PROMISE TRACKER: Promises Peterborough’s five mayoral candidates have made on the campaign trail

What have mayoral candidates promised the people of Peterborough? We’re keeping track.

Last updated: October 6, 2022

There are five candidates running to be the next mayor of Peterborough. Read through 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. We will update this page with new material through the campaign period.

Candidates are listed below alphabetically by last name.

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

Is there something we’ve missed? Let us know. Email [email protected]

Henry Clarke

Photo of Henry Clarke outdoors

Profile: After 25 years on city council, Monaghan Ward councillor Henry Clarke is making a run for the mayor’s seat. Clarke entered the race because Peterborough needs “a new and higher standard of committed and determined leadership,” according to his campaign website. Clarke told Peterborough This Week that if elected mayor, his top priority would be tackling climate change. He has outlined his priorities in a series of “policy papers” on his website, focused on climate change and the environment, the downtown, affordable housing and the opioid crisis.

Campaign promises:

  • Clarke says he will convene regular meetings of local agencies “that serve the most vulnerable,” in an effort to better address issues such as “homelessness, panhandling, drug culture, prostitution, litter and crime” in the downtown. 
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • As mayor, Clarke says he would meet regularly with the local MPP and MP to “secure their assistance in accessing funding, particularly for rehabilitative facilities and supportive/recovery housing” and to “seek their support” for his efforts to better coordinate social service delivery downtown.
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • Clarke supports hiring 10 additional police officers and additional support over the next several years, saying that “our success in improving the public perception of the downtown will be determined in part by an effective police presence.” He also supports adding an “additional drug unit to the police service as per their recent request.” 
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper and Peterborough This Week
  • “I am a strong supporter of the street teams comprised of a police officer and a social worker who seek out street people and put them in contact with housing and support services… I helped find the funding to increase the number of teams from one to two. I am committed to finding increasing funding for four teams in order to have a full-time presence in the downtown.”
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • Clarke says he will “revisit” what resources are available to ensure the “cleanliness and attractiveness” of the downtown, including “attention to needle and litter disposal, the condition of vacant properties, street furniture and community improvement plans.”
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • Clarke will also “urge a review of our effectiveness in providing adequate lighting” in the downtown, with a view to deterring crime.
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • As mayor, Clarke would push councillors and city staff to make “a determined effort” to get more people downtown, through holding more festivals, concerts and other events, as a way to create more “positive experiences” that will in turn boost “public perception and public acceptance” of the core.
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • Clarke says he will meet will MPP Dave Smith about the “inter-related challenges” of mental illness, illegal drugs and addiction in the downtown “to have a fresh look at the best course for managing” these problems.
    Source: Clarke’s downtown policy paper
  • Clarke says as mayor he would recommend that city hall encourage more homeowners to add “basement apartments, granny flats and tiny homes” to their properties, by “substantially increasing” public promotion of the fact that Peterborough has amended its zoning rules to allow for secondary suites.
    Source: Clarke’s affordable housing policy paper
  • Clarke says if elected he will “advocate for affordable housing” with the provincial and federal government, “in order to ensure that all opportunities for federal and provincial assistance are explored and acted on.”
    Source: Clarke’s affordable housing policy paper
  • Clarke says he will “urge improvement” to the way “spikes in overdoses and the presence of tainted drugs” are communicated to the public, in concert with Peterborough Public Health, which regularly issues drug poisoning alerts to the public.
    Source: Clarke’s opioid crisis policy paper
  • Clarke wants to see a further expansion of the “crisis intervention team,” which pairs a police officer and a mental health worker to respond to calls involving people experiencing a mental health crisis.
    Source: Clarke’s opioid crisis policy paper
  • Clarke vows to “personally lobby” for a drug rehabilitation facility in the city. He will also “urge the exploration of medically supervised opioid substitution therapies and action to deal with inhalants.”
    Source: Clarke’s opioid crisis policy paper
  • Clarke will support “reasonable increases” in urban density, particularly in the downtown, through new development, including infill. He also supports “a substantial increase in the number of people living downtown.”
    Source: Clarke’s climate change policy paper
  • Clarke said he will “actively promote decision-making” to achieve the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030.
    Source: Clarke’s climate change policy paper
  • Clarke was quoted by Peterborough This Week as having said, “we need a road network that moves vehicles of all sorts about the city freely without undue neighbourhood infiltration. That means either the Parkway or a truly viable alternative.” That sparked criticism from the group Friends of Jackson Park, which opposes extending the Parkway through the park, as a 1940s-era plan once called for. Following that, Clarke wrote in a Facebook post that “I do not, and have never, supported a roadway through, or bridge over, the park.” He continued: “I favour any responsible and viable transportation network that will move vehicles off so many of our side streets, make neighbourhoods more friendly to bicycles and walking, increase public safety, and enhance the convenience and attractiveness of public transit.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week, Peterborough Examiner, Clarke’s Facebook page
  • Clarke will “recommend” that the city install more electric vehicle charging stations and “explore ways to compel new charging stations in new buildings.” 
    Source: Clarke’s climate change policy paper
  • A top issue in this election is securing more development land for Peterborough by annexing part of Cavan-Monaghan Township. Clarke supports striking a deal with neighbouring townships “to share land and services so that we can all move forward, together.”
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • Clarke wants to “take steps” to “virtually eliminate land-filling,” since landfills generate greenhouse gas emissions. 
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • He also wants to expand the amount of electricity Peterborough Utilities generates, so that the city can rely solely on “green energy… without the need for natural gas backup.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Clarke said it would be “wonderful” if Peterborough could reclaim the site of the former General Electric plant for new development and he would try to keep “communication open” with the company and “encourage them to come to some kind of a resolution about that land.”
    Source: Sept. 29 mayoral debate 

