The Chamber membership asked three questions of our candidates, details below.
Loyalist Cataraqui District #2 Candidates
Paul Chaves Jacqui Collier
Question 1: What do you see as the top issue or issues affecting local businesses, and how would you use your vote on the council to address these issues?
Paul Chaves - Local businesses have been gravely affected over the past 2 years due to the pandemic. Local businesses are the backbone of our Country, and our City. It is vital to the prosperity of the City to have a vibrant and diverse local business base. Kingston is getting a greater reputation of being a thriving location and a great place to invest. We must continue to build on this to recruit new businesses. We also have many world renowned events here which attract many people to the city, which in turn spend many dollars while they are here. It would be nice to investigate to see if there are events hosted in other Cities which would be beneficial to Kingston.
Jacqui Collier - I believe communication between the city and our businesses, to be an area where great improvement can be made. I have spoken with several businesses who note that decisions have been made, oftentimes on their own front doorstep, without the city first reaching out or consulting them in advance for their thoughts, concerns or ideas prior to making a decision. This is not a successful or acceptable way to move forward, and I intend to ensure communication is strong with our businesses.
Question 2: Do you believe Kingston needs to do more to support, attract, and retain business and jobs in the coming council term? What would you like to see achieved in this file in the coming four years?
Paul Chaves - I do. I believe the City has an important role in attracting both National and International companies to the City. Kingston can do more to support and attract innovative entrepreneurs. Kingston has recently had new industries come to town. We need to continue to do this and take advantage of our location of being close to Toronto, Montreal and the USA border. At the same time, we need to ensure these are good paying jobs for Kingstonians.
Jacqui Collier - As I've been canvassing the district of Loyalist-Cataraqui every day since July, I am meeting thousands of families living in this district, and many families have let me know that they are local business owners. I'm listening carefully to the challenges that they're sharing with me. From the expressions of frustration at a process they went through for an approval, to the sense that small to mid-sized local businesses are being forgotten while larger businesses new to the city are offered incentives and supports. These voices must be heard as these local businesses are owned and run by our citizens, and their success is vital to the success of the city.
Question 3: How would you define success in this role for yourself, the city at large, and the district you intend to serve?
Paul Chaves - I would define success the same for all three; a higher employment rate, a higher tax base and a higher quality of life for residents.
Jacqui Collier - If elected City Councillor in Loyalist-Cataraqui, I will bring communication to a new level. It is a critical part of success. I will set out immediately to address the pressing concerns I've heard as I've gone door-to-door across my district.
I will listen to the experts in each field to be informed of the facts pertaining to issues, and I will apply critical thinking to every matter that comes before me at City Hall.
To me, this role is one of a servant leader, and I intend to serve my constituents and lead our city with purpose and passion.