CBC Sudbury's ward-by-ward series of interviews with Greater Sudbury municipal election candidates.


John Antonioni

John Antonioni (provided)

John Antonioni

Age: 44
 
Occupation: Business Development Consultant

Community involvement: Prior Business Development Officer for the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, Steering Committee for Proposed Motorsports Complex, Regional Business Centre Mentor (entrepreneur engagement)

Top 3 issues for whole city:

  • Greater Sudbury's Massive Infrastructure Deficit. We must engage upon solution sets  in order to effectively manage civic finances, end ballooning tax rates, enhance infrastructure development and business attraction, retention and attraction.
  • Transparency and Accountability at City Hall: Return the Ontario Ombudsman, make the office of the Auditor General permanent, create a Council Code of Conduct and an Integrity Commissioner to police it and eliminate discretionary "slush funds."  
  • Jobs and Growth: Create a culture of innovation and technology to grow the economic diversity of Greater Sudbury, foster an environment that is "open for business" and allows entrepreneurs to create jobs.

Top 3 issues for your ward:

  • Downtown revitalization: business attraction, residency, and development needs to be emphasized and acted upon.
  • Protection of Ramsey Lake ecosystem and our drinking water supplies.
  • Roads and Traffic: Explore measures to end vehicular congestion on Ramsey Lake Road, York Street and at the Four Corners, undertake better and cost effective solutions for pothole fixes and road surface construction, maintenance, and engage in better snow and snowbank removal.

How would you have voted on the following resolutions from this past term?  Please respond with yes or no.
 

(From Feb. 10, 2011) Should the city scrap its bylaw 2004-204 regulating when retail stores are allowed to open and close? 

Yes.

(From Feb. 12/26 2012) Should the city remove the Ontario Ombudsman as it's closed meeting investigator and instead retain a firm called Amberley Gavel? 

No.  The Ombudsman is a service that is provided at no additional cost by the Ontario Government.  Council pays Amberley Gavel additional fees.

(From Dec. 5, 2012) Should the city continue to give each councillor a $50,000 Healthy Communities Initiative Fund to spend in their ward?

No. The City of Greater Sudbury is the only municipality that allows its Councillors to manage discretionary funds.  At best, it is less than democratic.  At its worst, they can be used used as funds to aide in incumbency.

(From Oct. 9, 2013) Should the city fast-track plans for a new arena replacing the Sudbury Arena with the aim of having the project underway by the end of 2014?

No, council had already missed the mark.  A lame duck Council will lack oversignt by the end of this year.  A primary project conceptual plan must be forwarded by mid 2015.

(From Dec. 11, 2013) Should council approve the 2014 budget with a 2.9% property tax increase?

No. A tax increase significantly greater that than the rate of inflation (CPI) should only be employed in dire emergent situations. 

Website: johnantonioni.ca


Fern Cormier

Fern Cormier (provided)

Fern Cormier

Age: 42

Occupation: Realtor

Community Involvement: I have served on many Boards and Committees. Here is some of my volunteer community involvement: Chair - City of Greater Sudbury Library Board, Chair - City of Greater Sudbury Museum Advisory Board, Founding Chair - Sudbury District Archives Interest Group, Board Member - ACCESS Network Sudbury, Algoma, Manitoulin, City of Greater Sudbury Street Naming Committee, Vice-Chair - Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation

Top 3 issues for the whole city:

  • To stop wasteful spending, budget overruns and lack of accountability when it comes to financial decisions and infrastructure improvements. Implement a system that establishes success and failure standards with regular updates to the public through council. This will allow for more transparent analysis of projects as they are developed and implemented with clear lines of accountability (including political) at every stage. 
  • Pursue a new planning process that engages stake-holders and the community at the earliest possible opportunity so that constructive communication can take place and proper input can be sought from all those affected by any new developments. I would also like to incorporate financial investment analysis as part of the planning process. 
  • Implement a transparency model that is second-to-none in Ontario. Any and all information should automatically be available and easily accessible by the public except in rare cases when it is not allowed by statute. Bring in a system that has a default position of information being open and available.

Top 3 issues for Ward 10:

  • The protection and clean-up of Lake Ramsay, our source of drinking water, as well as Nepahwin Lake must be a priority. 
  • I want development in Ward 10 to be more inclusive of, and sensitive to, the needs of pedestrians and cyclists when we are designing new road projects. In the past there have been large projects undertaken with little to no regard for pedestrians and cyclists. This is critical for a modern, healthy community. 
  • I want first-class maintenance and upgrades when it comes to our public spaces. Bell Park, for example, is a true gem in our city and we need to treat it like the gem that it is. I want this to be among the nicest parks anywhere. The maintenance and care-taking levels need to be increased and maintained. 

