Mayor Bryan Paterson runs for a third term

Current incumbent wants to ‘create a culture of smart innovation’

The municipal election is happening on Oct. 24.

Incumbent Mayor of Kingston Bryan Paterson is hoping for a third term.

Paterson sat down with The Journal to discuss how he plans to use innovation, growth, and development to advance Kingston technologically.

He said he’s proud of what the city has accomplished during his time, from infrastructure like the Waaban Crossing, to new housing, businesses, and developments like Breakwater Park.

“There’s lots of great things we’ve been able to do for affordable housing, for housing for our most vulnerable residents, but there’s still a lot of challenges that are in front of us,” Paterson said.

Paterson believes it’s important to have a mayor who has experience and a track record of getting things done, all while bringing people together in the process.

“I think that’s what I’m offering and that’s the leadership that’s needed over the next four years.”

Paterson explained how he plans to create a culture of smart innovation by investing in new technology and energy efficiency.

He said he envisions Kingston as a “leading city” on the forefront of the transition to electric vehicles. He also wants to implement smart innovation in the healthcare sector by finding new spaces where family doctors can work and serve more people in more locations.

“Innovation is really about being creative and working together to come up with unique community-based solutions.”

If re-elected, Paterson promises Kingston will have one of the lowest property tax increases of any city in Ontario over the next few years.

“That means that our revenues for some of these initiatives I envision coming from new growth,” Paterson said.

“If we can harness that growth into building new housing that brings more new revenues to the city, we can then direct it into some of the projects that I think are important to address.”

He also said he’s looking into reducing the cost of transit passes—Kingston buses are paid through the Bus-it programme for students, for other Kingston residents the cost can be a barrier according to him.

He also wants to expand Kingston’s businesses and industrial land to bring in new jobs and address community challenges.

“I think about some of the social issues we’re looking at, such as homelessness and the high cost of housing, so being innovative is about finding new more affordable types of housing like tiny homes, modular housing, and 3D-printed housing.”

Paterson addressed innovation regarding the University District, student housing, and street parties by saying the University is “a very important partner” and how he’s “always valued” the City’s relationship with student leaders at Queen’s.

“Let’s take that same idea of working creatively together to come up with better solutions to address […] sanctioned street parties—particularly addressing the behavior that is destructive to the school.”

He said he’s concerned about unsanctioned street parties, especially regarding an “unsafe environment” for students and other residents.

“I want students to enjoy their time here and I want them to be able to party and have fun, but in ways that are safe and respectful.”

Paterson said high-quality student housing is important, and the City’s made a lot of investments and helped facilitate development in this area.

He pointed to the new apartment-style housing built over the last few years, saying it needs to continue to ensure there’s enough housing for students and other residents.

Paterson also spoke about his implementation of the Mayor's Innovation Challenge, which challenges students to come up with solutions to community challenges. He said it’s been an exciting partnership, and if re-elected, he hopes to facilitate it further.

The Kingston municipal election is happening on Oct. 24. More information can be found here.

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