Candidate Info

General Info

Mike Bleskie

Ward 11
Contact info:

Telephone: 705-923-3537
Email: mike@bleskie.ca
Website: bleskie.ca
Facebook: bleskiedotca
Twitter: @mikebleskie

Biography:

“A public relations practitioner by trade, Mike currently serves as the Vice President of the Cambrian College Students’ Administrative Council (SAC), where he has also served as its Director of Student and Academic Affairs. His work to represent the rights and needs of Cambrian students has led to Mike also serving on the Policy Committee of the College Student Alliance (CSA), a province-wide lobbying and support organization dedicated to working alongside government to create smart solutions to issues in post-secondary education.”

“an advocate for fair copyright and patent reforms since 2008, and has also been involved in local issues through different community-level groups. Mike was a co-founder of the Pirate Party of Canada, a minor federal political party which has called for greater personal privacy protections on the internet, the elimination of digital locks on media files and major reductions of software and pharmaceutical patents.

Mike was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in January 2005… Diabetes was the focus of Mike’s early volunteer work, a passion that has now spread to many different organizations. More recently, Mike was the Youth Curator (co-chair) of TEDxYouth@NickelCity, held at Science North in April 2013.”

from  http://bleskie.ca/about-me/, last checked July 26, 2014


Transportation


Platform Statement:

“Take good infrastructure seriously by working harder toward smart and sustainable development, which eases strain on existing roads, and contributes to a healthy lifestyle.”

from http://bleskie.ca/platform/, last checked July 26, 2014


Transportation Survey Responses:

1. What does sustainable transportation mean to you?
Sustainable transportation means a mix of transportation options that actively reduce or eliminate carbon and emissions output.

* 2. How are you going to support it in our community?
I want to work actively with the Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel to investigate priorities in creating pathways for alternative transportation, and revamp our transit service to become even more relevant.
A better Sunday schedule, decentralization of the transit system, further investment into separated walking and biking infrastructure solutions, and data initiatives that builds on commuter data to identify key investments.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 3. What are you going to do to enhance walking, bicycling and transit usage in Greater Sudbury over the next 4 years?


Level of support for:

(a) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
I will vote in favour
(b) Adopting a Complete Streets Policy that details how to implement streets that are designed for all users
I will vote in favour
(c) Improvements in transit service and fares to meet the needs of citizens
I will vote in favour
(d) Implementation and coordination of Transportation Demand Management
I will vote in favour
Explanation:
All cycling and pedestrian infrastructure needs to be prioritized in ways similar to road infrastructure if we are to manage our finances properly. While I want to see funding for these projects, just like we saw with the effort to have lanes included on Second Avenue, we need to make the level of funding fluid to coincide with our budget.

Water Quality


Platform Statement:

Water Quality Survey Responses:

1. In your view, what are the most important steps the city needs to take to protect water quality?
We must look at the practical methods to manage and mitigate existing issues facing our water, such as building infrastructure with water retention and flow in mind, as well as removing risk factors.

* 2. How are you going to support it in our community?
Real targets such as the amount of buffer zones along lakes, the creation of new water diversion tactics like "garden drains" and green culverts, and further the cause of streets that do not retain water.
Better barriers, greener diversion tactics, phosphorus initiatives, blue-green-algae and invasive species efforts, and increased enforcement of wastewater infractions.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 1. What plan do you have to protect and sustain our many lakes? What actions will you take to support your plan? What resources will you devote?


Level of support for:

(a) Requiring larger shoreline buffers
I will vote in favour
(b) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget to complete priority watershed and subwatershed studies
Unsure
(c) Rejecting development in floodplains and wetlands
I will vote in favour
(d) Adopting higher standards for storm water management, and expanded capacity in vulnerable areas
I will vote in favour
(e) Support for the Vermilion River Stewardship’s opposition of proposed modified run-of-river hydroelectric dams on the Vermilion River
Unsure
Explanation:
I want to work with mayor and the rest of council to find new means to fund watershed studies, so that work on this research is unhindered. I am unsure at this time about the Vermillion project's scope, so it is not appropriate for me to take a stance at this time.

Natural Environment


Platform Statement:

“Take good infrastructure seriously by working harder toward smart and sustainable development, which eases strain on existing roads, and contributes to a healthy lifestyle.”

from http://bleskie.ca/platform/, last checked July 26, 2014

Natural Environment Survey Responses:

1. How will you balance development with protection of the natural environment?
Looking at the patterns of our residential development, we need to look at the prioritization of infilling and more effectively utilizing existing residential space so that we do not use up our green spaces and keep building new roads.

2. How will you champion opportunities in your ward to fill gaps in parks service and to protect unique natural areas (identified by the Green Space Advisory Panel)?
Procurement targets must be advanced within the budget balance, and increased education efforts around our greenspace must be pursued with the goal of creating a greater spirit of stewardship, conservation, and healthy use.


