Describe two opportunities you see to improve the way Council operates.Dave Aspden:
1. Council has to convince those that want to come to Barrie, and be prepared towork with developers. Not just say no, but figure out how can we make it work. It must
always be a positive message that those that want to invest are welcome here and we must
find ways to overcome obstacles.
2. Public has observed Councillors all too often using their blackberrys and computers during
council. The public feels that they are not paying attention, or already have their mind made
up. Some councillors have always gone along with the popular side on an issue, instead
actually stating their position. Councillors need to take a stand, voting for what is best for
Barrie, not just to get re-elected.
Describe how you would increase the current level of citizen participation indecision-making at City Hall.
I opened up City Hall as the First Mayor to have Monthly Open Houses. Either at CityHall or on the road I said I would do that 4 years ago and I did. On some days, we were
located in the south end of Barrie, or citizens could find staff and myself at the north end of
Barrie. This was a great opportunity to get out to the public. Other Mayors across Ontario
actually called my office to find out how this worked. I have also had the opportunity as a
guest of Politically Speaking to be live on Rogers.
I would continue the Open Houses, both in City Hall and around Barrie. I would also meet
with Rogers, to get set dates well in advance so a schedule can be set. At times opportunities
have come up with little notice which has been a booking problem.
I would work to ensure that as many people are appointed to various boards andcommittees as possible. Too few people are applying to serve on the many advisory
committees that do exist and the Mayor must work to encourage more citizen
participation on the committees that have influence on the decisions being made.
I’ve proposed several things. First, I support opening up city council meetings to allowBarrie residents to address their council on any topic. I would seek to change the procedural
by-law to allow for an ‘open microphone’ segment at council meetings, because I believe
council would benefit from having regular public participation on the issues of the day.
Currently, the city by-laws restrict participation to individuals who are opposed to an item on
that evening’s council agenda.
I would also form three task forces to ensure the unique concerns of specific groups in Barrie
1. A Youth Council to advise the mayor and council on issues affecting young
people in Barrie.
2. A Senior’s Advisory Committee, to ensure that the unique needs of seniors in the
community are met.
3. A Diversity Task Force, to ensure that as Barrie’s population changes and
becomes more diverse, the city can ensure that the needs of various multicultural
communities are met, and that newcomers to Canada in Barrie feel welcome in
I also think we need to actually get staff and council out of City Hall and into communities. I’d
like to see meetings in neighbourhoods, at gathering places like schools, coffee shops, and
churches, with staff available on local issues such as parks, roads, planning, and recreation.
Finally, I would expand the use of online methods including the website and social media, this
worked very well with the HNS. City Hall needs to reach out to get people involved and not
just rely on traditional methods.
My first priority is to establish a citizens’ panel to review City Hall operations andmake recommendations for priority programs and services that I will take to Council for
As Mayor, I will chair meetings fairly. I will listen far more than I speak. I willencourage free and open public discussion of issues and encourage intelligent, reasoned
First and foremost, the Mayor must work collaboratively with the other members ofCouncil. The Mayor is the head of a team and must constantly communicate with all other
Councillors on issues in their ward, and issues that affect the City as a whole. This is about
the attitude that the Mayor brings to the job.
Secondly, I feel Council should consider a standing committee structure for items which could
be discussed in more detail and decided in public meetings. Examples would be local traffic
concerns such as all-way stops and parking restrictions, and procedural matters related to
minor public works. By having these standing committees, there would be time for more
public discussion and greater attention paid to these issues, while allowing General
Committee to focus on the key issues affecting the city as a whole, and on policy decisions.
Many cities around the country do this and it allows their councils to operate more effectively.
No idea is a bad idea. It may need to be fined tuned and have the input of all of those itinvolves.
A councilor represents the people of that ward and the mayor represents all those people
It is important for the mayor to see what the visions are of the people and help see them
I would definitely support a citizen council. My past business experience has taught me to
learn through others no matter how old we get. We must not stop learning or listening. We
need to learn from our past council. I did attend many open houses. It is great to have open
houses, but it is another thing to be heard. This city is made up of people and the people
need to be heard.
I feel the direct approach is more crucial. We have the ability to send out tax bills, why do we
not have the ability to keep it simple and back to the basics? Direct mail. I know personally
juggling my day to day life, business, personal and finance it is not easy to attend or get
involved, but by keeping it simple and sending a letter gives the people time to read and
respond by whatever methods they wish. It would be nice to get a letter instead of a bill for a
change. In simplifying – Lets get back to the basics.
: I support the appointment of the Integrity Commission to advise Council members ofpotential conflicts of interest and identify those members who may or have violated the Code
of Conduct passed by the current Council. In my five point plan I will appoint an Auditor
General who will report directly to Council. The Auditor General’s job will be to conduct
regular value-for-money audits to identify for Council where efficiencies and cost savings can
Responses from Mayoral Candidates to Questionnaire
Why are you the best choice for mayor?Dave Aspden:
Born in Barrie, I have the most experience in the City. From my days at RVH as anAmbulance/Driver Attendant, throughout my police career and 9 years as a Councillor it
provided me with the real insight of the operation of the City. Having worked with three
previous Mayors, I experienced different ways the councillors and staff were treated, or their
ideas accepted. I wanted to bring a different approach to Council, and I wanted to ensure the
people of the wards were represented by their councillors, whether I may agreed or not. In
my opinion over the years, areas of the City were not getting a fair voice, and not always the
fault of the councillor, but not the desire of others to bother with the issues.
