Kathleen Knoll — Collingwood councillor
My first memories of Collingwood are in my grandfather’s garden. It encompassed the entire back of his home, which he built in 1944 on Seventh Street. I spent my very early years in Collingwood and Stayner. We eventually moved to Barrie where I completed secondary school at Barrie Central Collegiate. I lived in Toronto to study nursing at George Brown College and Ryerson.
I returned to Collingwood in 1994 with my husband Gordon. I have worked at the Collingwood sport medicine clinic, Georgian Hills Vineyards and Side Launch Brewery in administrative and retail positions. I am currently a crew member on-board the Huronic at Collingwood Charters. I volunteer my time at Sunset Manor.
The current judicial inquiry to investigate the 2012 sale of public utilities motivated me to run in the 2018 election. We need transparency, new ideas and change in Collingwood.
I believe we all have a shared vision of inclusivity and affordability in Collingwood. Many residents are currently struggling. The vacancy rate is around 1.4 per cent. Council needs to establish targets working in partnership with the federal government. One solution is to construct purpose-built rental housing. The current demand is exceeding supply in Collingwood.
The Canadian government announced a national housing strategy last fall that commits $40 billion over 10 years to new units and upgrades of aging properties, including loans to encourage developers to build new housing geared toward modest-to middle-income families.
There has been a huge cultural transition from a ship building town to a redefined Collingwood booming with small business, tourism, seasonal residents and retirees. Working this summer on the waterfront has made me aware how underutilized it is. We need to capitalize on this area with sustainable development to generate revenue and build a place that everyone can enjoy. It is also our responsibility to protect this environment through canopy management, reforestation and ensure that conservation of our water resources and wetlands is a priority.
I am a dedicated and committed local resident with many years of experience in small business, tourism and administration. We have the power together if I am elected, to create and cultivate sustainable growth in Collingwood.