Shawn Lewis

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Political Orientation

LeftRight
Left of center

Position: Ward 2 Councillor

Incumbent: No

Previous council experience: No

Other political experience: Political aide to NDP MP Irene Mathyssen (London Fanshawe); host of #LdnOnt TV at Rogers Television

Political affiliation: Member of the federal NDP as of 2017.

Political donations: Numerous donations to the federal NDP via riding associations, candidates, and leadership contestants.

Occupation / Profession: Political aide to Irene Mathyssen, NDP MP (London Fanshawe).

Languages: English

Transit: “I do not support the current BRT plan for several reasons; the lack of park and ride facilities at the outer ends of the proposed routes, the lack of a clear plan on how neighbourhood routes and existing services will interlink with this plan, and the lack of clear information on how the operating costs will be met if it is built. We need to take a pragmatic approach that recognizes if we want people to *choose* transit, it must be both comfortable and convenient… We must also recognize the car may be electric, it may be self driving, but it is not going away anytime soon, so our transportation network has to accommodate cars and buses as well as cyclists (I do support an expansion of our bike lane infrastructure).” [1]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

Social Housing: “London has serious challenges with regard to affordable housing and homelessness and our emergency shelters are constantly operating over capacity. The reality is the way the city has approached social housing in the past has not been of questionable success and in some cases has fed a cycle of generational poverty and ghettoization of some neighbourhoods. I would like London to emulate the micro-housing model that has become a proven success in several major American cities which have struggled with housing and homelessness issues. The city also needs to work with the province and private sector to create more housing geared to seniors needs.” [2]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

Business Climate: “London needs to take a practical approach to business growth. We have a surplus of retail space. We should not be approving retail sprawl which is expensive to service and hollows out existing commercial areas. Landlords should not be rewarded for empty properties, I support ending the vacant property tax rebate. Landlords should seek out tenants at reasonable rental rates. I support a hotel tax with funds directed to tourism infrastructure and funding, have tourism pay for tourism and provide the seed funding to attract more conventions, music and sporting event opportunities to benefit our restaurant and retail sector. We must also ensure sufficient stock of serviced industrial land is shovel ready to so that London is ready when opportunities to land manufacturing and food processing factories present themselves… I have seen firsthand “bureaucratic red-tape” that holds up new housing developments and redevelopment of existing buildings. I support cleaning up by-law and zoning contradictions and loose ends to provide more timely approvals to development projects.” [3]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

Fiscal Responsibility: “Our goal should be to keep property taxes increases as low as possible, ideally under the rate of inflation. It is a challenge, especially since emergency services like police and fire departments are a big part of the budget and must be provided. City council has to approach the budget just like a family, there are “need to haves” and “nice to haves”, and we have to do the “need to haves” first. That means things like road repairs come first, while projects like “Back to the River” might have to be shelved.” [4]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

Safe Injection Sites: “London has a serious problem with high addiction rates. I support safe injection sites and want to ensure that wrap around services for breaking the cycle of addiction are included in these locations. The issue of discarded needles is a serious one and safe injection sites should help reduce this problem.” [5]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

Other: “We have a significant infrastructure deficit in the east end in particular with regard to crumbling roads, aging playground equipment in our parks, sump pump drainage and sewer connection problems, and so on. The City needs to make infrastructure renewal a high priority. I [also] support London initiating a green bin program. We need to do a better job of waste diversion.” [6]Information from Electipedia.ca survey response.

References   [ + ]

Electipedia Survey Response

This candidate responded to Electipedia's survey. Read the candidate's reponses below:

NameShawn Lewis
How would you describe your political outlook?Centre-Left
Do you currently belong to a political party at the federal or provincial level?Yes
If yes, which one(s)NDP
Have you previously been a member of a political party at the federal or provincial level?Yes
If yes, which one(s)Former member of Ontario NDP
Instructions

For the following, please select one option that best indicates how each statement reflects your position or philosophy:

Social assistance payments should never be tied to mandated work or education requirements.Somewhat Agree
Fiscal prudence is the hallmark of sound governance.Strongly Agree
All public servants should be prohibited from going on strike.Somewhat Disagree
Fees for using vehicles at certain times in high traffic zones is a reasonable way to subsidize and encourage the use of public transit.Strongly Disagree
Climate change represents an imminent threat that should be addressed by governments at every level.Somewhat Agree
Oil pipelines are an effective way to boost Canada’s economy and energy self-sufficiency.Choose not to answer
While environmental concerns are important, government’s first priority is to build infrastructure that is safe and cost effective.Somewhat Agree
Spending on social programs is more effective than spending on law enforcement and jails.Strongly Agree
Borrowing by governments, if done responsibly, is necessary to meet the needs of citizens.Somewhat Agree
Mandatory minimum sentences for criminal convictions are needed to ensure equality before the law, and to act as a deterrent.Somewhat Disagree
Safe injection sites are necessary to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.Somewhat Agree
Instructions

Please provide a one-paragraph response outlining your position on each of the issues indicated. Keeping mind that a) your answers will be publicly available, b) answers may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, clarity, or length and c) while subsequent amendments to answers may be considered, the original response will remain visible to the public:

