Clint Harris- Mayoral Candidate
1. 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.
The root of many societal issues stems from those homeless and those that suffer mental health and addiction. Currently we lack services to combat these issues and with the increase of gang activity the vulnerable are easy targets. We need to change the dynamics where these issues are a priority and with knowledge of successes from cities like Medicine Hat that eradicated chronic homelessness and the cost savings from using duplicate resources they are able to use the saved resources to house those homeless and create the services and beds required to protect and treat those suffering mental health and addiction. This is truly the only way to reduce crime and solve the issues that affect all the down town cores and streets.
2. 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 have lived in Fort William my entire life and prior to the Victoriaville Mall the flow of pedestrians and traffic through the core was continuous and not an area where those less fortunate to congregate. The current benefits of the area is the closeness of the services. Centennial Square as the hub and the benefits of having an all encompassed shopping experience is and has always been an attractive feature. With the changes coming and the ability to create an environment of openness to the business community and potential new shops and restaurants I believe it will revitalize the experience and invite more opportunities for growth.
3. 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?
I will go back to the answer in number 1. We need to address the lack of services and help with relocation and treatment. With a Centre all- encompassing you have an area for congregation and with that treatment, shelter, and guidance we could effectively no longer need an area for safety.
Clint Harris – Mayoral Candidate