Interview with John Sanderson, Regional Council candidate for Wards 3 & 4 in Brampton, Canada
Friday, November 3, 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. The candidates for this region are John Sanderson, Susan DiMarco (this wards incumbent), Tibor Bankuti, Theo Goary and Sukhwant Thethi.
John Sanderson spoke exclusively to Wikinews via questions sent in an email. Mr Sanderson's answers to some of the questions asked are below.
Q: List the three most important issues in your campaign.
- A: Safer communities through effective enforcement;
- Reduced traffic congestion through effective planning; and
- Managed growth through effective plan development.
Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?
- A: My motivation for pursuing pubic office is to ensure that our city has adequate infrastructure to support its rapid growth. Wards 3 and 4 include Highway 410, Steeles Avenue, Kennedy Rd., Highway 10, McLaughlin Rd. and Chinguacousy Rd, some of the most congested roads in Brampton. As a life-long resident of Brampton, the severe traffic congestion that we are experiencing today is unprecedented in our history – and is costly to our economy and quality of life. While canvassing, the common message received from residents in the ward is that we need to better manage traffic and transportation. As a Regional Councillor, I will be a strong advocate for smart and long-term transportation planning of the City of Brampton and Region of Peel and I will take immediate measures to help alleviate transportation congestion in our city. This includes the provision of an effective and efficient public transit system that is responsive to users' needs, as well as implementing and promoting carpooling, to help reduce single occupancy vehicles on roadways. I am also not afraid to speak up about the issues of Brampton. As Past President of The Brampton Board of Trade, I can be a strong voice to the Provincial Government about their need to make transportation infrastructure a priority, particularly as it relates to expanding Highway 410 and better planning and coordination of transportation region wide.
Q: What qualities or experiences do you possess, that make you more desirable than the incumbent?
Q: Why do you want to represent your ward on council?
Q: How are you currently involved in the community?
- A: John has been a volunteer his entire life. John understands that "Community" is about service.
- From 2001-2002, John Sanderson served as President of The Brampton Board of Trade. He was first elected as a member of The Brampton Board of Trade Governing Council in 1992, and continued as an active member when he started his own company, J.W.S. Waste Systems Inc., in 1998. Through his many years as a member of the Board, John served on every Board committee, including 11 years on Governing Council.
- As a model corporate citizen, John Sanderson and his former company, J.W.S. Waste Systems Inc. contributed extensively to various community initiatives through sponsorship and participation, including: Salvation Army; St. John Ambulance; YMCA Fundraising Committee; Brampton Clean City; Santa Claus Parade; Brampton Excelsiors Major Lacrosse Club (including 14 years on the Executive and two years as President); Rotary Club of Brampton; Brampton Scouts Leader; and coaching and managing various minor hockey and lacrosse teams. As a member of the Ontario Waste Management Association, John served as President from 1996-98, in addition to four years on the Executive.
- Outside of his business, Sanderson is very well known through his active volunteerism with the Rotary Club of Brampton, where he has been a member for 15 years and on the Board of Directors for six years. With the Rotary Club, John has participated on: the Easter Seals Fundraising Committee; volunteer at the Rotary owned and operated bingo hall; Membership Committee, where he was recognized with an Membership Award in 2002; and Chair of the Gage Park Enhancement Committee, Brampton's historic park and skating trail, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brampton. John's dedicated service to the Rotary Club was honoured in December 2001, when he was presented the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Award, the highest award given by Rotary International to recognize community service.
- John Sanderson, more important than being a prominent businessperson is a true community leader. Through his active involvement in The Brampton Board of Trade and Rotary Club of Brampton, along with his many other community initiatives and activities, he has dedicated himself to improving the quality of life in Brampton. In 2002, The Brampton Salvation Army asked John to be its Kettle Campaign Chair. John's goal was to surpass the 2001 total. He dedicated himself so heavily to the campaign, that through his business and community connections, helped raise $233,000 - $118,000 more than the previous year. This is typical of John Sanderson when he makes a commitment to help. John, being a modest man, is always quick to thank his dedicated staff at J.W.S. Waste Systems Inc. and caring wife and family, for supporting him as he dedicates, on average, over 50 volunteer hours a month to his various community activities.
- Adding to his long list of accolades, in 2002, John was one of two individuals recognized nationally by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year. Later that year, he was also the recipient of the prestigious Queen's Jubilee.
Q: The Rose Theatre recently launched. What are your thoughts on this facility? Have you had a chance to tour it yet?
Q: The province has strongly encouraged the development of high-density residences near the downtown. Do these buildings fit in with your vision of the downtown? How much say should other levels of government have in urban planning?
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?
Q: What are your opinions on Brampton's congestion and the level of public transit funding?
Q: Why should businesses be attracted to locating in Brampton?
Q: How could Brampton further itself in attracting corporate investment?
Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?
- A: John Sanderson knows that Brampton can truly become a great city with the right vision, drive and management. John Sanderson will bring his business savvy and a strong sense of community to the role of Regional Councillor, and will contribute a common sense approach to the management of this city.
- As Brampton grows to 635,000 people over the next 15 years, we need strong leaders on City and Regional Council. We need people with vision. But most of all, we need people determined to make change happen, people who will listen and speak out on issues.
Q: What does Brampton mean to you?