Transit

I do not support the current BRT plan for several reasons; the lack of park and ride facilities at the outer ends of the proposed routes, the lack of a clear plan on how neighbourhood routes and existing services will interlink with this plan, and the lack of clear information on how the operating costs will be met if it is built. But, transit is a key municipal service to help individuals move around and participate in both the economic and cultural life of the community. Transit in London needs significant improvements. We need to take a pragmatic approach that recognizes if we want people to *choose* transit, it must be both comfortable and convenient. We must also recognize the car may be electric, it may be self driving, but it is not going away anytime soon, so our transportation network has to accommodate cars and buses as well as cyclists (I do support an expansion of our bike lane infrastructure). We need bus bays at our major intersections so that buses are not adding to congestion. We need bus shelters and benches for people to sit while waiting at ALL stops. We also need to ensure transit is working to serve people who need to get to jobs in industrial areas and work with the school boards to get secondary school students on public transit.

Environment

London needs to focus on practical, doable things that make a positive environmental impact; make the necessary investments in waste water infrastructure to end the dumping of raw sewage into the Thames River, continue efforts to retrofit municipal buildings with more energy efficient options and replace city buses and vehicles with hybrid and electric options to reduce emissions and reduce fuel costs for the city’s vehicle fleet, continue to work to ensure good tree cover while recognizing that landscape “naturalization” does not necessarily work in all settings such as Veterans Memorial Parkway where there is a higher expectation of a clean, organized appearance.

Social Housing

London has serious challenges with regard to affordable housing and homelessness and our emergency shelters are constantly operating over capacity. The reality is the way the city has approached social housing in the past has not been of questionable success and in some cases has fed a cycle of generational poverty and ghettoization of some neighbourhoods. I would like London to emulate the micro-housing model that has become a proven success in several major American cities which have struggled with housing and homelessness issues. The city also needs to work with the province and private sector to create more housing geared to seniors needs.

Business Climate

London needs to take a practical approach to business growth. We have a surplus of retail space. We should not be approving retail sprawl which is expensive to service and hollows out existing commercial areas. Landlords should not be rewarded for empty properties, I support ending the vacant property tax rebate. Landlords should seek out tenants at reasonable rental rates. I support a hotel tax with funds directed to tourism infrastructure and funding, have tourism pay for tourism and provide the seed funding to attract more conventions, music and sporting event opportunities to benefit our restaurant and retail sector. We must also ensure sufficient stock of serviced industrial land is shovel ready to so that London is ready when opportunities to land manufacturing and food processing factories present themselves. While neighbourhood concerns do need to be taken into consideration, we also cannot allow NIMBYism to bring development to a standstill. Having served on the City’s Committee of Adjustment, I have seen firsthand “bureaucratic red-tape” that holds up new housing developments and redevelopment of existing buildings. I support cleaning up by-law and zoning contradictions and loose ends to provide more timely approvals to development projects.

Fiscal Responsibility

It is vital municipal government exercises fiscal responsibility. Municipal governments are challenged because they are funded primarily through the least fair and most regressive taxes, property taxes. Whether renter or homeowner, Londoners can't absorb increases on property taxes year after year. And business owners can't pass on the cost of property taxes to customers without seeing a decline in sales after a certain point. Our goal should be to keep property taxes increases as low as possible, ideally under the rate of inflation. It is a challenge, especially since emergency services like police and fire departments are a big part of the budget and must be provided. City council has to approach the budget just like a family, there are "need to haves" and "nice to haves", and we have to do the "need to haves" first. That means things like road repairs come first, while projects like "Back to the River" might have to be shelved. Spending on "nice to haves", must have a clear business plan for a positive return on investment.

Law and Order

The police budget is a significant portion of the City of London budget. We need to look seriously at ways to reduce the burden that has been placed on police to respond to non-police matters such as mental health calls and calls around property standards and by-law enforcement, so that police officers can focus on policing. Invest in technology that helps reduce policing paperwork, e.g. an app for recording traffic accident data instead of pages of paperwork and hand drawn diagrams. Implement practical use of automated enforcement e.g. photo radar in school zones during and immediately before and after school hours, and red light cameras, to free up police resources for other purposes.

Safe Injection Sites

London has a serious problem with high addiction rates. I support safe injection sites and want to ensure that wrap around services for breaking the cycle of addiction are included in these locations. The issue of discarded needles is a serious one and safe injection sites should help reduce this problem. I want to look at other options to help reduce the problem of needles being discarded in public spaces.

Other Issues

Infrastructure renewal is a vital part of the work of city council. We have a significant infrastructure deficit in the east end in particular with regard to crumbling roads, aging playground equipment in our parks, sump pump drainage and sewer connection problems, and so on. The City needs to make infrastructure renewal a high priority.
I support London initiating a green bin program. We need to do a better job of waste diversion and we need to recognize the upfront cost of a green bin program is far lower than the cost of expanding our landfill space or worse, shipping garbage elsewhere.

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