Stephen Margarit- At Large Candidate
- Businesses are frequently the targets of crime and on the front line dealing with societal problems in the area; what steps do you think should be taken to ensure businesses are protected and our community is safer to explore, shop, work and play in.
For far too long, elected officials have been giving their opinions and ideas with little to no input from those being affected. If elected, I would work with and listen to the FWBIA and local businesses to see that their solutions are. I also believe that City Council needs to advocate for funding from the provincial and federal government to deal with the social issues that are affecting local businesses. The downtown FW business area will not be able to revitalize unless people feel safe to shop and explore the area during the day or evenings.
- What is your impression of the Fort William Business community? What is one thing that is done well and what is one thing that needs to improve?
I believe that the FW business community is a resilient group that includes both newer and long-time businesses. While there is a renewed focus on revitalization in the area, I feel that for many years this area was disregarded by some community leaders. I am happy to see a rejuvenation of the FWBIA and a real coming together of local businesses in promoting and advocating. If elected, I would hope to work to continue that promotion of the area and hope to see more events and programing to bring people back to the area.
- With the revitalization of downtown Fort William project underway there is no planned community center for the area after the project is completed. Victoriaville provided an important and safe gathering place. What vision do you have to recreate a similar environment for community connectivity?
As the current Chair of the Downtown Fort William Revitalization Committee, I have seen a lot of the plans for the Victoriaville area. While I am supportive of the space that is currently being proposed to have events or programming, the current proposals have no indoor options. The revitalization process is a long-term process and I am hopeful that there is still time to include a community centre in the area. There is currently some vacant land in the area of focus for the revitalization and I believe a case can be made to have an indoor space for people especially during our long winters.
Stephen Margarit- Candidate At Large