Every day this week we are featuring platform highlights from the Ward Councillor candidates in the upcoming election. Our stations have reached out to each Councillor candidate to outline their platform for listeners. This is Ward 3 Councillor candidate Joe Campbell’s submitted platform.

I was born, and raised, in Schumacher. After marriage, wife Barbara, and I, continued to make Schumacher our home to this day. We are blessed with two great sons, Brad and Brent, two supportive daughters-in-law and four wonderful grand kids along with other caring family members and friends.

I am just completing my first term on city council. I believe that experience, along with my 43-year career in accounting, including capital projects, makes me the best candidate to continue to represent the taxpayers of Ward 3.

Since election to council, I have been fortunate to be appointed, and serve, on the Golden Manor Board, Timmins Economic Development Committee, Audit Committee, Municipal Housing Committee, Cochrane District Social Services Board and Municipal Accessibility Advisory Council. This experience is invaluable going forward.

The City of Timmins is a business and must be run as a business for the benefit of all taxpayers, even when it comes to non-essential spending. You may need to have a different set of parameters to assess the merits of non-essential spending – but at the end of the day, there must be a needs study to honestly verify the project adds substantially to our quality of life.  Our current debt currently sits at $77M, including interest, there needs to be a strong case for proceeding with non-essential spending that will require this debt load to be increased by any amount.

I came to council with one purpose, in 2015, and that is a commitment to represent all taxpayers to the best of my ability. I am comfortable at the conclusion of this mandate that I have not deviated from that goal.

I am extremely passionate about persons with disabilities and working towards making their lives better. Early in the mandate, I fought for, and was successful, in expanding Handi-Transit service to cover all of the city. It is no secret that Timmins will face an aging population going forward and will need to accelerate it’s plans to meet the AODA provincial mandate, for services for persons with disabilities, by 2025.

The City of Timmins is facing some serious economic challenges with the most prominent being the impending closure of Kidd and reduced property assessments, of mining sites, implemented by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.) The closure of Kidd will result in the loss of 800 jobs with a payroll of $110M and the loss to local businesses of $52M that the company spends in Timmins. Agreements with the Kidd, Goldcorp and Tahoe have been negotiated to pay more in taxes in 2018 than they would have been required to pay under the new assessments. This was done to allow the city three years to to get its house in order before the real impact takes place in 2021. Council cannot ignore that fact. Hopefully, Noront will choose Timmins and Goldcorp will extend their presence in Timmins for the next 10-15 years.

Until then, council needs to get back on track and focus financially on the things that matter, good roads, affordable housing, job creation, reasonable taxes, safe streets and neighborhoods, economic development, added fire protection and a host of other essential services important to residents.

Growing up in Schumacher as a child, my role models were the men, and women, who gave of their time to organize, and supervise, activities for the children in Schumacher.

I was inspired to follow in their footsteps and to begin a 50-year history of personal volunteering to make Schumacher, and the city, a better place.  Space does not allow me to list all of the commitments I have made to community. However, I am particularly proud of my association with Camp Bickell children’s camp. In 2001, I spearheaded a $2.3M fundraising campaign to save the camp from closure. In addition, beginning in 1994, I personally have raised over $500,000, thanks to the generosity of local businesses, service clubs and individuals, to send 2,100 kids to camp free of charge.

I don’t have to promise to serve and be dedicated to community – I have already done it for 50 years and will continue.

I would be honored to be able to continue as that strong community council representative for Ward 3 and the rest of the city for the next four years.

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