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Guelph

On Wednesday, October 25, 2006, GOKW.org contacted all Guelph Ward and Mayoral candidates with a listed email address with a list of questions. Candidates without email addresses have not yet been contacted. Below is a list of the candidates, the status of their contact, and the unabridged replies of those who have responded to our questionaire. This table and the replies will be updated as we receive them.

Guelph

Name Candidacy Contacted Replied yet
Mark Briestensky Mayoral Yes No
Karen Farbridge Mayoral Yes Yes
Bev. A. Izzillo-Ustation Mayoral No
Kate Quarrie Mayoral Yes No
John Allan Ward 1 Yes Yes
Laura Baily Ward 1 Yes Yes
Bob Bell Ward 1 Yes No
Kathleen Farrelly Ward 1 Yes No
Rocco Furfaro Ward 1 Yes No
Eugene Gromczynski Ward 1 Yes No
Vicki Beard Ward 2 Yes No
Andrew Colwill Ward 2 Yes No
Ray Ferraro Ward 2 No
Ian Findlay Ward 2 Yes Yes
Matthew Knock Ward 2 No
Dan Moziar Ward 2 Yes Yes
Gary Walton Ward 2 Yes No
Craig Chamberlain Ward 3 Yes No
June Hofland Ward 3 Yes No
Maggie Laidlaw Ward 3 Yes Yes
Dan Schnurr Ward 3 Yes No
Charlie Whittaker Ward 3 No
David Birtwistle Ward 4 Yes Yes
Cam Guthrie Ward 4 Yes Yes
Gloria Kovach Ward 4 Yes Yes
Mike Salisbury Ward 4 Yes Yes
John Alves Ward 5 Yes No
Lise Burcher Ward 5 Yes No
Dan Douma Ward 5 Yes Yes
Sal DeMonte Ward 5 Yes Yes
Leanne Piper Ward 5 Yes No
Christine Billings Ward 6 Yes No
Peter Hamtak Ward 6 Yes No
Kenneth Morgan Ward 6 Yes No
Karl Wettstein Ward 6 Yes Yes
William McAdams Ward 6 No

Guelph – Mayoral – Karen Farbridge

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Absolutely. The Province is projecting an increase of 4 million people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. “Business as usual” will lead to significantly more traffic congestion. Fortunately, the province has identified transit as their first priority, including enhanced inter- regional connections between Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph and the Greater Toronto area.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

We need a balanced approach to solving our transportation issues that includes improved roadways, as well as expanded train and bus services. Increasing roadway capacity is the traditional solution to traffic congestion, but there are community and environmental costs, as well as practical limitations to building more and bigger roads. We need to involve commuters in the discussions to make sure we are meeting their needs and to reduce demand for car travel.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Not applicable.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

This is an important issue that must be reviewed with all stakeholders. I would initiate meetings with the Mayors of the respective jurisdictions to explore opportunities to provide transit service between Guelph, the Region of Waterloo and areas in the County in coordination with Grand River Transit.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

I would be interested in learning more about this option, along with exploring all other commuting opportunities for Guelph.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

No final decisions have been made on the development of this property. The site has significant access constraints, making it a challenge to develop for purposes that generate significant automobile traffic. My goal would be to work with the property owner and neighbourhood to determine the best, most responsible use for this site

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

As Mayor I participated in the North Mainline Alliance, which included representatives from municipalities from London to Halton Hills, to build the business case for improvements to train service on the North Mainline railroad. These improvements could involve a coordinated service by VIA and GO Rail in the future.

Guelph – Ward 1 – John Allan

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes.

Guelph had commuter trains to Toronto for years, yet we have abandoned it. Those who do not study the past are bound to repeat it. The British rail commuter system has much to envy as they have integrated it into the very fabric of their community. Strange how we have so many people who want to do this and avoid the drive in their own car, yet we fail to provide this essential service.

The environmental cost, the loss of working hours as people commute, and expense of maintaining the infrastructure can be offset by addressing this now.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

The VIA rail service should be expanded and seamless transportation nodes created in all of our areas to encourage the transfer from city buses, coach lines and rail commuting.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I do think commuting is a serious problem. Commuting for long distances and in heavy traffic simply increased the odds of accidents and loss of life.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Yes, the seamless transportation node I spoke of would allow for people to live in any of our communities and allow for a better flow of our work force. This would allow for disparities as the economy shifts and some companies close and others start up.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

The Greyhound bus terminal at the junction of Highway 6 and the 401 would allow for better economies of scale for the company and increase accessibility for riders. This is based on them using more frequent buses or city buses to and from the 6-401 terminal.

