Interview with Bill Bousfield, Regional Council candidate for Wards 1 & 5 in Brampton, Canada

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Monday, October 30, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Brampton municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council or the council of the Peel Region.

Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau contacted many of the candidates, including Bill Bousfield, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. This ward's incumbent is Elaine Moore; also challenging Moore is Janet Hamilton and Tejinder Lamba.

Interview

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Q: List the three most important issues in your campaign.

A:
  • Door-to-Door transit geared to the senior citizens
  • Increased Police presence in our school zones and parks
  • Eliminate the current waste of our tax dollars

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: With the elimination of wasted tax dollars, the savings would fund these and other initiatives.

Q: The Rose Theatre recently launched. What are your thoughts on this facility? Have you had a chance to tour it yet?

A: Although the theater is a beautiful building, I could not in good conscience have approved funding while there is a twenty-one year waiting list for affordable housing. I feel 65 million dollars is too high of a price to pay when there are so many without affordable housing, not to mention the location brings even more congestion to an already overcrowded area.

Q: How do you feel about Brampton's rate of expansion? Council recently capped the annual amount of new development; do you agree completely with this decision, would you have slowed development even further, or not have imposed a cap at all?

A: I think new development should have been capped even further. With development to continue before the infrastructure is in place to handle the increased volume will obviously add to our already over congested roadways.

Q: What service is most lacking in Brampton?

A: Many of the seniors in that I've spoken to in Brampton are literally almost shut ins. They don't have the means to get out in this great community and enjoy what they helped to create. As the Region owns equipment to provide a door-to-door transit system for them, I feel it is a shame that no one will put in the effort to help get them out and about. As we are all aging, I shudder to think that as we approach our senior years, we also will be neglected by our elected officials of the day.

Q: What are your opinions on Brampton's congestion and the level of public transit funding?

A: I think back to when my family moved here, there were only 35,000 people in Brampton. My visions of Queen Street and Main Street as a youngster are relatively the same as they are now, two lanes each way. Here we are 40 years later, same roads but ten times the volume. Municipal government must continue to apply pressure for more transit funding from the province.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I have always felt our elected officials should be leading by example as they are in their position not only because of us but also more importantly, representing us as a whole. I for one have had quite enough of being represented by dishonest, self-serving, immoral people as hopefully, they aren't a reflection of the people they serve. I want to give people the option for truth, honesty and integrity.

Q: What qualities or experiences do you possess, that make you more desirable than the incumbent?

A: I offer honesty and integrity. It's no secret these are qualities that are lacking in all levels of government. It's something we all know yet continue to tolerate it. I can't fault people for continuing to vote for it as it shows we still have hope however, how many times, how many elections pass before we say Enough?

Q: Much of Brampton's existing council is quite seasoned in the civic political process. What could you bring to the table as a "rookie", above and beyond the current roster of councillors?

A: A realistic, private sector approach to spending. I feel that even though experience is important much of council has been out of touch with real world spending for far too long to be effective. Although the current council is "seasoned" it's that seasoning that has created our shortcomings and issues that have come to light during this 2006 campaign.

Q: Why do you want to represent your ward on council?

A: I live in this ward; I've lived in this ward since my street was at the northern most point in Brampton. Now, forty years later my street is central Brampton, in some areas, there have been many changes while in others very little. As my wife and I are raising my two young children here, I have a great interest in this ward. My children attend school here, attend the recreational centers and parks here and I want to insure these areas remain accessible and safe for all. I'm tired of seeing the Police run into the park at the end of my street, I would like to see increased Police patrols of the parks.

Q: Of the decisions made by council since the last election, which one would you have changed, and why?

A:I wouldn't have awarded $400,000 to an outside contractor, the Red Cross, to purchase equipment followed by a multi million dollar contract to provide service for dialysis patients without putting that contract up for tender, thereby at least saving the taxpayers the original $400,000 and possibly reducing the cost of that service. The Region of Peel already has contractors under contract providing transportation service. To not include them as well as any other interested contractors doesn't provide the best options available and that is what the bid process is intended to do.

Q: What does Brampton mean to you?

A: No matter where life leads me, after 40 years here, Brampton will always be "home". I've watched Brampton grow from a small town to a thriving city, which has retained its small town feel with the tree lighting at Christmas and the beautiful Gage Park.

Notes

The entire original text can be read on the article's talk page.

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