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London Chamber of Commerce releases 2022 Municipal Election Platform

Ahead of the October local election, the London Chamber of Commerce released their 2022 Municipal Election Platform. Global News

With citizens of London, Ont., set to head to the polls in a little over a month, the London Chamber of Commerce has released their 2022 Municipal Election Platform.

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

Graham Henderson, president and CEO of the London Chamber of Commerce, said that this upcoming election is a very important one.

Read more: Fewer London, Ont. residents declare candidacy for 2022 municipal election

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

Henderson said that one of the ongoing issues he hopes to see tackled by the new account is rising inflation.

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“This is an odd opportunity for governments to raise taxes, (but) they should be stabilizing them, and, in many ways, they should be trying to find ways to minimize the impact of inflation on folks,” he said. “(But) the city has actually been really pretty good when it comes to keeping their taxes in line and avoiding annual tax increases that’ve never really exceeded three per cent.”

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

“I would say that the city needs to redouble its support for the Recovery Network,” he said. “There’s lots of funds that are available or were available to members of the community who were trying to better the community and they (the incoming municipal government) should ensure that that funding goes forward.”

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

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

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The platform hopes elected 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 Chamber’s Municipal Election Platform focused on harmonization and, according to Henderson, committing additional resources to reducing red tape– excessive regulations to rules and formalities.

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

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

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

Read more: Mayoral candidate Josh Morgan pledges 50,000 new homes for London, Ont.

A lot of unfamiliar faces are set to be seen around the horseshoe with new counselors 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 councillors. That’s down from 80 councillor 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 job, down from 14 people running in 2018.

On Oct. 12, the Chamber will also be hosting a Municipal Candidates Forum where Londoners will have the chance to meet and greet their ward and school board candidates. There will also be a question period for mayoral candidates.

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

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