Responses from Candidates for Ward 2 – Bloomfield/Hallowell


RSVPs

With the aim of increasing voter turnout in the upcoming municipal election, candidates for Mayor and Ward Councilor in Prince Edward County were invited to share their thoughts on a wide range of issues once a week.

Responses from candidates for Ward 2 – Bloomfield/Hallowell are here:

Respondents

Note: Candidates’ responses to Invitation 8 are due October 17, 2022. Candidates who wanted their responses to be published before advance voting started were to forward them by October 12, 2022.

Invitations
Candidates for Ward 2 – Bloomfield/Hallowell (2 offices) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Sarah MOFFATT
Brad NIEMAN
Phil PRINZEN

Responses to Invitation 8

Candidates received Invitation 8 on October 5, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 17, 2022. Candidates who wanted their responses to be published before advance voting started were to forward them by October 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook beginning October 13, 2022. Candidates who responded to Invitation 7 and seem likely to respond to Invitation 8 are denoted with an asterisk below.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt
1. Please share how you would enhance Council’s approach to public engagement.

As councillor I would aim to be as approachable and accessible as possible. This means that I would be open to contact with the constituents in whatever way they are most comfortable with, whether that be over the phone, email, social media, or in person. I would use a council social media account to get information out over Facebook and Instagram. I would also like to see the use of regularly scheduled town halls so that I could check in with Ward 2 residents and hear directly from them what they feel should be happening at council.

2. Please share why you’re running and why voters should support you in the municipal election.

Hi everyone, my name is Sarah Moffatt and I am running for council in Bloomfield/Hallowell. I grew up in Trenton and now live in Bloomfield with my fiancé Dan. I have a master’s degree in psychology and began my career as a psychotherapist, I now practice social work. My work sees me having to be an expert in a variety of fields such as the legal system, criminal justice, healthcare, mental health care, the school system, and accessibility to other community services. My job allows me to clearly see what is needed in our community and identify where the gaps are. I really care about helping others and I have devoted my career around this.

My work is what motivated me to run. I see firsthand how many people in our community are struggling. The County has a reputation for being an affluent community but there is a large portion of people here who live paycheck to paycheck. I worry that the more vulnerable populations such as seniors and low-income families don’t currently have a voice at the horseshoe and may fall between the cracks.

The other motivating factor for me was the lack of diversity on council. I am not saying that the current council members don’t belong there, everyone brings different strengths. However it’s disheartening as a woman to see only two women on a council of 14. I would like to see our council be a more accurate reflection of our community, and that means having a range of ages, genders, cultures, and backgrounds represented.

My priority issues are affordable housing and healthcare recruitment. House prices in the County are 25% higher than in Belleville and Quinte West and many local residents have been priced out of their own community. Although housing is needed I am worried about the urban sprawl creeping into our agricultural land. A focus on building higher-density rentals in the urban areas would create the 1-2 bedroom units we desperately need, and would lead to a more walkable community with people living closer to amenities.

In terms of healthcare we need to get creative. The municipality should look at incentives such as office space, scholarships, or subsidized housing for healthcare professionals. We could also use more modern services such as tele-health to fill any remaining gaps. We need to see movement in this area immediately. The County has a median age of 56.8, this is 15 years older than the rest of the province.

I have heard repeatedly that residents feel disconnected to their council. I am a hard worker who will promise to make myself available to the constituents and ensure they feel heard. I promise to make decisions that are in the community’s best interest. Most importantly I am offering the residents a choice. As the only non-incumbent who is running in Ward 2 I am offering voters an opportunity for change and a fresh perspective.


Phil Prinzen

1. Please share how you would enhance Council’s approach to public engagement.

I would continue to support the have your say platform and would be accessible on my social media platforms (Twitter/instagram) as well as by phone/text and email. Town halls are very good as well although I didn’t do any this last term due to the pandemic. I feel great public engagement happens at events and outings that we attend even if it’s not an official council event.

2. Please share why you’re running and why voters should support you in the municipal election.

I was born and raised in PEC and have called PEC home for my entire life which has allowed me to see and be part of the many changes both good and some maybe not so good. I am married to Selena who was also was born and raised in PEC. We are blessed with 2 beautiful girls who love living here. We are dairy farmers who get to work together every day to run our successful operation on Gilead Road. I am a volunteer firefighter and also a 4-H leader. I feel it is very important to give back to the community you live in.

