DR All Candidates Meeting Questions

All questions that were submitted for the Mayor / Reeve and Councillor Meetings,
asked and unasked, are listed below.

Additionally, contact information for the candidates is also provided.

Internet/Telephone voting commences October 9. 
Please visit the Town's website for more information.

QUESTIONS SUBMITTED FOR THE DEEP RIVER ALL CANDIDATES MEETINGS

September 13 & 20, 2018

 

Fire and Police Services

 

  1. What was your opinion in the Fire Services situation and what action did you take to advance your position?  What about the Police Services situation?
     

  2. The Town’s contract with CNL for the Fire Dept.’s Chief and Deputy Chief is approx. $69,000.00 over and above the costs for the Fire Dept.  If elected would you try and re-negotiate this deal?
     

  3. Candidates, have you read the Fire Services Agreement?  IF you knew there could be a $100,000 plus cost reduction to the fire department, would you be willing to re-open the Fire Services Agreement?
     

  4. What is your opinion concerning the Fire Services and the treatment of the firefighters? What would you do differently if on council?
     

  5. When calling the 911 operator – on a land line - in the 411 and 905 area codes the caller’s address comes up on the screen.  When calling the 911 operators here in Deep River it turns out to be a 3-step process: A choice of Fire, Police, Ambulance.  Then again explaining what the issue is.  And then you are asked for your address and what town you live in.  Taxpayers here pay on our Bell bills for the 911 service as does the Town.  If elected – would you promote better service for Renfrew County? Ideas on how to achieve this?

 

 

Economic

 

  1. The town used to have a full-time Economic Development Officer yet when he retired he was not replaced.  Do you think the town should pursue an Economic Development staff position or pursue economic development through other means?
     

  2. Do you have a plan for economic growth or diversification? What is it?
     

  3. There has been a lot of discussion regarding development in Deep River and encouraging investors to build here.  However, there are existing buildings in Deep River that past developers have let deteriorate due to being absentee landlords.  How do you plan to encourage development but discourage the abandonment of infrastructure one it is completed?
     

  4. Will you commit to examining and potentially removing the red tape that has discouraged previous developers and businesses from investing in Deep River?
     

  5. In attracting businesses, how are commercial land and building owners to compete with home-based businesses that don’t pay commercial taxes?
     

  6. If elected, what would you propose to Council to bring our taxes in line with the average of our Renfrew County neighbors?
     

  7. Should bidding for contracts be based solely on lowest bid or should there be a different system based on other factors like best service for the money, etc?
     

  8. It has been suggested to amalgamate services and/or business development opportunities with neighboring municipalities. If you agree, what do you think would be the first steps?
     

  9. As a new Deep River councillor, what will you do to reduce my taxes?
     

  10. Give two examples of reduction in services (cuts or reductions) you are in favour of.
     

  11. Improving internet, resolving infrastructure issues for the water system and other plans are expensive. Where do you foresee these funds coming from? Please be specific.
     

  12. Reading through each candidate's message in the NRT is like reading a Christmas wish list. From high-speed internet to infrastructure - everything that the town needs and will ever need has been cited. How is Deep River going to pay for those projects?

 

 

Infrastructure

 

  1. Quite often during a campaign there is a lot of talk about building something new, such as a splash pad, yet pressing infrastructure problems such as discoloured drinking water, are ignored.  Given limited resources, how do you think the Town should make such decisions: pursue something new or repair what we have first?
     

  2. Many of Deep River’s water mains need replacing as they are 60-70 years old. On a scale of 1 to 5, how urgent is it to start replacing them to improve water quality and colour and stop flushing treated water down the sewer?

 

Housing

 

  1. The Housing Committee did a good job researching and presenting various senior housing options.  What specifically do you think the Town needs to do to take better care of our seniors?
     

  2. What can be done for our seniors in relation to housing, retirement living, long-term care?
     

  3. As a new resident to the town trying to start a family, I’m having a very hard time finding good housing under $200k.  Everything is old and in need of renovation or asbestos removal.  What will you do to assist with securing good, safe housing for a reasonable price?

 

 

Internet

 

  1. The issue of internet access has been a popular concern the election, what do you feel is the most viable plan for bringing higher speed internet services to the town?
     

  2. I feel it’s important for our rural community to attract new businesses and new residents to Deep River to continue growing and be productive.
    One way is providing stable high-speed Internet and to support WCCT in their efforts to achieve this.
    Here’s the question in two parts:       

    Would the new town council get behind WCCT, the 2-year community- based, volunteer-driven,  not for profit to increase:

    ​​A.  the availability of high-speed Internet in the community, as well as
    B.  help to reduce costs so that the increase of the operating surplus can be donated to a critical    
    community resource - our local hospital.
     

  3. Do the candidates believe that the quality of internet service in Deep River is adequate to support the current and future development of the community, and if not, what role do they see for local government in remedying the situation?

 

And further to the Great High-Speed Debate:

 

Statement: WCCT has about 10mb/sec, not high-speed.

 

Counterstatement submitted: WCCT is able to offer 25/5 mbps in most cases. CRTC defines “high speed” as .25 mbps.

