Westmount vote 2021:
Liz McCallum – District 5
WestmountMag.ca invites Westmount City Council candidates to present their platform
WestmountMag.ca extended an invitation to all eleven Westmount council candidates and those acclaimed, to provide an article about themselves and their platform on a first supplied, first published basis. Here we present Liz McCallum, candidate in District 5.
The articles are reproduced verbatim without corrections.
My name is Liz McCallum. I am running to be your Councillor in District 5.
I am also known as Alice’s mom, from Roslyn School, the Dolphins, Barracudas and the Scouts. I have been an active member of Westmount community associations for many years. I believe in giving back to our community, having volunteered for years on:
- Community Events Advisory Committee (CEAC)
- Chair, Roslyn Elementary School Governing Board
- Vendôme Citizen’s Committee
- Westmount Municipal Association, VP
- Organizer, Artisans Westmount
- Westmount Train Action Group
- Westmount Dolphins & Barracudas
- McEntyre Writing Competition, Judge
Why am I running for Council?
I live in District 5. I have spent most of my life in District 5. When I was a child, I recall my father’s office at 310 Victoria, and being fascinated with the buttons on his phone. My husband, Pierre Brais, and I have raised our family here. I have the railway tracks, the MUHC, the Vendôme Métro and Group Maurice, all behind or beside me. I live on Saint Catherine Street and listen to the heavy traffic 24/7. I was also raised by parents that set an example for their children by giving back to their community, and I am continuing that legacy.
As a resident for District 5 for over 20 years, attending council meetings and volunteering, I have a deep understanding of what is required to move forward and make our district better.
I get it. I live here.
I love living in Westmount. But I believe that it can be better. There are a few key elements that are important to myself and my neighbours.
Despite having a commissioner responsible for traffic and safety, little has changed in District 5. Saint Catherine has no traffic mitigating measures, Roslyn has excessive speeding, Burton is used as a short cut. There was a Traffic Master Plan study completed that reviewed the issues of the citizens. There has been talk of improvements, but no action.
The safety of our community is paramount. Currently there are safety issues at most intersections, where cars tend not to obey the stop signs. And, not having traffic mitigation measures, only exasperates the issue. Our seniors and those with mobility issues, have difficulty managing the disgraceful sidewalks. In speaking with citizens, many have fallen or tripped on the sidewalks and broken wrists. Sidewalks are uneven with asphalt repair jobs, cracks and deteriorating concrete. Why has the Commissioner of Public Safety not addressed these issues?
Let’s make Westmount safer.
- Environmental issues.
I have been honoured to have the Healthy City Project endorses me as Councillor for District 5. Environmental issues are paramount for me. What happened to the Blue Dot Initiative approved by the city? Let’s also bring back the recycling containers/composting at the yards. Perhaps we need a Sustainability Director that reviews all initiatives. As per the COP26 conference, a reoccurring theme, is that we need to act now. For our children and future generations. We need to have electric car charging station is D5, accessible to all. Many of the D5 constituents are purchasing electric cars, and they unable to charge. I strongly believe that having stewardship awards for businesses and citizens will get our community engaged to make effective change.
Let’s make changes now. Not talk.
- Indoor Pool.
I am 100% behind the construction of an indoor pool. As the mother of a competitive swimmer, and an official with the Fédération natation du Québec, I have been involved in the swimming community for years. A year-round indoor pool will benefit so many in our community. It has been shown that swimming is extremely beneficial to the health of Seniors. Competitive teams can train year-round. Learn to swim lessons can be organized for tots. The Westmount Feasibility study was supported by a majority of residents. Where do we stand now?
Let’s move forward and get it done.
- Westmount Park.
Westmount Park is a beautiful, open green space. It is a design legacy in our wonderful city. The Park needs to have investments made in the infrastructure to repair, restore and bring to current standards. But the Park needs to be a park, with beautiful landscaping, well maintained, for us all to enjoy. The Trust for Public Lands states that a ‘park should be simple and not overdesigned. (With) trees, grass, some walkways and a bench…and a good park should allow you to both see and walk through it’. We need keep the park as a park and make it better. Fix the walkways and facilitate accessibility for all. And, as we all move forward, we need to allocate the monies to allow the park to flourish.
Let’s get the park right and get it done, for us all to enjoy!
- PAC & New Building Materials
I am the pound owner of a Category 1 house. However, the process to have permits approved needs to be streamlined. We need to incorporate new sustainable building materials into the planning process. i.e., White Roofs, solar energy etc. Currently, it is challenging to get an answer on Westmount web site, and navigate the ‘system’. Information and assistance need to be provided to citizens in an efficient and personal manner. You have my commitment to work to accommodate resident’s needs to review their plans and details for conformity, at the beginning of the process, and the incorporation of new building materials into the Westmount planning process.
Let’s revisit the process.
- Increased community involvement.
The structure of community volunteering, which contributed so much to the quality of life in Westmount, has been allowed to lapse. The volunteer committees that were such an important thread in the tapestry of Westmount, have been disbanded. This has resulted in a disconnect between residents and the city. How do we re-built community involvement? You have my commitment to improve communications with residents, bring back volunteering, and publish a monthly D5 newsletter. Let’s have a ‘Day of Purpose’ where citizens band together to do purposeful things in our community. i.e., paint our Senior’s houses, clean up the Summit…
Let’s volunteer again.
- Train Station
The Westmount Train station was abandoned in 1984. the City of Westmount acquired the building and land for $1,00 in 2008. The building is currently zoned for a heritage interpretive center or an exhibition centre. I wonder what will become of the magnificent building? I would welcome proposals to move forward.
Let’s get it done!
There is lots to do. So, let’s start by getting things moving and completed. The Indoor Pool, the Greenhouse, the Park, the Sidewalks, the Sound Barrier, the Train Station. As a Corporate Account Executive, I deliver complete projects on time and on budget. My role as your Councillor will be to represent you in the same manner, with integrity, insight, diligence, and transparency. And get things done.
Vote for someone that lives in your neighbourhood, District 5, and that gets it.
Let’s get it done.
And don’t forget. Vote November 7. Vote for your neighbour.
Let move forward, together. Vote Liz. She gets it.
Image: courtesy of Liz McCallumRead other candidate platforms