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St. John’s Ward 3 takes in a large swath of the city’s West End, including Cowan Heights, Waterford Heights, and Mundy Pond. Ward 3 includes a broad range of economic brackets with nearly even distribution across income levels, high rates of homeownership at 79%, and a high percentage of families with children.

In the 2020 citizen satisfaction survey, residents of Ward 3 identified road maintenance, road snow clearing, traffic planning, and sidewalk snow clearing as primary issues of concern. Incumbent councillor Jamie Korab is seeking re-election after one term.

The Independent spoke with Ward 3 candidates Walter Harding, Jamie Korab, and Greg Noseworthy about why they’re running, the issues facing the city, and what they want to do about them. All interviews were conducted live over the phone, and candidates did not receive the questions or topics in advance. Read on to find out where they stand on bike trails, traffic calming, climate change, the budget crunch, Mile One, and more.

Elizabeth Whitten (The Independent): Why do you want to run? And what life experience do you have that makes you feel qualified to sit on city council?

Walter Harding: I’m a 25 year community volunteer here in the West End. Myself and my wife have been doing community clean ups for almost 25 years now. I was grateful to be awarded citizen of the year in 2015 by the City of St. John’s for all our community efforts. I’m the type of person who will bring up the end of a line as opposed to be at the front of the line.

Do I think I can do a better job than some people who’ve been elected? Yes I do because I’m going to be doing this full-time. This will be my full-time position, not a part time position. So when people call I will answer and when they email, I will answer. And we’ll work together to fix whatever issue troubles their day. I try to make people’s lives a little bit more manageable and a little less stressful.

Jamie Korab: Why do I run again? Two reasons: one, I absolutely love what I do. I love the interaction with people. I love the feedback, good and bad. I love helping people. I like making a difference in the community and that’s the same answer I gave four years ago.

Now it’s still that but now it’s also that I still have work to do in Ward 3. You name a street in Ward 3 and I can tell you if someone has requested a traffic calming. You name an area of Ward 3, I can tell you something about it. Just today I was putting up a lawn sign and a resident walked by, and I was like,Conrad Street, I know hopefully the resurfacing is done next year.” So, I know the community, I know the area. One thing I found when I ran and I got elected, it took a year and a half to two years before I really knew what I was doing. It’s like any job, anything you do. I’m coming in now running—there’s no catch up. 

To sum it up, I still have work to do and I still really enjoy what I do.

Greg Noseworthy: The biggest thing for me is there’s a lot of things down at City Hall that could be done and aren’t being done. People are frustrated.

I’m a lawyer by trade. That’s my background. I work with nonprofits. I work with the Public Legal Information Association of NL. I do so much work with different community partners and nonprofits and seeing where there’s practical solutions that can be made to better the lives of the city, the residents, the taxpayers, that’s what’s important for me. To be able to take a lot of these issues that aren’t being addressed and actually resolve them in a practical way, that makes a difference in people’s lives.

What are the main issues in your Ward, and what do you propose to do about them?

Harding: Core services is my thing. Whether it’s a hockey team, basketball team or any kind of board, everybody has their specialty they gravitate towards just because it’s in their heart. And for me it’s core services. Snow clearing, the garbage clearing, water and sewer: the things that when you get up, they ruin your day. You can’t flush the toilet, you have no water in your tap, you have a boulder in front of your driveway that the plow put in. These services for me are something that have been pushed to the side a little bit for other things that perhaps the province has downloaded onto the municipality. It’s not our fault but I think I’d like to nudge them back in the direction. The world is a very large place and I’m just one little small person. I can’t fix everything but I can do my best to fix what people consider to be the small things, which are the core services—the foundational services that make or break someone’s day.

Korab: It’s not just my Ward, it’s the entire city: it’s the traffic calming, the speed of traffic, rate of traffic, volume of traffic. Naturally, we can’t do too much about that. I say too much because an improved public transit system will give people the ability to choose public transit versus having a second or third car. Traffic—and the speed of traffic, crosswalk and pedestrian safety—is by far number one. You’ll get snow clearing in the winter, obviously. 

The traffic calming budget needs to be increased. We need to heighten the importance of pedestrian safety and vehicle safety. We need to figure out a way where we can work with the RNC better—the city can’t ticket moving violations under the Highway Traffic Act, that’s the province. There was a program that was going to roll out, which involved police cruisers, partnership with the RNC and the Northeast Avalon municipalities pay a portion. That never materialized—that needs to happen. It’ll get more vehicles, more RNC cars on the road that are going to ticket people driving fast. We can put speed bumps in the entire city, but it’ll be an awful city to drive in. People will slow down if they start losing points and if they start getting hefty fines. There needs to be a big collaboration with the city and the RNC.

