Municipal Elections are taking place in October. As one of the main media outlets in the City of Cornwall, The Seeker is always eager to getting to know the candidates. As such, we send each candidate a questionnaire requesting for them to give their position on the most pressing issues near and dear to you, our readers. During the upcoming weeks, we will be publishing the answers from each candidate who choses to respond. Every candidate was sent 11 questions, penned by our own, Jason Setnyk. They can chose to answer as many as they want. We will post them online as they come in. Here are Mark A. MacDonald’s Questions and Answers. Click on any question to reveal the answer.
1 – Please give us a brief biography / tell the readers about yourself.
I’m a community activist that’s trying to make Cornwall a better place to live in. I’ve been on Council previously and most recently I’ve been Chair of the Renaissance Association and their goal is to work for a clean, safe, healthy and law abiding environment.
2 – If you were on Council the previous term, tell us about your accomplishments during the past four years. If you were not on City Council this last term, please tell us why you are running and what you hope to accomplish.
We can do better, that’s why I’m running. We have to enforce our existing bylaws. We have to make sure there’s decent affordable housing. We have to live within our means.
3 – With rents skyrocketing, what can City Council in Cornwall do to prevent renovictions like those at Cumberland Gardens that have impacted many in our community?
We can do better when it comes to increasing our affordable housing stock. I’ve seen firsthand what it takes to develop land and I know that the city has the means to build more affordable housing.
4 – In 2018, the City of Cornwall purchased the old Bank of Montreal building in our downtown for $450,000 as the future home of Cornwall’s Art Centre. In 2019, Council heard a report that renovations would cost an additional $4 to $6 million dollars. In addition to the fundraising already being done, will you support some public tax dollars going towards a Cornwall Art Centre, or should the municipality pause any additional financial support?
We can do better by providing the Arts and Culture community with the support they need to flourish. The new council should look at all options regarding this issue.
5 – Post-pandemic, what can Council do to improve Economic Development for the city and support existing businesses?
We can do better by supporting development for post pandemic businesses. We need a “fast track“ system for handling building permits and planning applications.
6 – What are your thoughts on the McConnell Medical Clinic closure? Although health care is a provincial issue, is there anything Council can do to attract more doctors and nurses to our city?
We can do better regarding attracting professionals to the city. We have to invest in our waterfront and recreational activities. There needs to be consistent emphasis on quality of life infrastructure.
7 – While climate change is a global issue, what can the City do locally to keep our neighborhoods cool and protect natural resources like the St. Lawrence River?
We can do better when it comes to neighbourhood cleanliness and protecting the St. Lawrence River. This issue falls directly in line with the objectives of the Renaissance Association, a clean and healthy environment.
8 – Many City businesses are open on Sundays, and many events happen on Sundays. Do you support Sunday service for Cornwall Transit?
We can do better by providing transit service on Sundays. Yes, I would support this.
9 – What can we do to improve social services in Cornwall? Examples include but are not limited to Cornwall Transit, childcare spaces, or LTR spaces.
We can do better things to support social services in Cornwall. It’s one of the major setbacks regarding life in the Renaissance Area. This issue is at the root of the problem. There needs to be greater support from the city.
10 – Do you support keeping tax increases to a bare minimum? If yes, where would the savings come from, and would you support reducing some services? If you do not support keeping tax increases to a minimum, explain your reasoning why.
We can definitely do better regarding taxes. Savings would come from appointing a MUNICIPAL WATCHDOG who could identify areas of overlap.
11 – How can candidates contact you? Please provide a phone number and/or email and/or one website (or one social media link).