Victor Kreuz

A photo of Victor Kreuz indoors

Profile: Victor Kreuz is a former teacher who now relies on Ontario Works, according to Peterborough This Week. He told PTBOToday.ca that it would be “inspiring” if an Ontario Works recipient became mayor, though he is “not counting on winning.” Instead, his main goal is getting his ideas out there, he said. One of those ideas is trying to hold General Electric accountable to clean up any contamination at its former plant on Park Street. Another key focus of his campaign is getting more affordable housing built.

Campaign promises:

  • If elected mayor, Kreuz would try to take General Electric to court to clean up any contamination at its former Peterborough plant so that the land can be used for new development. 
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Kreuz wants the city to play a larger role in building new social housing, and says it should retain ownership of the units it builds. He also opposes the sale of any city-owned real estate.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Kreuz is calling for lower speed limits and the installation of photo radar “wherever” possible. He also says fines for speeding should be calculated based on a driver’s income (although those fines are not set by the city).
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Kreuz is campaigning on “returning” Peterborough Transit “to a system that brings people directly downtown.” It would be supplemented by a “ring route” circling the city’s outer limits.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Kreuz says “more vigilance and better surveillance (on the part of the whole community, not just the police)” is needed to reduce crime.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Kreuz is proposing a “Centre of Excellence” in the research and treatment of addiction, mental illness, and poverty.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • It’s not clear where Kreuz stands on annexing land from Cavan-Monaghan Township. However, he has been critical of an earlier annexation deal that fell through in 2017, saying it would have cost too much for Peterborough taxpayers.
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • Kreuz opposes increasing the police budget. He’d like to see Peterborough move to “another model of policing” where someone trained in de-escalation accompanies officers on calls.
    Source: Peterborough Examiner

Jeff Leal

Photo of Jeff Leal outdoors

Profile: Long-time Peterborough politician and former Ontario agriculture minister Jeff Leal is re-entering municipal politics with a run for the mayor’s seat. Leal was a Peterborough city councillor from 1985 until 2003, when he successfully ran for MPP. He then represented Peterborough at Queen’s Park for the Liberals until 2018, when he was defeated by Progressive Conservative Dave Smith. He was the Liberals’ agriculture minister from 2013 to 2018. The key campaign planks listed on Leal’s website are: “fostering Peterborough as the place to live, work and play,” “effective government,” addressing the affordable housing crisis and “investing in community infrastructure.”