Noseworthy: At the end of the day, the Wards are really broad. If you look at Ward 3, we’ve got the community of Cowan Heights, we’ve got Mundy Pond, we’ve got Waterford Valley, Amherst Heights, Cornwall Heights—they’re all very different areas and they all have very different needs. A lot of needs focus around traffic issues, especially with the new highway. It’s basically turned a lot of residential roads into thoroughfares to other areas of the city. So speeding traffic concerns are huge.

Recreation and development concerns. The new Mews Centre is a huge issue right now. And then on top of that, which I think is impacting everybody in the city, is the financial health of the city right now. We’re facing a large deficit and people are concerned because there’s obviously taxes going up and a lot of people can’t afford additional taxes right now.

Where do you stand on the future of Mile One?

Harding: It’s a little difficult to give a concrete stance when I don’t see the numbers. I have talked with Dean MacDonald. I have talked with folks in the know. We paid $23 million to build it, in today’s money it’s $31 [million]. It needs a lot of work. If we’re going to sell it, I’d be willing to. I spoke to Dean on this about perhaps getting a little percentage from concessions. So when we sell it we don’t really say goodbye to it forever, we get a percentage of concessions, whether it’s one or two percent a year. Everybody knows the money is in concessions. It’s not in the ticket sales—that goes to the artist and the teams.

I would be open to discussing both, but there comes a time when we have to cut our losses. I’d be very interested and excited to talk about other options for Mile One.

Korab: As the chair of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment, the building is not for sale. We’ve never said it’s for sale.

With that said, there was someone, Mr. MacDonald that expressed interest on it—we’re currently looking at it. The building condition assessment, we’re still in that process. It’s taking longer than some people would have liked, I’m sure, but we needed to do due diligence. It’s a public asset that was built with taxpayers’ money, it’s being operated with taxpayers’ money.

I’m not saying no to selling it but if we do sell it, it wouldn’t be sole-sourced. We’d put out a request for information and RFI an expression of interest to see who was interested and at that time we’ll likely look at whether we should sell Mile One: is that to the benefit of the taxpayers? Could we look at third party management where a group comes in, whatever that may be? We’ll look at that. Or is it in our best interest to not sell it? 

One thing I will say about Mile One, and it came from the KPMG report: no building like Mile One in Canada has ever been sold. The main reason why it’s never been sold is because these buildings typically don’t make money, they’re economic generators. Private companies typically don’t want them because they don’t make money. If buildings like Mile One made money they’d all be privately owned, lets face it. 

To sum it up, I’m open to it. We got to do our due diligence.

Noseworthy: I’m open to whatever has to be done to better the city’s financial picture. Whether that is selling the facility, whether it’s a leasing or management to operations change, I’m open to whatever we can do to reduce or get rid of the subsidies to St. John’s Sports and Entertainment. So we can start to recoup some of our finances.

It’s a fact that the city has a budget shortfall. In what specific ways do you propose to solve the problem?

Harding: Running a city is not an easy thing to do. Running your home is not unlike a city, so you have to budget your money properly, keep an emergency fund available. Raising taxes is not an option. I don’t think it’s an option.

The reason I mention Mile One is that $23 or $24 or $25 million there—we could go from a $13 million deficit to maybe $13 million surplus. Do we keep that building? I don’t know. I’d like to look at that, sometimes you have to make difficult decisions and when you’re down $13 million—it could be more by budget year end—tough decisions have to be made. One of the easiest ones we can make, Mile One is an asset, absolutely. So let’s take advantage of that asset and turn our deficit into a surplus.

Korab: Well, in 2016 before I was on Council there was a significant program review—they cut a number of things, there were some job cuts, things of that nature. We did something very similar—not to that extent, there wasn’t much fat left on the bone when we did this last year. There were unfortunately some layoffs, there were some minor services impacted, we were able to avail of some disaster relief from the feds for Snowmageddon and things like that.

