Ward 4 – Regional Councillor Candidate Responses

BY HUNTER CULHANE

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Milton Town Hall

Scene & Herd recently sent emails to all candidates in the 2018 Milton municipal election running for Local Councillor and Regional Councillor positions.

Milton’s ward boundaries were recently redrawn. Milton now has four wards, down from eight in the 2014 municipal election. In the upcoming 2018 Milton municipal election, one Local Councillor and one Regional Councillor will be elected from each of the four wards.

Local Councillors are responsible for reviewing reports, making recommendations, and creating policies related to the Town of Milton. They serve on Milton’s Town Council.

Regional Councillors are responsible for reviewing reports, making recommendations, and creating policies related to Halton Region and the Town of Milton. They serve on Halton Regional Council as well as Milton’s Town Council.

There are two incumbent councillors running in Ward 4. Zeeshan Hamid is currently the Local Councillor for the old Ward 8, and John Pollard is currently the Local Councillor for the old Ward 6.

There are more youth living in Milton than ever before. This means that Milton will soon have thousands of new potential voters. As such, we asked the candidates for their answers to seven questions primarily relating to issues facing Milton youth.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, regardless of incumbency. The candidates’ answers have not been edited in any way. The questions and answers are listed below:


Question 1: Do you believe our current town infrastructure (schools, libraries, community centres, sports centres, parks, trails, etc.) addresses the needs of Milton youth effectively?


Zeeshan Hamid: It dos not, at the moment. Milton went from a very small town to its current size very rapidly. The infrastructure is still catching up. One of our challenges is that a big percentage of our population is under 19 (a full third actually). It makes it difficult ot service all youth.  

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: The short answer is no. Not only is Milton in need of new schools, we also need more parks, and better transit! With the new community centre underway & a great deal of programs available for youth at the town & region, I’m confident youth are well-served in that sense. As Regional Councillor I will be the biggest advocate for youth on both councils, and will continue to focus on and work toward better services and support for youth across the board. With the support of my council colleagues, we can do great things for youth in Milton.


Question 2: As a Regional Councillor, what specifically will you do in your ward to make youth feel a greater sense of belonging within the fabric of Milton and Halton Region as a whole?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: We have a lot of parks and open space. We are now building the largest urban park in North America (larger than the Stanley Park in Vancouver and the Central Park in NYC). The project will likely take 10+ years to get started, but we’re already in the right direction.

I chaired the commmittee that worked very hard to get the university approved in Milton. Once the education village takes off, you’ll see a lot of facilities targeting younger Miltonians. Unfortunately there’s no quick fix, it’s a long process.  

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: I will continue to work with the town’s youth advisory committee (MYAC) as well as volunteer my services towards regional youth groups and programs. I want youth to feel at home in Milton, which starts with having fun things to do, places to go, and other great youth to hang out with. My goal throughout the term is to continue to bridge the gap between youth and adults within the community. Our youth are a thoughtful and passionate bunch on young people; we ought to take them seriously and put words into action.


Question 3: Most Milton youth find themselves having to travel outside of town for a satisfactory shopping experience. Given that Milton continues to have only one (small) shopping mall within its boundaries despite being a town of over 110,000 residents, do you have any plans to incorporate something ambitious (e.g., a new shopping mall that is more youth-oriented and easily accessible) into any Town Plan or study?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: We have already prezoned the mall area to 7 stories. I’d love to see the developer re-develop the mall with condos and/or offices on top.  It’s not something the municipality does, it’s strictly a private sector endeavor.

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: I will continue to support and advocate for any businesses that offer services to youth. I’m also supportive of the possibility of putting Milton on the map in the eSports community, with interest shown from a local entrepreneur regarding the creation of a gaming complex in our town, focused on providing a fun and inviting space for young people to hang out and play. I’m also a big supporter of local programs that the town / region have to offer when it comes to arts, culture, sports, music, etc and will keep pushing for these to grow. All that said, with the future growth of the Milton Education Village and Laurier / Conestoga partnership, keep an eye out for all kind of exciting news when it comes to what the future of our town has to offer.


Question 4: There are more youth living in Milton than ever before, many of whom will find their first job here. What will you do as Regional Councillor to ensure enough local jobs are created?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: We are actually doing very well with youth jobs in Milton.  Our challenge is higher paying jobs for parents or first career jobs for young grads. We worked very hard to attract the university precisely because it tends to attract better employers.  

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: By continuing to make Milton an attractive place for investors and business to get involved, I’m hopeful that any youth needing a job in Town will be able to find one. Eliminating red tape & making it easier / less costly for businesses to come to town, more jobs will be created year over year than ever before. It’s an exciting time, and our economic development committee is doing an excellent job of bringing new business to Milton. I’m supportive of our ED staff, and will continue to be one of Milton’s biggest cheerleaders when it comes to new business.


Question 5: What is a key difference between a Town Councillor and a Regional Councillor?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: Town Councillors look after local issues (local roads, community services, fire protection, transit). Regional councillors are automatically Town Councillors, but they also look after regional issues (regional roads, garbage, sewer, police, etc).

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: A Regional Councillor is expected to be responsible for much more than a single ward / political boundary. Not only is the Region of Halton responsible for Waste Management, Water / Wastewater, and Conservation – they also deal in policing, with the Halton Regional Police service being a large part of the regional budget. Regional Councillors in Milton, while advocating for our Town at the Region, also deal with issues facing the other 3 municipalities in Halton (Oakville, Burlington, and Halton Hills). This means additional meetings, committees, and reports from regional staff. The biggest difference is the amount of time the job requires to do it well.


Question 6: What is a fun fact about you?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: In one year I will be a father of 6 teenagers! I also had a popular parenting blog many years ago titled “Why My Hair Dont Grow No More.”

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: I’m a big fan of hip hop, gaming, comics, and gangster movies! I collect comics and enjoy all of the movie / tv shows relating to the hobby as well. Hip hop has always been a big passion of mine, and I’m always listening to new music while working. I also make my own music and play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard!  

 

Question 7: Where can Milton youth learn more about you and your campaign for Regional Councillor?

 

Zeeshan Hamid: Check out my website at https://zeehamid.com  

 

David Hertzman: NO RESPONSE.

 

Sammy Ijaz: NO RESPONSE.

 

Tony Lambert: NO RESPONSE.

 

John Pollard: You can learn more about me and my campaign at WARD4.CA – or via my current town councillor site at JOHNP.CA. I’m also available on FB, IG, and Twitter @JOHNJPOLLARD – via email at john@ward4.ca and by phone / text at (647) 921-2583. Feel free to reach out anytime! Let me know what I can do to further support our local youth.


The 2018 Milton municipal election will be held on October 22. Visit MiltonVotes.ca for more information.


Image Source: Metroland Media

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