London Chamber of Commerce releases 2022 Municipal Election Platform

With the citizens of London, Ontario expected to head to the polls in just over a month, the London Chamber of Commerce has released its 2022 municipal election platform.

Outlining a combination of economic prosperity and social progress, the Chamber hopes the candidates will focus on important goals such as the city budget, housing and infrastructure development, population, climate and more.

Graham Henderson, president and chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, said this upcoming election is very important.

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“I think people underestimate the importance of a municipal election to their immediate future and their immediate needs, goals, aspirations, etc.,” he said.

Henderson said one of the lingering issues he hopes the new account will address is rising inflation.

“It’s a strange opportunity for governments to raise taxes, (but) they should stabilize them and in many ways they should try to find ways to minimize the impact of inflation on people” , did he declare. “(But) the city has actually been very good at keeping its taxes in line and avoiding annual tax increases that have never really exceeded 3%.”

Additionally, Henderson emphasized the importance of strengthening local pandemic recovery tactics.

“I would say the city needs to redouble its support for the Recovery Network,” he said. “There are a lot of funds that are available or were available to community members who were trying to improve the community and they (the new city government) should make sure that funding goes forward.”

Henderson added that the Chamber also wants the municipal government to continue to “encourage new businesses” to locate downtown, particularly in unused or underused buildings.

“This new council coming in has a real opportunity to roll up our sleeves and do something quickly,” he said. “But let’s not forget that we have climate change issues and we have made commitments to that.”

The platform hopes that successful candidates will “support London’s efforts to become the greenest city in the world” and achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

The last key issue listed on the House municipal election platform was about harmonization and, according to Henderson, committing additional resources to reduce bureaucracy – excessive regulations to rules and formalities.

“It’s endemic,” he explained. “I will say that talking to members of the business community, we keep hearing that red tape is a problem, especially in construction and development.

“We have an affordable housing problem,” he added. “I mean, good God, we have to build and we have to build fast.”

Henderson said he thinks “this is going to be a very interesting election (with a) new mayor and a lot of new faces around this table and man, do they have some big challenges ahead of them already.”

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Many unfamiliar faces should be seen around the Horseshoe with new councilors guaranteed in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11.

A total of 61 people have signed up to run in hopes of becoming one of London’s next 14 ward councilors. This is down from the 80 councilor candidates who registered in the 2018 election and 87 in 2014.

As for the mayoral race, only 10 candidates are vying for the city’s top political post, down from 14 candidates in 2018.

On October 12, the House will also host a Municipal Candidates Forum where Londoners will have the chance to meet and greet candidates from their neighborhood and school board. There will also be a question period for the mayoral candidates.

For more information on the upcoming event, visit the London Chamber of Commerce website.

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