I support the Guelph terminal approach; I am not familiar with the Cambridge strategy.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

I would always look for the mixed use of these lands. Residential, commercial and green spaces are key in, I had not previously known of the VIA station idea, and would enjoy discussing this further as to what the ramifications are to the downtown.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

Not at this time.

Guelph – Ward 1 – Laura Baily

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes – I strongly believe that we require alternative transportation modes for the sake of our environment and our pocket books.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

It is part of the 20 year Guelph and Wellington Transportation plan that provides staged implementation of transit modes for our community and businesses. It deals with TDM Transportation Demand Management that covers the road, rail networks to develop reliable transportation for not only us but our region and province. Makes sense to have choice.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I feel the opposite, with Places to Grow coming forward and even looking at our population expansion through our Official Plan numbers there is a need for alternative transit, especially to allow us to go on the train to our region or to other areas in the GTA – a great way to go.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Yes, again, I refer to the 20 year plan – expansion of services and networking makes good sense as it allows us the flexibility in our choice of transit – the 20 year plan looks at this partnership. It is the creation of specialized routes and the costs would need to be shared. I can see this happening sooner rather than later due to gas costs.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

I supported the transit terminal in Guelph or hub that brings all modes together for the convenience of those who use these services. The Transportation Department has been working on this plan and speaking to VIA, Go and Greyhound systems plus our neighbours to deal with the possibilities.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

It certainly is an interesting proposition and would require a number of studies to look at the land volume, restrictions, spur/mainline rail components – a project, but certainly, not unreasonable if the owner would sell the land at a reasonable price too.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

It is the right way to go, as a generation is getting older and will rely on other modes of transportation to get around.

Our youth uses our bus services and would gladly use the rail travel to go to Toronto and other GTA/Regional destinations

I used to use the Go train regularly from Oakville to Toronto and enjoyed the ride that gave you time to read:-)

Guelph – Ward 2 – Dan Moziar

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

ABSOLUTELY

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

Improved and affordable commuter services are required. The current rail fare is excessive and along with a limited schedule this and disuades rail commuters. As a Councillor I would look for a regional solution with our Municipal partners, and the provincial and federal Gov’ts.. It is imperative that the rail line from Kitchener to Guelph be double tracked to allow better commuter rail service. Guelp[h Junction Railway used to provide a passenger service. This should be looked at as a way to provide GO service to the Milton line.

The Province needs to be supportive and involved in these initiatives.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Commuting has been a problem for many years and the response by the provincial government to this problem has not been adequate.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Any timely and affordable solution that gets commuters off the road is worthwhile. I have worked on this problem in the past and will continue to do so.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Yes it is a good idea. Guelph is currently looking at a joint terminal to serve bus service, GO service, Rail and the City bus service in an attempt to offer better solutions to commuting by automobile.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

Unfortunately this property is under development as an industrial site, and it will be many years before the Province deals with the issue. Look how long the hwy 7 expansion to Kitchener has been tied up.

Although this is a good idea, time is not on our side.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

This is a very important issue for the Region. There used to be two rush hour periods on the 401, 427, and the Gardiner. Now it is just about all day. Awell planned commuter service reasonably priced will take commuters off the road, and provide safer and more convenient commuter service. However due to the massive capital requirements, it won’t happen tomorrow. Sustained lobbying from the Regions is required.

Guelph – Ward 2 – Ian Findlay

Thank you for your questionnaire and your passionate interest in community development.

I’m not in a position to answer specific questions concerning options on the Lafarge property, or commuter solutions, until I have had a chance to review all of the information from all of the community stakeholders.

I will tell you that I support improved public transit and the linking of local and regional services. This is critical to helping solve gridlock and reducing the carbon loading of our atmosphere.

I also support mixed use development. This includes creating new complete neighbourhoods that offer residents all the amenities that they need and deserve.

This includes parks, libraries, ambulance service, corner stores, public transit and meaningful employment opportunities.

