Arlene Phillips

Candidate - Arlene Phillips.jpg

Why did you decide to run for council?

After looking at Council, and noticing that women were unrepresented (one this term, three last term of ten seats and one mayor's seat), and wanting to something to be done about it, I decided to run. One of the other factors, is that North Bay's council seems to be dominated by business people. Very little attention and budget is awarded to Arts and Culture versus Sports and Recreation. In running for council, I am working towards a more fulsome view of the community.

What innovative projects would enhance life in your community?

An innovation centre where new products, approaches and businesses could be developed. In the centre, support and direction would be given to help finance new adventures. This would work in partnership with existing programs, so that efforts are not duplicated.

If you received a $1 million grant to use for your city any way you wanted, what would you do with it?

One of my thoughts is to open an artists co-op, where they could use a dedicated space to work on their craft, at a low cost (to pay for utilities and building maintenance). There would also be a gallery to display various works (much like an artist in residence). Another thought I have is to set up a housing co-op, to assist individuals, using bachelor or one bedroom units. There would garden space available to tenants, to subsidize food costs. Another idea would be the seed money to set up an innovation centre for new businesses.

What do you think are the greatest challenges your city faces?

Underemployment. Many people are working low to minimum wage jobs, and have skill sets to do more. This also leads to youth out-migration, as they tend to go where jobs are.

Other than the official ways of communicating (minutes, municipal notes), how else will you reach out to your constituents to involve them in the decision making process?

Meet with people, either one on one or in a public meeting. I would also solicit feedback electronically, via email or polls.

What is your favourite thing to do in your city?

Long dog walks on the trails. The beauty of our city is astounding. We are one of the few cities that can boast of several lakes (and rivers) within our boundaries, are on two watersheds, have both wild and tamed green spaces.

What do you cherish most about your community?

The Capital Centre. It is a home to the arts. The stage welcomes many different acts and events, as well as movies. There are several rooms that also host smaller acts, celebrations and events. The Capital Centre is so versatile, is seems to change with every usage.

Where can people find you?

By email or at events: Living Fit (Oct. 3), Near North Landlords Association (Oct. 3) and others as they become available.

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