Six questions with Jeff McLaren, candidate for Meadowbrook-Strathcona District

Jeff McLaren, incumbent for the Meadowbrook-Strathcona 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.

Jeff McLaren is the incumbent candidate for the Meadowbrook-Strathcona District and has served on Kingston City Council for two consecutive terms.

McLaren was born in Regina, grew up in Victoria, went to University in Ottawa, and then lived in Korea before he settled in Kingston in 2011, where he is currently raising two teenaged sons.

When he’s not working at his property management business, McLaren enjoys teaching philosophy and reading. “One of the great joys of teaching philosophy is defending a writer even when you do not agree with them,” he said.

Outside of work and Council duties, which include drop-in consultation sessions every Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Kingston Coffee House in the Kingston Centre, in order to be available to his constituents, McLaren volunteers at the Seniors Centre and at Collins Bay Medium Security Institution.

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

I am a swing voter depending on what I believe is most important at any election.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

A lot of unfinished business (see my platform) and the knowledge that I can be more effective with the eight years of experience I have in how the system works.

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

  1. The poor condition of the roads. People want them fixed faster and better. I plan to ensure there are more funds available and more work done to maintain and repair the roads.
  2. Affordability. This concern has been expressed in three forms: the affordability of housing, rent, and taxes. Using seed money promised from the province and the feds, I will advocate building lots of mixed affordable housing where market rents subsidize below-market rents. This will put downward pressure on housing and rent. Recently, the tax base has grown faster than ever meaning it is realistic to also commit to the lowest tax rate possible.
  3. The lack of family doctors.

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

At more the more local neighbourhood level,

  1. Speeding and dangerous driving in residential neighbourhoods.
  2. Noise.
  3. Garbage and litter.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

As mentioned above, the most pressing issues in my district are the condition of the roads, affordability, and the doctor shortage.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

Two things: I developed my platform after consulting with residents at the door, and I have realistic plans to implement the platform planks based on eight years of experience working in the system.

For more information on Jeff McLaren, incumbent for Meadowbrook-Strathcona District in the 2022 municipal election, visit his website. He can be reached by phone at (613) 328-1638 and email at [email protected].

With files from Cris Vilela.

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