2022 Windsor Election Rose City Politics Candidate Questionnaire answers:
1. What is your prior political experience?
I have over 18 years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as a director, manager, and operations supervisor. I also represented the People’s Party of Canada at the 2021 federal election and was the president for the Ontario Party Windsor West Riding Association for the 2022 Ontario provincial election. Finally, I have a university education and work experience in social work, politics and public administration. Above all, I am a leader with a strong backbone and caring heart.
2. Why are you running?
My decision to run for mayor is in response to the lack of support by city council and current candidates for civil liberties, parental rights, safe communities, resourceful monetary policy, and forward thinking.
3. What do you do currently for a living?
Please visit my website at http://www.matthewformayor.ca to learn more.
4. What is the biggest issue affecting the ward you are running for?
The damage from the pandemic response and how it has caused excessive harm while failing to control the spread of Covid-19 is abundant. Examples of this include how governments at all levels spent two years dividing and segregating citizens, separating families, preventing travel, unlawfully firing workers, forcing the sick to die alone, postponing crucial medical treatments/surgeries, blocking education, banning peaceful protests, increasing poverty, increasing inflation, and wasting taxpayer dollars. Worst of all, the policies implemented to defend against Covid-19 did not apply equally to all businesses, services and individuals. I will repeal the Covid-19 mandates for city employment and services which created barriers, and will work towards recovery from the trauma and suffering that they caused.
Part of that includes increasing city services for children with disabilities like autism who have been denied services due to pandemic restrictions which took away crucial intervention periods for many. Autism rates have climbed from between 1-4 in 10,000 children in the 1980s to 1 in 50 children in 2019. The Ontario Autism Program waitlist has doubled under the current provincial government to over 55,000 children and is now several years long. People with disabilities are more likely to become homeless, impoverished and die younger. I would like city services to help reduce those risks.
5. What is the biggest issue affecting the city of Windsor?
The most important issues Windsor is facing are social issues and economic issues. I will explain how I will address both if elected mayor.
The social issues of poverty, crime and substance abuse in Windsor are abundant. With regards to homelessness, our governments have set up a system where the homeless are neglected but inmates in prison receive shelter, food, heating, air conditioning, healthcare, recreational programs, rehabilitation and education. I would like to make these opportunities more accessible to our homeless and impoverished populations through targeted city programs and development with additional funding from higher levels of government. I will provide more rehabilitation programs, employment programs and treatment programs for people suffering from cognitive disorders, addictions and disabilities. I will have these programs readily available to our homeless and consumption site users.
I will also provide more accessible transit service for those with disabilities, homelessness and mobility issues. I will provide free bus passes for impoverished and addiction related social service users to improve accessibility and encourage participation as well.
While our social issues are being resolved, more investors, talent and tourists will be willing to come to Windsor and help boost small business success, employment and our economy. There are over 5 million people just across the river, and we can bring wealth to Windsor if we make Windsor a more attractive place.
I want to develop near the Gordie Howe Bridge so that people entering Canada are motivated to visit Windsor. I also want to encourage the new Ambassador Bridge to be constructed along with the Gordie Howe Bridge to allow more entry and exit points. This will also help reduce congestion for drivers crossing the river.
I want to reduce wasteful spending on the proposed $32 million Festival Plaza canopy. I do not believe it will attract tourists. Windsor has other priorities for which that money can be used. A smaller and cheaper canopy can be considered for the Festival Plaza.
Likewise, I want to reduce wasteful spending on the $8 million Legacy Beacon streetcar project. Instead, I want to create an iconic Windsor Museum that highlights our city’s rich history, automotive industry, and culture. This museum can house the restored streetcar. A replica streetcar can be put on display at the riverfront without shelter. The riverfront can also benefit from lanterns and light posts across the entire path.
More festivals and events can be great attractions for tourists and Windsor families to enjoy as well. More car shows and even a collaboration with other municipalities to create a new annual car racing track and event in a suitable location will draw a lot of positive attention. With the growth of electric vehicle racing, the noise pollution will be minimal in the near future too. I want Windsor to to live up to its title as the “Automotive Capital of Canada” and I want people to come here to experience it.
6. Are you seeking any endorsements?
I am not actively seeking endorsements. I tell people, groups, businesses and organizations about my platform on my website and I let them decide for themselves without pressure.
7. Have you received any endorsements?
I am pro-life and the Campaign Life Coalition has endorsed me.
8. Will you continue the “hold the line on taxes” policy?
I do not want to raise taxes. I want to rearrange the way that tax dollars are distributed, and I want to reorganize the city’s priorities using the tax revenue and budgets available.
9. Do you support the mega-hospital location?
I agree with opening new hospitals like the mega-hospital. However, I want all of our hospitals to remain open. I feel that closing hospitals creates barriers. The mega hospital will experience overloaded service, overworked staff, lengthy wait times and accessibility issues if other hospitals are closed. If elected mayor, I will pressure the provincial government and make it a priority to keep all of our hospitals open.
10. Do you support strong mayor legislation?
I would only trust strong mayor powers if they were used to implement my platform. However, such powers negate the roles of councillors and the value of the democratic process. Because I believe in the protection of democracy, I do not support strong mayor powers.
11. Should the city use taxpayers dollars to bring jobs to the area?
The city should invest in building opportunities for job growth on a case-by-case basis. Jobs that the city creates should provide a strong cost-benefit ratio. We should focus on creating jobs that address and solve the issues our city faces.
12. If you are running in a ward with an incumbent who is also running, why is change necessary, and why are you the person to deliver it?
I feel that I have the experience, direction, skills, energy and passion that could benefit Windsor most in the position of mayor. I feel that city council experience is only valuable when council has proven to be fiscally responsible and a proven advocate for the needs of the community. Two of my opponents have been in office for eight years and I do not feel that their terms have been of significant value to the city.
13. How many hours per week do you plan to allocate towards council business if elected?
I expect to be working up to or beyond 80 hours per week.
14. Do you live in the ward you are running for?
I live in Windsor.
15. What agencies, boards, or committees do/have you served on, and in what capacity?
This was already discussed.
16. What person, animal or fictional character should be Windsor’s unofficial mascot?
Windsor’s unofficial mascot should be something significant to the culture and history of the city. I would suggest a WW2 pilot with a rose, but I think there are many great ideas out there.