Darryl Wolk

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Newmarket losing jobs. Others under threat. We need to focus on Newmarket's economy and local job creation for a change!

Posted by Darryl Wolk on June 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Newmarket Council is already in lame duck mode and most of the business associated with this term of Council will wrap up by the end of the month. Normally at this time, Newmarket Council would go on break for their summer vacations. Some would disappear for weeks while most of us go to work. This year is different because it is an election year. It is important to put local jobs on the agenda for a change. Newmarket has been dead last within York Region in job creation and economic development for the last ten years. While the rest of York Region is booming, we are losing jobs in Newmarket. Markham, Aurora, Richmond Hill, Stouffville and Vaughan are open for business while Newmarket Council is sleeping at the switch. We can do much better supporting our local economy in Newmarket.


This Council has wasted a term with personality conflicts and kangaroo courts while Newmarket Councillors are neglecting the issues that matter to you. John Taylor listing the type of car he drives, how he powers is home and take your bike to work day as some of his main Council accomplishments demonstrates why he rarely wants to discuss his record. Newmarket Council has had time on his watch to debate banning the drive-thru, banning water bottles, banning shark fin soup, banning the circus and placing restrictions on the Grey Goat. An intense debate took place on backyard chickens with no decision made in the end. Hours of staff and Council time was spent on a sign by-law that hassles small business. Taxi companies are some of the town's most vocal critics of our Council. They are one of many sectors that argue Newmarket is not a business friendly jurisdiction and that sweeping change is needed. This Council has spent plenty of time finding ways to jack up user fees, increase taxes and create new red tape for our local employers. A CFIB survey proves that Newmarket businesses do not feel they are getting good value for their municipal tax dollars paid. Town staff have shown in reports that industrial property taxes are too high in Newmarket compared to others in the GTA. Major head offices are choosing Aurora over Newmarket because our Council has not gotten in the game. We need a Council that will promote Newmarket as a top place to invest and create jobs. Currently we have a Council that is too busy promoting their own photo ops or embarrassing our town in the mainstream media. Most businesses on Main and Davis have nothing positive to say about this Council and with good reason. The bus system to nowhere has caused St. Clair type chaos in our town. Businesses have gone under on Davis and those left are struggling with no support from Council. Worse, Newmarket Council is enthusiastically jumping into making the exact same mistakes on Yonge Street. Council has also been silent on all day, two way GO Trains. This should be the top public transit and economic development priority in town. Staff and Council economic development efforts have focused on Main Street despite the fact our best economic potential for recruiting large employers is along the 404, Harry Walker Road, Davis Drive and Yonge Street areas. I walked down Pony Drive in our employment district and saw that Newmarket Council isn't even supporting these businesses with side walks despite the high taxes paid. It is a disgrace how this Council has treated our business community. I hope to bring some private sector business experience, business education and a business friendly approach to Council that does not exist right now. We need a Regional Councillor in Newmarket focused on creating local jobs in town. We do not need to be told to ride our bikes to work in Markham, Toronto and Mississauga. We do not need to pay more gas tax, new road tolls or champion tax increases on Newmarket commuters for projects like Davis Drive that my opponent John Taylor supported at York Regional Council. We do not need another wasted term focused on the wrong priorities.


Things are not well in Newmarket in terms of our local economy. Flextronics is moving to Mexico. Magna will not invest in any new plants within Ontario and have already cut jobs in Newmarket. Snap-on Tools shut down. Jobs were lost at Tenatronics. R. Reininger & Son Limited sits vacant at Twinney Drive and Harry Walker. The Halton Recycling Plant was chased out of town and sits vacant. York Region Police headquarters moved from Newmarket to Aurora. Businesses such as Persechini Fitness have closed and many others on Davis are on the bubble. Once York Region builds their new tower at Yonge and Eagle, the Tannery will be close to empty. The federal government already moved their service centre from the Tannery to EG and the provincial government shut down the service centre in the Tannery. Allied International Credit, TS Tech Canada Inc, Mars Bar, Rockets (CeDe Candy), Exco Technologies, Upper Canada Mall, Magna International and Cintas are some of our largest private sector employers in town. Treefrog, XE, Canada Plastics, Jet Ice, Technicore Underground Pearson Canada and Scholastic Canada are some of the many successful companies we should celebrate in town. On Thursday the Liberals won a majority government and Newmarket-Aurora elected Chris Ballard as MPP. I believe Tim Hudak's promise to cut 100,000 public sector jobs played a role in Jane Twinney's defeat. Southlake Regional Health Centre, York Region, Town of Newmarket, York Region Police, RCMP Headquarters, York Region District School Board, York Catholic School Board, Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority and Central York Fire Services make up large public sector employers in Newmarket. I was surprised to see my opponent John Taylor support (or stay neutral) a PC plan during the provincial election that would put Newmarket's local economy and Newmarket jobs at risk.


Newmarket Council's Record on economic development and job creation is a disaster. It is unfortunate because the rest of York Region is booming and Newmarket is being left behind. We have to do a better job competing with our GTA neighbours. We are not making much effort to recruit major employers or corporate offices to town. We are not reducing red tape, fees, industrial taxes or unnecessary by-laws as I support. Nobody has noticed the vacancies increasing on Harry Walker, Pony and in our industrial area. I will focus on job creation in the Harry Walker area. I also will attempt to acquire Woodbine for a business park and job zone. I also support Newmarket acquiring Green Lane for a post-secondary campus. Nobody has bothered to ask if we are getting any return for taxpayers on the economic development grants we are handing out to Main Street. Council is focused on all the wrong issues and has done next to nothing to support small business, large employers or our local economy in Newmarket.  I see no positive promotion outside of Newmarket by Council to talk about our town. In fact Newmarket coverage on CTV, Global TV, Sun News Network, AM 640, Newstalk 1010, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and National Post have made our town Council look foolish and scared investment away.  I will work hard to champion business interests in Newmarket. I believe I can do a far better job representing our town, promoting our local economy and creating quality local jobs.


Every day, I meet people looking for work. I feel bad when I meet a young person who has a degree, student debt but can't find a quality job in their field. I understand the experiences of young people who want to be home owners but can't crack into our housing market and are forced to live with their parents. I know what it is like to be a small business owner trying to keep up with increasing costs while being squeezed by clients to compete on price. I have met many families who are working jobs but living below the poverty line. I have met middle aged workers laid off from the factory and not sure if they have the skills to find quality work that will prove for a secure retirement. I have met seniors who can't afford to retire and are working into their seventies. I have feel for the New Canadian that came to this country based on a dream but find themselves in a nightmare as their foreign credentials are not recognized and they struggle to get by. We all know that poverty is increasing in the 905 as more people in town rely on services such as the Newmarket Food Pantry and Inn from the Cold. In government relations, few people have come up to me asking to increase welfare or programs that support those living in poverty. Most just want a good job. A strong economy allows people to pay taxes and support the services government pays for. A weak economy increases the cost of support services while reducing government revenues through taxes collected. In Newmarket, a strong local economy would take pressure off residential property taxes if we could grow our economy and increase the amount of businesses located her and as a result tax revenue from property taxes they would pay. Local jobs will be a top priority for me. I would welcome any suggestions on how we can better support small business and large employers in town. Let's make local jobs and our economy a priority for a change. Let's focus on your issues for a change!


Thank you for reading...


Darryl Wolk

Newmarket Regional Councillor Candidate