Guelph – Ward 3 – Maggie Laidlaw

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Absolutely. In fact I was quite vocal in my disappointment with the provincial government when it completely ignored public transit as it was determining what to do to improve Hwy 7 from Guelph to Kitchener. I suggested then that instead of widening Hwy7 to accommodate more cars, it would be a better idea to have a transit/HOV lane to encourage transit use and car-sharing.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

The very best solution would be one that Transit 2000 has been suggesting for years, i.e. light rapid rail. However, without firm financial commitments from the federal and provincial governments, this will never happen. The next best solution would be to expand GO service further into the golden horseshoe area, and to facilitiate the use of exclusive public transit lanes on local highways. At the council level, we need to have representatives from all local and regional councils at the table deciding how to make this happen. I would be happy to spearhead this initiative.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

I do agree that this is going to be a big problem, as the population increases and congestion worsens. Productivity is severely affected when people are stranded on badly congested roads for hours.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Integration is definitely part of the solution. The provision of a clean, smooth-running, economical and timely integrated system will encourage private automobile commuters to consider the public transit option. Again, councils must begin to dialogue with one another in order to make this happen, and they must also engage other levels of government.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Yes, I do thing this would be useful, as long as the service offered regular routes, buses running much more often than is currently the case, and the highways have transit-only lanes.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

I believe that any development on the Lafarge lands must involve the neighbourhood residents. I would like their opinions on this proposal; however, from speaking with the neighbourhood group, I doubt that a large piece of paved over land for a parking lot is what they have in mind for the site.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

A recent report by an international nature organisation reminds us that at our current rate of use, fossil fuel levels will be extremely limited within 20-30 years, and that by 2050 we will need 2 planet Earths to sustain us. Future commuter transportation must take these facts into account in any scenario for transportation. I would like to see us go back to a much greater use of rail, especially for goods transportation, and public transit for people-moving. We must also offer much more varied work environments, from tele-working at home to flex hours, and all other options, to help reduce congestion on the roads.

Guelph – Ward 4 – Cam Guthrie

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes I believe we not only need this service, but that it cannot be ignored any further.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

I would take 3 approaches. #1. Look at the services within our City that need to be improved. #2. Discuss partnering with our neighbouring communities on joint projects. #3. Lobby the provincial government for improvements.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

Commuting will become worse if our current infrastructure is not properly maintained or planned.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

Any type of progress on this that would ultimately benefit the commuters is something I would investigate.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Cambridge is Cambridge. Guelph is Guelph. We would have to look at why that would be the most economical and environmental option. We have to do a major survey of the commuters in Guelph to justify spending anything.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

Interesting idea. That sounds like an option I would actually like to explore. We would have to make sure it really is a need and not a want for Guelph though. The fact that there is a a rail-line through that site might make it very feasible however….I’d have to research it more.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

Transit needs to be affordable and meet the needs of a large cross-section of people. Proper planning is key along with a lot of input from the public so it meets these needs.

Thank you very much for your questions and keep up the great work on your vision and your website!

Cam Guthrie

Guelph – Ward 4 – Gloria Kovach

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

Work with the province and councils from other areas to encourage the Province to enhance service to our area.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

N/A

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

We would have to look at need and costs associated with this suggestion as well as logistics. I am not familiar with the Grand River Transit system and perhaps there may be a better way to provide inter City transit service.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

I can not comment on Cambridge’s issues.

Certainly it would be interesting to discuss commuter buses with Greyhound. Guelph already has a bus terminal.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

Actually, the Lafarge property is zoned industrial and is also designated industrial in Guelph’s official plan. Any development on this site must be sensitive to and compatible with the neighbourhood and seek public input.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

Thank you for your interest in the upcoming election.

Guelph – Ward 4 – David Birtwistle

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

That is quite obvious as the “gridlock” that’s being experienced within/without the GTA,can only be “unlocked” by multi-partner determination to improve the various modes of public transportation to encourage less use of privately owned,single occupancy automobiles and,of course,planned highway developments,that have been talked about for years/decades,must come to fruition.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

As outlined in #1.,there has to be the will to address this situation and it must involve GUELPH,surrounding municipalities,the Province,transportation stakeholders,chambers of commerce,etc..

