Rise Up, St. Catharines: Revitalizing The Heart Of The Niagara Region

“Rise Up, St. Catharines: Revitalizing the Heart of the Niagara Region” is a comprehensive initiative by future Member of Parliament Kory Read to revitalize the city of St. Catharines by focusing on its core values, infrastructure and economic growth.

When a Member of Parliament, my goal will be to collaborate closely with provincial and municipal representatives to emphasize St. Catharines’ pivotal role within the Niagara region and its promising future for growth and revitalization. The concept of “Rise Up” embodies my aspiration to instill hope and empowerment among residents and visitors alike, count on myself and my commitment to enhancing St. Catharines for the benefit of all. Here’s how I plan to achieve this:

Revitalizing Empty Lots By Attracting New Businesses

Any city can benefit greatly from bringing new enterprises to vacant spaces in a number of ways. Cities can strengthen local economies, provide employment and foster community development by converting underutilized and vacant lots into bustling commercial districts. A city’s population and tax base will grow with the arrival of new business, which will create a sense of community and vibrancy by generating new events, public spaces and services.

Investing In Our Community: Projects And Facilities

I want to invest in new public pools, parks and recreational programs that will benefits St. Catharine’s children and adults in numerous ways. These new projects and facilities will provide a safe and healthy environment for children to engage in physical activity, develop social skills and build self-confidence. As a result, it will help combat childhood obesity, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall mental health.

Additionally, well-maintained recreational facilities increase property values, boost local economic growth and foster community cohesion by providing a shared space for residents to gather and enjoy.

Empowering Our Youth With Summer Employment

Students growth and prospects for the future are be greatly impacted by summer employment opportunities. Summer jobs give students not only a way to make ends meet and become financially independent, but they also give them the chance to network, obtain vital work experience and hone their talents. Summer employment also assist youths in gain valuable life skills that will aid them in both their personal and professional lives later on, such communication, responsibility and time management.

Enhanced Mental Health Services

My goal is to improve mental health services by integrating physical, emotional and social well-being in a holistic manner. Offering evidence-based treatments for certain mental health issues, such as dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy,. We need to offer individual and group therapy sessions by making more mental health specialists, such as psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed therapists accessible. In order to enhance the general well-being of individuals, we need to use wellness initiatives and stress-reduction methods like yoga and meditation could be used. We must make sure that those who require these types of services also have access to tools and services such peer support groups and case management to assist them in navigating the mental health system and sustaining their well-being over time.

Creating Affordable Living Communities (ALC)

My unique and creative approach to instead of building more “Affordable Housing” and “Community Housing.” I will work with provincial and municipal representatives to create “Affordable Living Communities” on a federal level, but on a local level which will provide a more practical and efficient solution to the issue of housing here in St. Catharines. By creating a new system, it will help people get into their own homes, by aiming to address the root cause of the housing problem and provide long-term stability for those in need.

By providing a more efficient and effective solution to address the housing crisis. My unique alternative to the traditional community housing system will help people get into their own homes faster, removing this absurd average wait time of 8-20 years just to get a spot within the Community Housing program.

Affordable Living Communities will help to improved many individuals mental and physical health, increased economic stability, and will create a stronger sense of community for those who eventual gain access to the program. Additionally, the city of St. Catharines will also benefit from increased property values, reduced homelessness and more vibrant communities that local residents can call home. READ MORE

The War On Homelessness

My approach to addressing homelessness is that we must allocating tax dollars towards affordable housing programs, supportive services and job training initiatives. By taking this comprehensive approach, we are addressing the root causes of homelessness crisis. We must be committed to providing essential resources such as mental health and addiction treatment programs, as it is crucial in helping individuals overcome the barriers they face. There must be an emphasis on collaboration with community organizations in developing effective strategies to reduce homelessness in the long term. READ MORE

Revitalizing Our Downtown Core

By revitalizing St. Catharines downtown area, it will improve the community’s economic and social well-being. By offering tax incentives or grants to attract new businesses, particularly in retail, dining, and entertainment sectors. We will breathe new life into the area and will also create new employment opportunities. This can be achieved by targeting specific demographics, such as young professionals, families and tourists and tailoring the attractions and services to cater to their needs. With a vibrant downtown area, the residents of St. Catharines can enjoy a more dynamic and exciting lifestyle and visitors can experience the unique charm of our city, ultimately driving local economic growth and development.

Creating Jobs For The Unemployed

I believe that If you want to create jobs in St. Catharines, a city that is struggling with unemployment. I will have to implement a combination of strategies to be effective. The first approach is to identify and support local industries that have a strong potential for growth, such as healthcare, technology, or manufacturing. This can be done by providing training and resources to entrepreneurs, offering incentives for businesses to relocate or expand and investing in infrastructure and amenities that support business development. Then we can initiative such things like tax breaks, job training programs and community development projects that will help to attract new businesses to St. Catharines and create jobs for those who need them..

