(Editor's note: On Sept. 23 Thai Mac announced he had changed his mind and was once again running for council in Ward 1.
(Editor's note: Thai Mac has announced he is withdrawing from the election, but officially he is still a candidate as his name wasn't withdrawn prior to the deadline. His name remains on the ballot.)
In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues
Name: Thai Mac
Occupation: Small business owner
How long have you lived in Guelph? Almost 40 years.
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes, our family has lived in Ward 1 for over 20 years.
Why are you running in this election? I wish to bring your voice to council for proper representation on key decisions and issues that affect our families in Ward 1. We must address affordability and safety in our neighbourhoods. Be mindful of new Ward 1 candidates who may be campaigning on items that will only be possible by increasing our taxes.
What qualifies you to represent your ward? My demonstrated passion is helping local businesses and people in our community. As a business owner, I have the expertise and desire for project oversight to make things affordable for our Ward 1 residents. Out of control tax increases are hurting our families.
Why should people vote for you? Being very accessible and involved with our community, I actively engage with tens of thousands of Guelphites on a daily basis, many from Ward 1, for many years now. I see firsthand how decisions have affected our community and most people are overwhelmingly demanding change.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? Having conversed with thousands of families to date in our beautiful Ward 1, I'm hearing issues ranging from parking, traffic, petty crimes to a lack of commercial amenities (still). Residents of Ward 1 have been long neglected by the city as a whole, with new revisions to the Ward 1 boundaries, it's time to give our neighbourhoods the attention we all deserve.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Guelph on a broader scale? Affordability. Many current councillors have habitually voted together on items that have seen us being presented with some of the highest budget increases in the city's history. Coming out of the pandemic, many are struggling with job security and running their businesses along with their household budgets, now is not the time for councillors to ignore these realities. I would encourage people to ask incumbent candidates who voted on items that increased our taxes - when was the last time those councillors had a mortgage or had to make rent payments?
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Guelph? I agree with the many thousands of people in our community that we need new representation from the current majority on council who continually vote together resulting in high tax increases to our families. From this, we may see positive changes to our growing community.
What services need to be improved in Guelph? I share the same frustration with many hundreds of residents in our Ward 1 that select roads in our neighbourhoods can no longer be ignored and priority must be given to address them. I will be your voice to lobby and advocate for better roads and snow removal services in our Ward 1. City-wide, many residents have expressed concerns with city transit, particularly the implementation of the new on-demand service.
Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? With Guelph being provincially mandated to increase by at least 60,000 by 2051, current and projected infrastructure and service needs strongly suggest that we are growing too fast. We need efficiencies in road, traffic and public transit. We also have to be mindful of new demands for water increases and ensure that current planned expansions will indeed address the projected population growth.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? We must increase housing inventory and respect city staff's due diligence on their studies and recommendations. Council must not always be the red tape for meritless restrictions and claims that hold up urgent projects.
What can be done locally about the homelessness issue? I am proud to support and actively promote the Home for Good Campaign by the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin who is in partnership with the Guelph Community Foundation and the Guelph Wellington Poverty Task Force. This incredible initiative will greatly address our local homelessness issue. Please visit and support at www.homeforgoodgw.ca.
How do we make Guelph an even better city to live in? It all starts from having good representation who listens, acknowledges and cares for the people. We need to foster positive changes for a safe and affordable community.
Any link to an election website or social media account?