With less than four months to go before Kingstonians cast their ballots, Mayor Bryan Paterson has announced his candidacy for re-election in the upcoming municipal election.
Paterson declared he is running on Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018 at The Sanctuary Coworking, where a group of local businesspeople, members of the media, and some of Paterson’s fellow city councillors gathered for the announcement. There, Paterson spoke to some of the accomplishments made over the past four years – bringing international companies to Kingston, investing in the city’s waterfront and north end revitalization, and securing the funding for the third crossing among them.
“As I look back over these last four years, I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished, and I’m excited by the momentum we’ve created,” Paterson said, also pointing out the expansions of the airport, the opening of Kingston Penitentiary for tours, expanding affordable housing, and marked improvements in transit ridership as other great milestones during his tenure as mayor.
“And all of these things together have positioned us to be able to accomplish even more in the next four years,” Paterson continued.
“I can tell you that I’m tremendously excited to hit the campaign trail, and over the next few months, my goal is to engage our community in a conversation about the future.”
Over the next few months, Paterson will be introducing “a whole new set of ideas and priorities as part of a new vision to move our city forward,” he said. That vision is built on three pillars, he explained: “embracing a policy of growth, designing our city for people, and seizing global opportunities.”
“First, we’re going to embrace a policy of growth so we can create more jobs and attract more investment to our community,” he said, adding that, in doing so, more housing could be built to address the “incredibly low rental vacancy rate in Kingston,” and creating “quality housing that is affordable.”
“And speaking of affordability, it is by embracing growth that we can further reduce our property tax rate increases, while sustaining our current city services. It’s growth that will enable us to live within our means and still make key investments for the future,” he said.
In terms of ‘designing the city for people,’ Paterson said this will help “unlock our potential as a vibrant, inclusive community.”
“We’re going to revitalize key neighbourhoods, we’re going to make exciting investments into our waterfront, and we’re going to ensure that our downtown is vibrant and alive in the spring, summer, fall and winter,” he said.
“But every one of these investments that we make is going to be geared to helping every person in our community thrive with a great quality of life.”
The third pillar of his campaign for re-election, seizing global opportunities, means building on the international relationships Kingston has with companies like Frulact and Feihe, Paterson said.
“We’re going to welcome residents from around the world, and we’re going to build on our technology and infrastructure improvements to our transportation so that we can connect Kingston to the world, and the world to Kingston, and put Kingston on the map as never before,” he said.
“I’ve said many times that Kingston is one of the best kept secrets in our country and beyond, but now it’s time that everyone in our world knows what an extraordinary community that we have.”
Paterson said he looks forward to hitting the campaign trail and “connecting with people across our city” not only to share his ideas, but to hear from others about their “hopes, ideas and priorities in the future.” He also announced his campaign co-chairs: Former regional deputy commissioner of Correctional Services Canada, Mike Ryan; and former director of marketing at Queen’s University, and founder of Avenue Strategy consulting, Kathleen Vollebregt.
“My commitment during this campaign is to offer leadership that is respectful and collaborative, both at City Council, and across the community. We will, at times, have differing viewpoints, competing priorities, diverse ideas, but I’m committed to continuing the same approach that I have taken over these last four years to encourage healthy and respectful debate, and pull everyone together so that everyone’s voice can be heard,” Paterson said in closing.
“Today, I’m inviting all Kingstonians to join me in this conversation about the future of our city. There is lots of hard work ahead, but I honestly believe that there are no limits to what we can achieve.
“I’m excited by what we’ve been able to do, but I’m even more excited about what lies ahead as we look to the future and commit to build our community together.”