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

It makes sense that,what with approximately 40% of workers in GUELPH originate in the Region of WATERLOO,that the resources of GUELPH Transit and WRT,should be utilized to encourage a seamless,regularly scheduled, transit system,that operates between these major municipality nodes.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

GUELPH has a Greyhound terminal.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

The land of which you speak is currently under development and,naturally and rightly,the owners would have to agree to such a proposal,which,considering the rail and road geographics of this property,certainly make the idea a tantalizing one.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

The proposal to build an enormous parking structure in GUELPH’s “Downtown”,further encourages use of the automobile versus public transit and is not the “road” to travel.

Thank you.

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Absolutely!

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

Improved transit services within the Golden Triangle and to the Greater Toronto Area (including more frequent service, access to a range of destinations, and reduced travel times) would increase ridership and improve highway congestion.

I believe that the city council must see transit as a key ingredient in an improved quality of life and hence an improvement in our competitive advantage and ability to attract investment and businesses.

When this relationship is fully understood, commuter services will become a higher priority at City Hall.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

The reduction of personal vehicle use for commuting is not only a local or regional issue…it is a global issue. Effective, efficient and affordable public transportation is one of the easiest and most effective tools we have to improve this serious problem. 4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

This idea is defiantly worth investigating.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Having taken the Greyhound bus several times out of Toronto I would have thought that we already had this service.

The Guelph Wellington Transportation Study explored the long term transportation needs in the Guelph-Wellington area and identified specific transportation system improvements including the development of an interregional, inter-modal transportation hub in Guelph. This is an important issue for Guelph to move forward on.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

This proposal is very interesting. The Lafarge property has a number of very significant opportunities as well as constraints for development.

All options should be considered to ensure that the best and most compatible development be found for this property. As a City Councillor, I would hope that this option would be “on the table” for any future discussion regarding the development of this property.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

Public Transit is NOT a want — it is a NEED. This fundamental public service is very high on my list of priorities as both a resident and as a potential City Councillor.

Guelph – Ward 5 – Dan Douma

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

Yes.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

Currently personal vehicles are the only viable option for commuters. There are a number of approaches we could take to improve commuter service. Possible options to explore are more frequent Via Rail service, working with GO Transit to start commuter service from Breslau to Union Station in Toronto, or improving bus service. I personally prefer a rail-based solution, but am in favor of any plan which will take cars off our local roads and highways.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

N/A

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

If there is enough demand for inter-city bus service to make it financially viable, we should definitely work with neighboring municipalities to integrate our public transit networks.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

Anything that gets cars off the road is a good approach in my opinion. I can’t really comment on what is happening in Cambridge, though I am interested in learning more about this. Guelph currently has a bus terminal downtown, so I would need to find out what kind of demand there would be for this bus service. I prefer rail as a long-term option, provided that the province can bring some funding for rail upgrades to the table. Until that happens, increased bus service is the best stop-gap measure.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

Downtown would be my preferred location for a GO train station because it would tie in with our bus system. Of course parking is the major issue for a downtown site. If a plan can be developed which includes sufficient parking capacity for GO service, downtown would be the place to do it. Given that Guelph’s buses all return downtown every half hour, parking needs could be reduced if we can encourage people to take transit to the GO station rather than driving. Perhaps Guelph Transit would be able to partner with GO Transit to offer reduced (or free) fares to commuters connecting with the GO Transit service. The Lafarge properties would be a ‘second best’ option. I wouldn’t want to see this land turned into a giant parking lot. If it is selected as a GO station site, we would need to build a parking garage rather than a flat lot to reduce the footprint required for parking on-site.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

I am a big supporter of public transit, and of rail transit as an alternative to private vehicles. I believe municipalities all over Canada have neglected rail transit in favor of building more roads, and this approach has to change. We need to take a cue from the Europeans and make light-rail service the first choice for commuters. Trains are a cleaner, more efficient, and environmentally responsible choice. Our job on council will be to work together with GO, Via, the Provincial government, and neighboring municipalities to make sure that commuters who want to leave their cars behind are able to do so.

Guelph – Ward 5 – Sal DeMonte/b>

1. Do you believe our region needs to improve commuter service to areas outside of our four cities, particularly the GTA?

YES.

2. If so, what do you believe the best solution(s) would be to improve this service, and what would you do to bring in any such services as councillors or as the Mayor?

SOLUTIONS REQUIRE CO-PLANNING BY THE MUNICIPALITIES INVOLVED TO DESIGN THE HUB OF SERVICE FOR WORKERS GOING OUT OF COMMUNITIES.