Campaign promises:

  • “Enter into respectful negotiations with Cavan-Monaghan to annex sufficient lands for economic and residential development.” He says he will strike an agreement in six months, according to the Examiner.
    Source: Leal’s campaign website and Peterborough Examiner
  • “Expand the Peterborough Kawartha Economic Development Agency’s reach into national and international markets.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Work with Trent University and other partners to attract new businesses to the Cleantech Commons Research Park.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • Leal says he will develop an addiction treatment centre, as part of a larger plan to promote community safety and well-being. The plan will be developed with community partners and will focus on affordable housing, food security, mental health supports, drug poisonings, and drug trafficking. 
    Source: Leal’s campaign website and Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal said he will continue to support Peterborough’s supervised drug consumption and treatment centre as part of his approach to addressing drug addiction.
    Source: Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal’s approach to addressing community safety and well-being would also include “investing new resources into mental health.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal also pledges to “adequately resource police and their community partners” and to ensure greater “enforcement targeting those who prosper from victimizing vulnerable populations” as part of his community safety and well-being plan.
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Appoint a facilitator to review and examine corporate functions to determine if they are meeting community needs.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Review the existing portfolio system for council to ensure it reflects the needs of our citizens.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • Leal promises to establish five new citizen committees focused on: “business promotion and new investment,” affordable housing and homelessness, land use planning, “community infrastructure (arts, culture, recreation, sports and tourism),” and “environmental protection and climate change.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • The focus of the environmental protection and climate change committee will be to “apply an environmental lens to all we do.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal says he will create a new “one-stop” centre to handle development applications, in order to speed up development approvals and help developers build more affordable housing. It will be called Service Peterborough for Housing.
    Source: Leal’s campaign website and Peterborough This Week 
  • “Build additional affordable homes by leveraging the equity in the city’s social housing stock.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Appoint qualified housing industry individuals to Peterborough Housing Corporation and the newly-proposed government-business enterprise.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • Leal’s campaign website says he will “assess city zoning bylaws to determine the viability of more secondary units and small-scale residential units, etc.” Leal also told Peterborough This Week he would look at “modifying exclusionary zoning criteria” in order to increase housing density. “Exclusionary zoning” refers to rules that allow only single-family homes in certain neighbourhoods, limiting how much housing can be built in a city.
    Source: Leal’s campaign website and Peterborough This Week 
  • “Initiate the process to build a new home for the Peterborough Petes and the Peterborough Lakers.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Expand Peterborough’s recreational facilities, such as pickleball courts, gyms and ice surfaces.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Complete the arena project at Morrow Park and determine the time frame for the aquatics complex.”
    Source: Leal’s campaign website
  • “Enhance the services provided by Peterborough public transit to serve additional riders in a more sustainable, timely and convenient manner,” Leal pledges on his website. He also told Peterborough This Week he would revise transit routes “reflecting users’ needs” and electrify Peterborough Transit’s fleet of buses (as well as public works vehicles).
    Source: Leal’s campaign website, Peterborough This Week and Peterborough Examiner
  • “Implement a transportation system that effectively moves all modes of transportation.” To achieve that, Leal wants to deploy “smart technology to move traffic effectively,” promote active transportation and build “neighbourhoods incorporating access to nearby services.” 
    Source: Leal’s campaign website and Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal pledged to lobby Metrolinx, the provincial agency that runs GO Transit, to establish express bus service between Peterborough and a planned GO train station in Bowmanville. It’s not clear when the station will open, but expanded rail service to Bowmanville is one of the $61.6 billion worth of transit projects the Ford government committed to fund over the next 10 years in this year’s budget.
    Source: Peterborough This Week and Ontario’s 2022 budget
  • Leal told Peterborough This Week he would not re-open the Parkway debate. “Peterborough needs to move beyond the parkway debate and implement a transportation policy designed for today.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week 
  • Leal pledges to “encourage development where public and active transit are promoted.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • If elected, Leal will lobby the federal government for a customs clearing housing and a control tower at the Peterborough Airport.
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • Leal says Peterborough needs to conduct an “inventory of our current state of preparedness” to deal with the impacts of climate change and come up with a “plan to fill the gaps.”
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • If elected, Leal will “continue implementation” of Peterborough’s cycling master plan.
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • Leal says he would also “encourage City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. to establish a new business plan for run-of-the-river [electricity] generation opportunities.”
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • Leal said Peterborough Transit needs to “go back” to a hub-and-spoke route network “with modifications to make sure that buses are available when people need them.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Leal would also “make sure” that Peterborough Transit introduces an app that provides live-tracking of buses so that riders “can find out exactly where buses are in order for them to be picked up.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week

