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MEET THE CANDIDATE: Centre Wellington Ward 3, Neil Armstrong

EloraFergusToday asked candidates in the upcoming municipal election to tell us a little bit about themselves and their platform
Centre Wellington Ward 3 candidate Neil Armstrong.

EloraFergusToday asked candidates in the upcoming municipal election to tell us a little bit about themselves and their platform.

Occupation: President, Red Car Service

How long have you lived in Centre Wellington? 47 Years, born and raised 

Do you reside in the ward you are running in? Yes

Why are you running in this election? I have volunteered for various organizations, most notably as board president at Big Brothers Big Sisters. We successfully redefined the care of youth in this community. After eight years of serving BBBS youth, I would like to diversify my impact on our community. Within Centre Wellington, I have aging parents, two children in local schools and my wife who works as a critical care registered nurse in Waterloo. With their support and encouragement, this is the right time to serve my community in a different way. 

What qualifies you to represent your ward? I have lived in Centre Wellington for 47 years, 38 of those in ward three. Along with my volunteer involvement, I also own a business that serves Guelph and Centre Wellington. As the owner of Red Car Service during the pandemic, I have encountered many challenges and can relate to the businesses of ward three. As I look at the ward today, we have a vibrant downtown full of heritage and natural beauty, a new hospital, new businesses and generally, a healthy growing community. With my professional back ground and skills, I am willing to listen and represent. 

Why should people vote for you? As a devoted husband & father, I can relate to the constituents of this ward. I am passionate about providing an inclusive and accessible future for generations to come. I am eager to work together in a team environment making decisions that are best for ward three and the township. With my extensive volunteer experience and professional commitment to support not-for-profit, arts and festivals, I am positioned to make a positive impact.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of the ward? The main issue for Ward 3 is continuing to grow at a sustainable rate. We all know that the ward has grown substantially since the last election and is slated to continue to grow. The township must continue to follow their long term plan to ensure new developments have adequate infrastructure, and multi-unit affordable dwellings.

What do you see as the main issues facing residents of Centre Wellington on a broader scale? Sustainable growth; attracting well-paying jobs; infrastructure; protecting our natural resources and affordable housing. The main issues always seem to be the same, we live in a community with a high number of bridges and aging infrastructure that requires upkeep and replacement. Centre Wellington needs to continue advocating to the county and province to acquire much needed funds.  

What is the most important thing you want to see changed in Centre Wellington? I would like to see a council that does not have a personal agenda. I believe the role of council members is to listen and make decisions for the constituents, not based on personal opinion or values. People should be held accountable, especially within the council chamber.

What services need to be improved in Centre Wellington?  Along with transportation and affordable housing, it’s important to keep attracting new healthcare professionals to keep our new hospital current (I am married to a nurse). 

Is Centre Wellington growing too fast, just the right amount, or not fast enough? Centre Wellington is growing at an appropriate rate. We need to continue planning to ensure new development is well thought-out including bike paths and limiting throughway arteries as well as ensuring appropriate infrastructure is in place. 

What can be done at the local level about the rising cost of housing?  This is not a one answer solution. Locally, we need to continue to have new developments built with multi-unit dwellings as well as ensuring the township continues to advocate our local needs to the county and province. 

Do you support building a new $27 million operations centre? If the township does not support a new operation centre, it will cost tax payers considerably more to upkeep multiple old buildings and properties. 

How do we make Centre Wellington an even better place to live? Centre Wellington is already a wonderful place to live. By following the township’s long term plan for growth, accessibility, inclusiveness that represents a growing demographic - we can continue to be the best for generations to come.