Over the last 4 years, the councillors were able to bring the issues to the floor, without
any interference by the Mayors Office. This really gave the people of Barrie representation in
a way they had not had.
We all know, some councillors did not support the Mayor from the beginning of my term, but
that did not distract the Mayor in doing everything he could in very poor economic times to
make Barrie a better place.
All the commitments I made were kept.
: I have a five point plan based on what our residents are telling me. It is responsibleand achievable. As a former Mayor, I understand the challenges of getting things done.
During my term, we saw significant growth both economically and developmentally. My
experience will allow me to get started on day one without having to learn the job.
Thank you for not asking me why you think I would be the best ‘Politician’ for the job.This is what has taken me so long to enter the mayoral campaign. I have been asked many
questions – Why mayor? Why not councilor? Why now?
Many people have said, why not run for councilor, why not represent a ward and gain
To me this is running for political reasons, “ladder climbing”. I want to be the voice of all the
people in all wards, not just one group or ward. The people live in all wards and surrounding
In running for the mayoral campaign…. ’Go Big or Go Home.’ I am looking at the big picture,
which are the people of Barrie. Barrie may be made up of wards, but as a collective group
we represent Barrie.
Taking on the title as mayor is like any reputable relationship – it takes two to make it work.
Therefore, I will have to be willing to listen and work with each ward person as they will be the
voice of the people in that ward. It takes two to have a successful relationship that can work
outside their immediate family to build a stronger community.
: As an economist, I’ve worked with cities across the country for the past 12 years tocontrol growth and help them plan and invest in urban infrastructure. I will bring this
experience to the position of Mayor, which means new bringing new approaches to the key
issues affecting our city. As Ward 2 Councillor for the past 4 years, I’ve introduced new
approaches to citizen involvement in City issues, by organizing neighbourhood associations
and through my Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy. I’m committed to opening up city hall,
which is the major change that needs to occur in our community over the coming decades.
It’s time for Barrie to take a big step forward and I think I’m the right guy to lead that.
I will be your best choice for Mayor because I will restore accountability in theMayor’s Office. I place public interest over self interest.
Describe your involvement in the community. Please elaborate on volunteerismand activism rather than on required appointments (ie Council-required
Before my police career began, I was a member of the Emergency MeasuresOrganization, which was then the organization that operated the Auxiliary Police Unit for
Simcoe County & Barrie.
In the early 1970’s I was a volunteer with the St. John Ambulance in Barrie, attending events
in the community to assist, and render first aid.
As a police officer, in my off time is the late 70’s, I founded the Police Charity Hockey Games
and raised funds for the Community. This became a very large event in Barrie, and often had
Brian Orser performing between periods, or the OPP Pipe Band. If you remember Charlie
Farqueson from TV he was the announcer at the hockey games From 1979-1981 I served on
the Legion Executive in Barrie. Then from 1981-1991, I served on the Navy League of
Canada, Barrie which sponsors the Navy League and Sea Cadets. I was also on the Board
of Directors of Ontario Division of the Navy League and served on the Executive Committee.
In the 1980’s I was invited to return to St. John Ambulance and served on the Board of
Directors. During this time period, St. John Ambulance applied for their Fellowship Charter. I
was selected as the First Chair of the St. John Ambulance Fellowship in Barrie and wrote the
bylaws of the fellowship. A plaque commemorating this hangs in the office. Invited to sit on
the advisory board of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Barrie), I
served for 6 years. This I felt was important to Barrie, and a position was established for a
City rep to continue to take part. Maintaining my ordinary membership with the Royal
Canadian Legion for 33 years, in 2000 I served as the 2nd Vice President of the Branch 147
Barrie. I am also a member of the Honourable Guard of the Grey & Simcoe Foresters
supporting Barrie’s Army Reserve Unit. Over the last few years, during Celebrate Barrie on
Barrie’s Waterfront, I founded Dave’s family golf tournament. This is free for everyone in the
entire family to have fun and try their luck at the Mini Putt at Centennial Beach. With
sponsorship raised for local Charities, Dave’s family golf tournament has now presented
$100,000 to the community ($45,000 to the Salvation Army Bayside Mission, $20,000 to the
Animal Shelter, $19,000 to the Sea, Army, & Air Cadet youth programs, as well as the
Georgian Bay Volunteer Search and Rescue organization, Barrie Concert Band, Barrie Pipes
and drums, Black African Historic Church a National Historic Site in Oro-Medonte, Lions
Club, and other organizations which do not get large amounts of public support. I am also a
Regional Director of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council which develops relationships with
Industry and Corporations to the community and the reserve units of Canadian Forces. In
2009 I was invested into “The Order of St. John Knights of Malta”.
Since coming to Barrie in 1974, I have been a committed community leader involvedin the YMCA, Royal Victoria Hospital, Gilda Club just to mention a few.
