Gary first drew public attention last summer, when for several days he lived the life of a homeless person. Using a pseudonym, he approached the authorities for help – basically he was offered $100 to “get out of town.”
A Cornwallite for 11 years now, Gary has a keen perception of what’s right and what’s wrong. Cornwall has not grown for over 20 years, and under present policies, the population will stay static. The reason? Too many of Cornwall’s young people, when they graduate from school or college, have to move out of town to find a decent job. He promises to push Council to recognise and encourage not only seniors, but also our youth, our newcomers, and all who make up our community. It is time to bring in good jobs for everyone, not just minimum wage jobs with no benefits and no future.
Poverty is a major issue in many parts of the city. Many people are sick and unhealthy because of poverty, unemployment, or the substandard housing they are forced to live in. Over 12% of Cornwall children live below the poverty level. The new Council needs to realise how poverty impacts our city, and we must push them to work on solutions to fix this now, rather than worrying about the comfort of their backsides when in a Council session.
Gary’s platform can be summed up in 4 points:
- Job creation to retain our youth;
- Employment and training programs to help those looking for work but who need more skills;
- Affordable, safe housing for our singles, young families, the elderly, and the working poor who cannot afford to pay the average rent, plus food, clothing, utilities, and other basic necessities;
- Become serious about energy conservation and work to ensure that we take better care of our environment, and support healthy food programs so everyone can enjoy better eating and health.
“Council must stop wasting time and money on selfish issues such as awarding themselves pay raises, more comfortable chairs, or a modular setup for council chambers. I will push Council to tackle the issues that are important to the city’s population. If Council votes itself another pay raise during my term, I will donate my portion to a local charity.”