Where we find this $13 million shortfall, there are some areas, some pools, we can draw from to get that number down. The budget gets approved in December. New council will be sworn in in October. It’s ultimately going to be the new council’s decision where that comes from. Right now, if we don’t want to put taxes up—and no politician is going to say I’m going to go in and put up taxes—but if we don’t put taxes up—and I’m not saying we’re going to have to—but if we don’t, then there is going to be a service impact. We need to ask residents, do you want your taxes to go up minimally to improve sidewalk clearing or whatever is important to you? Or do you want your taxes to not go up at all because of how Snowmageddon and the Covid has affected you and your family? If that’s the case, what services are you OK with being cut?

It’s a balance. I certainly don’t want taxes to go up, I’m a taxpayer myself, I live in the city. I don’t want them to go up, but it’s a tough balance. Ultimately it will be the new council’s decision on what, if it’s a service cut or if it’s a slight tax increase.

Noseworthy: Well, St. John’s Sports and Entertainment is receiving a $5 million subsidy right now. If we eliminate that, we’ll have that $13 million deficit back within three years. If we sell Mile One—even if we sold Mile One for half its value—we will be able to eliminate the majority of that deficit, create tax revenue, and eliminate a subsidy all in one. So a lot of people have called it low-hanging fruit, but at the end of the day, it’s a very large part of our budget and eliminating that can really make a substantial change to our financial health.

In your perspective, what do you see as the principal area of concern when it comes to getting around the city—from roads, the bike plan, and the bus system?

Harding: Public transit is not being used as it should. Sometimes there’s a stigma when it comes to public transit in this city. I’d like to do my best to make public transit a more attractive option for everybody.

When it comes to bike lanes, we didn’t really do a good job on that almost $20 million infrastructure deal… but I am not in favour of paving all the trails by Rennie’s River. That’s not Paul Johnson’s idea when it came to him donating that land.

Three or four years ago I did propose that we spend $1 million to bring in four or five municipal police, similar to how Mount Pearl has it, to cruise through neighbourhoods and give violations for distracted driving, speeding, etc. It works very well in Mount Pearl. I would very much be in favour of doing a study again.

Korab: There’s a couple of parts to it. I’ll take the winter first.

Sidewalk snow clearing, that is certainly a hot button topic. I did vote against increasing, adding more services right at this time—I think it was a couple of months ago. The main reason is that it’s a fairly significant cost. My take on it was, we need to have this discussion in the budget.  We just talked about the $13 million shortfall. It’s awfully challenging for me to add to that deficit without knowing the full scope, the full impact. I fully recognize that the city needs to do a better job at sidewalk snow clearing. We did buy just shy of $1.5 million worth of equipment. That didn’t extend the route, but it allowed us to do the route we’re doing quicker and better. In terms of people getting around, we do need sidewalk snow clearing. That’s going to be seriously looked at in this budget.

Cycling—unfortunately we’ve got cyclists pitted against the runners and the pedestrians right now with regards to the Virginia Trail and the Rennie’s River Trail. We need to figure out how to get a North to South cyclist route. That’s not going to be Rennie’s River. I sit on the board of the Fluvarium. I’m certainly against any development of Rennie’s River. I’m very familiar with that path, Virginia River not as much but I am listening to the concerns of that group. We need to figure out a better way to get more cycling—I am a cyclist myself. Not an avid cyclist by any means, but I do cycle, I do bike, I have a couple of bikes. We do need to expand that.

The Metrobus service again, that’s something the frequent transit network that we’re looking at putting in. Electrification of buses—that’s something that is coming down the pipe eventually, we got to be ready for it. We need some express routes, we need more frequent buses coming. The Metrobus system needs to improve. To get more users it needs to be more frequent service, a service that can be more reliable.

The other thing is, we have a car culture right now where people want to drive and park right in front of where they go. We do need a bit of a culture shift and that’s going to start at a young age, whether it be high school students or the MUN students. The U-pass can work with some tweaks. We need to increase ridership and that’s going to greatly improve Metrobus which will greatly improve people moving around in the city.

Noseworthy: Planning for the future. We plan like it’s 2021 right now, and next year we’ll plan like it’s 2022. But we don’t plan for 2030, 2040, and 2050. We’re not thinking about the shift to electrical vehicles. We’re not thinking about the shift to more pedestrian oriented travel and public transit. We’re not planning for it.

There was an issue last time when bike lanes first became a real physical feature on our roadways. It created a real rift in Cowan Heights because what they had done was they had taken certain roads and put bike lanes on both sides of the roads and eliminated parking on parts of the streets. What ultimately happened was it created parking wars in Cowan Heights. What came from that is you get reduced visibility in certain areas, and then it became unsafe for all road users. So, it’s certainly impacting the Ward no doubt. That’s just Cowan Heights. You go on Topsail Road, Cornwall Avenue, those types of places—you’re seeing it there as well where it can be a real issue.

How can the city mitigate the effects of climate change and help residents do the same?

Harding: When I went to a public meeting [recently], the city was looking at large pieces of ground to put in affordable housing—which obviously we need, there’s no question about it. But you have to find the right place to put it and they were maybe looking at taking a large area of green space across from the Veitch baseball field off Waterford Bridge Road, which would then of course dump tens and tens of thousands of gallons of water into the Waterford river. The Waterford river is already stressed to its max. The bank erosion on the Waterford river, especially down by Corpus Christi, it’s very evident. We have to do what we can to retain these natural areas, these sponges. 

So before we do stuff like [use green space for housing], make certain that all t’s are crossed and all i’s are dotted. When we’re taking out green space, make certain we’re not putting people into a really dangerous situation for their homes and their businesses.

Korab: We declared a climate emergency at the City. Councillor Froude has done a great job in taking the lead on that and pushing things forward to us. Edmundo Fausto, I don’t know his title—I call him our climate guy, our environment guy. We approved six electrical areas for EV cars. That’s coming down the pipe.

There’s a number of other things. We took advantage of the federal government program for this tree planting. It was contentious because of some of the areas like Tupper-Laurier Park, residents made it clear we took away some of the green space. But having trees planted in places where we usually mow will do a couple of things. It will offset, slow down or cut back our carbon emissions. Also it frees up staff to do other things, which again is a cost savings. 

There’s lots of development happening in this city so making sure we have the proper development guidelines in there, whether it’s stormwater retention ponds, whether it’s protecting wetland. We did phase one of our wetlands study—phase two and three are coming up—to protect those areas, because if you develop on wetlands, that water’s got to go somewhere.

Overall, the overarching thing—I could probably go on for an hour about the climate change thing—is the education of the public, making them aware: climate change is real. We have to do everything we can at the city to combat that, do our part, eventually we get to that zero net emissions which I believe we set for 2050. I can’t remember exactly—it was a couple of months ago we did that.

Noseworthy: The city’s key focus is infrastructure, right? Whether that’s water, sewage, those types of things and development. So when we’re looking at developments, we need development for economic purposes, of course, and to generate tax revenue. But when we’re talking about a green future and impacts on climate change, we should be focusing our shifts to include green spaces. Not a lot of people think about it, but if you have a tree that’s blocking sunlight, it reduces surface temperatures in areas, and that can have a substantial impact on an area. It’s like when you go from the woods to an urban center, the reason it gets so much warmer is because concrete absorbs the heat. Right? So that’s one thing, we can have more trees. We can have more green spaces included in development requirements and regulations.

Where do you stand on the issue around snow clearing sidewalks and what would you do to improve the service?

Harding: It’s all about money. And when I say it’s all about money I don’t mean it’s about the amount of money. I mean it’s about how we spend the money and how we coordinate both the plows as well as the sidewalk plows. So it really makes no sense to have a sidewalk plow go up Topsail Road at 10 o’clock and then the street plow come at 10 past 10 and push all the snow back on the sidewalk again. It’s not about spending more money on sidewalk clearing. It’s about coordinating the times that we clear and the resources allocated to it. Do the road first, then plow the sidewalk. Then at least you have a good two, three, four hours where you hopefully have a clear sidewalk, as opposed to having it only clear for five minutes before the street plow comes and makes it full of ice and snow again.

Korab: First and foremost, I think we need to add a third shift. The equipment we got typically was recommended to have two shifts and overnight the equipment rests. It’s not equipment that really meant to be ran 24 hours a day. But if we can add a third shift, no new equipment, it will result in some extra impacts to the actual equipment. Adding that third shift first and foremost.

There are two parts to this. There are the routes we currently do, we say in priority one to four—we say they will be done within two to seven days after a snow storm. We have a major snow storm, you’re a full week walking to work, climbing over snow banks. That’s not good enough. We need to do the routes we do now well. As soon as the public feels those routes are done well, then we can expand. We can expand our snow clearing routes now but we’re going to do a lot of routes poorly. So, let’s do the routes we do now well and then expand on that.