For those who don’t know me, I am an openly gay male. I have operated an alternativestyle club since 2003, servicing many aspects of the market. We are commonly referred to
as a ‘gay club’. It is not about being gay it is about acceptance and being heard in the
Since the expropriation in 2005 and before 2003, I have spent many hours at the city hall
fighting for our rights. My past/present issues with the city have no bearing on me running
but have taught me that I have a voice and I should be heard. It is difficult sometimes to
believe in our legal system, as I am sure many have felt the up hill battle. I believe the
system will work.
This is one of the factors that have lead me to run, as you must be a part of the system in
order to make it better.
For these reasons, it has brought to my attention many issues, as I am located in the
Allandale area and have been following the developments of the area. I have attended and
taken part in their open forum meetings in regards to the lands surrounding the Allandale
area and I feel the peoples messages need to be heard and can be better represented. I
have been saying this for years, as I had located my business in Allandale in 1990 as a
flower shop at the corner of Essa Road and Tiffin Street. Allandale has been a forgotten part
of the city. At one time Allandale was its own city/town. It is rich in history and people. We
could learn so much from the senior residents about the strong influence Allandale had on
the city of Barrie.
I am hoping that the gay issue does not become a part of this election as well as political
colors, red, blue and green as we focus on the prize, which are the people.
I’ve volunteered with several different charities over the years in Barrie, including theDavid Busby Centre Partnership and community cultural groups. In 2004, I started a
volunteer task force to help grow university programs in Barrie, called Growing By Degrees.
This group includes representatives of the business community, educational institutions, and
citizen volunteers, and has been working for six years to help expand opportunities for
I have served on city council for four terms – 13 years. I was born and raised inBarrie.
I have served on the boards of many committees such as RVH and have been involved in
fund raising for many groups such as the cancer society.
Where do you live (ward)? How long have you lived there? Where do you vote?Dave Aspden:
I live in ward 2 and have for a total of 35 years. I vote at City Hall.
: My family and I have lived in Ward 10 since 1976, and I will vote there.
I live in Ward 5. Raised here since 1970 – then moved next door to family home to beclose to my father. I vote at Lampman Lane
I have lived at 16 Valley Drive in Barrie for the past eight years. I grew up in Barrie, inAllandale Heights, then in the east end of the City while I went to high school at Barrie
Mayoral candidates: Please describe your vision for Barrie.Dave Aspden:
During my term, I said I would make the announcements when the i’s were dotted,and the t’s were crossed. I did not wish to make flashy news comments that we see all too
often. I do know that over the last 4 years, during the worst economic times we have had in
years, the City fared well, and will continue to. I have been assisting Park Place at every step
I could, and we do see hundreds of Construction jobs. It is estimated 4,400 full time jobs will
be available, and it is not all retail. Only 80 acres of the 200 are for retail. The remainder is
for Office business park. The hotel/convention centre for downtown Barrie could have been
just about finished now. Details are being posted on my web site. Barrie will prosper with my
Investment-oriented Team of stakeholders. Those are successful corporate and business
people that have a true love for Barrie that want to actually get involved, rather than take an
adversarial approach because the Mayor elected was not their friend. I have been working
with major corporations for the benefit of Barrie and the Lake Simcoe Airport, to attract not
only business to the area and the developing Airport business park, but have laid a
relationship that Barrie is now known for what it offers, and the opportunities.
Continued development of a plan to host out of country visitors to show case our City. Barrie
is going to be a 4 season Tourist Location, and will be on the big stage for business and
: My vision for Barrie is a city that is affordable to live, work and play for families.
We hear about it, see it every day on the back of trucks, on letterhead ‘Barrie MeansBusiness’. No business likes to lose money, but no private sector business can raise their
quotes, invoices because we have decided to extend ourselves beyond our means. Barrie is
no different. Taxes have to be justifiable in order for Barrie to succeed as a successful
business. As they say, there are two things in life that are unavoidable – taxes and death.
If we have to accept them as a part of life, let’s make sure we the people enjoy life in
spending our tax dollars to build a stronger community.
In summary, as one individual I cannot do this alone. Like any successful business or
relationship it takes two, along with the support of your surrounding families and I value
everyday that I have this in my life and would like to share it with the people of Barrie.
Barrie needs to become an economic center instead of a bedroom community. Itneeds to be a center for both college and university education. It can be a city with a great
downtown, where more people live and there are more daytime uses such as shops and
services for residents. Most of all, it needs to become a city with a strong political culture of
involvement and consultation, where the people of the city are organized, involved, and
respected by the city government.
Barrie must have a Mayor and city council who listens to and respects the wishes ofthe public. Incidents such as the attempt to place the YMCA on the Allandale Station lands
should never happen again.