In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues
Name: John Bertrand
How long have you lived in Guelph? I've lived in Guelph 15 years and worked here for an additional six years prior to making the move.
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes.
Why are you running in this election? I decided to run for council, because I care deeply about Guelph and my community. With all the history, social and cultural diversity, there's no place like our beautiful city. But there's work to be done. We must build a safer, more sustainable and affordable future for our children. I would love to be the voice of all the great people who share my love for this city. I will listen and fight for what's important to you.
What qualifies you to represent your ward? I feel I bring an abundance of value with my real estate background during the housing crisis we're facing. I’m also a father to two little girls and I understand the struggles and needs of parents raising children in Guelph.
Why should people vote for you? I stand for trust, honesty and integrity. I live in my ward and understand why people want to live here. There’s undeniable beauty in this neighbourhood. Its history and diversity make it a desirable place for families to live as well as for young professionals or students. My main values will help me represent my constituents in honest terms. I will be transparent in the way I make my decisions and I will always have the well-being of my community as my main priority. Being a public servant to me is not about personal gain, but about an obligation to be the change my community needs.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? During my campaign this will be one of my first questions to the residents of Ward 3 so I encourage you to check back in September/October.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Guelph on a broader scale? I think affordability is the main issue. This includes food, supplies, taxes, energy and housing. Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps and inequalities in access to the most basic human needs, like mental health aids and support. Even though this is a provincial issue I’ll be advocating for more programs for children and youth affected by the pandemic.
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Guelph? I want to see real progress when it comes to supportive and accessible housing projects. I want to find ways to integrate those projects into our community that will benefit everyone.
What services need to be improved in Guelph? Transit is the easiest way to combat pollution and Guelph traffic congestion issues. I will advocate for additional funding from the provincial and federal government to support all day go trains from Toronto to Kitchener/Waterloo with a stop in Guelph. I will also work to create an annual ticket for seniors, allowing them to travel at a lower cost.
Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? Growth is going to happen. The province gave us a target and we need to find a way to make it happen. My goal is to accomplish this without sacrificing Guelph's values and way of life.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? Supply. If we can get more homes constructed and on the market then we can start meeting the demand and prices will stabilize. What we've seen in recent years is unsustainable.
What can be done locally about the homelessness issue? I will work with all the levels of government to fund more supporting housing and its integration into our community. I will also look into tax reliefs for businesses employing people experiencing homelessness.
How do we make Guelph an even better city to live in? Listen to what people want and try to find solutions. Everyone has the right to be heard.
Any link to an election website or social media account: https://www.johnbertrandforguelph.ca/