First and foremost in this budget we need to add the third shift, then in future budgets we need to look at possibly more equipment or whether it’s more staff. We’ve already went through and prioritized the routes. I don’t know how much more that can be prioritized without adding more staff and getting more equipment.  So, the first step would be adding that third shift which will basically increase what we do now by 33 percent.

Noseworthy: Yeah, so at the end of the day, it certainly should be improved. Having more workers, more machines, will be a huge consideration there in helping that. We just need more resources on it, more boots on the ground and to do that we’ve got to get our financial health in check so that we can better service those areas. Of course, that comes back to the [Mile One] subsidies right? And all that stuff. It’s very full circle with this kind of stuff, right?

In your opinion, what’s the best decision the past council made?

Harding: I’ll have to go with the three year lease. I’m very happy to see a three year lease was signed with the Growlers. Dean and Glen are just great business people. I would hope over the next few years we can perhaps talk about going further than that.

Korab: The best decision we’ve made, that’s honestly a tough one to answer. The first thing that pops in my mind is with the hiring of Edmundo Fausto, and—maybe because we just talked about it—the measure that the city is taking to combat climate change. 

I think the action this council has taken, climate change is really been in the forefront. It’s been there since the 80s with the hole in the ozone and what not, but I think this council more than any other council—and that’s not to knock any other previous councils—have done a lot of work to combat climate change.

Noseworthy: The decision I was most pleased with was opening up the Metrobus passes for marginalized persons, so that public transit is more accessible.

What specific committees are you interested in participating in and why?

Harding: Environment is my big thing. I love the environment and I love senior resources. I’m a senior myself, I’m mid-50s. I’d love to have something to do with parks and recreation if I could. There’s nothing better than starting my day with a walk in Bowring Park when all the children are there in the summer programs. And there’s not much that beats the sound of a child playing and having fun, getting exercise and not being home on the computers.

And public works, of course. Your snow clearing, water and sewer. I go back to the core services. I like to do the everyday stuff.

Korab: I like to learn new things. I’m very versed with the Transportation Commission, St. John’s Sports and Entertainment, Animal Services, so all of the things that I’ve done, so if I get elected again, I want to try some new areas. I want to learn more about the city. 

One that would really interest me is police and traffic. Again, the major issue I hear in Ward 3 is traffic calming. If I’m elected again, I would put my hand up for that. Get more involved and see ways to partner with the RNC and things we can do differently at the city to make the streets safer. Public works really interests me how that works with snow clearing and all that.

Police and traffic committee would probably be number one on my list If I’m re-elected again.

Noseworthy: For me, at the end of the day, it’s wherever I can put my skillset and actually make a difference. So I don’t want to particularly say A over B, or anything like that. My thing again is having a legal background, not a lot of people have legal skills. It’s often inaccessible, so wherever I can take that and put it forward to make a difference, that’s the most important thing for me. None in particular.

What initiatives would you include to make St. John’s a more accessible, inclusive city?

Harding: No matter who comes here, no matter who works here, no matter who visits here—we’re all the same people. Everybody should have the same opportunities to go into a store, a restaurant, go anywhere they want. You should not be hindered in any way.

I have been a big proponent over the last five or ten years of increasing the fines for anybody who parks in the blue zones that aren’t permitted. We give them this little sign of respect that you put in your car and we say we realize you can’t get to where you want to go in a comfortable or safe manner, so please park here. I don’t like it when people abuse that.

Korab: We do have an Accessibility Experts panel. I hear lots on Open Line, and lots of people that have mobility barriers—we need to listen to them and we need to make sure we’re doing things better. Everything from sidewalk snow clearing is one, we have a review of the Metrobus, GoBus for our transit network. The experts panel, we need to bring them in a little bit more and listen to them a little more. It’s fine to have them on the committee, we really need someone around the table that has the expertise.

Noseworthy: Again, we’re talking about planning for the future. We need to be talking about including everybody. So whether that’s having appropriate crosswalks that represent all people. People who have vision impairments, people who have hearing impairments. Including those types of provisions, the tactile placement on the sidewalks, improving snow clearing—that’s important.

But then one of the big things a lot of people aren’t talking about is making sure that we still have services that are in-person and available to people who can’t access them through the internet. We talked about the shift of technological ways of doing things. That’s great for the people who can—it’s great for the 21 year olds, a 30 year old that has a computer, those types of things. But when we’re talking about seniors who don’t have that, or that have technological illiteracy, or the people who can’t afford to have those things—we need to make sure that we maintain in-person services. Not just at City Hall but throughout the city so that people can access it. One thing I’ve been pushing for is being on-call—so that if somebody in Mundy Pond doesn’t have access to a computer and can’t make it to City Hall, going to them so that they can actually take benefit of city services like that.

