Sustainability is key question for TBM council candidate Porter

·3 min read

In her run for a councillor’s seat on The Blue Mountains council, June Porter is promising to bring bold and creative leadership to the community.

Porter is running in her second municipal election in The Blue Mountains and has been actively engaged and involved with community projects for many years.

She has served as the chair of the joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, as the secretary and board member of the Institute for Southern Georgian Bay, as a board member of the North East Grey Health Clinics and has been a reviewer of grants provided by the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital's Wellness Innovation Fund.

“Being a volunteer is well-rooted in our family,” she said. “You can’t become part of a community fully until you give something to the community.”

Porter spent many years in the nursing field in Canada and internationally and in both the private and public sectors.

There are a number of issues that she views as being critical for the future of The Blue Mountains including: the Official Plan, infrastructure, the natural environment, sustainability, social development and relationships.

“Sustainability needs to be embedded in your everyday decision-making,” she said. “The Blue Mountains is very attractive to tourists and residents and we’re at risk of not having the right infrastructure. When something comes in we need to ask: 'is this going to move us further along to a sustainable community?' And if not, why are we doing this?”

Porter said she will bring big-picture thinking to the council table and said the pathway to a sustainable future for the community requires a new way of thinking. Porter questions the current approach to affordable/attainable housing and said the issue needs to be considered in conjunction with other problems.

“Our economy is suffering. There is a shortage of staff, everyone is suffering because of a lack of staff and there is no daycare,” she said. “Sustainability has so many manifestations, there is a ripple effect. Things need to be talked about as a whole so things come to fruition.”

Porter is an advocate for addressing the affordable housing issue on multiple fronts.

“Why hasn’t anything happened? It’s very sad. It is what people are talking about. It is affecting people. It is affecting employers. It is affecting people’s lifestyles,” she said.

Porter said a wide range of options need to be advanced including: tiny homes, rental apartments and others.

“We need a variety. What I would like to explore is to do it on a more regional basis. Would a developer be more interested if there were multiple projects?” she said.

Porter said a more accountable local government is important.

“People generally want to be listened to and they want to be heard. Transparency is very important. People need to understand why a decision has been made this way,” she said. “You have to be accountable for your decisions.”

As a councillor, Porter said she would advocate for the protection of the natural environment and the character of the community.

“The environment we have here is the number one jewel. If you slowly eradicate it, what are you left with?” she said. “Character needs to mean something in the Official Plan.”

Election day is Oct. 24. For information about registering to vote or to see a list of registered candidates, visit the town website here.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca