Hello loyal fans, Tuxedo Stanley here again.
I'm seeking divine inspiration for today's blog.
As many of you know, I have been busy running a campaign for Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality. A landslide has been predicted.
Mayoral candidates were asked to respond to questions posed by a group called Our HRM Alliance. Although I spent many hours poring over my responses, they declined to post them on their website. I think they're afraid of me. Obviously, they were unaware of my blog.
Here are my answers:
Halifax Regional Municipality Election October 2012
What issues will you champion in your term if elected?
I have a vision. In my vision ( and I have a lot of visions thanks to good quality catnip ), I see HRM as an innovative, caring community where all cats are treated equally, not just those with the good fortune to have owners who can care for them. I'm speaking of the downtrodden, the abandoned, the forsaken, the starving, the abused. And there are tens of thousands of them. I see a community that we can be proud of; a community that values all species. I would champion an accessible and affordable spay/neuter program for both feral cats and those belonging to low income families. I would insist on a provision for cats in HRM's animal control by-law. I would create a Domestic Animal Advisory Committee that would include representation from local shelters and volunteer rescue groups. And then I would eat.
Use Greebelting (solution 1):
Are you willing to champion Greenbelting for HRM? If yes, what measures will you implement to ensure the Municipality stops sprawling and protects green space?
I am a BIG FAN of greenbelting! And, in fact, I would go one step further. I would establish wildlife corridors, not just isolated pockets. This is essential to keep wildlife gene pools strong. You know what happens if cousins mate with cousins. It gets ugly. I don’t want to be chasing a squirrel with six legs. I like a strong, healthy ecosystem where natural environments are protected and can be used for recreation such as walking, biking ( not my saucer of cream but humans seem to like it ), and bird-watching. Now that’s a purr-sonal favourite!
Will you lead a move to have greenbelting embedded in the amended regional plan?
Absolutely, one hundred percent YES!!!! This fits in nicely with my vision of a kinder, gentler municipality which respects all life.
Will you work to have Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes established as a Regional Park, as presented at a public meeting on May 30th 2012? If so, what timelines will you adhere to for completion?
I will do whatever I can to achieve this goal in as short a time as possible. We cats have nine lives, eight of which are spent sleeping ( which is when I do my best work ) So really, we have one life where we are awake and must act on our visions to make the world a better place. Without large scale protected places, I fear Mother Nature will not be able to do her job. We owe her our very lives...the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink. (Perhaps there could be a community garden in the park for growing catnip?)
Invest in downtown core and growth centres (solution 2):
Will you budget $18 million for the development of the Regional Centre over the next five years and lead a campaign to have this funding matched by the two other levels of government?
Well...that’s a good question. I don’t know the answer. How did they set a figure of $18 million? That would sure buy a lot of cat food. Just a minute....I feel a vision coming on. Wait...wait...I’ve GOT IT!!! What if maybe, say, 5% of that money could be used to provide a sanctuary for abandoned/homeless/destitute cats? It could even become a tourist attraction and help revitalize the downtown. You know, HRM is one of the few cities in North America without a government-sponsored program to help cats. And there are a lot of cat lovers out there. Think of all those rich old ladies on the cruise ships who have kitties at home that they miss terribly. I bet they’d love to visit a state-of-the art cat sanctuary. I bet they’d make a donation too. Oh, this is brilliant!! No wonder I’m running for mayor.
Will you agree to budget $7 million for other growth centres across HRM from Hubbards to Sheet Harbour over the next five years, and lead a campaign to have this funding matched by the two other levels of government?
Of course! There are cats in need all over HRM.
Prioritize investment in transit and active transportation (solution 3):
In 2011, the widening of Bayer’s Road was an issue. The cost assessment for the total roadwork needed for the Highway 101 Corridor Project is close to $300 million (without including the cost of land acquisition). That’s $300 million that could be used to improve transit service, to invest in commuter rail or to improve active transportation. In spite of this price tag, would you support the widening of Bayer’s Road?
There are too many cars on the road already. Lots of homeless cats get killed on Bayer’s Road too. It makes me very sad. I think it makes a lot more sense to spend that money on public transportation, car-pooling incentives and greener ways to travel. I, for example, walk everywhere. Oh, except for when they stuff me in a carrier to go to the V.E.T. They crack me up. They spell it out so I won’t know. Ha! Who do they think they’re fooling?
Speaking of going to the V.E.T’s, I heard a rumour that cats in carriers aren’t allowed on city buses? That’s unconstitutional!! How are people supposed to take their cats to the vet AND support public transportation??
A third harbour crossing has been presented as a means of dealing with the growing congestion on HRM’s two bridges. How would you deal with the suggestion that HRM start planning for a third bridge/tunnel?
I have no idea how many cats cross the bridge on a daily basis. But I do know how quickly cats reproduce without an affordable/accessible spay-neuter program or a trap-neuter-return-caretaking program for feral colonies! It’s the same principle with a third bridge or tunnel. It will cost tons of money and increase the number of cars and congestion. We need to be REDUCING the number of cars on the road, find better, greener and more convenient kinds of public transportation. We already have, throughout HRM, an existing rail infrastructure. ( I know, that’s a big word from a cat. Pretty impressive, eh? Vote for me! ) Anyway, what about using that? And faster ferry services. Oh, and cat carrier lanes.
Adhere to residential growth targets (solution 4):
What measures (ie. density bonusing, changing zoning to allow secondary suites, smaller unit size) will you support to increase density in already serviced areas?
I need a nap....zzzzzzzzzzzz
Will you agree to making development in unserviced areas pay the full cost for hard and soft services, calculating an 80-year replacement cost into the amount?
H’mmm. Well, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area. Hard and soft services...you mean, like sleeping on the floor or sleeping on the bed? I’m not fussy.
Evaluate development charges to ensure that the Municipality is not burdened by growth (solution 5):
Are you willing to vote against developments if they are not located in already-serviced areas, or if they do not provide more walkable, more transit-oriented
communities as identified in the objectives of the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy?
Protect water resources (solution 6):
Healthy watersheds form the basis of clean and healthy water supplies. How will you ensure the ongoing health of our watercourses, including municipal drinking water and other groundwater supplies?
Folks, this is a no-brainer. Keep your litter box and your drinking water as far apart as possible!
And speaking of water, SAVE THE BEDFORD BASIN REEF!
Commit to measuring successes and deficiencies of action identified in the RMPS (solution 7):
Will you agree to a yearly in-house evaluation of how Council is addressing the RMPS?
Well, of course! How do you know how you’re doing if no one tells you? If I am elected mayor, I will make sure that animal welfare groups and environmentalists are involved in this evaluation. I would also provide very nice food for us to eat while we are working on the evaluation and soft blankets.
Will you finance five-year third-party evaluations?
Oh, I LOVE parties! Will there be dancing rodents and catnip?
That's all for this week. See you soon!
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