Erik Coverdale, Candidate for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale in Ontario Provincial Election 2011

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Candidate Details (top)

NameErik Coverdale
ElectionOntario Provincial Election 2011
PartyGreen Party of Ontario
Email erikcoverdale@gpo.ca
Website (no website listed)
BioErik Coverdale grew up in Valens and attended Dr. John Seaton Public school in Flamborough and Highland Secondary School in Dundas. For post-secondary study, Erik pursued interests in electrical engineering, currently holds three advanced diplomas from RCC Institute of Technology and Saginaw State Valley University, and is presently a partner at Green & Clean Energy Co., a renewable energy company which sells solar PV systems, wind turbines and LED lighting. Erik is registered with Professional Engineers Ontario and is on the verge of obtaining licensure.

From a very young age Erik identified with the need for environmental conservation when he learned of unhealthy ecosystems in his own rural backyard. Erik’s conservation efforts were recognized by the Ontario government as “Protecting Ontario’s natural heritage through private stewardship.” Then as much as now, Erik believes in being proactively involved to positively influence the world around him for the common good of all people and the environment.

Several self-involved projects have allowed Erik to refine his leadership skills. While in university, he ran for student government and served on the presidents list committee, a grassroots bridge between the student body and institutional management. Erik has been involved with Engineers without borders (EWB) and raised substantial amounts of money through events for the organization. Erik Founded the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) chapter at his university and began many interesting extra curricular projects as part of that movement.

While ideas and politics are of utmost importance to Erik, by trade he is also an environmental technology designer working on various sustainable energy systems. Even in university he developed a fully automated vermiculture (composting) system as a senior design project. The system has since been duplicated at the university greenhouse enabling all cafeteria organic waste to be processed in a sustainable manor. The product is also being assessed for commercial viability.

In the little spare time he has, Erik likes playing squash, underwater hockey and snowboarding. You may even find him striking up a tune on his acoustic guitar on a Sunday evening, or volunteering at a local music festival.

Erik is running in the election because he believes the green party is the only party that will govern with a timescale longer than the election cycle in mind. complementing green party policy, as an MPP Erik will use common sense and innovative new ideas to make decisions that work.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
In 2007, the Ontario Government promised two light rail lines in Hamilton. Will you fulfill that promise to build light rail in Hamilton? Why or why not? Yes The Green Party would provide provincial funding to the proposed two light rail lines in Hamilton. As a society we need to support the shift from individual automobiles to sustainable public transit. We need to focus on transit-oriented development in our urban communities and creating livable communities that reduce the need to travel.

The price of fuel will continue to rise, creating additional incentive to find alternative means of moving people and goods. Rather than wasting money on building new roads we should be investing in public transit and creating links to new mobility hubs.
Will you complete the job of uploading social services costs to the Province? Why or why not? Yes The Green party has pledged to meet the promised upload of $1.5 billion in social service and court security costs by 2018 and has also agreed not to download costs, or add new ones to Ontario's limited property tax base.
Hamilton has a lot of available office space in the downtown. Will you move any departments to Hamilton to boost the local economy and save on rent costs? Why or why not? Maybe The Green Party believes in encouraging the development of a green economy. We can only achieve this future by unleashing and nurturing the creativity and innovation of our entrepreneurs and workers to build strong local economies. The Green Party believes that the best way to boost the local economy is to:

a) Lower income taxes on families and local businesses to stimulate job creation
b) Reward efficient use of resources and responsibly balance our finances with a revenue neutral tax on waste, pollution and carbon emissions
c) Balance the budget by 2015, saving billions in debt and ensuring our tax dollars are spent on public services instead of interest payments
d) Support entrepreneurs, innovation and strong local economies
e) Reduce red tape for small and medium-sized businesses so they continue to create jobs that support our communities
f) Support research and development in jobs that will power our economy in the coming decades, including clean technology and knowledge-based services
g) Improve high-speed internet access for all areas of Ontario
Do you support completing the Mid-Peninsula Highway? Why or why not? No Proposals for new highways including the Mid-Peninsula Highway are based on inflated congestion numbers and an assumption that future growth will follow a business as usual model. There has been no provision for re-thinking how we will move in the future and what these roads will do to the greenbelt and our rural communities. Just building our way out of congestion through expansion of the road system simply does not work and will not be cost effective. The consequences of urban sprawl, that will follow new highways, on our rural landscape will be devastating. We need to focus on transit-oriented development in our urban communities and creating livable communities that reduce the need to travel. The green party supports making transit, walking, and cycling more desirable alternatives to the use of automobiles, reducing the need for additional road capacity.
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area has some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. What, if anything, will you do to alleviate the gridlock? Yes The Green Party supports making transit, walking, and cycling more desirable alternatives to the use of automobiles. The Green Party also supports the idea of mobility transit hubs in Hamilton, linking the city to the GTO. Light Rail Transit in Hamilton will improve public transportation and reduce gridlock. The Green Party also supports creating communities where we can live and work reducing the need for travel.

Many of these issues are interrelated. Creating more highways leads to more urban sprawl and reliance on automobiles, creating gridlock. Improved public transportation encourages development inside of mobility hubs reducing the need for automobiles and reducing gridlock.

The Green Party will implement a sustainable transportation plan to reduce gridlock and lessen the impact of rising fuel prices:

a) Promote efficient, liveable communities where streets and roads are safe for all users
b) Reduce commuting costs by supporting transit and affordable commuter benefits including incentives for ride-sharing, more high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and tax credits for public transit users
c) Increase incentives for low-emission, fuel-efficient and electric vehicles
Hamilton has a large number of contaminated brownfield properties that present a risk for investors. What, if anything, will you do to make it easier to remediate brownfields? Yes Brownfields represent restorative opportunities. The Greens would support incentives for remediation of these sites. This would include a best practice sharing collaborative platform to encourage innovative ideas for remediation.
Do you believe municipalities should have more powers to generate revenue? If so, what would you propose? If not, why not? Maybe The Green Party is committed to ensuring that we're not downloading costs on municipalities, or adding new ones to communities limited property tax base. The Green Party supports a review of the Development Charges Act so that growth pays for itself without unsustainable burdens on property taxpayers. The Green Party is committed to responsible stewardship of our natural and financial resources and will promote policies that ensure we live within our means.
Do you support term limits for municipal politicians? Why or why not? No The Green Party supports transparency. Term limits are designed to reduce corruption and favoritism. In a transparent government they should not be necessary. Public support (voters) should be the deciding factor at the municipal level.