I have chosen to run for re-election as I believe that I still have a lot to offer for the residents of Ward 2 and PEC as a whole. My first term was a very enjoyable although very different than anyone expected due to the global pandemic. I believe that I bring a common sense approach to meetings and feel like I represent county residents and businesses very well.

The issues facing PEC that are important to me are housing, health care, protection of land and resources and fiscal responsibility. This community needs to be a place that people can afford to live and I have made many decisions with that in mind. Housing is still a major issue and it will take many small steps to tackle the problem. We need to work with all layers of government to fix the crisis. It’s not something we as a municipal council can do on our own. I will continue to support healthcare whether it’s through doctor recruitment programs or support for our new hospital – a community will never survive without healthcare. Land protection and natural resource protection is important to me as we need to work with developers to strategically place new housing developments as our premium land is becoming scarce. I will continue to listen to all the residents and businesses of PEC and hope to represent them for another 4 years around the horseshoe.


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Accountability & transparency

Three Invitations asked candidates to rate six proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency:

We have categorized candidates’ ratings of these proposals [Not in favour | Neither | In favour] below. Candidates were also asked to explain their ratings and we encourage everyone to consider their ratings alongside their explanations.

Table 1. Candidates’ ratings of proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency.
Sarah MOFFATT
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Brad NIEMAN
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Phil PRINZEN
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.

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Responses to Invitation 7

Candidates received Invitation 7 on October 3, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 11, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 12, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt
1. For any one of [the nine themes covered in the 2022 VitalSigns Report], please outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the 2022 VitalSigns Report.

Transportation & mobility.
Council introduced the County Transit pilot project in August 2020. This saw the implementation of both fixed bus routes and on-demand service. This was a need in the County and this project is a step in the right direction. My only concern regarding this program is that many in our community don’t know that it exists. As this is a pilot project the data regarding number of riders will be used to justify whether this project continues. I worry that the data may inaccurately show low interest in the program due to lack of education and promotion of the bus service itself. This pilot project was also run during the pandemic and that should be kept in mind when analyzing the data. As the County is a large geographical area and a car-reliant community, I would advocate for the continuation of the County Transit program to ensure that everyone has equal access to transportation and can get to where they need to be in a cost-effective way.

If elected to council I would also like to move forward with increasing the amount of bike lanes throughout the County. This would follow recommendations made in the Cycling Master Plan and the County’s Official Plan. Not only would bike lanes encourage green, active transportation, but would also keep the roads safer for cyclists and motorists alike.

While door knocking in the Heights and the Pineridge Drive neighbourhoods I had several people point out that although they live within walking distance to the Picton core, the lack of sidewalks connecting them leads to a potentially dangerous walk into town. These neighbourhoods feel isolated from the rest of the town and I have heard stories of some people falling and injuring themselves. I would like to see sidewalks added so that we can have a safe, walkable community, and move towards decreasing our reliance on cars.

2. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following proposal: “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.”

Neither disagree or agree.

3. Please explain your rating.

I am all for doing whatever is possible to help increase transparency and accountability; however, I worry that if there was a blanket policy that stated all votes needed to be recorded this could create inefficiencies. I believe that the current process of having council members request a recorded vote is working well, particularly during more divisive topics. If voters disagree and feel that more needs to be done then I would be open to looking into this further.

4. Please share examples of how you’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in your thinking? How are you applying what you’ve learned in your work in the County?

Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) work is something I am passionate about. I practice social work and am employed with Children’s Aid. As many know, child protection agencies across Canada have a dark past in perpetuating systemic racism. As we move toward Truth and Reconciliation the field of child protection has taken steps to educate all employees regarding the over representation of BIPOC children in care and how we can better support and serve these communities. I am on the EDI committee at my workplace and also completed a full three-day training course devoted to EDI learning.

It was through my EDI work that I became motivated to run for council. When I looked at the picture of the current sitting council I felt that the group lacked diversity and it did not accurately reflect the makeup of the residents living here. I was concerned that minorities, women, and other under-served populations did not have adequate representation and therefore lacked a voice at the horseshoe.

