Minden Hills ward 1: Richard Bradley

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Richard Bradley, ward 1 candidate Minden Hills

Listen to the full interview on The Highlander’s new podcast: click here.

Qualifications

Bradley worked in labour negotiations and mediations. He said being on council requires similar skills. “My answer to a problem is not no, it’s how are we going to solve this problem? And how are we going to solve it if it’s something that has to go before council? How are we going to actually have a majority of council support something? So, it’s about building bridges, it’s not about building fences.” He unsuccessfully ran for council in 2018. 

Amalgamation

“I’d rather see, first, amalgamation of as many services…shuffling the money around in a way that makes it most efficient. For example, there are three levels of snow plowing, there’s municipal, County, and contracted highway. So, there are three teams of snowplow hours. I’m not sure that’s the most efficient way to do it.” Township staff are currently working to implement certain recommendations in a service delivery review conducted by StrategyCorp. 

Health

“The bottom line is [two hospitals are] here. This is a provincial thing. And you know, tell Laurie Scott and Jamie Schmale and all of the upper levels of government, neither of those two ER’s is up for discussion unless you want to build a Halliburton County emergency room and, if they do, we’ll find out where you’re going to do it, make sure it’s central and make sure it’s funded.” 

Housing 

He said he’d support donating land for housing projects, and collaborating with the province to pave the way for more housing. He said he’d want affordable housing to be centrally located. “Even two people working two jobs can’t afford to rent a whole lot of places around here.” 

Poverty 

He said improving wireless connections would encourage companies to set up base in Minden Hills and provide better paying jobs. “I think the council has a role, whether it’s tourism, in shining a light on the fact that this is a beautiful place to be and live.” 

Shoreline preservation bylaw 

He said he supports the bylaw, but that he’s curious about how it will be enforced, and what exemptions will be honoured. “As long as it is seen to be reasonable and fair to people who are building, modifying, or even developing new lands, it’s going to be fine.” The new bylaw spells out that new staff will be responsible for enforcement of the bylaw at a County level, and specifies what activities are exempt. 

Short-term rentals 

“It’s not new, the fact that people have rented their place for a week a year because they’ve been offsetting the expenses of having a property. It’s just new that you can do it on the internet.” He supports regulating but not “to the point of stifling” short-term rentals. Transportation He said he likes the idea of public transportation in Haliburton County. He said people who may use the service should have a say in the routes and the price should be aimed at lower-income people. “There’s no point in having a bus people can’t afford.”

 Vision for the future

 He said he’d like to see downtown “rejuvenation”, which might mean community safety zones, or more lines painted on parking spots. He said he’d like to see the township take an active role in deciding what to do with vacant land. He said he’d like to engage business owners and downtown residents. “How are we going to make this downtown a place where people want to be from eight in the morning, Monday morning, till eight in the evening, Sunday night?” 

Minden Hills

 He said addressing roads is a main focus for the municipality, and “going back to core services a municipality can control.” He said tax increases are a must in order to finance road improvements and suggested using reserve funds in order to do so. He also said raising taxes more could be difficult due to the current high rate of inflation. 

Richard Bradley the candidate 

“When I talk to people, when people say what is your platform, my platform is to be your voice… To advocate for your needs, whether it’s your roads, whatever it may be. And, again, it comes down to our community’s need.” He gave the example of Bob Lake’s boat launch. “Bob Lake needs a boat launch, somehow, some way. And I’m not saying I have the answer. I’m saying I need the answer from them so we can get it done. Because how can you have a lake without a public boat launch?” He said being proactive is his primary goal. “I worked pretty much my whole career in labour negotiations, certainly have learned about arbitration and litigation when required, but it’s not what I prefer, but I am now retired, I’m here full-time, I was lucky enough to buy the family cottage, where I live, and where I will draw my last breath. I’ve been married for 36 years, I have four kids and two grandchildren. And I think it’s just my time, hopefully to give back now that I have more time. And I want to listen to people and help them with their encounters with municipal government and make positive changes where that’s possible. And reasonable.