 

 

Council Meetings and Conduct

 

  1. Do you think that members of the public should be able to ask questions at council meetings? If so, what would that process look like?
     

  2. I would like monthly disbursement reports to track spending. If you are elected to Council, would you vote “yes” to receiving them?
     

  3. The Town’s audit was just recently passed by Council with Ron Desrocher’s objections as well as those of the Town’s own Treasurer. Both are CPAs. Should Council have hit the “pause” button and reviewed their objections?
     

  4. Will you, as a Councillor, welcome public opinion on an issue as well as the opinions of advisory committees?  And what weight would you give these opinions?
     

  5. How would you achieve transparency with what is happening in council for residents?  How would you achieve better communication from council to residents and promote more participation in town affairs and issues?
     

  6. A consent agenda groups the routine, procedural, informational and self-explanatory non-controversial items typically found in an agenda. These items are then presented to the board in a single motion for an up or down vote after allowing anyone to request that a specific item be moved to the full agenda for individual attention.  Do you agree with the concept of a consent agenda?  Please explain your opinion.
     

  7. What do you believe should be council’s relationship with municipal staff?
     

  8. Too often, Deep River Council seems caught in an endless loop.  Votes are cast, but some vocal member of the public or some member of Council re-opens debate on the issue which has just reached a democratic resolution.  So, my question is:  Even if you disagree with a Council decision, are you willing to let a topic drop and get on to new business?  And, if not, why do you feel re-opening debate is a worthwhile endeavour?
     

  9. If you are elected to Council are you prepared to work as a team to make Deep River a great place for people to relocate to?
     

  10. Several people have said that they think the current council has conducted too much business behind closed doors.   Do you agree with that, and how would you handle this issue if elected?
     

  11. Would you be prepared to attend and participate in an open forum where individuals can ask questions and voice their opinion about any town development or any other matters of concern?
     

  12. Do you believe that once elected Council should be left alone to conduct business on behalf of the residents who elected them?
     

  13. Do you feel that the bulk of issues coming before Council, contentious or otherwise, should be discussed in open or closed session?
     

  14. Would you be prepared to participate with Council at the beginning of the new term to discuss and amend/revise the Town's current Code of Conduct? Changes/additions to include a section on Conflict of Interest, including definition and potential consequences? Presently it is left up to offending councillors to declare and no one can force them to declare their conflict of interest or remove them.
     

  15. Will you be vigilant about dealing with potential situations of conflicts of interest within Council and ensure that those involved do not participate in decision making?
     

  16. Will members of the public be able to ask questions at Council meetings?
     

  17. Will you invite public opinion and input as well as recommendations from advisory committees when making policy decisions?

 

 

Resident Attraction and Retention

 

  1. What will you do for young people and families for extra activities: supporting drop-in, splash pad, etc?
     

  2. 75% of Canada’s population growth is derived from immigration.  Rural workforces are in decline due to not serving or attracting newcomers. How do you propose to position and promote Deep River as a welcoming community to new residents?
     

  3. Deep River is struggling to keep the 30-40 year old residents here interested in continuing to live here. Housing is limited, taxes are high, and there are limited employment options.  What will you do, in your position, to keep us 30-somethings here?
     

  4. Today’s NRT asked a question regarding sustainable a host community with respect to CNL’s nuclear waste disposal sites. If elected, what do you propose to address this issue?
     

  5. Who would support a Waterfront Community / Wellness / Recreation/ Convention / Centre in Deep River?  Since our greatest asset and beauty is the river and waterfront – could we develop and build as a community a centre that would include a beautiful gym, a place for exercise classes, yoga, etc., retreats, recreation & sports activities, a venue for music events with all our musical talent, weddings, celebrations, business conferences, etc., etc. and thereby bringing in tourists, visitors and then more residents!!! 😊

 

 

Property Standards

 

  1. Much was said at the Mayors & Reeves candidates meeting last week about the need to attract new residents.  Presenting a strong first impression key to achieving this.  If elected, how will you tackle the neglected look of our town? 

    Examples: 1.
    Main entrance to town at lights.  Presently we see garbage or dilapidated structures to the right, to the left and not a single lower bed in sight.  2.  Home owners who routinely do not cut their grass and accumulate garbage on their front lawns.

     

  2. What is your position on the property standards bylaw? There are so many derelict buildings and if there is no complaint then nothing is done. Some people are afraid to submit a complaint on a neighbour’s property fearing bad feelings. Do you feel it should be the town employees or town council stating the rules and making homeowners comply?

 

 

Hospital

 

  1. The Deep River & District Hospital means so much to this community and surrounding area.  Some services are limited on or cut.  What will you do to ensure the hospital does not lose any more services?
     

  2. We as a town partnered with the hospital for an extension.  Does anyone know where the money has gone? And when is it going to be built?
     

  3. As we all know, the Deep River and District Hospital is very important to the residents of this town. If elected, what would you do to help ensure the viability of the Hospital?

