Interview with Sean Semper-Whyte, City Council candidate for Ward 6 in Mississauga, Canada
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The upcoming 2006 Mississauga municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council.
Wikinews contributor Nicholas Moreau has contacted as many candidates as possible, including Sean Semper-Whyte, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. There is no incumbent in the ward; also competing for the position are Matanat Khan, Olive Rose Steele, Terry Pierce, Jr., Ron Starr, and former MP Carolyn Parrish.
Q: List the three most important issues in your campaign, and briefly explain why these are important.
- A: 1. Long-term Care and access for seniors, which includes transportation for seniors around the region.
- We have an aging region, which is also evident on council. We must have structure in place to anticipate the needs of our aged community and the strategic plans to acquire funding from federal and provincial budgets to meet those needs. If we are not able to meet the needs of this often, vulnerable area of our community, we neglect the very foundation of our current community legacy. This important acknowledgement of the seniors, within our community, also helps us to build for the future of our community. This will establish a community best practice, and perspective of real security for those often twilight (uncertain) years of our vulnerable aged citizens.
- 2. Overall Safety and Security:
- "Our age is one of trouble and tension and violence. It is also one of great progress and achievement. It holds both the promise of a far better life for all men and the threat of no life at all for mankind. Which is it to be?" Lester B. Pearson.
- What has been through our society has been consistent even to today. Though some would say crime numbers are down, they also in the same breath acknowledge violent crimes are up. This is not acceptable to me, nor due I believe the community is accepting of this. It would seem we have not learned very much if we are not able to make change to age old issues. This is the very reason we need to see council have a greater youthful presence, as we look to utilize resources previously unavailable to address these very issues. This issue identifies the whole community is at risk, due to the emotional disturbance of a few within.
- 3. Building Growth:
- This is an exhaustive agenda; which speaks to individuals, families, neighbourhoods, Wards, City, Region, Province, and Nation. It all starts with the individual; we must all choose to be greater than the sum of our individual abilities through collaborative partnerships, which speaks of communion (the act of sharing or holding in common participation).
- We can only be as strong as our weakest link. The very idea of the rich getting richer while the poor become more so, negates the very concept of growth. Growth is about balance which cannot be achieved by hoarding or though preference. Though it may seem to work for a time eventually all things will comeback into balance by way of natural or structured design.
Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?
- A: Building Growth into the community is that very issue. Reflective of the environment it occupies growth is also about the parks we build and how we maintain them. The way we build our communities and the freedoms those who live in the community are able to realize. Be it access to jobs, more family or alone time, what we build into the community is life. Are our community of individuals, families, neighbours and the like able to grow within the system of government established. Are taxes too high, can people live with the cost of inflation and community fees, are we working to live, or living to work? How can we realize a greater balance to these concerns? We do so through unprecedented innovation.
Q: What vision do you have, for what you ward should look like?
- A: Should the people of Ward Six (6) choose Sean Semper-Whyte as their next City Councillor, I will become the leader they have hoped for and counted on. The vision I see is one of being our brothers, and sister's keeper, this can only happen with someone in leadership who has a heart of and for service; it cannot be faked, or imitated. Ward Six will be the standard for community growth, progress, and prosperity. We will develop neighbourhood associations, which can tap into the resources of the region to improve community living.
Q: What qualities or experiences do you possess, that make you more desirable than the incumbent?
- A: As a young adult I reflect the long-term direction of the city. I have a fresh outlook on the legacy of the city and the stamina of youth to see the vision through, to the next generation of Municipal leadership, as I am the next generation! As a new face to the city hall scene, I don't hold any political posture or agenda; which could compromise my serving the best interests of my constituents. There is also no incumbent in Mississauga's Ward Six in 2006.
Q: Why do you want to represent your ward on council?
- A: I believe Ward Six is a unique place, which represents the core of what Mississauga is about. We see this in the growth, families, and lives of the entire community, as we work, play and live to the fullest. We believe in the future, and that the future can be a better place for the whole community. This is what we are working towards as individuals, families, and neighbours. I believe this is where we need to focus to create a stronger city, and a focus I will bring to council.
Q: Of the decisions made by council since the last election, which one would you have changed, and why?
- A: I believe strongly in collaboration and partnerships, in fact this is how big business is being run today all over the world; "we are not an island unto ourselves". If the City of Mississauga is to be run like a corporation lets be true to the ideals of a corporation. I believe we need to strengthen our relationships with Brampton and Caledon while also looking out for the best interests of our communities as a priority. Taking a collaborative approach should always be our first option, as like a corporation we are competing for consumer investment. Consumers not only favour brands, they favour ease of use and value for their hard earned dollar. Packaging a well-run Region trumps the struggling city.