If I am elected to council I would love to see an EDI committee started. The discussions at council regarding the removal of the Sir John A MacDonald statue demonstrated that there is a significant need for this type of learning and conversation to be frequently happening with those making decisions on behalf our residents. A thriving community ensures that all residents are supported. EDI work helps to identify potential barriers that some members of our community may face, and help to eliminate or overcome them so that everyone is provided with the same opportunities. I want Prince Edward County to be a place where all residents feel welcome and proud to call this their home.


Phil Prinzen

1. For any one of [the nine themes covered in the 2022 VitalSigns Report], please outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the 2022 VitalSigns Report.

NA
I don’t feel that I have taken the adequate time necessary to study and review the vital signs report to give a fair and honest answer to this question.

2. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following proposal: “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.”

Disagree.

3. Please explain your rating.

I feel that not all decisions need a recorded vote. There are many that are unanimous and therefore would just make the meetings prolong. I like the idea that a councillor can call for one if they want it on the record. Since all meetings are recorded I would suggest that the members of council put their hands up higher for better visibly on the streaming and then the public can see how their councillor voted.

4. Please share examples of how you’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in your thinking? How are you applying what you’ve learned in your work in the County?

I am always trying to learn and expand my knowledge about everything including diversity, equity and inclusion. I do this by reading and talking to people. I have always thought of all equally and will continue with that and that we should make policies that don’t exclude anyone.


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Responses to Invitation 6

Candidates received Invitation 6 on September 23, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 3, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 5, 2022.

Respondents

Phil Prinzen

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following service categories:

Service category Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
General government
Protection services
Transportation services
Environmental services
Health services
Social and family services
Social housing
Recreation and cultural services
Planning and development services

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

Planning and development services
I believe that must of the user fees are where they need to be except for planning and development but I also think that there have been some changes in that department and the way they do their business that will lead to improvements in the user fees so it’s not such a bearing on the municipality.

I also think that although we get compared to Norfolk and West Nippising we are still unique in who we are and we have to be careful on comparisons.


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Responses to Invitation 5

Candidates received Invitation 5 on September 20, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 26, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 28, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Strongly agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all levels of government to take active steps towards Truth and Reconciliation. I am particularly interested in Call to Action #57:

“57. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”

If I am elected to council I would advocate for an Equity Diversity and Inclusivity committee that would be used to discuss such issues and provide training and education to county council and staff. I believe that an effective EDI committee would meet this Call to Action and could also be beneficial in identifying and addressing the needs of other marginalized populations in our community.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

Although I have participated fully in these weekly surveys since they began, I will have to pass on this question. My priority at this time is door knocking to meet the voters and hear what matters most to them. Researching the costs and benefits of the questions you posed would take time away from having conversations with voters and answering other survey requests. However if anyone feels passionate about this topic and would like to discuss it further with me please do not hesitate to call me at 613-813-2361.


Brad Nieman

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

The conversation has to get started and the County could be a leader in this.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

(a) Everything is computerized, and it wouldn’t take a lot of time to keep updated on the inquiries, dependent on the number of inquiries, then when someone inquires it is readily available.


Phil Prinzen

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

Anytime you are able to educate or expand on Truth and Reconciliation it is a benefit.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

It is a very hard question to answer when you are not given all the details of costs against requests or benefits. I don’t like to give my opinion when all the information isn’t given.


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Responses to Invitation 4

Candidates received Invitation 4 on September 14, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 19, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 20, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt
1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

None.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Agree.

I agree that any time someone uses their position of power/authority for their own personal gain that is a significant concern. Council members should not use the influence of their office for any purpose other than the exercise of their official duties. Not only would this ensure ethics in local politics, but it would also increase the public’s trust in their elected officials. My only hesitation with this would be that Prince Edward County is a small community with a lot of close-knit connections. It would be challenging to define non-pecuniary interests when most councillors are so heavily involved in the community and wear a variety of different hats.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Agree.

I believe it is important for the public to trust that their elected officials are making decisions that are best for the community and not guided by what would most benefit their friends and family. However, once again the difficulty lies in the application of any such Code of Conduct. How are we defining a “friend” in a small community where everyone knows everyone? At the very least expanding the Code of Conduct to address other family members would be more practical and would likely have less grey area.