Brian Lumsden

Photo of Brian Lumsden next to City Hall

Profile: Lumsden is a former Bay Street stock broker, who then worked in real estate in France and Toronto before moving to Peterborough, according to the Facebook page “Brianfor Mayorptbo.” Lumsden decided to run for mayor after he promised a woman living in a bus shelter on George Street that he would help her find an apartment, according to his Facebook page. His page says he is “running on a platform based on integrity, truth and transparency.”

Campaign promises:

  • If elected, Lumsden says his first act as mayor would be to find an apartment for a woman named Mama Angel who has been living in a bus shelter on George Street.
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • Lumsden says it is “unacceptable” for city council to hold closed door meetings to “discuss issues about public funds.” “The City council should be open to the public and held accountable for its actions,” he said.
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • Lumsden notes that 2025 will mark 200 years since Peter Robinson led a group of Irish settlers to the Peterborough region. He says he would use that anniversary as an opportunity to “promote reconciliation.”
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • Drugs are having a “devastating impact on our society,” Lumsden says, and there needs to be “better coordination of our resources for education and treatment.” 
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • “As mayor, I will be out on the street, volunteering where I can help and listening to the people of Peterborough,” says Lumsden.
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • Lumsden has suggested he would get rid of a waitlist for rent-geared-to-income housing in Peterborough city and county, which he says is 15 years long. The list is managed by Housing Access Peterborough and is run out of the City’s social services department. “Why do we have a list and why is the government paying to maintain this list,” he said. “People need housing NOW not in fifteen years! The list is the problem, not a solution.” He has not outlined how he would speed up the creation of new rent-geared-to-income housing. 
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • When asked by Peterborough This Week what can be done to stop incidents of violent crime and theft in Peterborough, Lumsden said he will start an initiative called “Thank you for doing your part.” “It’s not just about drugs and violence; it’s about respect; respecting each other and respecting our environment,” he said. He has not provided further details about how the initiative would work.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • A top issue in this election is securing more development land for Peterborough by annexing part of Cavan-Monaghan Township. But Lumsden says Peterborough “must learn to respect and wisely use” the land within its current boundaries. To do that, he proposes cleaning up the site of the former General Electric plant to free it up for development. “We need to … clean up the mess that we have already made; and take strong action against General Electric,” he said. He also wants to “cleanup” the downtown to boost investment.
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page and Peterborough Examiner
  • Lumsden said that if elected he would find out who approved Peterborough CAO Sandra Clancy’s 47 percent pay raise last year. The city’s top bureaucrat saw her salary rise from $203,609 in 2020 to $298,409 in 2021. “Who approved this raise and how can they justify it; I look forward to finding out,” he said.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Lumsden has said Peterborough should work with the provincial and federal governments to spur economic development in the city. “Demand participation on all levels and get this economy working like a well-oiled machine,” he said.
    Source: Peterborough Examiner
  • If elected mayor, Lumsden will “open up the conversations with the large companies who have a direct influence on our housing market and ensure that they are acting in the best interest of the city.”
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • When it comes to development proposals, Lumsden says as mayor he would ensure “all concerns are heard” and “all the facts are revealed” before a project goes ahead. He said development “must benefit the citizens of Peterborough and not just a few. Morrow Park is such a project, all facts and concerns must be revealed.”
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
  • Lumsden says that city “should be considering” the Parkway extension, as well as “the airport development and the train station.”
    Source: Lumsden’s Facebook page
Photo of Stephen Wright outdoors

