Candidates' meeting gets off to raucus start
LISA TALLYN Staff Writer A candidates' meeting nearly ended before really getting started Thursday morning when mayoral hopeful Rob Heaton refused to follow the rules set out by the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce. While Heaton answered a question on a possible Halton Energy From Waste facility that had been directed at regional chairman candidate Brent Marshall, moderator Norm Paget tried to turn the microphone off telling Heaton that based on the format, questions were directed to a specific candidate. Heaton refused to give up the mic and continued on with his answer. "Lets change the rules," said Heaton. "If the five us can agree that we can answer each and every question. I think that's only fair." "If we don't follow the format then we shut down the meeting. Is that clear?" said Paget. "No," said Heaton. Paget said the meeting was over. "Follow the format. Take control and let's get on with it. We can't let one person disrupt this whole thing," interjected former Acton councillor Norm Elliott, who attended the breakfast meeting at North Halton Golf and Country Club. Paget started the meeting again, allowing all candidates (only those running for mayor and regional chair were invited to the meeting) the opportunity to answer every question. See CANDIDATES, pg. 7
Candidates quizzed on a variety of issues
Continued from pg. 1 The meeting included incumbent mayor Rick Bonnette and region chair hopefuls Marshall, Brian Burton and Gary Carr. Ward 3 council candidate Dave Kentner asked about the potential energy from waste (EFW) facility at the Halton landfill in Milton. Marshall: "This is all about looking after Halton's future. We have to make sure we have a solution for our own community. Energy from waste is a safe solution." Heaton: "There are dioxins going on in the community...I am not in favour of all the coal plants going off line and being destroyed because what we end up with is the Trans Canada Energy plant being put on Steeles Ave. and the community there does not want it." Burton: "The Europeans build an Energy From Waste plant when it's necessary, not because they want to. The necessity of Halton is 2029, that's when we should build it." Carr: "I believe we should look at closer to 2030. We have the capacity; with some good recycling we can wait. The technology will be better. We should not take Toronto's garbage." Bonnette:"I can't believe what I just heard from a couple of the candidates. To wait to 2031, the Michigan border could be closed in the next couple years...1,000 cars per minute go by the Brampton EFW plant. The technology is much improved than what it was years ago. We have to look at it now, and we have to look at it for Halton's garbage first." Georgetown resident Derrick Williams asked about the regional tax increase and who will pay for roads being downloaded on Halton Hills. Marshall: "There was no downloading of roads, there was a strategy that was directed and agreed to by all the regional council, the four area municipal councils, what it was about was making sure we had a rational regional road system and not a political road system. It's a logical transformation...I want to remind you that 90 cents on every dollar that's spent in this community on regional services comes from the rest of the region." Heaton: "I'm really aghast at the downloading of the
regional roads, really it was decided by regional council to put the screws to Halton Hills. We've had another $50 to $100 million extra added onto our local budget." Bonnette: "This wasn't done by regional council to `put the screws' to Halton Hills. This was done with the four CAOs, along with the regional CAO, they worked on a plan...Where do you think those dollars are going to come from to repair Steeles Ave., it's going to come from the region." Farmer Bert Andrews asked the chair candidates if they would support local food initiatives such as the regional Simply Local brochure, and the four farmer's markets. Marshall: "If I'm elected you'll see my face at the (Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee) on several occasions...Simply Local is something that every farmer in this community values very much and I think it's done a lot to help continue to push us forward...Farmer's market-- a great idea." Carr: "I'm not going to tell you what to do, you're the expert. You tell me what you need and I'll go to bat for you." Burton: "Halton has a wonderful organization called Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee...If I'm elected as chair I will make sure the nine priority items put forward by the agricultural community of Halton will be acted on." Paget asked about the region's high development charges and how the candidates planned to attract business.
Burton: "It's not that development charges are too high, they're far too low...They need to go up." Marshall: "In terms of development charges residential growth pays for itself...DCs are collected. We get every single dollar we can and we get more than that because we have good relationships with developers... DCs on the industrial commercial side council...is taking a graduated approach to increasing the DCs and eliminating the grant structure that's in place now." Carr: "We need to have the dollars to do it. In terms of development charges what I would like to do...I believe we need we need to have them in place and there may be some increases to development charges to pay for it...I think there could be new sources of revenue streams from the province..." Bonnette: "If you have decent development charges that are high you're going to get companies that can afford to come in...if you lower the development charges of industrial commercial that goes on the backs of the residential. That's the problem we're having in Halton Hills right now.. Heaton: "When you talk about development charges I think differently about developers. We missed a huge opportunity with Sheridan Nurseries in Glen Williams...instead of upping development charges they should be upping the size of the lots forcing them to put in tanks in the ground...the rainwater is going into tanks in the basement and they're using it for secondary uses in the home."
The Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce hosted an allcandidates breakfast question and answer session Thursday at the North Halton Golf and Country Club for members to quiz the candidates running for the Halton Hills mayor and Halton Region chair positions. From
left, are, incumbent mayor Rick Bonnette, chair candidate Brent Marshall, mayoral challenger Rob Heaton, chair candidate Brian Burton and chair candidate Gary Carr.