Removing Reoccurring Annual Pet License Fees

Annual pet license fees are a cash grab by municipalities and they can be a significant burden on pet owners, especially those who are low-income or struggling to make ends meet.

These fees are often used to fund unrelated municipal programs or services rather than being used for the intended purpose of supporting animal welfare and control efforts. These fees can be excessive with some cities charging upwards of $50 or more per year/per pet. Making it a costly and unnecessary expense for many pet owners.

I want to impose that after the initial registration of your pet with a modest fee, which is necessary to ensure the pet’s identification and tracking are document, The annual fee is eliminated on the premises that pet owners will continue to keep their pet’s license information accurate and up to date.

Accountability In Education

The DSBN and its employees and educators will start to held responsible for their actions and decisions, particularly when it comes to issues such as racism, poor student performance and financial mismanagement. The formation of a panel of local residences will monitor and audit the DSBN’s behavior and annual spending habits as a step in the right direction to finally ensure transparency and accountability.

Gratitude And Reflection

I will implement in St. Catharines schools a Gratitude And Reflection every morning as it is a great way to helps students start their day with a positive mindset, fostering a sense of appreciation and mindfulness that can improve overall well-being. By encouraging students to start the day off by taking a moment to reflect on what they are grateful for can enhance their emotional and mental health, while also promoting empathy, compassion and a greater sense of connection within the school community. This practice can have long-lasting benefits on student’s emotional intelligence and resilience.

Ontario Standardized Testing (OST)

With the disappointing EQAO scores at Thorold Secondary School. it is clear that the EQAO program is outdated. It is a program that does not work and needs to be ended and replaced by a better and more effective way of testing student’s knowledge.

The implementation of the Ontario Standardized Testing (OST) in St. Catharines schools at the end of each semester will have several potential benefits for the education system and the student in it. The OST evaluation will allow for an objective assessment of student’s knowledge and skills, facilitating eventual comparisons across different regions. This information can help identify areas requiring additional support for student improvement and serve as a motivation for academic success. Furthermore, the recognition of OST exams by universities and employers will provide students with credentials that may enhance their future opportunities.

The OST concept is based on the CXC program used in the Caribbean and is a promising approach due to the program’s established curriculum and structure. Leveraging the CXC program will provide a solid foundation for organizing and implementing OST initiatives in schools, ensuring alignment with existing educational standards and goals. By incorporating proven methodologies from the CXC program, the OST concept can enhance learning opportunities for students and support their academic development effectively.

Teachers Incentive Program (TIP)

Educator accountability is crucial for the success of students and the education system as a whole. Educators need to take responsibility for their student’s performance and strive to improve their teaching methods to ensure better outcomes for the students they educate. The threat of termination after consistently poor student performances will serve as a motivation for educators to step up and enhance their effectiveness in the classroom. This approach shifts the focus from blaming external factors to empowering educators to make a positive impact on their student’s academic journey.

The Teachers Incentive Program (TIP) will reward educators for improving student performance on OST exams. I hope this will be an effective way to motivate educators to focus on student growth and success. By offering a tangible benefit such as a tax-free bonus for achieving set OST exam scores, educators should be encouraged to invest more time and effort into helping their students succeed academically. This type of incentive program will ultimately lead to better outcomes for students and contribute to overall improvement in the education system.

Paper, Pencils And Erasers

I want to highlight the importance of maintaining a balance between technology and traditional learning methods in education. While technology has revolutionized the way students learn, I want to emphasize the significance of hands-on activities that engage multiple senses in a student’s learning process.

Limited access to educational resources such as notes, workbooks, homework and other educational resources indeed hinders a student’s ability to learn and the parent’s ability to teach effectively. This lack of essential tools will impede a student’s capacity to develop crucial skills and could ultimately result in them performing poorly on assessments like the failed  EQAO program. Students need to have access to a variety of resources to support their learning and academic success.

More educators are willing to move away from more traditional methods of teaching in favor of more convenient technology teaching. They have lost the understanding that written work continues to be a valuable tool for reinforcing learning and critical thinking skills. Written work helps students clarify their thoughts, organize information and communicate effectively, making them essential components of a well-rounded education. ( See It, Say It, Hear It, Write It)

I plan to reform and update the “Back-To-Basics” program with a focus on reducing educators screen time while teaching. This is a positive step towards fostering a more engaging and effective learning environment for students. By prioritizing hands-on learning experiences and minimizing reliance on technology for teaching this initiative will enhance student engagement and critical thinking skills.

Municipal Government Waste

I believe that one way to reduce government waste is to prioritize efficiency and accountability in spending by implementing better oversight mechanisms, increasing transparency and holding leaders and agencies accountable for their budget management. By promoting a culture of fiscal responsibility, streamlining bureaucracy and actively seeking input from experts and citizens can help identify opportunities for cost savings and improve financial management practices. Ultimately, fostering a culture of frugality and responsible stewardship of public funds can help mitigate government waste.