As a concerned citizen, elected or not, I would like to see an increased policing visibility in the downtown area. I would like to see more police interacting with people downtown on the sidewalks, building relationships and increasing a feeling of security at the same time. The municipal leadership will need to work hand in hand with police and municipal enforcement to ensure effective policing practices throughout Yellowknife.
Homelessness is a major social issue affecting residents, workers, and businesses. I support the city’s continued participation in providing homelessness assistance; however, I also believe that the city lacks the resources to fully conquer this issue. I support initiatives and effective programs in partnership with the territorial government, not for profit organizations, and other agencies that will help homeless persons to overcome their circumstances such as transitory programs to employment, counseling, and rehabilitation.
To attract more investors, business owners and entrepreneurs should be able to establish and run their businesses with as little hassle as possible. One concrete item that would help with this, which is being proposed by Marie-Soleil Lacoursiere who is also running for council, is looking at implementing a land-based taxation system in downtown zoned lots from the current tax scheme focused on building value. This would encourage denser development in downtown and make it more affordable to do business there. I would like to cooperate with Marie and other Council members to make this a reality.
City hall should be able to make sound decisions to balance budgets so that businesses and residents don’t suffer from tax increases or increased user fees passed on to them to cover any budget shortfalls. This kind of balanced, long-term economic planning is necessary to ensure the necessary resources are available to put these initiatives within reach.