Dysart et al, ward 1: Pamela Brohm

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Listen to the full interview, click here.

Qualifications 

“Haliburton County has been my home since I was six months old. I was raised in the area, went to Haliburton High and since then have owned a business on Highland Street, worked in Toronto and moved back here permanently just about a year ago,” Brohm said. “I am quite involved in the community, I feel I have my finger on the pulse and have an idea about some of the main issues we have.” 

Amalgamation 

“You have to be looking at the dollars and cents. Perhaps [amalgamating] brings more buying power for supplies and equipment that municipalities need to run. Consolidating some facilities rather than having each township individually running their own roads department,” Brohm said. “I’m a small-town girl, so I like the idea of Dysart being my municipality. If the townships were to amalgamate, that would mean you wouldn’t have that connection to your community, to the governing body… I feel that contact and connection is important.” 

Health

 “If you had one larger facility [as opposed to two hospitals] … you could possibly have more equipment available. One of the things we need desperately in this community is a CT scanner. If we had one here, that would save our EMS a great deal of time from transporting patients to Lindsay or Peterborough,” Brohm said. “Nobody wants to lose their community hospital, but we’re growing at such a rate with a population requiring medical care… I would really have to look at what the ramifications would be, how a site would be chosen and how it would all be funded.” 

Poverty 

“SIRCH has made a good start, offering training to younger people to give them options they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Youth Hub is also another good operation. We need to show younger people there are other ways to live, and that they can do things for themselves,” Brohm said. “Many people are living in poverty, or just on the edge, in Ontario right now. The cost of food and gas makes it even more difficult, so this is a hard thing to address… If we grew and had a few more businesses that would employ some people, that might be helpful.” 

Housing 

“Modular homes are a lot less money to build, for people to buy. I heard about a project that was done in Calgary, a young couple who were renting for $2,000 got into a modular home and it just changed their lives. They could afford to pay their bills, got out of debt and could plan for the future. It got me thinking, that could be a really good idea [for Haliburton County],” Brohm said. She noted she’s also seen people transform storage containers into livable units and spoke favourably about tiny homes. “We need to be open to new visions, because the same old, same old is not working anymore. Especially not for your average working family.” Brohm said she’s skeptical about the proposed Harburn Holdings development on Grass Lake. “It’s very important that we protect the environment… and we need to make sure [the proposal] provides to the community what the community needs, and that’s affordable housing.” 

Transportation

 “If we had public transportation, it would be easier for people who don’t have resources to get around. Some people might want to work but might not be able to get there right now,” Brohm said. “I believe it can be done. We need to look at the whole situation, what the needs would be and how we can do this.” Brohm said her ideal system would feature a weekly bus system with pre-determined routes that could help move people across the County. 

Shoreline preservation bylaw 

“Things had been going on so long that a decision had to be made. We know our environment is critical and we have to protect it… A bylaw was voted in Aug. 24 and will come into effect April 1, 2023. In my mind, that’s it. The issue is done,” Brohm said. Short-term rentals “I believe they most definitely should be regulated. It is the commodification of shelter. It’s buying something strictly to make money from it, not to live in it or have it as your own family cottage – that is a business, which puts pressure on our resources, whether it’s emergency services, roads. It also allows a lot of people to come in who really haven’t got a clue about rural life, they don’t know what a septic system is and how you have to be careful with them,” Brohm said. “To share a cottage with family and friends is one thing, but to have it up on Kijiji, Craigslist or Airbnb for the whole world to see? I just don’t agree with that.” 

Vision for the future 

“The main issue we have right now is housing, that has to be our priority. People that were born and raised here now can’t afford to live here. In my mind, that’s not how we want to see things. I would like to see sustainable housing projects that are meaningful for Dysart and complements the lifestyle we want to have here,” Brohm said. “That has to be the focus. Without more housing, we cannot get the professionals that we need.” 

Dysart et al 

“There are many big issues to work on and to look at… I’ve taken a look at our reserve funds and think [we can do] better, so that, in the event your playground equipment is beat, you can go to your reserve fund and use some money to replace it.” 

Pamela Brohm the candidate

 “I am passionate about Dysart. I want to see it be the best place it can be. As a councillor, I would be accessible. I am always available, and no call or email will go unanswered. I have no personal agendas here; my sole focus is on making things better for the people who live here.”