Six Takeaways from Rural Residents’ Debate

Candidates ready themselves for the ward 1 debate in Brookville Monday night Image credit: Laura Steiner/ Milton Reporter

By: Laura Steiner

I was at Monday night’s debate in Brookville, where Milton’s Rural residents had a chance to hear from candidates for Halton Regional Chair, Mayor, and their own ward 1.   Colin Best was acclaimed as Regional Councillor.

Here are my six takeaways:

Missing Debate is a big mistake for Chair candidates: Both Gary Carr and Jane McKenna missed the debate.  It left the floor wide open for Andrea Grebenc to communicate her platform, and she took full advantage of it.

Fearmongering on Reid Road Quarry?  The next step for the Reid Road Quarry is an environmental assessment, which, is ordered by licensee themselves.  They haven’t done so yet, which leaves the project in a holding pattern, and sitting municipal politicians unable to say much.  The reality didn’t stop Ward 1 candidate George Minakakis from trying to make it seem like there was something sinister going on, and the information was being purposefully hidden from residents

Hamid’s promise of expansion without high-rise towers:  I was handed a printed copy of a page from the June, 2021 council meeting minutes.  On it was a recorded vote approving the development on the TSC lands at the northwest corner of Bronte and Main.  Zeeshan Hamid, now running for Mayor voted in favour.

Heritage matters: One of many through themes in Milton politics the last few years has been about heritage.  Milton has lost its “Heritage Milton” committee.  The question of how to preserve it, while expanding it is a big one for Ward 1, home to Main St in town.

More Internet Please: we’ve seen the last two years how vital access to the Internet is for work, and life in the twenty-first century.  Despite announcements from different levels of government of projects that bring access to a few hundred homes at a time, residents in the rural area are still fighting for more.

Representation is key: Milton has largely done away with its citizens’ advisory committees.  There was a lot of discussion on bringing back some kind of Rural Residents’ advisory committee.  Mayor Krantz says he is not opposed to it, and Zeeshan Hamid’s promised to look at bringing it back for the rural residents.  Andrea Grebenc promised to look at bringing a Regional Council meeting to north Halton.

Voting day is October 24, 2022. To watch the debate in its entirety, click here