PROMISE TRACKER: Town Ward candidate guide

Read about the candidates in Town Ward, who they are and what they’ve promised.

Last updated: October 21, 2022

There are five candidates in the running to represent Town Ward through two available council seats. Read about who they are and what they’re promising in our round-up below. The Peterborough Currents team has prepared a short bio of each candidate and a list of all their campaign promises to-date. 

Candidates are listed below alphabetically by last name. Use the links below to navigate quickly.

All promises are drawn from candidates’ public comments and campaign material.

We’ll be updating this page up until the October 24 election as material becomes available. Is there something we’ve missed? Let us know. Email [email protected]

Alex Bierk 

Photo of Alex Bierk

Profile: Alex Bierk grew up in Peterborough, and after some time away returned to open a downtown art studio and raise his young family. According to his campaign website, Bierk has worked with local organizations, the City of Peterborough, local arts institutions and front-line service providers to advocate for a response to the overdose crisis. His platform priorities include the protection of green spaces, accountability and accessibility from City Hall, supporting small businesses and the downtown core, and responding to the overdose crisis and the needs of unhoused community members with a harm reduction lens.

Promises:

  • Bierk promises to create a committee to address homelessness, as well as a winter response plan to fund safe warm spaces. He also advocates for “a plan to be able to use City space/buildings if necessary to keep people alive and safe.”
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire 
  • Bierk pledges to work with community partners to open a local detox facility so that people no longer have to leave their community to access those services.
    Source: Bierk’s campaign website 
  • He promises to form a “drug users union” to engage people who use drugs in community-based solutions and services. He also looks to form a municipal committee on addiction and mental health.
    Source: Bierk’s campaign website  
  • When surveyed by the United Way regarding housing and homelessness, Bierk expressed support for creating 484 new affordable housing units. And he supports a long-term plan for building more affordable housing.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire and Bierk’s campaign website  
  • Bierk does not support tent evictions. He promises to push for sanctioned encampments and a low-barrier shelter system. He pledges to continue funding for the overflow shelter.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire and Bierk’s campaign website
  • Bierk advocates for “managed development” saying “the municipal government [should] be more assertive when it comes to zoning and building regulations.”
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey 
  • Bierk wants to audit all City property to determine what can be used for public housing.
    Source: Bierk’s campaign website
  • When considering climate change mitigation, Bierk supports planting more trees, investing in local food security, enforcing anti-idling by-laws, and supporting the downtown.
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • Bierk wants to protect and enhance our existing parks and green spaces. He pledges to “say no once and for all to the Parkway through Jackson Park and over the Parkway Trail.”
    Source: Bierk’s campaign website 
  • When considering climate action, Bierk promises to join the Climate Caucus if elected. He also promises to collaborate and tap into local expertise.
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • Bierk also promises to reduce emissions within municipal services, by adopting “clean technology” in for the public transit bus fleet and City vehicles. He promises to “commit to net zero emissions in City-led developments and buildings.”
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • Bierk advocates for the “smarter use of police resources and a greater emphasis on social services that really address people’s needs.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action, and the role of municipalities, Bierk promises to support the Community Economic Development Initiative, “which in recent years has brought several municipalities in our region together with Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations in a formal economic partnership.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • In regards to annexing land from adjacent townships, Bierk points to his “preference for urban density over sprawl.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A.  
  • Bierk promises increased investment in the downtown, which would include investments in arts and culture, supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, and “making it a little harder for absentee landlords and developers who contribute little to the community.” He would also adopt tax incentives to encourage small businesses to relocate downtown.
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Bierk would support incentives to businesses that adopt “climate-forward policies and practices.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A 
  • If elected, Bierk would push for urban density in the downtown core, he said, “that would entail a higher degree of mixed residential/commercial properties.” He would advocate for more pedestrian-friendly and walkable infrastructure downtown, and offer incentives for Trent and Fleming to be part of a downtown revitalization effort.
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A and Bierk’s campaign website
  • On his website, when discussing “a more responsive, engaged city government,” Bierk promises to “reduce the barriers to social services; limit waste and duplication in the delivery of crucial programs and supports; insist on transparency and accountability from members of City Council and municipal staff; increase community engagement by holding neighbourhood pop-ups, community meetings, town halls, etc.; and encourage the growth of a community-led coalition to hold municipal leaders accountable.”
    Source: Bierk’s campaign website
  • Bierk supports making the city’s artist grant program permanent and adding an arms-length peer-review to the grant process. He also supports creating programs to curb gentrification.
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • Furthermore, Bierk promises to push for “a radical revitalization of the downtown that will include an unprecedented investment in the arts community and in individual artists – as the foundation for a thriving, future-oriented community.”
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • When surveyed by Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee (P-BAC), Bierk expressed support for mixed-use developments and increasing density; spending $1.5 million per year on implementing the cycling network; the city’s current sidewalk policy, which mandates sidewalks on both sides of all streets; improving winter maintenance of walkways; and installing bike racks on buses.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He also agreed to pursue gold designation from the Ontario Share the Road Cycling Coalition in the next five years. He endorses increased funding for local organizations that deliver cycling education programs.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He supports the implementation of the “Complete Streets” design framework, which provisions infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists, on all city roads, including planned reconstructions on sections of Brealey Drive, Sherbrooke Street and Parkhill Road.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • Bierk promises support for road projects that aim to eliminate serious injuries, including support for traffic calming infrastructure, public engagement and making 30 km/h the default speed limit on residential roads.
    Source: P-BAC survey

