Corner Brook is a beautiful and safe community. It is a great place to live and to raise children.
Yet, we all know we’re facing some serious challenges. Our economy is struggling. Due to an inability to create opportunities for young people, our population has declined from a high of 26,300 in 1971 to a low of 19,800 today.
If we keep doing the same things over and over again at City Hall, we can’t really expect different results. We should expect more from City Hall. We should expect more from our leaders. I believe I have the experience, the character, and the platform to steer our city in a new direction.
Support Business Growth
I believe we can work together to rebuild our local economy. We can support local businesses to innovate, expand and create jobs. We can strengthen our relationship with our post secondary institutions. We can foster cooperation with our non-profit and volunteer organizations. We need to have a respectful, solution-focused relationship with our provincial and federal government counterparts. Let’s strengthen the pillars of our economy by increasing collaboration.
- Lower business tax rate
- Set up meeting of contractors and City development staff to improve relationship
- Re-engage Mill and explore new opportunities for collaboration
- Develop urban reserve concept with Qalipu First Nation
Our downtown is the economic and cultural heart of our community. When it thrives, the whole City thrives. Let’s make the downtown a beehive of activity. Let’s work with property owners to fill the vacant buildings and storefronts with new shops and services. Let’s focus on building a “walkable” downtown with trails and small parks. Let’s sponsor public events where we can gather and celebrate together.
- Implement vacant property registration bylaw with fees on derelict property owners
- Make downtown more pedestrian friendy with more green spaces, trails and signage
- Provide tax credits to improve properties and increase business density
Improve Infrastructure for Active Living
Corner Brook has the potential to offer a quality of life unmatched in Atlantic Canada. We are blessed with an amazing natural environment and a strong culture of sport and active living. This will be key to attracting health professionals, entrepreneurs and young families to our city.
Let’s encourage the development of more hiking, walking and biking trails. Let’s find a way to build the swimming pool we need. Let’s work with our regional, provincial and federal partners to build facilities that are accessible and affordable.
- Lead regional solution for a pool facility: a new one or renovation of an existing one
- Make the Civic Centre more accessible to the community and more affordable to tax payers
- Support the efforts of volunteer groups that are building biking and hiking trails throughout the city
Promote Culture and Tourism
We have a vibrant artistic community. We are an hour away from the largest tourist attraction in the province. We have the potential to be Newfoundland’s premier tourist destination.
City Hall must lead the development of a tourism and marketing strategy. Let’s capitalize on this opportunity.
- Hire a Tourism Manager
- Create an annual destination festival for the city
- Build trail links for snowmobile/ATV tourism into the City
- Support the pursuit of a UNESCO Global Geopark designation
Reform City Hall
It’s no secret that there are problems at City Hall. We’ve all heard City Hall described as anti-business and hard to deal with. Despite promises to cut red tape, little has been done to change that perception. Staff morale is at an all-time low and we’ve seen a lack of respectful debate and decorum within Council. We need strong leadership to fix these problems. We need to give staff authority to make decisions and Council needs to support their efforts. At the same time we must demand accountability and timely action. Let’s have more open dialogue with citizens and fewer closed door meetings. Let’s remember who City Hall works for.
- Establish quarterly “town hall” style meetings with public, Council and staff
- Implement customer service ticketing system for tracking citizen complaints and concerns
- Review Human Resource policies and practices to ensure a healthy working environment
- Live stream council meetings online
It’s time for a new approach. We need leadership that is non-partisan, transparent, and committed to cooperation. On September 26th, expect more. Vote Jim Parsons.