Peter Stroud is the incumbent for Kingston’s Sydenham District Councillor election. His platform rests on the same pillars he promoted back when he was first elected in 2014.
Stroud promises to foster unity between students and Kingstonians, while advocating for controlled housing growth and green initiatives.
In 2013, Stroud was the Vice Chair of the Sydenham District Association and fought to keep the Sydenham electoral district alive.
When City Council wanted to redraw boundaries and re-district the area, Stroud joined the AMS in court to fight back. The AMS paid half of the court fees, and the Sydenham District Association covered the rest of the bill. In the end, both teams saw a legal victory.
The success of the 2013 decision propelled Stroud into municipal politics, and the council seat he has maintained for the last two terms. He sat down with The Journal to discuss his previous term, his platform, and current issues facing students.
“It’s really just neighbourhood advocacy […] we can’t fight each other. We have to fight the real opponents, which [are] basically the big monied interests—the special interests—that want to have their way and don’t want to listen to democracy,” Stroud told The Journal.
Stroud said he values the student voice in Kingston, even if standing alongside students hasn’t always been popular.
“I’ve always had students around and I challenge the basic notion that students are hostile to the City. I don’t think that’s true; I think it’s a small minority that just misbehave.”
“They want the townspeople at odds with the students because if we are fighting the students, then we’re not fighting the real enemy, which is what they are trying to do to our neighbourhood.”
If elected again, Stroud promises to promote unity between neighbourhood groups so larger issues can be tackled as a united front.
Stroud recognizes the ongoing issue of street parties in Sydenham District, and agrees they are partially responsible for divisions within the community. He thinks there are alternate ways to deal with street parties rather than what’s been done in the past.
“I prefer the positive approach […] I think it’s really on students to police themselves and I trust them to do that, but there maybe has to be the threat of consequences if you go way overboard.”
He said part of the issue is the police don’t act like they believe students belong in Kingston.
“There is no reason to use violence on students,” Stroud said.
“I think that is just an embarrassment […] That just turns students against neighbourhoods. They feel like they aren’t welcome, and they act out.”
Stroud’s campaign emphasizes transparency; he makes campaign donations public and refuses funding from large corporations or donors who he believes have a “hidden agenda.”
He also plans to demand transparency from Queen’s administration if re-elected. Stroud vows to have tough conversations about the housing crisis and the role enrollment numbers play in worsening the problem.
He said for every bed that Queen’s builds in a residence building, there must be three more beds built in the city so students can be housed for each year of a projected four-year degree.
“Another prong of my approach is to try and talk sense into the higher-ups at Queen’s. They should have a very measured expansion because all it does is dilute the brand of everyone that goes to Queen’s when they expand too fast.”
“They’ve got to revisit their growth model and take a little bit of responsibility for the housing crisis […] If Queen’s administration doesn’t help us with the housing crisis, we will never get out of it.”
Stroud said the housing crisis cannot rest on Queen’s enrollment solutions alone; he promises to implement a new kind of housing market as well.
He’s also looking for a future with non-profit housing corporations. According to Stroud, Hamilton had success implementing this solution; he believes Kingston can learn from this model to find the same solutions for the Sydenham District.
Stroud said he works to support sustainable initiatives both in his personal life, and on the municipal level. He doesn’t own a car, instead relying on his bike to get around.
He also introduced a council motion directed at doubling Kingston’s tree canopy by 2025. Since then, the city has planted over 100,000 trees.
“Bikes and trees are the two prongs of the environmental movement […] I really push,” he said.
If elected again, Stroud plans to do more for sustainability, such as decreasing car traffic on Johnson St. and Brock St. down to one lane, with a lane for bikes, skateboards, and bus traffic.
Stroud advocated for the return of the Bus-It program for Queen’s students in his last term. He wants to look for ways to help students make the same sustainable choices he makes.
“That’s the lifestyle that I live and I’m the only candidate that can claim that in this race,” he said.
Stroud also wants to introduce new additions to Kingston’s landscape.
He plans to continue work on the Breakwater Promenade and wants to start a free electric bus shuttle system in the downtown core and other areas where it’s less safe to travel by bike.
“I’m a living example that you can be a nice guy and still get by in politics,” he said.
The Kingston municipal election is happening on Oct. 24. More information can be found here.
city council, Council Profile, Election 2022
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.