Six questions with Paul Chaves, candidate for Loyalist-Cataraqui District

Paul Chaves, candidate for Loyalist-Cataraqui 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.

Paul Chaves is retiring this year after 31 years as a Program Officer with the Correctional Service of Canada. With that retirement looming, he has put his hat in the ring to represent the Loyalist-Cataraqui district in the upcoming 2022 to 2026 term of office for Kingston City Council.

The father of two teenagers, who attend Holy Cross Secondary School, sits on their school council. The family fosters animals for both Kingston Humane Society and Kingston Animal Rescue.

Chaves shared that he is said he is “an active member of our community: sitting on the Board of the Limestone Credit Union; organizing clothing and food drives for St. Vincent de Paul; leading Partners for Life with Canada Blood Services for fellow employees; coordinating ‘Pitch in Kingston’ events, plus several ‘Big Bike Rides’ for Heart & Stroke. I’ve [also] coached soccer teams with the Jr. Gaels for 10 years.”

When asked for a “fun fact”, Chaves said, “My daughter and I just recently returned from a trip to the Columbus Zoo. While there, we were able to pet and feed rhinos and giraffes. I was also ‘bitten’ by an ostrich.”

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

I believe the government’s role is to make decisions for the betterment of the people they represent. I review the platforms of all candidates and parties and support those with the best ideas and abilities.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

The west end, Loyalist-Cataraqui in particular, has often been ignored. With my upcoming retirement this year and the fact that my children are more independent now, I am ready to serve in this essential role full-time. Most importantly, democracy is precious, as is the future for our kids in a world full of major challenges, such as climate change, war, and the rising cost of living.

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

  1. Safety: including speeding, stopping violations, sidewalk maintenance/or just having sidewalks, school zone safety, safe pedestrian crossings, and on-street parking.
  2. Municipal services: including access to bus service, snow removal, road cleaning, and sidewalk and road maintenance.
  3. Recreational services: including the need for more park space; more recreation equipment within parks; more recreational equipment/options for those older than 10 years old (basketball courts, skate parks, chess tables, etc.); more dog parks; more walking trails; and an indoor public pool for the West End.

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

  1. Affordable housing: Housing must be our top priority, with more incentives to build energy-efficient homes for various income brackets. We need more rental units geared to income.
  2. Fiscal responsibility: With rising inflation leading to interest rate hikes, we need to manage our City budget all the more carefully. Citizens cannot afford higher taxes and our City cannot afford debt at increased interest rates.
  3. Emergency services: Our emergency services are underfunded, understaffed and under-equipped.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

Access to municipal services and safety through appropriate infrastructure. Affordable solutions are at hand, such as the judicious addition of school safety zones and crosswalks, adding or upgrading sidewalks, and creating new bike lanes and bus routes. Larger projects must be carefully considered, such as the expansion of water and sewage to Westbrook, and new parks with recreational options like splash pads, basketball and tennis/pickleball courts, unleashed dog areas, and skateboard ramps.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

  • I have lived in Loyalist-Cataraqui for 29 years: I am the only candidate running who knows the neighbourhoods and needs of this diverse area.
  • I will work full-time for my constituents: My children are older and more independent, and I am retiring at the end of this year.
  • I have 20 years of experience representing staff: I was on both the union local executive and institutional health and safety committee for over 20 years. Representing and advocating for District residents is one of the main responsibilities of a Councillor.
  • Neither I nor any member of my family have any conflicts of interest: I own my own home but no other property. I am the only candidate running in Loyalist-Cataraqui who does not have a conflict of interest because I am not a real estate agent, nor do I work for a developer. Not having any conflicts of interest would allow me to represent the interests of citizens before those of the real estate industry.

For more information on Paul Chaves, candidate for Loyalist-Cataraqui District in the 2022 municipal election, visit his website, or Facebook page.

With files from Cris Vilela.

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