Skip to content

Fallis vows to focus on affordable housing, sustainability this year

Ward 3 councillors weigh in with thoughts on 2019 and look ahead to 2020 in our series focused on municipal politics
2018-10-22 Mason Ainsworth and Jay Fallis
Mason Ainsworth, left, and Jay Fallis represent Orillia's Ward 3. OrilliaMatters File Photo

Editor's Note: It's New Year's Day - the perfect day to look back at the previous year and look ahead to the coming year. With that in mind, we've asked the mayor and all eight city councillors a series of five questions about past accomplishments and future goals. We will publish their answers throughout the day. What follows are the responses from Ward 3 city councillors Mason Ainsworth and Jay Fallis.
********************
Ward 3 Councillor Mason Ainsworth provided the following responses to our questions.

1. What do you think is the most significant accomplishment of this council from 2019?

Our most significant accomplishment is increasing the funding for basic infrastructure projects including road and sidewalk creation/resurfacing.

2. What is your top priority for 2020?

My top priority is connecting with more residents of Orillia, business owners, and new Orillians to discuss how the city and the council can better serve them.

3. What is the biggest challenge facing this council in 2020?

In 2020, the biggest challenge will be dealing with the unknowns, ie: Projects going over budget, operating costs higher than expected, federal/ provincial/ county downloads, etc.

4. What is your New Year's Resolution as a City Councillor of Orillia?

My resolution as a city councillor is to get more citizens involved in the city, the political process, and all of the amazing activities/programing the city has to offer.

5. What is your New Year's Resolution as a citizen?

As a citizen, my New Year's resolution is to get more involved in activities, programming, and events throughout the cty.

--

Ward 3 Councillor Jay Fallis provided the following answers to our questions.

1. What do you think is the most significant accomplishment of this council from 2019?

Working together: This is something that is often undervalued in politics, but in my first year, one thing I was so surprised and impressed with, was our ability as a council to find common ground, work together, and get along after some intense debates. 

While there have been times where I have both agreed and disagreed with each of the members of council, at the end of the meeting we are all able to step back, get along, and look to working on the upcoming issues. 

For me, that demonstrates the true inner workings of a healthy democratic body. It’s the recipe for good political decision making.

2. What is your top priority for 2020?

Helping to facilitate the creation of better, more affordable housing options and ensuring projects come to fruition that help those who need housing. Additionally, I am a big believer in some form of youth transitional housing/shelter for our city of Orillia.

3. What is the biggest challenge facing this council in 2020?

(I would certainly consider this a priority as well). Continuing to work towards environmental sustainability within our city. Our council has been good on this front but, of course, we as a council, city, and citizenry can do more as climate change becomes an ever present reality. Every little and big bit counts in the grand scheme of things.

This can be such a challenge for governments everywhere, as different priorities can allow us to forget the urgency for environmental action. It is something which we must stay vigilant of.

4. What is your New Year's Resolution as a City Councillor of Orillia?

This goes back a month or so ago when Stan Mathewson, Chair of Sustainable Orillia, asked council members to come up with environmental resolutions of our own. With go ahead and support from the rest of the council, every few meetings, I have given an update on the Concordia Climate Clock that counts down the amount of time left to 1.5 degrees celsius of global warming (from pre-industrial levels). This is the temperature that climate scientists have said is the point where climate change effects will be irreversible and become very dangerous.

My resolution as a councillor is to keep this tradition up, reading the clock every few meetings, to remind others as well as myself that reducing carbon emissions and protecting our environment needs to be a consideration in all that we do.

For those curious about the current clock times: It's currently at -12 years, 10 months, 25 days, 20 hours, 54 minutes until we reach 1.5 degrees celsius.

For more information on the Concordia Climate Clock, you can check out the website at: https://www.concordia.ca/news/climateclock.html

5. What is your New Year's Resolution as a citizen?

My personal resolution is to limit my consumption of Mariposa Market Texas Donuts to once a week. I am not going to lie, this is pretty ambitious and if I can last a week or so, I will be pretty proud of myself!




Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of OrilliaMatters.com
Read more