I want to ensure Merritton remains the heart of St. Catharines and the best place to raise a family. Together we can support better public services, make life more affordable and improve our green spaces.
Why I'm Running
I’ve lived in St. Catharines all my life. It is my home and my passion. I truly believe we live in one of the most unique places in the world, with natural advantages and opportunities abounding. Ensuring my home reaches its full potential has always driven me.
It’s time to start capitalizing on that potential in a way that is fair, that is just and that improves the lives of all residents. I want to be a part of that. I think we all want to. And we can do it together.
My wife and I recently moved our young family to Merritton because we know it’s a community in the very best sense and the perfect place for families. I can only hope my children have the same commitment to community, the same hardworking attitude and the same honesty that is epitomized by the people of Merritton on a daily basis.
As a father, volunteer, professional and political activist, I know the critical role government plays in our lives. The policies passed by local governments can improve our lives if policymakers understand that people must be at the heart of decisions, that fairness must be a guiding principle and that what’s right must never be compromised by what’s easy.
Together we can and I promise to make the tough decisions, to have the courage of my convictions in the face of pressure from special interests and to be more worried about residents than reelection.
My name is Greg Miller and I’m asking for your support and your vote. Together I know that we can keep the heart in Merritton and turn St. Catharines into a champion of public services, fairness and affordability.
How We Can Keep the Heart in Merritton Ward
- Use Inclusionary Zoning to require affordable housing units in new developments; reach our target of 30% of all new units designated for social housing
- Incentivize the building of apartment buildings and unlock unused industrial and commercial land for new builds
- Stop apartment to condominium conversions until we build more apartment units
- End unfair "renovictions"
- Institute rent control that prioritizes tenants over profit and prevent Rent Increase Above Guideline
- Housing First to start to end homelessness in St. Catharines
Protect and enhance our parks
- Parks should be places that everyone in the community can meet, play and dream.
- Our green spaces are precious and cannot be sacrificed. It is possible to protect our parkland, while providing for new residential and commercial builds. We do not have to compromise.
- Let's continue the work on upgrading and rejuvenating our grand park, Centennial Gardens, and ensure our local parks in Ward 1 are upgraded with additional activity options, such as splash pads or shaded pavillions.
Support reliable public services
- You don’t have to look further than the Region’s waste collection service to understand the problems with privatization. It highlights issues with the procurement process, which rewards employers that undercut through low-wages and poor equipment. Furthermore, the Region has had trouble holding the private provider accountable for its poor service.
- Unfortunately, in difficult economic times privatization appeals to residents and governments alike that have to stretch every dime.
- I’m committed to keeping services public, as public services are more reliable, more accountable and provide a greater economic benefit through secure, well-paying jobs in our community.
Work together on an even brighter future for Queenston Street
- Queenston Street is often a "forgotten" portion of the City and our Ward since it is not downtown and it's not the historic Town of Merritton. I'm committed to working with current residents and business to develop the neighbourhoods of Queenston Street, and with them, the people too. There is already great work being done by neighbourhood associations and local businesses. They will have my full attention and support as a City Councillor.
- Keep support providers together and operating with the backing of the City. The service providers in the area do critical work with some of our most vulnerable residents and I'm pleased to see a temporary safe injection site approved for Positive Living. I believe it is important to ensure these residents who need these services can access them efficiently.
- The former General Hospital site is a great opportunity to be the cornerstone of that community, and we need to work in partnership with the private owner to ensure that site is realized in a timely fashion. I will work with the community and the developer and champion the site at City Hall. Between now and the the day we cut the ribbon on the development, I will make certain that property standards are upheld at the site.
- If development does not start soon, the city should purchase the property and lead the development. The City of Calgary did this very successfully with its master-planned The Bridges community redevelopment, which profited the city, created a vibrant community and provided affordable housing.
Champion our small businesses
- Small to medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of Niagara's economy. Micro businesses, freelancing and self-employment are also becoming more and more important. These business provide stable local employment, give back to the local community and often do so without the same attention or assistance of larger, non-local business. We have the talent, training and skills here already for businesses to thrive; we just need to focus more on micro, small and medium sized businesses and less on pining for a single, silver bullet solution.
Support local traditions
- Local, neighbourhood traditions help bind communities together. Let's keep our communities close-knit by supporting traditions like the Merritton Lions Carnival and parade, the Labour Day fireworks and the Queenston harvest festival.
- I will Chair the Merritton Fireworks Committee to ensure we always have an amazing fireworks display on Labour Day Weekend!
"How do we pay for this?"
- This is the biggest challenge municipalities in Ontario face: a lack of revenue tools and underfunding on infrastructure
- All residents, but especially those earning minimum wage, seniors and those with disabilities can't afford a property tax increase above inflation. A hike in taxes is not an option.
- My plan is bold, and though much of it is about partnerships with developers, community groups and businesses, there are portions that require City funding
- In order to help pay for this Keep The Heart In Merritton plan, I believe we need to open up new revenue streams, like a hotel tax (City of Kingston raised $3-million/year doing this), an empty home tax and stricter enforcement of bylaw fines.
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