#thetimeisnow

Sil sit-down with Maureen Wilson The newly elected Ward 1 councillor discusses housing, LRT and having a voting station on campus

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Photo by Kyle West

 

 

Last week, Silhouette News Reporter Ryan Tse sat down with Maureen Wilson, the Ward 1 city councillor-elect. Read some highlights from the interview below.

Why Maureen believes she won the election:

“Experience. I think it’s a combination of my schooling…and then my practice of working in local government. And also my love of cities and my fascination with space, movement and the relationship to people and how cities should and can work better for more people.”

What Wilson does when not she’s not working

“I love coming to Mac [with my kids] and watching the women and men play volleyball. Anytime I can bring my kids on campus, it’s a good day.”

Student housing and absentee landlords:

“I don’t think I have heard anyone in the community say they are opposed to having students living in the community. Most people enjoy that. The challenge is the number of absentee landlords who use and accumulate what were single family homes and turn them into student dwellings and sometimes don’t have proper approvals for doing so.”

Investing in public transit:

“It starts with whether we value public transit. And if we’re not prepared to put money into public transit, then fewer people are going to use public transit…so I would be looking in our budget discussions to ensure that this council maintains a commitment to its ten-year transit strategy.”

The case for the light rail transit project:

“If we don’t make those investments now, the [Hamilton Street Railway] wait times will just get more challenging because the buses are going to be have to competing with more cars on the road. [The LRT] will add to our assessment base, it will address matters related to air quality, and it will provide for an improved transit ride.”   

The creation of a community council:

“I’m not very prescriptive in what it should look like… I have a very strong commitment to growing the capacity of citizens to understand how local government works and understand how city building works.”

Making it easier for students to vote:

“There needs to be a poll on campus. To me, that’s a no-brainer.”

Safer neighbourhoods:

“I believe in shared safe shared streets. That means that we have to go back to looking at the street as a commons area that should be available for different types of use. So it should be safer to walk along the street and it should be safe to cycle on the street, and those choices should be available to you and conveniently so.”

Wilson’s message to students:

“I hope that they would engage in their city to learn more about Hamilton…Get off campus. Visit your city. Pick a neighbourhood. How might your studies be applied to that neighbourhood? Explore. Show curiosity and interest and make a difference.”

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Author: Ryan Tse

Ryan Tse is a second year Arts and Science student. In his free time, he enjoys cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs, drinking coffee, reading articles in The Athletic and listening to all kinds of music. He spends most of his time in HSL and BSB.