Brian Christoph

Photo of Brian Christoph

Profile: Brian Christoph grew up in East City, before leaving to pursue education. Studying at the University of Regina, Christoph began a career in workers rights, acting as a union organizer for employees in the Saskatchewan hotel industry. Since returning to Peterborough over a decade ago, Christoph has been working downtown to assist unhoused community members with “fill[ing] out forms… [to] apply for assistance such as mental health programs, for example.” As quoted by the Peterborough Examiner, Brian Christoph is running “for the people” and will prioritize housing, transit and responding to the mental health and addiction problems facing unhoused community members.

Promises:

  • When surveyed by United Way on the issue of housing and homelessness, Christoph expressed support for adding 484 affordable housing units to the City’s stock by 2029.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • Christoph also advocated for a halt to tent evictions, and promised further funding for the overflow shelter.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • In regards to additional housing needs, Christoph promises to “support rent control, cap on rent and tiny homes.”
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • Christoph promises to push for a return to the hub-and-spoke model of bus routes.
    Source: Christoph’s campaign website
  • Christoph would push for rezoning land “in the heart of the city” for housing and prioritizing housing for people with disabilities and for seniors.
    Source: Christoph’s campaign website
  • Christoph wants to reduce Peterborough’s carbon footprint by electrifying buses and taxis, and retrofitting city hall.
    Source: Christoph’s campaign website
  • He supports making the city’s artist grant program permanent and adding an arms-length peer-review to the grant process. He also supports creating programs to curb gentrification.
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • When surveyed by P-BAC, Christoph expressed support for improving winter maintenance of walkways; spending on new sidewalks; and installing bike racks on buses. He does not endorse spending $1.5 million per year on implementing the cycling network nor mixed-use developments that increase density, nor enacting the city’s sidewalk policy that provisions sidewalks on both sides of all roads.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He also agreed to pursue gold designation from the Ontario Share the Road Cycling Coalition in the next five years. He also supports increased funding for local organizations that deliver cycling education programs.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He supports the implementation of the “Complete Streets” design framework, which provisions infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists, on all city roads, including a planned reconstruction on a section of Brealey Drive, but he does not support recontrustruction on sections of Sherbrooke Street and Parkhill Road.
    Source: P-BAC survey

Vickie Karikas 

Photo of Vickie Karikas

Profile: Vickie Karikas, owner of the Speak Easy Cafe since 2010, was born and raised in the north end of Peterborough. Karikas states on her website that she has a long history of philanthropy, which includes the implementation of a “suspended meal program” at her restaurant that aims to bridge gaps for those in need in and around the downtown core by giving free meals. According to her website, Karikas’s platform planks include transit, the opioid crisis and community care, public engagement and transparency, supporting a vibrant downtown, the environment, and housing initiatives.

