Making Oakville Ready for the Future - Smart, Sustainable, Inclusive.
Jack Kukolic is running to create change and get Oakville ready for the future. Let’s work smarter, be more sustainable, and support inclusivity.
We need to protect our environment now, so future generations have a beautiful place to thrive and grow.
We need to build sustainably, and developments must plan around their environmental impact. Cutting down every tree on a plot of land and levelling the ground is not the most environmentally conscious way of building.
We live in an ever-changing climate so we have to plan for the long-term effects on our residents as everything we do today will affect us tomorrow. We need to address extreme weather events, flooding, and wildlife sustainability in our development plans.
Town-run initiatives like tree planting programs and community gardens are an inclusive way for residents to support the environment while improving mental health and providing a food source for families. The waitlist to get a garden plot is over four years and this must change.
Our Housing Developments
While Oakville is a beautiful place, the homeowners of tomorrow, including people like me, will struggle to afford a place to live.
While we need affordable housing, we also want sustainable development. There is no single answer to these problems. I will make sure we develop neighbourhoods that are sustainable for our residents. Places that have park space, forested trails, adequate parking, build within the landscape where possible, don’t rip out mature trees where possible, are designed with walking and cycling in mind, and provide residents with quality living through community hubs.
I am no stranger to the fact that in order to make housing more affordable, you have to build up. I support developing other forms of housing like condominiums around transportation hubs, but I do not think Oakville needs buildings taller than the Marilyn Monroe buildings in Mississauga.
Oakville has a large population of both seniors and students. I have seen some pilot projects that connect students with independent seniors. This is an inclusive opportunity for students to live at a lower cost of rent in a home with a senior, who might value the support and company of a young person.
We need to look at smarter permitting processes and fees to ensure we are attracting builders and they can get started on new developments sooner.
It’s time to improve transit for all and get people off the road and on board.
Electrification is a sustainable way to expand our transit fleet, while also lowering our environmental impact from fossil fuel pollution. This is something that I would implement as soon as possible.
Fares are the most common issue with transit that residents mention. We need to make our transit more inclusive. Oakville offers a Freedom Pass for youth aged 13-19 so they can ride any time, any day, for $20 per month during the summer. I will expand this “any time, any day” rule to all times of the year, not just summer. Furthermore, I want to expand it to young people up to the age of 22, encouraging post-secondary students to take transit more often.
I will expand the single day seniors get to ride for free from Mondays into multiple days a week. This will make it a more sustainable option for seniors, so they are not charged $784.80 per year to access transit.
Smarter routes are imperative to better suit residents’ needs. Too many times I’ve heard stories of nightmare transfers to other cities, limited hours, or routes not serving the needs of our residents at all.
Our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility
Oakville is a beautiful town, we need to make sure that everyone can enjoy it.
In early 2022 the Town received a report from CCDI Consulting Inc. regarding the current state of inclusivity in the Town. The results found numerous problems that must be addressed. I want Oakville to be an inclusive place where everyone feels welcomed, and everyone can be heard.
I will improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for new hires and current Town staff. In addition, I will evaluate the hiring process of Town employees to support diversity.
I will support accessibility within businesses, especially in our downtown centres.
We must keep Oakville’s infrastructure on track with our growing population.
Essential infrastructure projects like the Kerr Street Underpass have been delayed time and time again. We need to work smart to prioritize these projects and get them moving so we can keep Oakville moving as well. Parking in our downtown centres has been an issue for many years. We need to implement smart solutions to increase our capacity as our population continues to grow.
The widening of roads is a necessary part of keeping up with our population, but not every road needs it. Many studies across the world have been conducted over the years, and more lanes do not necessarily mean less congestion. We have to work sustainably to ensure we do not cover Oakville with pavement where it’s not needed. We can work smart by implementing traffic solutions supported by new technology, combined with live data.
Oakville’s businesses of all sizes are the backbone of our town. We need to support them in ways that allow them to grow.
I will look for ways to allow new businesses to enter Oakville and be sustained. Attracting young people to our town, and keeping them here, is essential. We want to give these businesses as much of an employment pool as we can, allowing them to expand and grow with competitive hires.
I also want to attract visitors and tourists to our downtown centres through events, promotions and marketing. This will increase visits to storefronts and generate sustainable revenue for businesses. As part of my efforts to keep an open line with residents, I want to hear from small business owners, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and our large corporations on how we can support growth.
Our Parks and Recreation
In Oakville, we have beautiful parks and recreation spaces for residents to enjoy. Let’s make sure all residents can access them easily.
I will support initiatives including having a social worker available in our libraries, free lifeguarding courses for those who may not be able to afford it, allowing those youth to get into a higher-paid job lane, and payment plans for camps and Town programming for families who need it.
Work to have enough garbage cans on our streets to avert littering, and try to include more public washrooms in existing and new public spaces.
Ensuring all residents have access to our community centres is extremely important, no matter what their situation is. We need a solution that doesn’t involve complicated subsidies and every resident who needs them should be able to access them.
Implement a smart solution like a digital “Book Oakville” site or app that enables residents to book any program, park, or permit easily from one place.
Our Input to the Town
I have learned that collaboration is the most important tool you have with any task you take on.
I want to bring as many voices as we can to the table when making decisions to better Oakville. The more direct feedback we can receive, and the more committees and neighbourhood associations we can dialogue with, the better we can work to shape Oakville’s future for our communities. I want to encourage our younger generations to make their voices heard. The future belongs to our youth, and your opinions will help shape the way for a smart, sustainable, inclusive Oakville of tomorrow.
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