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In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues
John Edward Krusky wants to see the city's financial belt tightened, property taxes kept low.

Name: John Edward Krusky

Occupation: Security consultant and private investigator

How long have you lived in Guelph? I have lived in Guelph for approximately 37 years: the majority of my life. My family history in the Guelph area goes back to the 1830’s around the time of settlement here when George Adam Steffler became one of the first settlers in Puslinch. The majority of my ancestors came to Guelph around the turn of the century in the early 1900’s. Three of my great grandfathers actually knew each other, but of course Guelph was much smaller back then.

I attended grade school, junior high and high school locally in Guelph, before completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph. I also attended academic programs at Seneca College in York Region, as well as St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. I lived in Rockwood for about a year as well.

But, Guelph is my hometown, and after finishing studies, I have always returned here to live. I love this city. I feel like it is too much of a part of me to live anywhere else.

Why are you running in this election? Due to pandemic policies and interferences in our free market economy, Canada is now facing a recession which could last for several years. City of Guelph residents require councillors and a mayor who will make budgetary decisions over the next few years that will take into account the people who are financially struggling most.

While our current city council has certainly invested a great deal of tax-paying dollars into infrastructure projects, I think at this point, we need to examine which projects should be deemed critical infrastructure projects, and what projects can be delayed for a couple of years. Other projects might be reviewed altogether, in order to determine their necessity.

Guelph residents need a local government which will seek to reduce property taxes and keep Guelph an affordable place to live. Unnecessary infrastructure projects such as the new library downtown, in my opinion are just adding to the cost of living in this city, and do very little for the poorest residents living here.

What qualifies you to represent your city?

I am a local business owner who has a strong background in law, business and political studies. I follow Canadian politics very closely, and I have a growing concern about foreign interests and investments in our nation’s economy; these foreign interferences in our economy in Canada undermine the quality of life that Canadians expect from our government.

We need politicians at every level of government, from the local level to the provincial and federal levels, who will put Canadians first and ensure that we have a strong economy, and an educated workforce that can take on the challenges that face our country.

My academic qualifications include:

  • College Diploma, Law Clerk program, St. Lawrence College
  • BA, Honours, Criminal Justice and Public Policy, University of Guelph
  • Graduate Certificate, Advanced Investigations and Enforcement, Seneca College
  • BTech, Emergency Management, Cape Breton University
  • MA, Security and Defence Management and Policy, Royal Military College
  • I also completed my first year of a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) program with the University of London, but then decided to put these studies aside in order to open up my set of corporations in the Guelph region.

Why should people vote for you? I have a lot of innovate ideas which would serve the betterment of our community. I think Guelph is a great community to live in, but there are certainly issues which some Guelph residents feel are not being met by our current city council. And, if people really want change, they have to vote for different representation.

I would like to see some new people and ideas coming into our city council so that we can really move ahead on certain issues that residents are asking for from our local government, but which are not being addressed.

For instance, I believe that our local government should have had a business continuity planning office in place, in order to offer services to our local businesses and assist them to continue their operations during the pandemic. Many business owners were just deemed as “non essential” and told to close their doors for business; and they were offered no resources to keep some alternative level of operations going.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Guelph on a broader scale? There are several ideas which affect Guelph residents, and which people should be considering as we head into this upcoming election:

  • The rising cost of living and housing;
  • Ensuring that we have a strong local economy and support for our local businesses;
  • Addressing issues of poverty, addiction, homelessness and crime prevention;
  • Meeting the demands placed on our schools with a growing local population; and
  • Ensuring that the Guelph Police Service is adequately equipped to deal with the growing problem of cyber crime, as well as overseeing the acquisition of non-lethal use of force options such as replacing tasers with pepper ball pistols.

What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Guelph? In the short term, I think we need to address issues of reducing taxes on households, as well as the allocation of resources into certain programs and policy areas which have been neglected in the past. If people are being forced to do more with less, I think it is only fair that our municipality does the same.

What services need to be improved in Guelph? We need to improve social services for people who are financially struggling the most.

Poverty is a neglected issue in Canada as Mel Hurtig noted in his book Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids, and it is undeniable that the financial strain put onto certain individuals invariably contributes to mental health and violent crime rates in any large city.

