Interview with Stephanie Beaumier, City Council candidate for Wards 1 & 5 in Brampton, Canada

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The upcoming 2006 Brampton municipal election, to be held November 13, features an array of candidates looking to represent their wards in city council or the council of the Peel Region.

Wikinews contributor Nick Moreau contacted many of the candidates, including Stephanie Beaumier, asking them to answer common questions sent in an email. This ward's incumbent is Grant Gibson, also challenging Gibson is Malcolm Jones, Larry Lee, Jeffrey Schrik, Jagtar Shergill, and Whoston Wray.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Q: List the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: The residents of Wards 1 and 5 have told me that traffic congestion, public safety and taxes are the most important to them.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: All of the above-mentioned are very important to myself and the residents in these wards. The revitalization of the downtown core is also a key issue that will directly affect the residents of Wards 1 and 5. We must carefully plan to simultaneously improve downtown Brampton while proactively controlling traffic congestion, pollution, and public safety.

Q: What qualities or experiences do you possess, that make you more desirable than the incumbent?

A: For me, it's all about people. I have a proven track record of working for and with people. I have worked for Goodwill Industries, The Credit Valley Hospital Foundation, The United Way and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. Working on behalf on the less fortunate has instilled in me a willingness to fight for what is right. I will be accessible and responsive. I will approach this position with integrity and with passion

Q: Why do you want to represent your ward on council?

A: Representing the residents of Wards 1 and 5 is a natural progression in my career. I feel that my experiences working with people can be brought together to make a stronger difference in this community on a larger scale. I moved to Ward 1 in 1975 and have been living in Ward 5 for over 13 years. I have personally witnessed the growth of Brampton and the challenges that come with it. I will represent a City Council that is based on person-to-person communications.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: For over two years, I have worked with a team that has raised over $1 Million for children, youth and their families in Brampton. I have initiated partnerships with service clubs and The City of Brampton for this cause. This has been my full time occupation. I currently volunteer with The Brampton Canadettes Girls Hockey League and organize community events to benefit various charities.

Q: Much of Brampton's existing council is quite seasoned in the civic political process. What could you bring to the table as a "rookie", above and beyond the current roster of councilors?

A: I have been involved in all levels of politics from a very early age and have a bachelors degree in political science for The University of Western Ontario. I have also been a Brampton resident for over 30 years. I am not a rookie. I care about this city and the people who live and work here. I want to put people back as top priority in any political agendas and decision-making.

Q: The Rose Theatre recently launched. What are your thoughts on this facility? Have you had a chance to tour it yet?

A: Yes, I have toured the theatre. It is beautiful from the inside out. I love the name as it coincides with Brampton's history. To date, the theatre is operating on budget and I hope it will continue. I commend the theatre group for attracting very popular entertainment. We must watch the theatre closely and work with local media and community groups to ensure its continued success.

Q: The province has strongly encouraged the development of high-density residences near the downtown. Do these buildings fit in with your vision of the downtown? How much say should other levels of government have in urban planning?

A: I have been a resident of downtown Brampton for over 13 years. The development of high-density residences in downtown Brampton is of great concern to the residents and to me. Potential problems with increased traffic, crime and pollution must be addressed at the onset of any decision-making. Improving public transit within Brampton and with GO Transit is a priority and the establishment of parking areas for the residents of these new buildings is key. I appreciate the feedback and recommendations of both provincial and federal governments in urban planning, however, we must fight for what is right for Brampton and its' residents first and foremost.

Q: How do you feel about Brampton's rate of expansion? Council recently capped the annual amount of new development; do you agree completely with this decision, would you have slowed development even further, or not have imposed a cap at all?

A: The current council allowed the growth of Brampton to get out of control to begin with. Capping the growth rate now is another example of reactive governance. However, it is the only option to best manage a bad situation. With more effective planning in the building of major roads, park lands, schools and recreation centres that meet the needs of the community, there would have been no reason to impose a cap.

Q: Why should businesses be attracted to locating in Brampton?

A: Brampton is ideally situated near many major road access routes. It has an excellent labour pool with the full range of general labour to high in demand skill sets.

Q: How could Brampton further itself in attracting corporate investment?

A: Working with business organizations, presently in place, is a priority. The business community as it exists must be encouraged to continue their input. The need is to consult in this area of forward planning will be not only productive but appreciated by our existing base and new corporate stakeholders (Brampton Board of Trade).

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: For me, being involved in the political process is something that I have always done. Being involved, speaking out and casting a ballot are among the most important thing any one of us can do for our community and our country. I want to represent the people of this community and speak out on their behalf.

Q: What does Brampton mean to you?

A: Brampton is many things. Brampton represents opportunity, individuality and a strong sense of community spirit. I am proud to be a resident and am proud to have been raised here. Brampton is where I have chosen to make my home. Our strength is our people and their experiences and cultures. I want to ensure that I represent the new Brampton: A Brampton with a rich history and a strong future for all.


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