GILBERT CANTIN – council questionnaire

September, 2017

To learn about the methodology of the questionnaire, click here:

T8N: If you were to change one thing specific to the City of St. Albert itself, what would that be? And if you were to change one thing within the community itself, what would that be?

GC: Synchronising lights on St.Albert Trail and adding more affordable housing.

T8N:  What will be the first item that you plan to bring forward for council debate immediately after the election?

GC: Move on to the direction of plebiscite vote results.

T8N:  What governance or policy change that council operates under today needs to be changed immediately?

GC: Policing committee needs to be implemented so police directions do not come exclusively from the Mayor alone.


Questions provided by David Climenhaga (edited by T8N)

T8N:  Never mind the question of a branch library or the location of services. What is your view of the long-term viability of library services in our community? Are you prepared to continue funding library services at a level that permits continuation of present levels of service while accounting for increases in population?

GC: Library should always be funded but the funds should be spent wisely by the Library Management.

T8N:  Alberta law requires a legal separation between city councillors and city employees: Employees report to the city manager; the city manager reports to council. What is your view of the proper working relationship between front-line employees and city councillors?

GC: City Council is not there to get involved in the day to day operation as it is the responsibility of the City Manager to organise. City Council is there to provide long term directions.

T8N:  What can and should be done to ensure the continued viability of St. Albert’s downtown Perron Street District?

GC: I am in favor of letting the market decides and it is up to the entrepreneurs of this area to distinguish themselves to attract more people to their business. It is not the role of the City to subsidise private business. The City is already attracting a lot of people with the weekly market in the summer.

T8N:  Never mind the sequencing of traffic lights on St. Albert Trail. Where do you stand on the calls by some residents for a 40 kilometre-per-hour speed limit in residential neighbourhoods?

GC: I would agree to  40Km in residential area and an increase to 70Km on St.Albert Trail.

T8N:  There are many savings and benefits that could be realized by being part of a regional transit system. Are you prepared to work toward the participation or inclusion of St. Albert Transit in a regional transit system?

GC: We must be careful as often the smaller players end off paying more then if he was offering his own services. I would be willing to explore it but not at all cost. We would have to get a good deal out of it.

T8N:  What is your position on the extension of a regionally financed LRT system from downtown Edmonton to St. Albert?

GC: I think it is a good plan but are we are still too small to justify an LRT line. I would see it happening once we are over 100 000 of population. At that point it would make more sense financially.

T8N: There are many savings and benefits that could be realized by being part of a regional policing system. Are you prepared to work toward the creation of a Capital Region Police Force in which St. Albert would participate?

GC: Again we must be careful as often the smaller players sometime end off paying more then his share, It would depend of what is on the table.

T8N:  As St. Albert grows, it is coming under pressure for increased recreation facilities, including additional ice sheets and swimming pools. Would you as councillor be prepared to work to create joint public projects for the development of recreational facilities involving any or all of the County of Parkland, Town of Morinville, County of Sturgeon and City of Edmonton?

GC: I think St.Albert can sustain his own facilities as population grow. By sharing we lose financial control of the facility.

T8N:  St. Albert citizens complain constantly about the cost of operating a city the size of St. Albert, including the costs of duplication of services and the heavy reliance of the municipal tax base on residential properties instead of businesses. If substantial tax savings for residents could be shown, are there circumstances in which you would agree to or support amalgamation of St. Albert with the city of Edmonton?

GC: Absolutely not. St.Albert is a great town and we must have control on our destiny.

T8N:  Parking at St. Albert Place and in the downtown district continues to be a problem for the city. What is your preferred solution to this situation: Leave it alone? Build a parkade? Paid street parking? Other?

GC: We can always build more parking space.

T8N:  What is your vision for St. Albert’s role in the Capital Regional District?

GC: We must be part of it as some services need to be shared to keep the cost low. I am thinking about land field usage, water treatment and sewer water treatment are examples of shared services right now.


Questions provided by Tim Osborne (edited by T8N)

T8N:  What do you believe is the role of a councillor?

GC: We are there to give the City employees directions based on the feedbacks we receive from the residents.

T8N:  How would you address the balance between doing what may be in the best interest of the community despite the act being unpopular?

GC: Politic is a matter of doing compromises to try to reach agreements with the most people as possible by doing so it also imply we can’t make everyone happy.

T8N:  Is there a role for third party or anonymous advertising / communication in municipal elections? Explain.

GC: We are in a free Country and everyone can express their opinions the way they want as long as it is respects existing laws, this is well defined in our Canadian Constitution. It should not be debated at a City level as it is not our role to change that.

T8N: What is your vision for increasing the housing options in our community?

GC: The City can reserve part of future developments to be only rental properties so more affordable housing can be offered to young people starting in life or for Seniors downsizing.


T8N Magazine Questions

T8N:  What would be your reasons for / against switching to a ward system in St.Albert?

GC: I would be for that as a Councillor would have a better chance to be closer to residents if he represents 4000 household instead of 24 000. Also residents would have one point of contact instead of 6.

T8N:  Are there any actions / directives / projects undertaken by the previous council that you would like to stop / undo / dramatically change?  Why?

GC: The first point of my program is Traffic: 1-I would get all lights synchronised on St.Albert Trail ASAP and I would pressure Provincial government and Federal Government to twin Ray Gibbons Drive.

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