If people want to see a safer community, the only way to address that issue is to try and address issues of addiction, poverty and mental health in our city. This means empowering the local police to combat drug trafficking, as well as creating a safe place for people who are financially struggling to go, in order to get back on their feet. Social services for people struggling with addiction, or unemployment are necessary in order to help people recover their livelihoods.

It is really up to Guelph residents whether they want to live in a caring community or just continue to walk past certain people on the street every day, pretending as if poverty does not exist.

Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? I think it is a reality that Guelph will continue to grow. It is unfortunate that traffic is more congested than it used to be, and some people do not want to see Guelph turning into city like Mississauga, with tall condominium buildings strewn across the city. And there is clearly a demand for more housing in this region of Ontario.

We need to involve local residents in making these decisions, about what types of long-term development projects should be approved. Because, local residents have to decide whether we want those types of aesthetics in our city (tall condominiums buildings, etc.) or whether further development will take away from the natural beauty of our city and its landscape.

What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? The cost of housing is not an isolated issue in Canada; housing prices do not operate in a vacuum. This problem represents the bigger economic issues of deregulation, inflation and market economics of supply and demand. It is my opinion that the federal government of Canada and the provinces need to regulate the legal, real estate and finance sectors in order to control inflation and the rising cost of living in Canada. City councillors can only be advocates for change at higher levels of our government.

I also believe that we should remove or limit the ability of non-Canadian individuals and entities to be able to purchase real estate and other assets in Canada. Particularly from countries such as China which has shown itself to be an aggressive, non-friendly nation that is primarily interested in acquiring Canadian resources for their own nation’s foreign policy interests.

We need to involve real estate associations across Canada in dialogue about how to bring this profession under some level of government control, in order to stop the artificial inflation of the value of real estate property. My main concern is that the cost of housing is increasing faster than the rise in wages and salaries, and this means that many Canadians are forced to adapt into doing more with less. I believe these trends will continue until we remove foreign interferences from our nation’s economy.

The most productive thing a municipal government can do to control living costs is to more closely monitor the city’s annual budget and to maintain municipal taxes at an affordable level.

What can be done locally about the homelessness issue? I have a lot of innovate ideas about how to address homelessness, but trying to get people on board for these types of ideas is a different story.

It would require community-wide support, that the residents of Guelph would actually see a value in creating housing and employment opportunities for people who are financially struggling, as well as social service programs offering mental health and addiction counselling; particularly rehabilitation for people struggling with substance abuse.

There are people who would take opportunities to get their lives back on track if they were offered assistance. But some of that assistance has to come from non-government organizations, such as church and faith-based communities and local charities; which requires some level of coordination by local officials.

Every year, our city hires students to perform outdoor maintenance work, but these temporary and seasonal jobs could be given to people who are in need of more income.

We could allocate these jobs to a work program aimed at combating poverty and homelessness, and have social services overseeing this type of job creation program.

I know some students might feel disappointed with this idea, but there are ample jobs available to the student population, which people struggling with homelessness do not qualify for. Sometimes, the government has to interfere in the economy a little bit, in order to serve the betterment of the community as a whole.

How do we make Guelph an even better city to live in? We are blessed to live in a constitutionally free country, with a free market economy, and the ability to pursue our interests and desires.

One of the biggest problems of living in a society that is so free is that over time, North America has become a region of the world which is indirectly governed by a system of corporatocracy. If left unchecked, we can end up living in a state of unfettered capitalism, where bottom line profits end up taking precedent over the greater good of the common person.

I believe in our free market system, but this system also requires people to actively remain involved in monitoring our system of government and ensuring that the interests of a few people with the most resources do not outweigh the interest of the general population. Sometimes this free market system requires the government to temporarily get involved in parts of our economy, in order to push policies in the right direction.

At a local level, we need to consider the poorest residents here, and look at how our municipal resources are effectively being put to use, to make Guelph a safer and healthier community for everyone. We also need to consider households which are financially struggling due to two years of pandemic policies, and now a financial recession which is just adding to people’s economic strain.

Any link to an election website or social media account?

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