Ward 4 – Town 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.

Ward 4 is located in the southwest part of town. It is bordered by Derry Road to the north and Regional Road 25 (Ontario Street) to the east. Public Schools in Ward 4 include P.L. Robertson, Anne J. MacArthur, and Boyne.

There are no incumbent councillors running in Ward 4.

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?

 

Sameera Ali: A simple answer is yes and no.

Yes we do have a lot of programs available to the youth but we need to do a better job to make the information more accessible to the families and youth.

No, because we are not future ready. We are a growing population, not just in numbers but also in age. Our kids are growing up and we need to be forward thinking on what we can do NOW to better serve our growing youth TOMORROW. We need a proactive approach to meet this challenge head on.

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: Milton is one of the fastest growing Towns in Canada. Due to rapid growth in population, the current infrastructures are not sufficient. As an example, schools are overcrowded and a large number of students were put in portables every year. Public libraries facilities are very limited, there is a need of at least one more public library at a suitable location to cover the needs of ward 1 and ward 4 residents. Every year a large number of students from Milton travel to neighbouring cities to achieve their education, a full university and a community college are required to provide the local education.  I will expedite the Milton Education Village project. In my view a community park near Britannia Road and Regional Road 25 is needed to fulfill the need of new constructed zone residents.

Unavailability of affordable housing is another big issue for Miltonians; I will support the government planned and constructed affordable housing programme.

To resolve the parking issues, I will be suggesting the fixation of specific portion of land for visitor parking in every future community and amendment of by-laws related to front yard.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: I believe additional resource, educational and recreational facilities are required because the population continues to rapidly increase.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


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

 

Sameera Ali: I plan on introducing, provided we get proper fundings and sponsorships, local ward 4 events (sports, cultural, arts) and celebrations. Stay tuned!

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: I will try to improve the safety in schools and in other youth activity areas including the playgrounds and gymnasiums.  I will arrange tournaments of different cultures like, ice hockey, soccer, cricket matches and musical programs on regular basis. I will also try to arrange annual games competition in Milton, which will consist on games and cultural events and at the end of program achievement awards will be distributed. Appreciation of technology learning programme for youths will also be part of my future plans.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: As a councillor, I will engage the council for increased facilities to accommodate the growing population, especially the youth. I will champion the safety of youths in the neighbourhoods by working for rapid snow removal and around schools and other areas by proposing the lowering of speed limits at certain times.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


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?

 

Sameera Ali: As town councillors we have little to no control over the building of a mall or the brand or type of retail that goes into any location. We respond to the market and it’s the builders who build malls. The retail model is changing as online shopping becomes the number one means of shopping for people and we as a town need to adapt to those changes and build new retail models. Check out the retail structure coming in on Chretien and Britannia right into our ward 4!

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: Existing Milton Mall does not meet the needs of current population. The expected estimated population of Milton in the year 2031 is 228,000.  Due to unavailability of sufficient shopping facilities in Milton, many Miltonians visit Mississauga or Oakville Shopping centers to fulfill their shopping needs. Absolutely, there is a need to build another shopping center comparable to Square One shopping mall which can meet the current and future needs. As an elected Town Councillor, definitely, I will raise my voice in the Council, with facts and figures to build a new and better mall having facilities for all ages.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: I will support a study on how the existing Mall can be transformed into a new mall that can better serve youths and other residents. Given that the area currently hosting the mall is limited in size, I will support the expansion of Milton transit to extend its services to other Malls such as the Toronto premium outlet or any other Mall built in the outskirts of Milton, so that these can be easily accessed by youths without a car.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


Question 4: It is often frustrating for Milton youth to get outside of town when a car is not an option. Many youth have to travel to a GO Station in Oakville or Burlington to get to Downtown Toronto because GO Train service is not available in Milton on weekends. Inside town, Milton youth walk, ride bicycles and take Milton Transit to get around, among others. How will your transit plan address the needs of Milton youth?

 

Sameera Ali: All day and week GO service is something I’m going to be a VERY strong advocate for. One thing I am really excited to push forward is the idea of hybrid transit systems where we can utilize public entities like Lyftt or Uber to fill in the the gaps within our transit systems.

