Gerry Marsh's Responses to 2014 Provincial Election Questionnaire

On June 12, 2014, Halton voters will cast their ballot for local provincial election candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to local candidates asking how they would resolve critical issues facing Halton.

The following are Gerry Marsh' responses to 2014 Provincial Election Questionnaire.

Gerry Marsh - Family Coalition Party

Gerry Marsh
Family Coalition Party
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  1. Halton Region requests that the Provincial Government provide predictable funding to keep Halton moving and deliver on committed projects through the Metrolinx Plan, The Big Move, including all day GO service to Milton and Georgetown, and the electrification of the Lakeshore GO line, to meet the transportation needs of our growing community. What will you and your government do to ensure that Halton’s Metrolinx projects are delivered within the next 5 years?

    Clearly transportation infrastructure including highway expansion and improved GO and local public transportation needs to keep pace with growth in the region. I feel that far too much money is being wasted on repeated planning and television advertising by Metrolinx telling me what great things they are going to do for us rather than actually getting them done. In some ways I feel that Metrolinx is an unnecessary overhead too politically influenced and transportation planning should be done by the MOT directly. If the current proposed improvements are what is required then I will push to have funding in place to make them happen.

  2. What will your government do to ensure that Halton’s growing communities have the necessary community infrastructure, such as schools and health care facilities, in place to keep pace with the growth?

    Development of better models to predict need and an early start to building the facilities would go a long way to having what is needed in place in a timely manner. Lowering the cost to deliver services through the elimination of unnecessary overhead would free up funds to allow this to happen.

  3. Halton’s school boards receive the lowest per capital funding in the Province and they have recently learned that their operating and capital costs are being cut. Being a growing region, particularly in Milton, Canada’s fastest growing community, funding is urgently needed and without it, we will not be able to keep up with the provincial mandated growth. What will you and your government do to increase Halton’s school board’s funding to enable them to meet their students’ needs?

    The FCP supports a parental choice school model based on studies that show when parents make choices on their children’s’ education that the child actually does better in school. Clearly funding needs to cover the cost of delivering the education our children need. Collecting taxes for the same service at multiple levels of government and funneling the dollars down to where needed seems to me to be very inefficient and perhaps a funding model is needed for our education system.

  4. Will your government move forward with Niagara to GTA transportation corridor? If so, will you commit to voting against any option that impacts the Niagara Escarpment?

    With growth there is a clear need for improved transportation. I understand the desire to preserve the unique characteristics of the Niagara Escarpment and would vote in favour of a workable and practical plan that would have the least (preferably no) impact on the Escarpment.

  5. Halton Region requests funding sources that support the recovery and collection of growth related costs to ensure that Halton’s taxpayers do not bear the financial impacts of growth. What will your government do to ensure this?

    I prefer a development charge model that more closely reflects the true cost of upgrades needed to support growth and would push for and support such a model.

  6. Changes to the Development Charges (DC) Act is necessary to recover growth costs, including: include all services funded by a municipality in the Act, remove the 10 per cent discount for all services, replace the 10 year advantage historic service limits with a service level that is forward looking, remove mandatory exemptions. Will your party amend the DC Act to ensure that taxpayers are not burdened with the costs of growth?

    I prefer a development charge model that more closely reflects the true cost of upgrades needed to support growth and would push for and support such a model.

  7. Halton Region invests $26 million annually to provide assisted housing options for low income residents and we have had an increase of 894 in affordable/assisted housing units since 2007. What long term funding commitments will you and your government make to create real and affordable housing solutions in Halton?

    The Family Coalition Party feels that the role of government is restricted to what individuals and private organizations cannot do by themselves. The Family Coalition Party is committed to restricting its own policies and rule accordingly, were it elected to govern. I feel that rather than government subsidized housing truly affordable housing should be a part of any new development. In the case of an unexpected housing need local charitable organizations are best equipped to identify and handle the need for short term transitional housing.

  8. What will you and you government do to deliver long-term, sustainable funding at the expected (agreed upon) levels of cost sharing for Public Health programs and Paramedic Services?

    I would insist that agreements on funding that are in place are honoured. I suspect that funding shortage to cover the shortfalls from the Province could be easily made up through productivity improvements and non-impacting cost cutting measures.

  9. Will you and your government commit to taking immediate action to address offloading delays and enhancements to the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC) to ensure that Halton residents receive the level of Paramedic Services required to meet their needs? If so, how?

    Much improvement can be made in the delivery of health care services to Halton residents. The FCP supports and would promote the creation of specialty clinics to offload hospital demand. I feel there is room for significant cost cutting through the elimination of much overhead and unnecessary management layers. Making these improvements would make funds available to deliver much improved health care services.

  10. Will you and your government honour the 2008 commitment to continue to the upload of social service and court costs until full implementation in 2018?

    I am not aware of this situation but if a commitment was made it should be honoured. That being said the FCP believes that governments should only deliver services not better delivered by the private sector .

  11. Are you willing to vote against your party’s platform on issues that negatively affect Halton Region?