Responses from Candidates for Ward 7 – Hillier


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 7 – Hillier are here:

Respondents

Invitations
Candidates for Ward 7 – Hillier (1 office) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chris BRANEY
Dee HAZELL
Paul VANHAARLEM

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.

Respondents

Dee Hazell

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

Low voter turnout has been a problem in our municipal elections. I have to say, the all candidates meetings I have been to so far this election season have been standing room only. Perhaps our voter turnout will be better this time around. One of the ways to continue to encourage public engagement is to encourage the use of Have Your Say on the County website. We also need to engage the younger constituents on social media. I believe in the face to face opportunity for engagement and would hold monthly town halls for folks to ask questions and share their concerns. Having council meetings alternate between Shire Hall and Wellington would make the meetings more accessible.

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

I am running for council to address the issues and concerns that are important to me and the community. These concerns include our healthcare crisis, the environment, loss of farmland and wild spaces and the affordable housing crisis.

Since moving to the county in 1998, I have worked as a nurse in both the hospital and primary care settings. I have also taught nursing locally and was a forensic on call nurse for over a decade. This 30 plus years in various healthcare sectors has given me special insight into our healthcare system and what works and what doesn’t work. We are in the midst of a healthcare crisis here in PEC. I know my past experience will help us to find creative and workable solutions.

Currently the world is living through an environmental crisis. I believe we as a community can do many things to help our earth survive and recover from the climate emergency. Every decision council makes must take into consideration the environmental impact now and into the future.

I started farming 12 years ago. The rural concerns I understand. We are losing farmland and wild spaces at an unsustainable rate. How do we preserve our agricultural heritage and protect and care for our diminishing farmland and wild spaces? We must use our land wisely not just for now but for the effects it will have generations from now.

Another concern of mine is the lack of affordable housing here in the county. We need to get creative to solve the housing issue and we need to do this together. We need to figure out how to house more people without encroaching on our agricultural areas.

I have been involved with many volunteer organizations over the years. I volunteer at the local humane society and at the Alternatives for Women as a board member and chair of the housing committee. My volunteer work in the county included work with the Sexual Assault Centre for Quinte and District, the Hillier Rate Payers Association and Friends of Hillier Beaches and Dunes. I sat on numerous boards and working groups over the years in Ontario and while living in Northern Ireland. This volunteer work has opened my eyes and heart to the struggles and joys of neighbours, friends and strangers alike. Over that time I have become an advocate for those with no voice or influence. What all this board work has taught me is to work with teams and groups, alone and with individuals. I know about governance and committee work, I know what make a committee function well and how to build on that. I know about building consensus to make strong and shared decisions. Working in healthcare, I have learned to make quick and life saving decisions at the bedside and decisions that will affect outcomes years down the road.

I have sat in and spoken at numerous council and planning meetings over the past two decades. I know it will be entirely different sitting on the other side of the table but I know I am up for the challenge.


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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.
Chris BRANEY
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.
Dee HAZELL
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.
Paul VANHAARLEM
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

Dee Hazell

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.

Good health & well-being.
Good health and well being is a very large and diverse topic. According to the World Health Organization, when we talk about health and well being we are not just talking of physical health and health care we are talking about all the influences that affect that health. Influences including education, nutritious food and a healthy environment, employment and an income that is sufficient to meet our basic needs. Health and well being is tied to our social and economic position in the community, meaning the worse our economic position, the poorer our health. Research shows that the social determinants can be more important than health care or lifestyle choices in influencing health. These determinats of health can account for between 30-55% of health outcomes.

What this means is if we work on eradicating poverty, we will improve health outcomes. Our affordable housing initiatives, our food programs and our educational system all have a role in health outcomes. These initiatives and institutions must continue to be supported.

We do need access to quality and timely healthcare The building of the new PECM hospital is a start to providing quality acute healthcare. We need staff though to staff the hospital. We are in the process of building rental housing for medical professionals. We have also hired a physician recruiter. What about all the other staff that are required, nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, x ray technicians to name a few. Back in the “old” days every hospital had a nursing residence to house nursing staff. Newly graduated healthcare professionals will never be able to afford to purchase a house in the county. Perhaps re purposing the old hospital to provide temporary housing for incoming healthcare professionals of all stripes might be a solution to our housing crisis as it relates to healthcare professionals.

One of the bottlenecks in our health care system occurs in the hospital system. We always have patients in the hospital waiting for a long term care bed. How do we get more long term care facilities in our community or increase the capacities of the institutions we have? Increased capacity is happening at HJ McFarland Memorial Home, how about the others? How can the municipality help this sector grow? Many seniors would like to stay in their own homes as they age. This requires supportive services. The home care system is already stretched to its limit. How does the county support the organizations that support our seniors?