Q: How are you currently involved in the community?
- A: I have always been an individual who believes in volunteering, this has been how I was able to secure many of my jobs, from my youth. In my small business Semper-Whyte Solutions – we are a safety and security interest. We were a sponsor to this year's, Peel Community Police Race Against Racism, an effort I have participated in annually since 2003. This year I believed in taking the next step in that of being a sponsor. As a strong proponent of diversity, in this multicultural community, safety and security for all citizens is a major priority.
- I have recently submitted for the review of Youth Bureau officers a strategy to not only draw awareness to the issues of Crime, Violence, bullying, and terror, but also solutions to minimizing these incidents within our community. We can all talk about the problems but we must all also be active in their resolutions.
- I have volunteered with the Association of Black Law Enforcers, (A.B.L.E.) representing ABLE at several community functions including 2005's Community Crime Awareness day, organized by the Mississauga Chinese Business Association, and will be doing so again this year. As a participant in this years Malton Community festival with my local church group, Cathedral of Praise Family Worship Centre, meeting and encouraging, individuals and groups sharing and moving forward the community vision is a priority for me.
- This vision shared by organizations like the Argos Foundation, Taking IT Global, (Youth Focused) and the African Canadian Christian Network, are organizations I am currently working with through supporting their efforts or in proposal drafting, though these are only a few.
Q: Many councillors are 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: The challenge of being a rookie is not so great, as the challenge of being in government where it is possible for the infusion of new ideas and perspective to be caramelized by unhealthy friendships or agendas. As a new – young – fresh – candidate, I bring opportunity to retune the way in which Council interprets the city vision for the *Total Community.
Q: What service is most lacking in Mississauga?
- A: Mississauga needs to be an accessible city. The recent development of the "Link" at the airport is one way to improve city access. Not only do we need to plan for access to Toronto, we need to plan for similar access around the city for our community.
Q: The city recently released a study regarding transforming the City Hall and area. How do you feel about these plans?
- A: As indicated earlier this is a great vision, this vision must not take away from our developing the true core of the city, which is its people. Buildings will come and go, the legacy of the people who live here is what will live on in generations to come.
Q: How do you feel about Mississauga's rate of expansion?
- A: This is a natural supply and demand concern, which we must look to with eyes of understanding. Are we building for the sake of building or to establish a stronger community position for anticipated growth. As long as we respect and incorporate the need for supportive infrastructure we can meet the demand with a strategic supply methodology. Mississauga is and will always be a destination of choice as long as we respect the needs of its whole community.
Q: What are your opinions on Mississauga's congestion and public transit funding?
- A: As indicated earlier these are concerns we must look to resolving now through innovative solutions.
Q: Why should businesses be attracted to locating in Mississauga?
- A: This is a moot question!
Q: How could Mississauga further itself in attracting corporate investment?
- A: Mississauga has operated within the standards of general best practices, and in some cases has set the standard to be met by other communities. Mississauga cannot sit on our past achievements; we must continue to push the boundaries of innovation by empowering the corporations and its citizens, to maximize the numerous resources at hand. In setting the pace for innovation we become the incubator for the next big ideas and the organizations that will bring them to fruition.
Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?
- A: I believe with all my heart that we must all be involved, more than this I believe we can set a greater standard for Total Community service, by demonstrating exceptional service to the community. This has not been happening as much as it could be. I believe we need to work towards that standard of greatness others seem to be waning from, at a cost to hard working community members. It is time we fire-Up City Hall and challenge growth through change. I want to call my City Councillor and get Him not his secretary or aid, and if not have him or her return my call within a timely manner – this is service and the type of service I will provide as City Councillor for Ward Six.
Q: What does Mississauga mean to you?
- A: Though the original indigenous peoples of the area; the Mississauga's, left the area in 1847, they left with the settlers a spirit of community empowerment, advancement, and growth. That spirit lives on today in the City of Mississauga, and its community Mississaugan's. We are a hearty people who rise to the challenges of life; which are community empowerment, advancement, and growth. Today we can say, though things change they remain the same. We are a community of legacy, and the legacy continues.
Small technical changes have been made to select responses, the entire original text can be read on the article's talk page. Best efforts have been made to not affect the actual text of the interview.
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