How would you have voted on the following resolutions from this past term?  Please respond with yes or no.

(From Feb. 10, 2011) Should the city scrap its bylaw 2004-204 regulating when retail stores are allowed to open and close? 

Yes 

(From Feb. 12/26 2012) Should the city remove the Ontario Ombudsman as it's closed meeting investigator and instead retain a firm called Amberley Gavel? 

No

(From Dec. 5, 2012) Should the city continue to give each councillor a $50,000 Healthy Communities Initiative Fund to spend in their ward?

No

(From Oct. 9, 2013) Should the city fast-track plans for a new arena replacing the Sudbury Arena with the aim of having the project underway by the end of 2014?

Yes

(From Dec. 11, 2013) Should council approve the 2014 budget with a 2.9% property tax increase?

No

Website: www.voteferncormier.com


Hannu Piironen

Hannu Piironen (provided)

Hannu Piironen

Age: 57

Occupation: Non-practising lawyer, currently property owner/manager

Community involvement: I have been a volunteer in the community for almost 40 years: Past Board member of the following: Sudbury Finnish Resthome Society, Network North,  Sudbury Native Housing Board, Northern Mental Health Hospitals Restructuring Board. I was a Charter Member of the Sudbury Suomi Lions in 1989 and served two terms as President. For the past seven years I have been on the City of Greater Sudbury Public Library Board and am currently the Chair. I have been Honorary Consul of Finland for Sudbury and area since 1991. I have been honoured by the Government of Finland and the Province of Ontario for my efforts.

Top issues for the City:

  • Regaining a sense of trust between  Council and citizens. A press of the "reset" button is needed. A quick reinstatement of the Ombudsman's Office to oversee closed meetings complaints and adoption of a Code of Ethics and Conduct would be a good start.
  • We have a very serious problem with our infrastructure needs. We have   new roads projects in the works yet our growing infrastructure deficit has to be addressed. Our current roads are crumbling and sewer and water pipes need replacing as well as culverts and bridges. We have to ensure that our priorities are correct and that the money spent is on quality work which will meet the standards for our climate and terrain.
  • Our local environment must be protected. We must be concerned about the water quality in our lakes and rivers. Development must be planned taking into account environmental concerns. We need to know what toxic and explosive substances are being transported through our community and we must be prepared to deal with potential accidents and spills. 

Top issues for Ward 10:

  • A strong and vital Downtown is the key to a City we can be proud of. As most of the Downtown is in Ward 10, it should be a priority to work with businesses and other stakeholders to continue revitalization projects such as the Elgin Street Greenway. We must encourage new businesses and residential development, and facilitate construction of entertainment and cultural venues.
  • Ward 10 is blessed with much greenspace and several lakes and creek systems. These must be protected and made more accessible for the enjoyment of City residents by improving the hiking and bicycle trails. Signage showing access points to trails and route markers are required. I would encourage  local food initiatives such as community gardens and share your fruit programs.
  • I would encourage grass roots democratic action through a Community Action Network. A Councillor does not have a monopoly on ideas and indeed needs the input of the citizenry to function effectively. Currently Ward 10 does not have a separate CAN.  I will organize a meeting to see if there is a desire within Ward 10 to create one.

How would you have voted on the following resolutions from this past term?  Please respond with yes or no.
 

(From Feb. 10, 2011) Should the city scrap its bylaw 2004-204 regulating when retail stores are allowed to open and close? 

Yes (Though I would not have supported stores being open on Boxing Day. I am committed to following the wishes of  the voters in Ward 10 whether or not the 50% threshold  of voter turnout is met in the upcoming referendum.) 

(From Feb. 12/26 2012) Should the city remove the Ontario Ombudsman as it's closed meeting investigator and instead retain a firm called Amberley Gavel? 

No

(From Dec. 5, 2012) Should the city continue to give each councillor a $50,000 Healthy Communities Initiative Fund to spend in their ward?

No

(From Oct. 9, 2013) Should the city fast-track plans for a new arena replacing the Sudbury Arena with the aim of having the project underway by the end of 2014?

No (I am in favour of a new OHL arena in downtown Sudbury of a sufficient size and standard to attract major events such as the Brier and big name musical acts.)

(From Dec. 11, 2013) Should council approve the 2014 budget with a 2.9% property tax increase?

