“I believe there are four main issues facing North Glengarry: Negative population growth, inadequate wastewater infrastructure, the need for community revitalization and the development of a long term plan for growth.”
These are the words of Carma Williams, Maxville Ward Councillor and one of three candidates for Deputy-Mayor of North Glengarry in next month’s municipal election.
She says the answer to these problems is a vision for growth, development and opportunity.
“First of all we need to develop a plan to get the development freeze in Alexandria lifted by expanding the wastewater lagoons,” she says. “This has been inhibiting both residential and business growth for decades. Expanding the lagoons will allow the freeze to be lifted and allow for significant growth and development.”
Ms. Williams also champions a strategy on population growth that will “allow us to grow our tax base and grow our communities.” She believes this will help support the area’s schools and hospitals.
Regarding community revitalization, Ms. Williams advocates for the Community Improvement Plan, which she believes has been “very successful” at rejuvenating the look of the downtown cores in Alexandria and Maxville.
“The next challenge is to leverage the Community Improvement Program to revitalize the rural areas and hamlets in North Glengarry,” she says. “This can be accomplished by focusing on agricultural as well as heritage initiatives.” She would also push for long-term fiscal responsibility. “I believe in stable tax rates and the need to build reserves,” she says. “This helps create an environment of confidence and consistency in municipal budgeting and spending and allows us to seize opportunities when they arise.”
Ms. Williams believes that local government needs to be more responsive to the public. She would try to arrange for the live streaming of council meetings and allowing for remote questions.
At the upper tier, Ms. Williams has two key priorities for her time on the council of the United Counties of SDG. One is to improve mobile broadband coverage across SD&G. “Expanded cellular coverage will allow the upload and download of documents which will allow home based businesses to thrive,” she says.
She would also work with Emergency Management Services to improve response time for paramedics and improve safety for residents.
“The other priority I would support is seeing natural gas expansion in rural eastern Ontario,” she says. “The United Counties of SD&G is working with Enbridge and Union gas to prioritize rural expansion to help reduce energy bills in the agricultural and residential sectors.”
Ms. Williams has served on North Glengarry council for eight years and has also sat on the boards of HGMH, Maxville Manor as well as