Promises:

  • When interviewed by the United Way on the issue of homelessness, Karikas stated that she “could not in good conscience support [the Wolfe St overflow shelter] moving forward.”
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • That being said, Karikas would support “the existing shelters and PATH sleeping cabin program.” 
  • Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • In regards to affordable housing, Karikas commits to supporting 484 new units of affordable housing. She also does not support tent evictions.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • Karika promises to join the Climate Caucus, if elected.
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • If elected, Karikas would push for a full operational review of the Peterborough Transit routes.
    Source: Karikas’ campaign website
  • If elected, she “will ask for a new market analysis and review of the Central Area Master Plan and the Municipal Cultural Plan.”
    Source: Karikas’ campaign website
  • When surveyed by P-BAC, Karikas expressed support for mixed-use developments and increasing density; spending $1.5 million per year on implementing the cycling network; the city’s current sidewalk policy, which mandates sidewalks on both sides of all streets; improving winter maintenance of walkways; and installing bike racks on buses.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • She also agreed to pursue gold bicycle from the Ontario Share the Road Cycling Coalition in the next five years. She endorses increased funding for local organizations that deliver cycling education programs.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • She supports planned reconstructions on sections of Brealey Drive and Sherbrooke Street, but not Parkhill Road.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • Karikas promises support for traffic calming infrastructure as well as making 30 km/h the default speed limit on residential roads, and using an evidence based approach to traffic safety.
    Source: P-BAC survey

Joy Lachica 

Photo of Joy Lachica

Profile: Joy Lachica is a former teacher, union leader and politician, who moved to Peterborough from Toronto. She was a classroom teacher, and then worked in union organizing with the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. Lachica ran as the NDP candidate for Peterborough–Kawartha in the last federal election. In an interview with the Peterborough Examiner, she promised to support students and families if elected. According to Lachica’s website, her platform priorities include climate change action, housing, food security, innovation and social enterprise, and green renewal.

Promises:

