How to Speak to Council

One of the most important ingredients of a healthy democratic society is citizen voice: do regular people have the ability to speak up about issues they care about, address themselves to their elected officials, and have input into the matters that affect them? Democracy is about much more than just voting every four years, andContinue reading “How to Speak to Council”

Year One

It’s been a year since this council was sworn in, and what a year it’s been! I started this blog during a campaign in which I focused on Vision, Communication, and Collaboration, and I feel like those have been central to the way that council has operated so far. My Highlight The End of 2022Continue reading “Year One”

How Subsidized Housing Works in Ontario

I think we’re all quite aware at this point that there’s a massive dearth of affordable housing in Canada. Politicians are (finally) competing with one another to propose solutions, and I’ve had a lot of residents lately reaching out to me to do likewise. It’s wonderful to see, especially because so many of these residentsContinue reading “How Subsidized Housing Works in Ontario”

Artificial Intelligence vs Democracy

Run to the hills, the computers are coming! Whether you’re excited about the growing potential of AI to change our world, or deeply concerned about it, you’re also probably getting tired of hearing about it by now. There’s been a ton of analysis about whether or not a computer will take your job (the answerContinue reading “Artificial Intelligence vs Democracy”

Small Town Sprawl

We’re working through the Strategic Planning process, and we just had a series of public engagement opportunities where residents could talk about their vision and hopes for Brighton’s future, their recommendations for new initiatives or improvements, and even their concerns and frustrations. Excellent exercises, and we had over 60 of our neighbours participate. Going throughContinue reading “Small Town Sprawl”

The Municipality, and the Community

The way that we talk about ourselves can reveal a lot about us, but it can also obscure some important distinctions. What does it really mean when I say that I’m from Brighton? I might be referring to the Municipality of Brighton, which is a place with defined boundaries, but which is also a localContinue reading “The Municipality, and the Community”

Who Pays for That?

The history of government in Ontario has been an ongoing back and forth between municipalities and the province about who takes responsibility for which services. You’ve probably heard municipalities groan about “downloading”, when the provincial government passes responsibility down to municipalities – sometimes with the funding to match, sometimes not. You’ve probably also heard aboutContinue reading “Who Pays for That?”

Going Through the Motions

As I read the agenda for Monday’s meeting, I paused on a phrase in the partnership agreement between the Municipality and the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board. Under the rules of how their Board of Directors will function, it said that the Board will: 5. Be an initiator of policy, not merely a reactorContinue reading “Going Through the Motions”

If A Tree Falls

Few things are more associated with environmentalism than protecting and planting trees. I was known as “the green guy” long before I was elected to council, which may be why I hear about trees so often, but I hear about it almost as much as I hear about bad traffic. So here are a fewContinue reading “If A Tree Falls”


Accessibility is an incredibly important issue, and one that’s often poorly understood. What is accessibility, and how does it play out in a small town context? How does our municipality address it? What does Accessible mean? Accessibility, at its core, is about who gets included. The Brighton Accessibility Committee, which just had our first 2023Continue reading “Accessibility”