Detailed Vision and Plan for a better Future
• A municipal government that works for and with the community
We need to build a new culture in Council and among Municipal Staff. The public needs to trust that we are working for the good of Port Hope.
We need to establish permanent representation of youth on Municipal Council – a youth representative committee to attend Council meetings and report on youth perspectives on Port Hope matters.
We need to make sure that our businesses and social organizations are strongly connected to Council by putting into place mechanisms of meaningful community engagement. We must build relationships in a new way, using methods for working through conflict and disagreement.
We must inspire and harness the talents, intelligence, energy and goodwill of our community, including charities, faith communities and service clubs, to learn from each other.
We need transparency in every facet of municipal work and spending, including ongoing PHAI clean up and future planning and development.
Citizens deserve facts. We need to draw on evidence using data and research on every topic to ensure an open dialogue. We need to take a broader perspective, drawing on solutions from towns and cities around the world.
Communication needs to be radically improved. Information needs to be easy to find and understand.
• A community with a vibrant and resilient economy
We need to build on what works, experiment with new ideas and not be afraid of change.
We need to encourage innovation and small business development. Risk mitigation and creative problem solving will be used to cut red tape in existing bylaws and policies to stimulate new ideas and investments. Existing processes and services will be improved and streamlined with the input from residents and businesses.
Town Hall should be seen as an enabler, supporter and helper for existing businesses and for start-ups and young entrepreneurs, offering annual Dragon’s Den–style events.
We need to foster investment, job creation and allow businesses and key trades to thrive. We need to tap into our agricultural heritage to increase sustainability and food security. We need to create meaningful incentives and supports to get the downtown revitalized and consider pedestrian-only zones during summer months.
Given our limited tax base, we need to work productively with the provincial and federal governments and the private sector to close up service gaps and inefficiencies and create new possibilities for growth.
We will make Port Hope a centre of regenerative tourism. That includes the future waterfront area. It also includes preserving the heritage of Port Hope and seeking UNESCO world heritage site designation for key buildings in the downtown core. The right tourism will enhance residents’ quality of life, align with our local values and support better and more local attractions.
We will return to the table and work constructively with the province, including through required CORE processes, to ensure that the Wesleyville opportunity for Port Hope is secured.
We will collaborate across the County and region to leverage partnerships, share costs and develop strategies for tourism and to attract investment for a stronger industrial and commercial base.
We will attract the educational sector — colleges and universities and their partners — to help support the development of Port Hope as a model of sustainable development, agricultural innovation, affordable housing and environmental stewardship.
• An affordable place to live
Port Hope has a housing crisis. We need solutions that draw on promising practices to increase available housing to support intergenerational living, and to provide housing access to lower-income persons and younger families.
We need to put in place practical options, such as garden suites and tiny homes, co-operative housing, and companion housing that help people live in a way that is more hope-filled, sustainable, resilient and socially conscious, with supports for healthy aging.
We will ask, as a community, how to solve the growing homelessness problem. We will join forces with neighbouring communities to create a regional plan of action.
Affordability also extends to issues of municipal taxes, charges for water and sewage and payment for garbage disposal tags. It is time to implement new strategies for better managing key services such as snow removal, road maintenance, incentivize staff to come forward with ideas to reduce costs, explore the use of new technologies, and speak with other municipal governments about innovative ways to reduce costs.
• A model for sustainable development and climate action
We are in a climate crisis. Port Hope must have a robust Climate Change Action Plan that commits to zero emissions by 2050. This is about considering the future of our children and grandchildren.
We need a community-driven and evidence-informed plan for our climate future. This plan must address core issues of community-based renewable energy generation, zero waste, preservation of old trees and robust planting of new ones to sequester carbon and moderate urban temperatures.
We need housing and building retrofits, pocket parks in parking spaces, circular economy principles, alternative modes of transportation, including pilot sharing, ride sharing, electric vehicles and micro-transit on demand services, like Uber and Lift.
Sustainability also extends to our architectural heritage and ensuring that Walton Street and our heritage buildings retain their original facades, architectural elements and historic associations while meeting the functional requirements of a modern environment.
• An inclusive and caring community
We need to make Port Hope inclusive, safe and resilient, in line with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, signed by Canada in 2015, and its key principle of leaving no one behind.
We need to create a community of hope and care where everyone counts. We need to know the everyday dreams, hopes and struggles of all members of our community, whether north or south of the 401, so we can bring these to life.
We can create a Port Hope that will take care of people in times of financial or food insecurity, raising and caring for family members, experiencing violence or abuse, and in failing health or aging.
We need to attract hope-filled newcomers and help them see Port Hope’s strengths and unique qualities.
We will experiment with hands-on, accessible community engagement processes to set our priorities, like participatory budget processes and meetings in settings other than Town Hall.
We will work with the province to ensure that every citizen of Port Hope has access to a primary care physician, and we will work to get the Toronto Street Walk-In Clinic up and running again. We will also work to ensure the children of this community have access to a vibrant and renewed high school.
We will focus on activities that build bridges between rural and urban Port Hope — e.g., Rural Rumble and farm-to-table dining experiences. We will create new community events, like an annual town run that can raise money for local charities, and a Port Hope Day, including street parties, to encourage neighbourhood connections.
We will take measurable action on reconciliation guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action. This will include organizing educational and awareness-raising events on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, such as virtual visits of the Woodland Cultural Centre, which was formerly the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School. We will strengthen the Municipal Indigenous land acknowledgement and develop a relationship agreement with the Hiawatha and Alderville First Nations to work together on areas of mutual interest, such as economic recovery, tourism and environmental issues.