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

To be honest I haven’t had that many difficult questions. While door knocking I have been asked questions related to affordable housing, STAs, healthcare, infrastructure, and the environment and these all lead to great discussion. I may have a better answer to this question following the two all candidates meetings scheduled in Bloomfield.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

As above.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I would uphold council’s 2020 decision. I have heard significant concerns from the residents in the area regarding the environmental impact such traffic could have on Picton Bay and the community’s drinking water.


Brad Nieman

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

Anything that is covered in the Municipal Act.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Neither disagree or agree

[No elaboration]

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Neither disagree or agree

[No elaboration]

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

Questions concerning the pandemic and the way it was handled.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

Because most of the direction came from upper levels of government.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I would need all of the information made available to me in order to make an informed decision.


Phil Prinzen

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

I don’t foresee any that I would need to declare on as of right now although it is every council member’s responsibility to declare if they believe they have one.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Disagree.

I disagree as I feel there is not a financial personal gain on a non-pecuniary interest.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Disagree.

I don’t believe it is a pecuniary conflict of interest if it is not closely related. If you do then maybe you should declare on friends too.

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

The questions I get asked at the door I will not be sharing on a public forum. That’s between me and the residents.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

[See above]

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I denied it the first time and would continue to deny it if I received the same information as I did at that meeting.


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Responses to Invitation 3

Candidates received Invitation 3 on September 7, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 14, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt
1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

Tourism Management
I feel dissatisfied with how this has been managed the last two years. There have been reactive bylaws put in place as a result of the high number of tourists that came here in 2020. However, many of these bylaws have hurt our own residents; such as the $400 parking fines throughout the county, and the bylaw regarding people utilizing trailers on their own property. The parking fines in particular go against the County’s own Official Plan that states a goal of increasing access to the waterfront for residents, these fines did the opposite of that.

Healthcare Initiatives
Although I appreciate the fact that The County now has a full-time healthcare recruiter, I am left wondering why this is only happening now. Belleville and Quinte West have had physician recruiters for several years now. The doctor shortage could have been anticipated with the upcoming retirements and proactive planning should have occurred before this turned into the crisis it is now. We are also in the process of building a new hospital but are lacking the healthcare professionals required to staff it. Through my talks with community members I have heard numerous people say there is a need for an after-hours walk-in clinic.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Adapting to Climate Change
Not enough has been done to protect our environment. Through my campaigning I have met with residents who feel The County is not doing enough to protect our trees, water, and even spaces that are already deemed Environmentally Protected Land (see the proposal for the Adolphus Reach Resort). The lack of bike lanes and reliable public transportation also results in a community that is reliant on cars.


Brad Nieman

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

Downtown Revitalization
It is not being looked after as far cleanliness and the maintenance of the vegetation.

Housing Corp
It has been 5 years and nothing tangible to show for it. They now have projects ready for construction, which shows we are moving in the right direction.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Roads network
Have a continuous 5 year plan for the road construction.


Phil Prinzen

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

I won’t just answer 2 of my ratings. I am comfortable saying I am satisfied with them all as I feel we are moving in the right direction and we need to let things play out for a bit to see the true effect. It has been just over 2.5 years with these and I feel it would be to soon to adjust or make a change. Should be explored every 4-6 [months] is my feeling.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Don’t feel anything missing right now.


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Responses to Invitation 2

Candidates received Invitation 2 on August 31, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 6, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 7, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt
1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Community & Economic Development Commission
  2. Accessibility Advisory Committee
  3. Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.
3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Community & Economic Development Commission
I have worked at Highland Shores Children’s Aid for the past 6 years. In this job I work with children and families who rely on the support of social and community services. I am able to directly see what programs are most beneficial to our community members, and I can also identify where the gaps in service are. I am a strong advocate for programs that can help lift people up and support our most vulnerable. Since I work directly with a large part of the population that would be utilizing community services I could act as a liaison to collect feedback regarding what is working and what is not. I would ensure that community programs are tailored to the needs of our residents and those who would benefit most from these services. I worry that low-income earners and families are forgotten about around the horseshoe, I would ensure that they have a voice and that their needs are taken into consideration. Although I may not have a background in business I have a vested interest in seeing our community thrive. Local businesses are a crucial part of our economy, job market, and community identity. Small business owners are also our friends and neighbours, I want them to feel confident that they have someone standing up for them and their interests.

