falls residents they often tell me how strongly they feel about keeping our roads and sewers in good condition.

And they are right. 

Poorly-maintained roads take a toll on all of us in both lost travel time and vehicle wear and tear. While sewer backups and flooded basements are a living nightmare for those affected. 

That’s why under my leadership the city has invested $50 Million over the last four years to repair and upgrade our roads and sewers - a record amount! In fact, the city is now 10 years ahead of where it otherwise would have been in infrastructure renewal!

But we still have work to do.

Roads and sewers will remain a major focus of mine for the foreseeable future. We will continue to build and repair infrastructure across all areas of our city. As your mayor, I will work to ensure the city continues to invest heavily to keep our roads driveable and people’s basements dry.

Seniors

Seniors helped build our city.  Many continue to work actively as volunteers and care-givers providing great benefit to our community.

As valued citizens, seniors deserve our gratitude and respect.

Most seniors I speak with care deeply about their independence. They see the best way to preserve their cherished independence is to remain in their own homes.

That’s why, as your mayor, I propose to increase the existing property tax rebate from $40 to $100 for qualifying seniors to help make it more affordable to stay in their homes.

I will also work to add more senior-accessible recreational facilities. Building more walking trails throughout the city and new outdoor fitness equipment locations along the entire span of the Millennium Trail are just some of the ways I plan to help our seniors stay healthy and active.

As your mayor, promoting the well-being of our seniors will remain a primary focus of mine.

 

Taxes and Debt Reduction:

Accountability to our residents and taxpayers is very important to me.

Our City is growing rapidly and that is a good thing. However, we must ensure that the costs associated with economic development and infrastructure expansion do not place an undue tax burden on our residents. 

With city staff’s assistance I was able to successfully renegotiate the OLG (Casino) Hosting Agreement with the Province to increase the City’s revenues from $3 Million to $25 Million per year. These additional OLG casino dollars have helped us invest $50 Million in major road and sewer upgrades throughout our city.

These additional dollars, together with council’s continuous scrutiny of city spending, have enabled us to keep property taxes under control. In fact, we were able to lower the 2018 property tax increase to below the rate of inflation and keep the water bill rate to a 0% increase.   

We were also able to reduce the City’s debt obligations by $14 Million over the last four years.

But we still have work to do.

Now, more than ever, it is critical that our city keep taxes and debt under control.

As your mayor this will remain a primary focus of mine 

I remain committed to keeping tax increases below the rate of inflation while paying down the City’s debt.

GO Train Daily Service to Niagara Falls:

A Game Changer for Our City

When we first conceived the plan to bring daily GO Train service to Niagara Falls many viewed it as a “pie in the sky” scheme that would never come to pass.

To me, the economic and life-style benefits our residents would gain from GO were just too huge to give up on. Connecting Niagara Falls with the GTA by a quick, convenient commuter rail link would provide enormous opportunities for businesses and citizens alike. 

Imagine a nationwide or international business expanding or relocating to Niagara Falls to take advantage of its lower costs and better amenities for its employees. Imagine, in turn, people choosing to live and raise their families here in Niagara Falls while working elsewhere in the GTA - Golden Horseshoe. GO train service to our city makes such scenarios not only possible but achievable!

Undeterred by the skeptics, as your mayor, I focussed on doing everything within my power to bring GO to our city.

Our persistent lobbying of the provincial government and our refusing to take “no” for an answer has paid off.  The Government of Ontario has committed to fund and extend the GO train to Niagara Falls with daily service to start in 2023.

But we still have work to do.

Major projects like this can be sidelined or delayed when there is a change in the provincial government as occurred recently. As your mayor, keeping this project moving forward will remain one of my top priorities.

I will continue to spearhead the GO train to Niagara Falls project to keep it top-of-mind with the provincial government and to see it through to completion.

Ryerson University Innovation Zone

Imagine a place where young people can create and develop new hi-tech businesses of the future....  Now imagine such a place right here in Niagara Falls.

Under my leadership, the City is working closely with Ryerson University and higher levels of government to establish an innovation zone for local entrepreneurs in the heart of our downtown.

Building on Ryerson’s internationally-recognized expertise in digital innovation, skills development and applied research, this “business incubator” centre will provide the practical knowhow and resources to help spark and nurture start-up businesses right here in Niagara Falls.  These new local businesses, once self-sustaining, will in turn stimulate economic diversification, job creation and redevelopment of our downtown core.

This multi-million dollar project will connect Niagara Falls with the rapidly-growing Toronto-Kitchener-Hamilton hi-tech/innovation corridor. It will offer a broad array of new business alternatives to our city and serve as a major driver of digital transformation and job creation in our industrial, healthcare, educational and tourism sectors.

Local entrepreneurs will be able to tap into Ryerson’s existing network of business incubation and acceleration centres located across Canada and throughout the world including the USA, China, India and Europe. This cross-pollination of local brainpower and imagination with inventive business techniques and ideas from around the globe will make our city a centre of entrepreneurial excellence.

But we still have work to do.                                          

As your mayor, keeping this project moving forward will remain one of my top priorities.

I will continue to spearhead the Ryerson Innovation Zone project to keep it top-of-mind with the higher levels of government and to see it through to completion.

My Ultimate Vision

For decades we have seen a steady outflow of many of our young adults to seek advancement and employment elsewhere. We can turn this tide by continuing along our positive path of growth and making our city a place where they can remain to live and work. This will be a huge benefit to families when it comes to support, child care, elder care and quality of life!

“Doing what is right is more important than doing what is popular.
My focus is always on the long-term best interests of our city.”