  • In regards to housing and homelessness, Lachica supports adding 484 new units to the City’s affordable housing stock and to continued funding for the overflow shelter. She opposes tent evictions.
    Source: United Way Peterborough candidate questionnaire
  • Lachica advocates “eliminating fossil fuel modes of transportation and bringing clean energy fueled passenger and commercial train service back to Peterborough.”
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • If elected, Lachica promises to join the Climate Caucus and supports the use of effective metrics for measurement and accountability in urban sustainability performance.
    Source: For Our Grandchildren candidate survey
  • Lachica promises her commitment to a “just transition” toward a clean economy by “attracting investment for apprenticeships, skills retraining and businesses that bring jobs to make our city better and greener.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Lachica will advance a trash pick-up and prevention program. She would also push for projects that beautify public parks and spaces.
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Lachica advocates for the creation of “a community hub” to foster networks and collaboration. On her website, she writes that the hub would be “a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A and Lachica’s campaign website
  • Lachica supports building more housing units “of all types” and wants to see requirements for “affordable units and public place-making space.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Lachica supports the new Official Plan. She wants to revitalize under-used land in the downtown and “invest in climate-resilient servicing so that these lands can be used for more housing and employment. utilizing the lands within current city boundaries.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • In regards to taking meaningful action towards reconciliation, Lachica would advocate for endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). She also supports “providing resources and funding to build programming for traditional teachings, ceremonies, and commemorations to take place across the community.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Lachica also supports the City of Peterborough becoming a signatory to the Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) accord between local municipalities and First Nations.
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • Lachica promises to “act with urgency to protect and enhance our beloved Jackson Creek and restore this precious blue ribbon into the sparkling jewel of our downtown.”
    Source: Chamber of Commerce Q&A
  • In regards to mitigating climate change, Lachica promises to promote a lifestyle-based urban climate action plan, and immediately develop a strategy for dealing with extreme heat. She would launch neighbourhood-level climate change action plans. She pledges to access funding to promote energy efficiency and shifting from fossil fuel. And Lachica would “create and utilize green infrastructure” to mitigate and prepare for climate disasters.
    Source: Lachica’s campaign website
  • She supports making the city’s artist grant program permanent, increasing funding and adding an arms-length peer-review to the grant process. She also supports creating programs to curb gentrification.
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • Furthermore, Lachica promises that she is “committed to supporting funding, policies, and opportunities to ensure the arts economy thrives and reaches across the region” as well as initiatives that support BIPOC, Deaf and LGBTQ+ artists and artists with disabilities.
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • When surveyed by P-BAC, Lachica expressed support for mixed-use developments and increasing density; spending $1.5 million per year on implementing the cycling network; the city’s current sidewalk policy, which mandates sidewalks on both sides of all streets; improving winter maintenance of walkways; and installing bike racks on buses.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • She also agreed to pursue gold designation from the Ontario Share the Road Cycling Coalition in the next five years. She endorses increased funding for local organizations that deliver cycling education programs.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • She supports the implementation of the “Complete Streets” design framework, which provisions infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists, on all city roads, including planned reconstructions on sections of Brealey Drive, Sherbrooke Street and Parkhill Road.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • Lachica promises support for road projects that aim to eliminate serious injuries, including support for traffic calming infrastructure and public engagement. She also endorses making 30 km/h the default speed limit on residential roads.
    Source: P-BAC survey

Dean Pappas 

Photo of Dean Pappas

Profile: Dean Pappas is an incumbent candidate in Town Ward, having first been elected in 2006. His family has owned and operated Pappas’ Billiards, a downtown bar and restaurant, since 1905. According to his website, Pappas’s campaign priorities are housing, homelessness and addiction, action on climate change and the environment, arts and heritage, diversity, enacting the transportation plan, and strengthening “the central area.”

Promises:

  • Pappas pledges to continue his support of the cultural sector. Furthermore, he promises that he “will continue to champion the cultural sector at City Council.”
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough and Pappas’ campaign website
  • Pappas pledges to “work with the community” on ongoing development projects.
    Source: Pappas’ campaign website
  • Pappas supports making the city’s artist grant program permanent and adding an arms-length peer-review to the grant process. He also supports creating programs to curb gentrification.
    Source: ArtsVote Peterborough
  • When surveyed by P-BAC, Pappas expressed support for mixed-use developments and increasing density; spending $1.5 million per year on implementing the cycling network; the city’s current sidewalk policy, which mandates sidewalks on both sides of all streets; improving winter maintenance of walkways; and installing bike racks on buses.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He also agreed to pursue gold bicycle designation from the Ontario Share the Road Cycling Coalition in the next five years. He endorses increased funding for local organizations that deliver cycling education programs.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • He supports the implementation of the “Complete Streets” design framework, which provisions infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists, on all city roads, including planned reconstructions on sections of Brealey Drive, Sherbrooke Street and Parkhill Road.
    Source: P-BAC survey
  • Pappas promises support for road projects that aim to eliminate serious injuries, including support for traffic calming infrastructure and public engagement. He also endorses making 30 km/h the default speed limit on residential roads.
    Source: P-BAC survey

This article is part of Peterborough Currents’ coverage of the 2022 municipal election. We will update this tracker a few times ahead of election day on October 24. Is there something we’ve missed? Let us know. Email [email protected]

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