Did not answer

Website: hannu.ca


Steve Ripley

Steve Ripley (provided)

Steve Ripley

Age: 48

Occupation: did not answer

Community involvement: did not answer
 
Top 3 city issues

  • Put in place financial sustainability for future elder care/ALC/homecare funding for our aging population before it's too late.
  • Improvement of water quality and oversight into contaminants going into Ramsey lake, including the restriction of 2 stroke outboards from the lake, which continues to be major contributor to the pollution of one of our most valuable resources.
  • Implement a committee to review/and dispense with outdated and archaic by-laws to allow for a more concise language between the city and the public and to streamline city practises.

Top 3 Ward 10 issues

  • Entice developers to build affordable housing on city brown fields near the downtown core to encourage the downtowns revitalization and help reduce the requirement of further parking spaces within the core.
  • Offer a reduced tax rate to new businesses opening in our downtown to improve growth through the use of CIP's.
  • Initiate a long term program for cold weather shelters for the indigent and find cost effective ways to aid involved services year round.

How would you have voted on the following resolutions from this past term?  Please respond with yes or no.

(From Feb. 10, 2011) Should the city scrap its bylaw 2004-204 regulating when retail stores are allowed to open and close? 

I would have to arrange and fund a separate campaign to answer that question as per the city clerks office so I can't comment on this point ,thanks to the inactivity and indecision of current council.

(From Feb. 12/26 2012) Should the city remove the Ontario Ombudsman as it's closed meeting investigator and instead retain a firm called Amberley Gavel? 

The Ontario Ombudsman must be re-instated immediately as investigator for Sudbury city council. Taxpayers already pay for his services and his removal is unacceptable and this decision must be reversed.

(From Dec. 5, 2012) Should the city continue to give each councillor a $50,000 Healthy Communities Initiative Fund to spend in their ward?

Better oversights into how the HCI funds are dispersed need to be put in place. These funds grant smaller community initiatives to acquire city funding they otherwise would have no access to and would otherwise have to go without.

(From Oct. 9, 2013) Should the city fast-track plans for a new arena replacing the Sudbury Arena with the aim of having the project underway by the end of 2014?

The arena issue needs to be brought forward to allow for corporate sponsorship and needs to be organized in a timely fashion and not rushed to avoid undue cost to the taxpayers of our city that are overtaxed as it is.

(From Dec. 11, 2013) Should council approve the 2014 budget with a 2.9% property tax increase?

New council will need to get this amount down further as Sudbury ratepayers are facing continued, unjustified increases in taxes every year with no service improvements to show for them.

Website: www.steveripley.ca


Mila Wong

Mila Wong, executive director of Sudbury Developmental Services, says the province promised higher wages for support workers during the fall election campaign. (Supplied)

Mila Wong

Age: of Legal age to run for election

Occupation: CEO for a social service agency serving individuals with disabilities.

Community involvement: Please refer to website list.

Top 3 issues for whole city

  • Lack of transparency
  • Accountability
  • Dysfunctional Council unable to manage the city

Top 3 issues for your ward

  • Unwarranted property tax increases
  • Over expenditures
  • Lack of common sense and not well thought out projects

How would you have voted on the following resolutions from this past term?  Please respond with yes or no.

(From Feb. 10, 2011) Should the city scrap its bylaw 2004-204 regulating when retail stores are allowed to open and close? 

Yes, let businesses decide on this, its supply and demand.

(From Feb. 12/26 2012) Should the city remove the Ontario Ombudsman as it's closed meeting investigator and instead retain a firm called Amberley Gavel? 

Ontario Ombudsman is free.

(From Dec. 5, 2012) Should the city continue to give each councillor a $50,000 Healthy Communities Initiative Fund to spend in their ward? 

No, this is UNHEALTHY! These funds should go to a City Crisis Reserve Fund.

(From Oct. 9, 2013) Should the city fast-track plans for a new arena replacing the Sudbury Arena with the aim of having the project underway by the end of 2014? 

No, fast tracking equates to missing or not studying details and uninformed project cost projections, let’s not repeat the Transit Garage over expenditures from the original budget of $15 million to $23 million. 

(From Dec. 11, 2013) Should council approve the 2014 budget with a 2.9% property tax increase? 

No, let the CEO (heads the operations, administration and management of the City) find the answers to cover for these over expenditures and losses in revenues (i.e bus tickets $1.5 million) and give the property tax payers a break.

Website: www.votemilawongward10.com