Six questions with Colleen Murphy, candidate for Portsmouth District

Colleen Murphy, candidate for Portsmouth District in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

Editorial note:

Across the province, Ontarians are getting ready to cast their ballots in every city, town, and county as the 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching. With election day on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, Kingstonist has reached out to all candidates within the City of Kingston to create profiles allowing voters to find a brief overview of each candidate in one place. As response comes in, more and more candidate profiles will be added here, which you can access through our Municipal Election 2022 section (with the tab on the homepage), or through our ‘Candidate overview landing page.’

With 45 candidates in total for Kingston City Council alone – and with only one district acclaimed (Countryside District will once again be represented by Gary Oosterhof) and six districts without an incumbent – our goal is to provide as much information as possible leading up to the elections. Thus, we will endeavour to collect response from as many Kingston candidates as possible, with the hope of providing similar coverage for Loyalist Township, Frontenac County, and the Town of Greater Napanee moving forward. All relevant links will be available under the Municipal Election 2022 tab.

For more general information on election process in Kingston, including details on electing Board of Education Trustees, ensuring you are registered to vote, etc., visit the City of Kingston Municipal Elections webpage.

Candidate profiles are being published on our website in no particular order.

Colleen Murphy was born and raised in the Kingston area and has lived in the Portsmouth district since 2017. Now, she is ready to represent her neighbours on Kingston City Council.

New to the political race, Murphy said her interest in politics has increased over the past year. Recently, she has spoken out about the Central Kingston Growth Strategy, notably organizing opposition to the Johnson Street Corridor, which resulted in the corridor being removed from the plan.

When she’s not at work as a financial clerk at Queen’s University, or advocating for her neighbours and neighbourhood, Murphy enjoys “concerts at the Grand and Isabel Bader, dining out with friends, and shopping locally in downtown Kingston.”

Murphy and her spouse have a two-and-a-half-year-old cat, Lily, who they adopted in the winter of 2022 from the Kingston Humane Society. “She is a wonderful addition to our home and is very playful.”

How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?

I am not affiliated with any political party. I would describe my political ideology as socially progressive with fiscally conservative roots.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

I have taken an active interest in municipal politics, especially over the last year.  I was contacted about changes the City was planning as part of the Intensification Corridors for the Central Kingston Growth Strategy. I helped to organize opposition to the Johnson Street Corridor, which resulted in the corridor being removed from the Central Kingston Growth Strategy. It was this work that contributed to my neighbours suggesting I run for District Councillor of Portsmouth.

What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?

  1. Road conditions: Especially on King Street West, and the delays and lack of information on the project status; the need for traffic calming measures on Mowat Avenue and Yonge Street; the need for active transportation corridors and repairs for our aging roads.
  2. Intensification pressures within the district: These were highlighted by the Central Kingston Growth Strategy. There are several planning proposals in the district which highlight the weight the city has placed on creating housing, regardless of how the applications these will:
    • create traffic issues;
    • detract from the enjoyment of adjacent properties due to overlook and shadowing, destroy the environment due to clear-cutting by developers;
    • be unsuitable due to the size of the proposals compared to adjacent buildings and the size of the lots where they are proposed to be built.
  3. Need for Affordable Housing and housing for the homeless: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour is hosting the sleeping cabin pilot for the second fall/winter; Roden Park is currently being considered as a location for the permanent site.

What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally, in your opinion?

The three items above are, in my opinion, the most important ones for the district of Portsmouth.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

Having a plan for this district that is led by residents. The Central Kingston Growth Strategy failed to have meaningful engagement, which impacted its outcomes. By completing this exercise, we will have a document to begin prioritizing infrastructure repairs, transportation corridors, green spaces, and housing development.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

I plan on campaigning full-time and, if elected, serving as a full-time councillor. I have been actively working to address citizen concerns since November 2021. I have requested potholes be repaired on Francis Street, requested updates from the planning department on many files, I have even tried to get a family doctor for a resident whose doctor was retiring.

For more information on Colleen Murphy, candidate for Portsmouth District in the 2022 municipal election, visit her website or email her at [email protected].

With files from Cris Vilela.

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