Accessibility Advisory Committee
Working through an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity lens is a passion of mine. I have been an active member of the EDI committee at my workplace for 2 years. The purpose of this committee is to ensure that everyone is provided with the same opportunities and that any barriers are identified and removed. This role sees me educating and providing awareness of EDI-related topics to all the staff at my workplace. I have also been a board member for Adam’s Hope, a local charity focused on supporting families with children with autism. Through this work I saw the numerous challenges that children with health conditions or impairments had to face. I would like to carry on this work by being an advocate for all of those in our community and visitors to the County by making sure they get an equal opportunity to experience all that this area has to offer. A crucial part of this committee is getting the voice of the people this would impact the most and ensuring they are included in the process.

Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation
I have been working in the social service field for 9 years. Every day I see the direct impact of the housing crisis – I have witnessed families living in tents, trailers, or in their friend’s living room. I know how hard it is to afford suitable housing on a fixed income such as OW, ODSP, or CPP. The CMHC defines affordable housing as rent/mortgage that costs less than 30% of a household’s income. When I help my clients look for rentals I can clearly see that there is nothing available that would meet this definition of affordable on their income. I see families being priced out of their own homes with nowhere to go. Waitlists for social housing can be 6+ years. Through my workplace I have worked collaboratively with housing services such as Lennox and Addington Social Housing, the Community Advocacy and Legal Centre, and Habitat for Humanity. I am well aware of the services that are currently available and the areas that need improvement. I am working the frontline with a large portion of the population that would be utilizing this service. I have an active pulse on what is needed and will be a strong advocate for those in need of affordable housing.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

Low voter turnout is not an issue that is unique to the County. According to the Association of Municipalities Ontario the average voter turnout across the province for the 2018 municipal election was 38% and this has been a downward trend for the past several elections. What I hear from people both locally and provincially is they feel it is difficult to find information about the candidates and their platforms. There are limited media sources that compile profiles and information regarding each candidate where an elector can easily access it and compare. When voters feel uninformed it is easy for them to become uninterested in the election as a whole. There is also a theory that the low voter turnout could be the result of voter fatigue – once again in 2022 we see a municipal election closely follow a provincial one (and it was only last year that we also had a federal election). It is unfortunate that voter turnout is the lowest for municipal elections because this is also where people’s votes hold the most power.

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

I found myself disinterested in local politics as a youth. This was due to the feeling that politics wasn’t for me or my demographic. I didn’t see myself reflected in the range of candidates – partly due to age but also gender. At the time the candidates didn’t seem interested in making the effort to reach out to and engage with younger voters. This may account for why voters age 18-29 have notoriously low voter turnout for municipal elections. Even still, female candidates are the vast minority. The Association of Municipalities Ontario states that only 27% of candidates in the 2018 election were female. It is difficult to feel engaged in politics when you look at your potential representatives and can’t imagine how they would represent you or your needs.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

  1. The first step in creating a solution to any problem is identifying why the problem exists in the first place. For example if there are barriers such as lack of transportation that are preventing people from getting to the polls then coming up with a solution such as free bus service on election day would help to eliminate this barrier. If work schedules have been a barrier to some the County offers advanced and now online voting methods for this year’s election.
  2. Candidates need to be doing all they can to engage with a variety of different demographics in different ways. Try to engage them in their preferred way such as face to face, email, social media, phone, etc. Target youth and get them interested in politics early by doing information sessions at schools or youth programs such as the ROC, or utilizing programs such as the Hour for Hour challenge the purpose of which is to get high school students involved in civic activities for volunteer hours.
  3. I have heard people say that they don’t understand the format of council meetings or the language used and they feel this is a barrier to being involved in council meetings. This can lead to apathy in the municipal process. Electors may also feel that if they don’t understand council and the role then they may not feel qualified to promote someone to this position. Helping educate the public regarding municipal roles and proceedings can help them feel more comfortable with reaching out to their member of council or participating in meetings.
  4. Forums such as this weekly questionnaire that Paul Allen is putting together can help to compile responses in one easy-to-access location. Voters then have the opportunity to clearly see the candidates’ responses and compare them. This addresses the concern identified in question 4 regarding voters feeling they don’t have enough information to make an informed decision.

Phil Prinzen

1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Agricultural Advisory Committee
  2. Planning Committee
  3. Hastings/Quinte Emergency Services Committee

Agriculture and planning would be the internal committees and Hastings/Quinte Emergency Service Committee would be the external committee that would most likely showcase my skills although there are a number of others that interest me.