Our collective mental health has deteriorated during Covid. Before Covid there was already a significant wait time for mental health services. We have been using telehealth to provide mental health support and this needs to continue and grow. Only one in two youth reported good mental health. This is disturbing and unacceptable. Why are we failing our youth so and what can we do differently? Perhaps moving mental health services and school nurses back into the schools might help the situation. We need to understand why our youth are suffering. Have we asked them? If not we need to. Our youth are the experts on themselves.

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.

It all depends on the vote. If it is close vote, it is important that it be recorded. If there is a dissenting voice that also should be recorded. For all unanimous votes there is no need. Recorded votes do take extra time often in an already packed agenda.

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?

The Black Lives Matter movement and Every Child Matters movement made me pause. There is so much in our history that is ugly and has been forgotten or ignored. The above two movements have brought some of that to the for front. The people that are affected directly by the issue are the experts on the issues. What I have learned is to listen to the stories, ask questions but most importantly listen. There is no disagreeing with someones experience. Even though we may not understand their story, it is not our place to ever deny them their experience. I recognize there is a lack of diversity in our various bodies of power. We need to make room for those voices.


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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

None.


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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

Dee Hazell

Candidate photo for Dee Hazell
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 country has been far too slow to begin to put into effect the various calls to action. I certainly agree it is time we move forward. Some of the Calls to Action are far reaching and very involved but some of them are not. I think, as a municipality we should do what we can. To educate all the public servants in the county is something we could definitely do. This could happen rather quickly. I do suggest the new council put this on the agenda for this year once it is sitting again. Some of the articles in the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous People are so basic they should have been in place years ago. Every region and level of government should be able to say yesterday indigenous peoples can live a life free from racism, are free to organize themselves and have the right to self determination with no assimilation.

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).

There are many records that are already public. Any public meeting can be accessed through the YouTube channel or you can find an electronic copy on line. I don’t think there is a need to keep a record of who accesses what, just make all public records accessible to the public. Municipal government should be transparent and having public records public and available to all of us should be a matter of course.


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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

Dee Hazell

Candidate photo for Dee Hazell
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 am a volunteer at two County based organisations that may in the future, apply to and/or recieve County support.

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.

Council needs to be open and transparent. I would hope that any mayor or council member seeing a monetary or otherise benefit to themselves or their family (immediate or extended) would make that known to the decision makeing body and step aside.

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.

[As above]

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

Do these questions count as my campaign? Some of these questions are a challenge as my knowledge at this time, is limited. I have begun my door to door campaign and there have not been many questions. The two concerns I have met are the lack of family physicians and lack of affordable housing.

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

These are difficult to answer questions as the issues are complex and multifaceted. The issues have been going on for a while and whatever we have been doing is not working. Many of us, myself included are not fully aware of all the work that has been done to solve these problems.

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 am not sure letting in cruise ships disembark travelers to the downtown Picton area would be a good idea. It would be good for a few businesses but the numbers of people in our small town would overwhelm it. We all ready have a very busy downtown in the summer months so much so that locals avoid it due to congestion. Hundreds of added visitors all at once could overwhelm the area.

Cargo ships would add a whole different set of problems. Cargo would be moved on trucks and our roads are already congested. The trucks would have to move out of the area by 49 as moving that many trucks through our downtown would cause too much disruption. The unloading of cargo is noisy and dusty and therefore create noise and air pollution. There is also the potential for spillage and contamination to our environment. The ships unload when they arrive and that would be at any time of the day or night. The noise could be 24/7. There are many in our neighbourhoods who would find that too disruptive.


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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

Dee Hazell

Candidate photo for Dee Hazell
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.

PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Affordable housing is sorely lacking in many parts of Ontario and we are no different. There are many parts of the Affordable Housing initiative that are wonderful. It will take time to increase the housing stock that is affordable. I suggest one of the ways to increase the affordable stock is to work closely with developers. This is mentioned in the affordable housing initiatives. I believe we need to strongly encourage the developers to build the type of housing we actually need. I see lots of luxury everything being advertised and built. I don’t see any developers advertising or building at the other end of the spectrum. I think more small and starter homes and higher density may be the way to go. As a community, we need to work to ensure everyone has a safe and affordable place to live.

Tourism management
Tourism is tough. We need tourism. Tourists have been part of the fabric of The County for generations and will continue to be. There is a good portion of the population that relies on tourism for their livelihood yet many of us who live here find the number of tourists in the town and villages almost overwhelming. I know many locals heave a sigh of relief come labour day when we can move about our town and county with some measure of ease. At the same time, I have heard many folks who rely on tourism wanting to expand the tourist season as it is hard to survive on just the summer visitors. There needs to be a better balance. We need enough tourists to support the established tourist venues yet not so many that the residents can’t live in their own community.