 

 

Keys Centre

 

  1. Last week at the ACM for the Mayor and Reeve candidates we heard that some of the wording around requirements for the development of the Keys property seems designed to discourage any action. Is it time for council to make some hard decisions or can we afford, literally, to continue to back-burner it?
     

  2. A number of plans for the Keys Centre have fallen through. What are you going to do to develop it?

 

 

Questions of a More Personal Nature
 

  1. If elected and you could achieve just one thing during your term of office, what would it be and why? Secondly, how would you plan to make it happen?
     

  2. Can you tell us what volunteer activities you have undertaken in the past 5 years in support of Deep River?
     

  3. 11 people are vying for 5 seats.  What have you done to get your name out there and engage the various demographics in our community?
     

  4. Which candidate for Mayor are you most excited to work with?
     

  5. What skill do you believe is most important for a counsellor and how do you embody it?
     

  6. Which of your professional achievement are you most proud of?
     

  7. Do you have a slogan for your campaign?  If so, what is it and please explain your plans to uphold it if elected.
     

  8. Many candidates use three words on their signs or literature.  Which three words best describe you?
     

  9. If elected, which committee do you see yourself as best suited to sit on?
     

  10. If the town received $250,000 of “free” money, i.e. not tied to any particular project, what would you suggest doing with the $250,000?
     

  11. Over time a community can develop “golden calves,” traditions and ideas that are desperately maintained long past being useful or appropriate because “that’s the way it’s always been.”  What golden calves do you see in Deep River and how would you facilitate removing or changing them?
     

  12. If elected, what do you foresee as your biggest challenge?
     

  13. The nature of politics means those serving publicly are open to criticism. How will you handle direct negative criticism of your decisions? Will you be open to constructive criticism and how will you solicit it?
     

  14. There are often two trains of thought regarding government: More government is better – i.e. social programs, regulated business, or less is better – i.e. give the people the tools to do what they believe is best and then get out of their way. To which group do you belong and how would you use your position to move our municipality in that direction?
     

  15. How vocal were you during the past year in discussions about the decisions made by this past council?  Part 2- Will you still want to be heard and be part of the discussions if you are not elected, or would you just walk away?
     

  16. Given that municipal elections are usually merely a popularity contest, where electors pay scant attention to the standard answers offered by
    the candidates, why do you think you deserve to be elected to council?

     

  17. Have you ever been charged with an offense by the police and if so what was the charge?
     

  18. Have you ever been dismissed for cause by an employer and if so what was the cause cited?
     

  19. Do you or anyone in your family owe the town of Deep River any money and if so why and how much?

 

 

Other Communities

 

  1. What are your thoughts on working with other communities like Petawawa, Pembroke, Laurentian Valley in different areas?  For example, what works for them and how can we benefit from it or what can we do or provide that can help them?
     

  2. Deep River has a long history and reputation of “not playing well with others” and having a snobbish attitude both from the Town and the residents.  What can be done to change this?
     

  3. Do you support considering the amalgamation of services or business development opportunities with neighbouring municipalities?

 

 

Other

 

  1. What will you do about the opioid crisis in Renfrew County? Prevention? Education?
     

  2. What are your thoughts on adding bins, such as compost, like Petawawa and other areas?
     

  3. To maintain and grow as a town, we have to retain our excellent schools.  Three schools have been closed in Deep River over the years.  What will you and council do to work with the school board to prevent further closures?
     

  4. Deep River prides itself on being the home of “Canada’s Nuclear Pioneers.”  Other than a few street names and the atom at the town entrance, there is little tangible evidence of that pride or attempt to benefit from it.  What would you do to make more of our unique history?
     

  5. We have garbage pick-up and recycling pick-up yet recyclable materials make their way into the garbage and into Baggs Road.  What would you do to ensure less recycling gets into the garbage?
     

  6. Deep River has many volunteer-run non-profit clubs and organizations providing services that most municipalities normally provide themselves.  However, many of these groups struggle to make ends meet and once they are gone, they may never return. What can the Town do to partner with these organizations to make them stronger and continue to be viable?  Additionally, how can the Town leverage them to promote the town to prospective residents?
     

  7. Deep River is one of the owners of the airport.  Last year each owner was asked for $25,000.00 towards replacing the runway.  There has also been an aggressive campaign to raise the remainder of the funds - $250.00 for a foot of runway.  Other municipalities paid up front – Deep River’s response was to offer to pay the last 100 feet of runway.  If elected – given the importance of the airport – would you change that directive?
     

  8. What will you do to improve accessibility to public buildings and business in Deep River?
     

  9. Do you believe that public involvement should and will promote the public taking ownership of their Town? And how would you foster public involvement?
     

  10. Do you believe that preference should be given to certain individuals or segments of the population or should all residents be treated equally in all matters?

 

 

Directed Questions

 

 

  1. Question for Councillors Myers & McLaren: I would like to know what the councillors running for re-election consider their most significant accomplishments from the last term.
     

  2. Question for Rajini: I am interested in why you decided to be “instrumental” in the new dollar store when we already he one? Did you take the family running our original dollar store into account for your decisions?

 
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