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: Improvement of existing Milton transit system is my top priority. Poor transit system in Milton is not only inconvenient for students but also for general public including the industrial zone workers and especially for the new Canadians, new immigrants and for senior citizens and for those who have limited vehicle resources or no vehicle. To resolve this transportation issue, I have a unique and practical idea; I have suggested new express bus routes on Derry Road, Steeles Ave and on Trafalgar Road connecting to neighbouring cities i.e. Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Burlington. After implementation of my proposal, traffic rush will reduce on busy roads of Milton , buses will be available during the weekend and we can utilize the existing GO buses and trains from neighbouring cities bus and train terminals. Town of Milton can generate a lot of revenue and investment in new infrastructure will be very minimal except the cost of new buses. To implement this proposal, no new roads or extra facilities will be required. This will save a lot of time of Miltonians, including students and general public who commute daily. In addition to express bus routes, new GO bus stations  near intersections of Steeles & Trafalgar and Tremaine & Derry will provide the better options for current and future GO services. I have a plan to extend/widen the existing roads (Wherever feasible) and build bus shelters at busy bus terminals.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: I will encourage the council to assess the demand for transit in Milton and to expand the transit to meet the demand, such as operating from early morning to late at night. I will also propose an expansion to make transit easily accessible to all neighbourhoods and outskirts (with easy links to the transits of nearby cities), increase the frequency of buses on various routes and lower fares for youths to facilitate their transportation.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


Question 5: After your four-year term as Town Councillor ends, what do you hope your impact on Milton youth will be?

 

Sameera Ali:  

 

  • More youth programs through effective advocacy for funding.
  • A more involved youth base in the community through providing more effective volunteer and employment opportunities to them
  • Better and more cost effective transit bus options for youth
  • Hybrid transit programs
  • A thriving Milton Education Village.

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: I am a Professional Engineer in Ontario and a Project Management professional; I have a vast experience of construction management, in engineering and in information technology. In addition to my fields of expertise, I have volunteered my time for the benefit of community and for social activities. Demographically, Milton is located at a strategic location, it has a great potential of future developments and for better business opportunities. Two major future projects are located in my ward 4 for example proposed CN/Intermodal and Milton Education Village. As Milton is the fastest growing Town and ward 4 is the fastest growing ward in the Town of Milton, therefore the requirement of better transit system, more infrastructures, upgrades to existing infrastructures, construction and upgrade of wide roads, and better industrial and local job facilities are needed to absorb the local manpower. I came forward as a candidate to contribute my time for the betterment of Milton. I live in the same ward, by contributing my experience; I can help the council to develop a better lively Milton for my kids and for all Miltonians, where they can live, play, work and retire. I am confident at the end of my tenure, Milton will be in better shape and youth will follow my examples to contribute their valuable time for the betterment & development of Milton.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: In 4 years, I hope I would have been able to impact Milton youths by:

Helping to improve transit operation, accessibility and cost to facilitate transportation for youths

Contributing directly to the construction of additional recreational, resource and educational facilities for the comfort, convenience and education of youths

Assisting more youths to improve their skills in both official languages through the reinforcement of bilingual education in schools

Inspire youths to be ready to serve honestly by delivering on my proposals

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


Question 6: What is a fun fact about you?

 

Sameera Ali: Alongwith English, I can speak French, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi [little bit]

I love to dance

I’m a great cook [ask my kids lol]

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: Everyone has some fun fact. Mine is little different, I like to play cricket, chess, and my main interest is to help someone in need. I browse internet and chat on Face book, WhatsApp, and on LinkedIn. Since my University life, I chaired an organisation for almost 5 years, which helped needy & poor people to establish their source of income to fulfill their basic needs and helped less fortunate students to support their study expenses.  

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: I love good food and good sleep when the opportunity is available.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


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

 

Sameera Ali: Please visit my website www.sameeraali.com

FB personal profile: https://www.facebook.com/sameera.ali.54

FB campaign page: https://www.facebook.com/sameeraaliforcouncil/

My IG handle is @sam_al80

Twitter is @SameeraAli

 

Biren Gosai: NO RESPONSE.

 

Khurshid Ali Khan: They can learn about me through my website, www.khurshidkhan.com and through my face book account.

 

Jean Claude Ngansoo: Milton Youths can learn more about me and my campaign at www.ngansoo.info.

 

Syed Raza: NO RESPONSE.


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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