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

Environment
One of the county wide initiatives that is missing is the environment. It is one of the pillars but is not mentioned specifically in the strategic initiatives mentioned above. I am sure council takes the environment into account in its decisions but it needs to be clearly stated. The environment needs to be at the forefront of all our decisions given the climate crisis we are in. When I look around the county, much of what I see is business as usual. An example of this is housing. I see houses being built that look just like the houses we have been building for decades. Now, I know looks can be deceiving. I hope they are being built with more sustainable materials and methods using renewable resources. I hope their heating and cooling systems are efficient in energy and materials. I hope that new buildings take into account their surroundings and encourage landscaping or building placement that uses trees to shade houses in the summer and block the winds in the winter. There are so many little things we can do that will add up to a significant change over time. I hope the environment is taken into account in the decisions of council and I do think it needs to be stated clearly in our strategic initiatives so it does not become an afterthought.


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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

Dee Hazell

Candidate photo for Dee Hazell
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. Environmental Advisory Committee
  3. Hasting and Prince Edward Board of Health

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.

Agricultural Advisory Committee
I have been farming my land for almost two decades. I have personal experience in the day to day running of a farm. My family have farmed in this county for generations and I also spent my summers working on a dairy farm lodge in the Eastern Townships. I sat on provincial agricultural committees including Alpaca Ontario and the Alpaca Fleece Cooperative of Ontario. I currently chair the Alpaca Ontario fibre committee and I am the president of the Alpaca Fleece Cooperative of Ontario. I also attended the University of Guelph in the Agricultural Sciences program in the early 80s. I have solid experience that would be an asset to this committee.

Environmental Advisory Committee
The environment has been a concern of mine for decades and I was green before it was even a concept. I understand how important the natural environment is to our survival and know that we can make decisions as individuals and a community that will and do impact the climate around us. I have taken many workshops and lectures on various aspects of living with a smaller carbon footprint. I designed and built our home using alternative and environmentally sustainable products and techniques. We live in a straw bale house and our power comes from solar and wind. Our primary heat source is a very efficient wood fired masonry stove fueled with harvested dead fall from around our farm. I fully understand the individual impact our day to day decisions have on the environment around us. I know there are many actions we can take as a municipality that would affect the environment in a positive way.

Hasting and Prince Edward Board of Health
I have worked in the health care field for over 30 years. I have worked in both the tertiary and primary care sectors of our health care system. I have experienced both sides of our healthcare system as a professional health care worker and a patient. Most of my experience of healthcare has been in Ontario but I have worked in the United States and volunteered in health care in Northern Ireland, India, Toronto and right here in the Quinte region. What this experience has given me is a broad view of different healthcare systems and approaches, what works and what doesn’t. I have a masters degree in nursing and during my studies learned much about the social determinants of health. Housing, nutrition, exercise, activity, community and last but not least, healthcare affect health outcomes. As a community there are so many things we can do to improve the health of our community. I have the knowledge and experience in a variety of areas of health education and care to be an asset to this Board.

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

Voter turnout has been poor in the provincial and federal elections also. I have heard that some people don’t vote as they don’t think their vote counts. Our votes do count. Especially in municipal elections with a small population. Sometimes the incumbent wins by just a handful of votes. In my door to door canvassing I make sure that folks know when, where and how to vote and that they are on the voters list. I invite all voters to come out and vote. This is how we have a role in our democracy. Some don’t vote because they don’t like the candidates. If this is the case I invite them to get involved, find friends or family who are like minded and have them run for council or committees.

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

I have voted in every municipal, provincial and federal election when I have been eligible. There was one time I was not pleased with who was running and so spoiled my ballet. I have since learned the better option is to accept the ballet and then return it and state that I decline to vote.

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

All of the candidates need to encourage all we encounter in our canvassing to vote. We can make sure everyone is on the voters list and encourage those who who find it difficult to get out, to make sure they understand their option to vote on line. I know if we ask everyone to vote, do it enthusiastically and without a personal bias, we can increase our numbers!


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Responses to Invitation 1

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

Dee Hazell

Candidate photo for Dee Hazell
1. How long have you resided in the County?

24 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?

24 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).

None.

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).

None.

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).

Loylalist Humane Society, Alternatives for Women.

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

Things are changing here in the County. There is some tension between the way things were and the direction we have been moving in.

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.

Change is constant. We need to manage change so as to not leave people behind.


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