Level of support for:

(a) Dedicated annual funding in the municipal budget to implement the green space acquisition strategy
Unsure
(b) Policies in the Official Plan to recognize and protect important natural areas
I will vote in favour
(c) Removing the “Laurentian link” road from the Official Plan transportation schedule
I will vote in favour
(d) Re-assessing proposed roads on the Transportation Schedule that impact natural areas
I will vote in favour
Explanation:
Funding must always be balanced with the available revenues, in order to take on even more green space. We will hopefully stay on target with the acquisition strategy's current progress.

Local Food


Platform Statement:

Local Food Survey Responses:

1. How do you see the city’s role in food system sustainability, access to local food, and the connection to health?
Our city plays an immense role at the planning level, by enabling growers to build the space they need, and allow for the type of agricultural operation they depend on to grow. The city also plays an important role in promoting that food and making sure there is access to that food.

* 2. How would you develop local agriculture and fresh water and forest foods?
If the city is able to provide policies that create easier ways to create, promote and commercialize small-scale agriculture, we as individuals will be able to build our own 100-mile meals at home.
My commitment is at the planning level to provide leeway to easier zoning and construction of agricultural projects in the city.
* Above includes answer to Top Public Question 2. What is your commitment to encourage a local food economy?


Level of support for:

(a) A food action plan for the city
I will vote in favour
(b) Developing targets for procurement of local food in municipal institutions
I will vote in favour
(c) Providing support for urban agriculture initiatives
I will vote in favour
(d) Expanding the amount of land preserved for agricultural use and avoiding incompatible use
I will vote in favour
(e) Designating the market as a Farmer’s Market
I will vote in favour
Explanation:


Citizen Engagement


Platform Statement:

Create civic engagement opportunities which allow for a marketplace of ideas and draw the best input from people in the community.”

Create tools to properly and transparently display where spending is made, and who is accountable for which funds. In addition, adopt Open North’s “Citizen Budget” interactive budget simulator to educate and encourage input on the budget.”

“Create a clear, objective prioritization of municipal projects based on value to citizens and ratepayers.”

Proactive measures are needed to engage youths in the ward, particularly those with home difficulties and those living in youth homes in the community. A community group should be set up to build dialogue and support for these young citizens, and build a positive presence in their lives, rather than be combative against antisocial behaviour.”

from http://bleskie.ca/platform/, last checked July 26, 2014

Citizen Engagement Survey Responses:

1. How will you ensure that community consultation is done effectively and openly, with productive dialogue from start to finish for municipal projects and decisions?
When projects are started, we must begin the process of consultation before putting the plan together. We see the issue that comes up when we don't do this when we look at the Second Avenue project. We also need to eliminate barriers between the public and management, council and staff, and elsewhere in the chain of the city's operations.

2. How will you ensure a consistent culture of openness and support for public input across all city departments?
Aside from laying out all expenses as openly as possible, I plan to introduce new, consistent civic engagement tools that focus on both regular issues and budget-specific issues. These tools, LiquidFeedback and Citizen Budget, have seen widely successful use in other locations and help bridge the gap in civic engagement. I also want to be able to create a consultative community budget for projects, rather than depend on a politicized slush fund tool.


Level of support for:

(a) Adopting an enhanced system for resolving all issues and complaints, including tracking numbers and prescribed timelines
I will vote in favour
(b) Requiring proactive engagement of citizens and stakeholder groups when forming policies and developing projects
I will vote in favour
(c) Requiring agendas and background material to be publicly posted two weeks in advance, and minutes to be posted one week after meetings of Council and Committees of Council
I will vote in favour
(d) Providing timely, fair and transparent support to citizens and citizen groups for community projects that contribute to the community
I will vote in favour
(e) Ensuring easily accessible, complete and searchable information on the City website
I will vote in favour
Explanation:


Climate Change


Climate Change Survey Response:

If we can make our transit system and bike network more efficient, re-commit to our programs and partnerships on regreening, and work harder on our waste management system to drive even more conversion of organic and recyclable waste, we as a city can continue to build on programs that we were early leaders on, and take on new leadership roles in climate change prevention.

Other


Platform Statement:

Remove the HCI (“slush”) fund policy and find non-political means to distribute funds”

Bring back the Ontario Ombudsman, ensure the job security of the Auditor General, and probe the feasibility of an integrity commissioner.”

Probe short-term municipal bonds as a means to provide funds to upgrades without building debt”

from http://bleskie.ca/platform/, last checked July 26, 2014


All information is directly taken from candidates’ public platforms and official statements, most often candidate websites. The source and date are provided. Blank areas indicate that the candidate has not yet provided any official statements on this topic.