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Election issues: Does the urban core get too much attention?

Many people in Greater Sudbury’s outlying communities feel the city’s urban areas get too much attention and too much tax money. We asked the candidates for their ideas on how this could be addressed
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Greater Sudbury from the air.

As part of our 2022 municipal election coverage, Sudbury.com crafted an eight-query questionnaire for mayoral candidates, asking them to share their thoughts, opinions and strategies on everything from taxation to facilities rationalization to their leadership styles. We will be publishing the responses to each question in individual stories over the coming days. Each candidate was contacted by email several times to provide the questions and invite their participation. Not all candidates responded. As well, in the coming days you will be able to find the answers to each question on the election section of Sudbury.com. If you’re looking for information on how to cast your ballot, where to find your polling station or any other election-related question, you can find answers here.

The Question:

While some people feel the economic and social well-being of downtown Sudbury needs serious attention, others, particularly those living outside the core of the city, feel it gets too much attention and tax dollars to begin with. What city services could be decentralized to be more responsive to the needs of outlying communities?

Brian Bigger Dropped out of the race.

Evelyn Dutrisac
Economic, social, and the environmental well-being of our entire city is essential to all the residents. All residents need to feel that they belong and that their needs are being met wherever they live in Greater Sudbury. On meeting with residents, they feel neglected and like second class residents. We are one city and residents want everyone to be treated equally.  This must be addressed and council must ensure that the delivery of services is fair and equitable. Some services need to be decentralized. When I was first elected to Ward 4 in 2006, council had their council meetings in all areas of the city. By doing so, the council and mayor met with all the residents. We identified the major needs and services that the specific communities needed. I firmly believe that we need to go back to this decentralization. Yes, we can meet at Tom Davies and we can also have council meetings in all areas of the city. We need to meet with residents on a regular basis, listen to them and empower every citizen to take on their responsibility to be active in promoting a quality of life for all our residents. Together we are stronger and united in strength. Also, citizens appreciate and see the Citizens Centres and the libraries as hubs in their communities. They are meeting places for the residents and they can obtain essential services such as bus tickets and other essential licenses and services. 

Don Gravelle
This has been a topic that's come up a lot in the outer communities. It's one of the reasons they feel they have lost their sense of community. Without a local person from the city the "personal touch" is lost. Calling 311 just does not cut it. Having to speak to multiple people to get a job done or not done is not productive. The infrastructure exists in every community so no reason why we can't have some staff is several locations. The volunteer fire departments are a large safety concern which I wrote an article on earlier. 

Bob Johnston No answer provided.

Devin Labranche
Sudbury is one of the largest municipalities in the entire province covering a space of 3228 square kilometers. This area has several different communities with unique needs and ideas on how to improve their own communities. Under my leadership I will redistribute power back to the outlying communities. It’s become apparent that for many issues the solutions would be best served being dealt with by my leaders and elders that want to be more involved. Whether it be events, tendering contracts or ways to allocate funds to improve certain aspects of life. Will slowly and responsibility see to it that power is redistributed so that you have more say in what happens in your community. 

Paul Lefebvre
A pivotal part of my platform is to support and empower all citizens. Citizens in outlying areas have felt neglected by the city. I have had citizens from outlying areas share their concerns with regards to many issues – from policing and fire services, through to recreational facilities, access to city resources and services centres. On the first two issues of policing and fire services I would undertake a comprehensive review of how these services are currently provided and see how best to make changes to improve delivery. I would also strengthen our Community Action Groups (CANs) with greater access to city staff and resources to encourage collaboration and make project development easier. I would also make it easier for other community volunteers to become more involved and empowered to initiative projects at the community level. Finally, I am committed to meeting at least once a year with citizens of every ward, along with their councillor, to hold town hall meeting to listen to concerns and see how we can best act to support all outlying communities. This means providing as many services as we can in the communities where citizens live. 

J. David Popescu No answer provided.

Miranda Rocca-Circelli No answer provided.

Mila Wong
I believe our move towards a smart city will help us. I encourage people to search out ‘smart city government’. It will utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT), such an exciting opportunity for our city, plus becoming part of an ecosystem of the federal and provincial governments. Smart City government will make for an accountable, equitable, inclusive, accessible municipal government for Sudbury, Capreol, Nickel Centre, Onaping Falls, Rayside-Balfour, Valley East and Walden. Learn more at: milawongformayor.com.