THE BUS SYSTEMS AND CAR POOL FACILITIES MUST BE COORDINATED.

I WILL WORK ON ATTRACTING BUSINESSES CLOSER TO OUR COMMUNITIES TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYEMENT OPPORTUNITIES TO ELIMINATE OR MINIMIZE COMMUTING TO STOP WASTING TIME AND RESOURCES.

WORK OR HOME SWAPS MAY BE ENTERTAINED FOR THOSE SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGE.

3. If you do not feel that commuting is or will become a serious problem for our region in the near future, what do you believe to be the case?

COMMUNTING HAS THREE MAJOR RISK: ACCIDENTS, WASTE OF VALUABLE TIME AND HIGH COSTS IN CAR MAINTENANCE/ INSURANCE AND GAS. CITIES EXPERIENCE HIGH TRAFFIC PATTERNS TO STRESS SERVICES AND DRIVERS.

I BELIEVE THAT WORK AND HOME SHOULD BE CLOSE TO IMPROVE LIVING AND PLAYING. REALITY IS SETTING IN THAT DRIVING TO AND FROM WORK IS NOT BECOMING CHEAPER.

COMMUTING BECOMES A PROBLEM SOONER OR LATER FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER NEEDING BOTH PERSONAL AND CITY ACTION AND WISE DECISON-MAKING.

4. Do you believe Guelph and Grand River Transit’s bus systems should be integrated in any way? If so, what would you do to make this happen?

INTEGRATION REQUIRES ANALYSIS OF DATA THAT MUST BE COLLECTED BEFORE MAKING DECISION ON THE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE.

5. Cambridge has recently announced the creation of a Greyhound bus terminal, and Greyhound has indicated an interest in having such a commuter bus terminal in Guelph. Do you believe this is a good approach for Cambridge’s commuter problems? Would it be a good approach for Guelph?

GREYHOUND BUS WOULD NOT INVEST UNLESS THERE IS GOOD REASON. I DO NOT KNOW THEIR DATA. THEY MAY BE EXPERIMENTING. A BUS SERVICE MAY PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE AND A BACK-UP FOR COMMUTERS . CITY COUNCILS SHOULD HELP MAKE SUCH INVESTMENTS POSSIBLE TO ASSIST TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE COMMUTER SERVICE AND REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

6. Guelph has a large vacant lot known as the Lafarge properties near the Hanlon on Silvercreek right on the main east-west railway tracks through Guelph. It has recently been allocated for commercial development. GOKW.org believes part of this land is the ideal location in Guelph for a GO train station, providing quick access to the highway system and enough land to build a large park-and-ride lot, which might not be available from the downtown VIA station. Would you be willing to consider this location as an alternative to the existing downtown station, and would you be willing to alter other development on this land in anticipation of a future commuter train station on the Lafarge property?

YES. ANY AND ALL POSSIBILITIES, OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES SHOULD BE EXPLORED BY CITY COUNCIL TO MAKE THE BEST USE OF LANDS, PROPERTIES AND ASSET TO HELP SERVE THE COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY INCLUDES THE COMMUTERS THAT SACRIFICE THERE TIME AND RESOURCES ON THE ROAD TO WORK TO PAY TAXES IN GUELPH. OUR CONTRIBUTION IS TO USE TAXES TO MAKE COMMUTING AS SAFE AND PLEASANT AS POSSIBLE.

7. Do you have any additional comments on this topic for us?

WE NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT OTHER JURISDICTIONS HAVE DONE TO HELP RESOLVE THE ISSUE OF COMMUTING AND ITS ASSOCIATED COSTS TO HELP DEVELOP STANDARDS THAT ARE REASONABLE AND AFFORDABLE FOR THE LONG TERM.

Guelph – Ward 6 – Karl Wettstein

Steve – Thanks for the questionnaire. This the 18th one I have received. I am not currently on council, I was from 200-2003. You ask some excellent questions and I believe the new Guelph council in consultation with our staff needs to answer them all. I am not going to go into detail at this time but let me sum up my position by saying I absolutely agree our region needs to improve cummuter services. I also agree we should seriously look at integrating our bus services. It is premature for me to comment on specific sites but I agree the Lefarge site is worth exploring. Hope this is helpful for now. Karl