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.

I was on the agriculture committee as well as planning this last term. I work, volunteer and live in agriculture everyday and understand the risks, threats and importance of it for our community. For planning after being on the committee and recognizing the importance of good solid planning I think it works hand in hand with agriculture. Emergency service is important and I believe that being on the fire department I understand the importance of the emergency services.

3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

I hope to be a sensible voice and provide sound opinions to share with all of council before decisions are made.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

I think there is a disconnect between residents and municipal politics. Whether they believe they aren’t being heard or cant make an impact they just decide not to vote.

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

I have always voted. I have never nearly decided not to vote.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

I encourage every person I talk to on my campaign trail to get out and vote. I would hope the other candidates are doing the same.


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Responses to Invitation 1

With the aim of increasing voter turnout in the upcoming municipal election, candidates for Mayor and Ward Councilor in Prince Edward County are being invited to share their thoughts on a wide range of issues once a week.

Candidates received Invitation 1 on August 24, 2022 and were asked to share their thoughts by August 29, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on August 31, 2022.

Respondents

Sarah Moffatt

Candidate photo of Sarah Moffatt

1. How long have you resided in the County?

I am from Trenton and have lived in this area for over 30 years. The county has been my second home for the last few years but I made it official in 2021.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

I moved to Bloomfield last year and already feel a deep connection to the community.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

NA.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

NA.

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

Community service has been a commitment ingrained in me since I was a teenager. It is unclear to me why the question of volunteer work is centered around the current term of council as volunteer work doesn’t follow terms, it is typically something that is ongoing. Throughout the past several years I have been on the board of directors for the G. May Project, a local charity focused on supporting child victims of sexual abuse; and I was on the board of directors for Adam’s Hope, a local charity raising money to help families who have children with autism. I have also worked for and remained involved with The Children’s Foundation. The Children’s Foundation offers a wide range of programs and services to local children and families in the area such as sending children to camp, providing cribs to new mothers, and ensuring every child has gifts and a proper meal at Christmas through the Angel Tree program.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

There is a growing “us versus them” mentality in the county and I worry that questions such as these only further the divide. How do you define “old” and “new”? Take my circumstance for example, I have lived in this area for 30 years but only just recently moved to Bloomfield – Would I be classified as old or new? Trying to label people only leads to assumptions at best and xenophobia at worst.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

As I cannot get inside of a sitting councillor’s head I cannot say for sure what influences their decisions, to provide an answer would be making an assumption on my part that would not be fair. This question also generalizes council as a whole. Although there may be some councillors who are influenced by “new” or “old” residents, there may be an equal number of sitting councillors who are not. We need to recognize that each member of council is an individual that is motivated by their own personal values and beliefs.

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

See above.

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

As noted above I could be seen as both “old” or “new” depending on who you ask. My hope is that this dual perspective could help me bridge the gap and help people recognize that whether old or new residents we likely all have common goals for what we want to see happen to our community. Ideally I would like to see us forgo this divisive type of language altogether and recognize that we are all county residents. As councillor I would represent all of my constituents equally, whether they have lived here for generations or just moved in yesterday. A divided community is not one that can flourish.


Brad Nieman

1. How long have you resided in the County?

45 years.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

32 years.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

Councilor Bloomfield/Hallowell. Agriculture, Traffic, Hiring, Prince Edward Lennox Addington Social Services, Waste Services, and Bloomfield/Hallowell Recreation Committees.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

Councilor Bloomfield/Hallowell. Agriculture, Waste Services, Audit, and Bloomfield/Hallowell Recreation Committees.

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental oganization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

None.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

No comment.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

No comment.


Phil Prinzen

1. How long have you resided in the County?

43 years (entire life).

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

43 years.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

Councillor. Audit, Planning, and Agriculture Committees.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

[No response]

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental oganization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

4-H Ontario as a leader. Also volunteer firefighter with Station 6 (not sure if that is non-governmental). Meals on Wheels.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

I understand it and would like to think it has lessened in the last few years. But also feel that it went both ways. Old didn’t like the new and the new didn’t like the old and their ways.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

I believe the role we have is to make the best decisions for the residents of the county as a whole and not think of people as new and old. Which I like to believe is what I do.


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