This column appeared in the Burlington Post on September 21, 2011 and is available online at http://www.insidehalton.com/opinion/columns/article/1107617–your-vote-matters-to-burlington
September 21, 2011
Voting is both a democratic right and a responsibility.
The Thursday, Oct. 6 provincial election again presents an opportunity for all of us to have our say.
As we saw in the recent federal election, the public can speak and create change.
In the coming provincial election there are some very important issues that affect us directly here in Burlington.
The first important issue surrounds the redevelopment of Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.
Council feels strongly enough about the need to re-develop our hospital that we have committed $60 million to this project on behalf of the residents of our community.
We heard loud and clear that this was very important to the community. I will continue to work with council and with Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital officials to make this a reality.
The other important aspect of the election is the protection of our rural land. Burlington has an urban boundary line, the Dundas/407 corridor, which separates the urban centre from the rural areas.
The decision to expand within the urban area is a positive decision. Burlington will have increased urban areas, which offer lifestyle alternatives, we will have protected suburban neighbourhoods to preserve the traditional Burlington, and we will have rural and agricultural areas, which will become more and more important over time.
I recognize that traffic is a problem. I recognize that moving commercial goods through the GTA is also becoming more and more challenging. I also recognize that the continuing development of Toronto as a world economic centre is paramount to the success of Burlington, the GTA, Ontario and Canada.
We need to have both the provincial and federal governments recognize the GTA’s importance and get on board developing the public transportation infrastructure that we need for this prosperity. Another highway is an alternative, a very expensive and potentially destructive one.
The Liberal and Conservative leadership have taken opposing views on both of these decisions.
Over the next few weeks I encourage everyone to review election information, talk to the candidates and make an informed decision on Oct. 6. Please vote — it’s your right and your responsibility.