Stephen Wright

Profile: After four years on city council, Northcrest Ward Councillor Stephen Wright is taking a run at becoming Peterborough’s next mayor. In his campaign launch speech last spring, Wright spoke of the sacrifices his mother made in coming to Canada from Jamaica as a live-in domestic worker and how there were few opportunities for him as a young Black man in Canada. He said as mayor he would work to help those struggling today, whether it be because they can’t find work, can’t afford to buy a home or because they have been impacted by the opioid epidemic.

Campaign promises:

  • Wright wants the city to “continue our investment” in developing the Peterborough airport. This past summer council approved in principle a plan to spend $50.8 million over the next five year to enhance the airport, including offering flights to “sun destinations.”
    Source: Wright’s campaign website and Peterborough Examiner
  • Wright sees an “opportunity to push for GO service to Peterborough,” starting with bus service, but he ultimately wants to see a GO rail line to the city. GO Transit bus service already exists between Oshawa and Peterborough.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright says Peterborough Transit needs to return to a “hub-and-spoke” route network, pending further consultation with transit drivers and the public.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright would not try to revive the Parkway. “For road infrastructure, the Parkway is no longer the solution.” 
    Source: Peterborough This Week.
  • Future road construction needs to be viewed through a “climate-change lens,” Wright has said. He suggested that could include adding more traffic circles, which he says are better for the environment than traditional traffic lights.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright said Peterborough needs to increase density and become less “car-centric.” To achieve those things, he supports more infill development and construction of buildings that are taller than three storeys.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright says it’s “necessary to increase the resources for our police services,” to address “an increase in criminal activity in Peterborough.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright wants to “establish a bylaw compliance department” to ensure “police resources are better utilized.” 
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright has suggested that Peterborough should amalgamate with one or more neighbouring townships, instead of annexing employment lands from Cavan-Monaghan Township. “We have no employment lands in our city and the annexation conversation is now over. It is time to move on and go toward an amalgamation to solve some of our local problems,” he said during a mayoral debate on Sept. 29.
    Source: Sept. 29 mayoral debate 
  • “I would like to make the business start-up process to be easier while still meeting our health, safety and environmental standards,” Wright said.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • He says easing Peterborough’s housing crunch will require a “regional approach,” guided by “strong leadership.” As part of this response, “wrap-around services” will be needed “for those suffering from addiction and mental health problems.”
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Wright sees an opportunity for more affordable housing for those experiencing “situational poverty” to be built on city-owned property, by tendering it out to the private sector. This would allow for “the development of housing options such as co-op housing and housing that can be purchased using funds collected from development charges,” he said.
    Source: Peterborough This Week
  • Peterborough needs a “robust and pragmatic” climate action plan, informed by consultation with experts, according to Wright’s campaign website. Part of that plan would include “housing retrofit programs and the eventual electrification of our commercial fleet.”
    Source: Wright’s campaign website
  • Peterborough’s development approval process “must be streamlined” to housing demand as the population grows, according to Wright.
    Source: Wright’s campaign website
  • Peterborough needs to “expand our long-term vision to include novel creative sectors, innovative clusters, and new opportunities in clean technology and manufacturing,” according to his website.
    Source: Wright’s campaign website
  • If elected, Wright is pledging to hold a summit of local business experts within 90 days of becoming mayor, with the goal of devising a municipal economic development strategy. Source: The Peterborough Examiner.

This promise tracker 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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