In their own words, candidates tell us a little bit about themselves and where they stand on the issues. A different ward will be featured each evening this week.
Name: Phil Allt
Occupation: Retired teacher of philosophy and history.
How long have you lived in Guelph? Sixty five years minus time in university.
Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes with a few short gaps I have lived here since I was born in St. Joseph’s Hospital (also in Ward 3).
Why are you running in this election? With wardmate June Hofland retiring, I am running to preserve continuity and to continue to advocate for safe secure neighbourhoods, better housing and better public transit. I am also running to assist the community with working and communicating with city hall and ensuring we keep working toward climate change solutions.
What qualifies you to represent your ward? I am a Canadian citizen, a resident of Guelph and have many years of experience in the public sector. I graduated from GCVI, UWO, Guelph and University of Toronto. I have been involved in social housing and anti poverty work for most of my life. I support the arts and improving how we address climate change. I advocate for a community where are feel welcome regardless of race, religion, gender, age or ability.
Why should people vote for you? Anyone who has worked with me will attest I follow through, answer the phone and emails diligently, listen to concerns such as traffic issues, living in poverty, concern for criminal activity and will continue to do so. My principles are founded on doing the best for the community in which I reside and treating people with respect and dignity.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? The issues that Ward 3 faces are the same as those faced by all of Guelph. Sustaining our water supply, continuing to develop rationally and slowly thereby effectively addressing the rapid growth of the city, efficient and effective transit, downloading to the municipality of provincial costs and programs that make it difficult to keep taxes reasonable. We must continue to redevelop downtown and ensure it is a centre of attraction.
What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Guelph on a broader scale? See the answer above.
What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Guelph? How we address growth and development. Guelph cannot continue to grow as we have. The 1950’s model of development where car is king and we drive everywhere must change. We must plan appropriately for neighbourhoods that are walkable, where public transit is an efficient and attractive alternative to using a car and where people feel safe and part of a community. These must be forefront.
What services need to be improved in Guelph? Public transit must be improved. Recreational services — including for our growing population of seniors –should be enhanced so neighbourhoods like the Willow Road area have the facilities and services needed to live in such a densely populated neighbourhood and seniors have the facilities and programs required to enjoy life in the Royal City. I look forward to our new library being built. This will provide us with a cultural centre for learning, for recreation and will help anchor and improve downtown.
Is Guelph growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? Guelph is growing too fast in my mind. I do not anticipate we will stick to our growth limits.
What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing? Council must advocate for a return to effective rent controls. Council must also advocate for the province and the federal government to develop a better social housing and low cost housing programs. As long as we are limited in truly affordable rental and purchased housing, we have a model where demand outweighs supply and pushes prices up.
What can be done locally about the homelessness issue? All levels of government can engage in solutions that include transitional housing, better health care for the homeless, advocating for living wages for those living rough and those who are under housed and ensuring that for those who need them, we provide accessible hygiene facilities such as bathing and cleaning facilities to assist the marginalized to live with dignity.
How do we make Guelph an even better city to live in? By hard work and ensuring that public policy is rational, effective and focused on people and improving what is here already. We must include people from all walks of life in decision making using our committee structure appropriately and understanding the role of bottom to top engagement. Guelph is a great place to live but constant improvement is essential.
Any link to an election website or social media account? https://philallt.ca/