How do you propose to make life more affordable for residents, particularly the most marginalized?

Harding: We’ll work with the provincial and federal government on that. The main thing with the city is the tax base. We cannot raise taxes just to willy-nilly raise taxes. Throwing money at something is pretty much the most backwards thing you can do. When someone says well, let’s give it more money. How do we spend the money in the first place? Have we tried to do more with less? I can bake a cake, I can cook an egg. I can always do it better. It doesn’t matter how good you do it, you can do it better. Taxation is like a concrete pillar on their shoulders, it’s a heavy burden to carry. Disposable income is what keeps this city going. Small businesses are the little engines that must in this city and province. To the umpteenth degree, we have to make certain that taxation is not a great burden.

Korab: That one’s a little challenging to do for the City of St. John’s or any municipality. The social aspect is something more impacted from a federal or provincial level. Our focus is on core services. So how we make things more affordable here in the city, things like grants to Food First NL, things like grants to the Community Food Sharing Association. We have a lot of community grants for things and we have capital grants so working with groups like this that do some amazing work. 

There are some things the city can do. Affordable housing is something we’re looking at now. We’ve identified some land for people to get their foot in the door. Homeownership is something that everyone should be able to do and that’s something we want them to be able to accomplish. If we can have people only have one car in this city, that would be great. If their other vehicle could be Metrobus, that would certainly reduce a lot of costs for people.

Noseworthy: Speaking first, just generally, keeping taxes as low as we can, property taxes as low as we can. That can be a very misconstrued statement. Low taxes are good in the sense that we’re keeping money into the pockets of families. We certainly need that, especially coming out of COVID. But for marginalized persons, it’s about making sure that we have developments that consider them as well. We’re talking about approving affordable housing, or we’re talking about different types of transit.

What ways would you like to improve accountability and transparency at city hall for residents?

Harding: I’m going to be doing this full-time, 24 hours a day—so always at city hall, unless I’m in the field going to visit for some kind of issue. When somebody calls, you answer the phone. When somebody sends an email, you reply to the email. It’s very important that every member of council, as soon as they can, give you an answer. Sometimes when people don’t get the response, one day, three days later, they start to wonder why this person isn’t getting back to me. It’s not because they’re trying to hide something, it’s just they don’t have time in their day to do it. So I’ll be doing this job full-time.

Korab: I think our council has been very transparent. A lot of people will say oh, City Hall’s not transparent. But all our decisions are made in public meetings. The only decisions we make in a private meeting has to be inter-governmental, it has to be HR. Any decisions we make are made in the public chamber. I’ve been upfront with all the decisions I’ve made. If there’s anything that people want to know, I’m an open book. You can call and ask me, email me, tweet me. I think it’s almost educating the public, letting the public know; tune into our public meetings. Our agendas are online. The City isn’t hiding anything.

The Committee of the Whole, which is every second Wednesday—it’s streamed live. That’s where we really get deep down and dive into the issues with the city, and it’s streamed online. Our council used to just be on Rogers—it’s still on Rogers but it’s also streamed live. So we’ve made it more accessible and in my opinion, more transparent. The public gets a chance to see in real time. And they can go back in the archives on the city’s website anytime to see what we have there.

Noseworthy: Yeah, I did something in this literally on Open Line the other day: actually having town hall meetings on issues, going to people’s doors, not just having the online portal. I went on the online portal a couple times last week. It’s broken—you actually go into specific projects that are listed there and you can’t access additional information. So fixing that gap between city hall and residents, so that people actually know, when there’s development in their area, fully what that development entails. Whether it’s going the old fashioned way of picking up the phone, calling someone on Mundy Pond Road or on Proud Avenue, talking about the new Mews Centre. Or maybe it’s calling residents when the new high school went in and telling them this is what is looking to be proposed. What are your thoughts and concerns? Actually going to the people with these things.

[Candidate responses have been edited for length and clarity.]

With files from Hope Jamieson.

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Elizabeth Whitten is a St. John's-based journalist and one of The Independent's 2021 municipal election reporters. She's previously worked for allNewfoundlandLabrador and Downhome Magazine, and her work has been published by CBC, The Overcast, and the Toronto Star. She's currently writing a book about how Dr. Cluny Macpherson invented the gas mask in World War One.