City Council Candidate of the Week
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    This is the second in a series to highlight NEW faces in October’s municipal election for City Council.  The candidates I am featuring have expressed a strong stand on greenspace issues and a forward looking, sustainable view for the City of Peterborough.  Earlier this week this week I had a very enlightening interview with Diane Therrien who is running for a Council seat in Town Ward.
Diane was attracted to Peterborough by Trent University, where she came to do her master’s degree.  She fell in love with the city and wanted to stay; however, like many graduates in her circumstances, she found it was difficult to land a good job. Undaunted, she persevered and now the residents of Town Ward can benefit from her abundance of sound ideas and her sustainable vision for the city.  She is just the kind of bright energetic young urban professional Peterborough needs on Council to ensure a better future for Peterborough.
      I first became aware of Diane when she spoke last November during the Parkway presentations before City Council where she left an indelible impression as an articulate, intelligent and informed spokesperson.  More recently, during the City budget meetings, I witnessed her professional presentation for the Housing Stability Fund to that same Council.  That presentation was on behalf of the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network where she is employed, working for the concerns of the 30% of Peterborough residents living at or below the poverty line.  Many of these are seniors or students as well as the 9-11% of unemployed here in Peterborough (the youth unemployment runs almost double that).  It is no wonder then that she is concerned about issues such as improving public transit and encouraging mixed use neighborhoods.  These concepts promote walkable access to the necessities of life and promote small local businesses that keep our dollars circulating within the city.
Diane has based many of her ideas for improving the sustainability of Peterborough on her knowledge of other Ontario cities such as Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton.  Both of these cities are currently favoring a rejuvenation of their downtowns while creating jobs by attracting the millennial generation to live and work there.  Kitchener has become a centre for high tech businesses like Google Canada, which has just expanded their offices there.  Hamilton’s McMaster University is opening a new Health Campus in the heart of the city, creating jobs and bringing the student medical campus downtown.
Meanwhile, Peterborough City Council has allowed Shopper’s Drug Mart to build a second large single story building at Charlotte and Alymer without requiring them to add additional floors to add to residential spaces in the downtown.  Diane believes the city needs to require large business like Shopper’s Drug Mart who are looking to develop in Peterborough to include residential units and other mixed-use zoning to re develop and revitalize the city core.
Her other ideas for a progressive and forward thinking Peterborough include:
  • Complete streets and walkable neighbourhoods;
  • A vibrant downtown where local businesses thrive;
  • Increased support for homegrown businesses, the cornerstone of any healthy community;
  • Increased access to recreational activities and spaces for people of all ages;
  • Sustainable, mixed-use development that increases density and promotes healthy living;
  • Better snow removal policies, so that everyone, particularly seniors and those with mobility challenges, can get around safely in winter;
  • More civic engagement among citizens and council members.
      It’s time to get involved.  Find the candidate(s) in your ward who has a vision for Peterborough beyond urban sprawl and more roads to support them.  Volunteer to work on and/or contribute to their campaigns.  Don’t sit back until it’s too late; this will be a defining election for the future of Peterborough!

Contact Diane at:
Or visit her website:
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