Housing, economy key issues for Dysart Ward 1 election hopeful

·2 min read

Rob McCaig wants to help his community live, work, shop, and play.

In fact, that’s his campaign slogan of sorts for the Dysart et al Ward 1 seat on municipal council. Ballots will be marked Oct. 24.

McCaig said he has 41 years’ experience in management, retail marketing, media, strategic planning and budgeting. That’s experience, he said, that will prove to be an asset to him at the council table and, ultimately, Ward 1 and Dysart et al.

McCaig, a long-time seasonal Ward 1 resident, said increasing affordable housing is key to a prosperous future for Dysart and Haliburton County.

“We need to attract workers to our town, but how do we do that if there’s nowhere to live?” he said. “Student Housing is being planned by Sir Sandford Fleming on College Drive. Why don’t we develop affordable housing in the same area.

“Affordable senior’s housing should also be considered as well.”

And there’s a dog’s breakfast of infrastructure concerns that he feels should be addressed, everything from pothole-riddled streets, sidewalks in disrepair, to wheelchair-friendly curbs downtown.

“Before there is any consideration of building, there must be a plan put in place to address the capacity of the sewage treatment plant, environmental protection, storm water runoff into our lakes,” he said.

Cottage country depends on ensuring the environment’s integrity. That’s why people visit the region and why people choose to work and live and start businesses there.

“Not a city in cottage country. Just fresh air, fresh faces, and friendly people, both local and transplanted,” McCaig said.

Drawing sustainable businesses to Dysart will contribute to the municipal tax base.

“Town planners must think long-term about this area as a hub for employment,” he said. “We also need to make it easier for retailers to set up shop in Haliburton, without the red tape, lengthy delays and make things work for residents, seasonals, and visitors.”

James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Minden Times