Hey, I’m Devin Labranche and I’m aiming to make a run at Mayor of the Greater City of Sudbury. I was born at the old Sudbury hospital and have spent the majority of my life within Greater Sudbury. I went to high school at College Notre Dame and I acquired my degree in Environmental Studies at Laurentian University while at the same time contributing to my community as a volunteer firefighter. I have spent the last 5 years of my professional career as a Realtor. Although I am 29- years old I have spent my twenties extensively exploring 41 countries and hundreds of cities and towns, looking at the city planning, infrastructure and cultures in 5 continents. If elected mayor you can count on an honest, fiscally responsible, forward thinking, pro business and collaborative voice to represent your city and deal with the problems it faces head on as opposed to skirting the issues. I hope for your support in this coming election!
Reduction in Salary
In 2018 when the current mayor of Sudbury took office he made approximately 143,000$ and today he brings in approximately 229,000$. I don’t think it’s fair that the mayor’s salary has increased by 60% over 4 years and that someone in that position makes more than the mayor of Toronto. Under my leadership I will be taking a salary reduction to 145,000$. It’s time that politicians stop leveraging their power to gouge their constituents for personal gain.
Fix infrastructure and the Asset deficit
Since 2016 we’ve added approximately 1 billion dollars in asset deficit. It’s due time that we take care of our roads, municipal buildings and other assets that the city owns before the damage gets amplified and the cost gets much higher due to negligence and time. Under my leadership that’s where we will be investing our money.
Cancel Junction East
This downtown estimated 98.5 million dollar library and cultural center was initially priced back in 2017 at 46 million. If we proceed with this I have no doubt the price will increase further and to what end? When the people talk about downtown it isn’t about culture, the need for more literature and art. Our core has one of the worst problems in the entire province that’s gotten so out of hand that most people refuse to do business downtown. It’s time we concentrate on changing the image of downtown and attracting businesses and the people who live in Sudbury to go downtown again. Not build an overpriced cultural center. If elected mayor I will Cancel the Junction East project.
Work towards taking down the Crosses for Change and build a Monument
It is my intention to build a monument in honor of the loved ones lost in the opioid crisis. If we cannot put the vote through or find the funding I will support that they stay up till a time when we can fund this endeavor. When we do build this I will see to it that the crosses stay up till a time when construction is completed. I also think it’s important that the families who have those crosses up have a say in the design. Thus it is my intent to have them to be as involved as they would like the design. Furthermore the design should allow each family who would like to add either a plaque or object in honor of their loved ones. It’s important to look at this, as these crosses will eventually be taken down and I think we need to make sure that these families and the crisis aren’t overlooked or forgotten. Also this opportunity to further the province for funding and change with the opioid crisis that has taken us by storm the last few years. Let’s transition these crosses to a monument and a strong message for change.
What we can do for the opioid crisis
This crisis has hit North America in a hurry and it’s been hitting harder than ever with the mental health woes of Covid-19 and the challenges that have come with that crisis. Can the city fix the opioid crisis? The short answer is no. Other levels of government have failed to provide adequate rehabilitation centers to take care of the people. What we can do however is work on solutions to give people hope. We work with private as well as governmental organizations for more funding for jobs, mental health and other programs to make things better. I wish there was a simple fix for this but if I said as much that would make me a liar. As mayor you won’t get lip service, you’ll get facts and realities and this isn’t an easy fix but I intend to make quick progress with cleaning up the needles and making an immediate change in the downtown core.
Dealing with Homelessness
This crisis comes hand in hand with the opioid crisis, economic crisis and the mass migration from the south. The city doesn’t have the means to deal with this crisis. It’s just the reality. Here’s a real solution: we allow private entities and individuals in the community to take a leadership role where the city doesn’t get in the way of unsanctioned homeless shelters but works with them. Where we find quick solutions so that the homeless aren’t living in tent shanty towns. Missteps from the Mayor and council is why we had a winter tent city in the city core and without allowing people to take their community back into their own hands we’re doomed to repeat the past. Under my leadership I will expedite movements, ideas and actions by the people to deal with problems and promote the leaders in the community and not shut them down.
Sudbury is one of the largest municipalities in the entire province covering a space of 3228 square kilometers. This area has several different communities with unique needs and ideas on how to improve their own communities. Under my leadership I will redistribute power back to the outlying communities. It’s become apparent that for many issues the solutions would be best served being dealt with by my leaders and elders that want to be more involved. Whether it be events, tendering contracts or ways to allocate funds to improve certain aspects of life. Will slowly and responsibility see to it that power is redistributed so that you have more say in what happens in your community.
Weekend Walk on Street Downtown
Downtown doesn’t need millions of dollars of investment to bring it to life. What we need is most of Duhram street to be shut down on weekends year round for the public to enjoy restaurants, vendors, entertainment and other various activities that will draw people into downtown and get them excited about all the culture and northern hospitality we have to offer. There’s a real opportunity here for businesses and community leaders to carve out something truly exciting here. The way to bring downtown to life is to give more opportunity for people to make it so. Under my leadership we will give more opportunity for a vibrant downtown. A downtown people are excited to spend the day exploring all it has to offer and we make it easy for businesses and creators to temporarily set up shop. I’ve seen this in most cities and towns internationally. It’s time Sudbury takes this basic cost effective idea and makes downtown a destination to be.
What’s going on with the Arena
The Arena has been a point of contention for the community for some time now. Here’s my plan, I would like to see a new deal with our private partners. I do not want to spend a massive amount of money on this. With transparency and tact we will negotiate for a new arena at a new location. If we cannot get a deal that’s fair and in the best interest of the community I will not hesitate to refurbish the one downtown. I negotiate deals for a living, let me lead the charge to get you the best one possible and let’s get it done in under a year!
Time to tear down the old hospital or develop it
In 2010 the old hospital was sold to panoramic properties. Not much happened till 2019 when the decision was made to make it Canada’s largest mural. The truth is that it stands as embarrassment for most people in the community. When the decision was made to paint the hospital it was akin to putting lipstick on a pig. It’s time it comes down or gets developed. Under my leadership I will work towards a synergy between city and panoramic to build the area into something the community can be proud of. It’s been 12 years of inaction. The community deserves better and with me at the helm you’ll get exactly that.
Transparency and Stern Leadership
It has become apparent that it’s hard to move forward with policy and that there’s a lack of transparency in the city’s dealings. Moreover where money is being invested. Under my leadership you can expect complete transparency in my intentions as well as the processes of where we’re investing for the city’s future. I will take a firm stand on conflicts of interests and furthermore see to it that the public is very aware of what’s happening within council. It’s time for city council to band together with common cause to stop the gridlock and move forward.
Support and allowing our workers to speak freely
It has become apparent to me that our biggest asset in finding efficiencies in this city is to unmuzzle our workers. Never have I heard so many great ideas on how to be better in our city! Under my leadership we will do exactly that. I will introduce quarterly public town halls solely for our workers to speak freely and learn from their collective experience. I support our workers and I see their value and it’s about time we recognize it.
It’s time to change the way we do permits and development fees
It’s no secret that the word “permit” has become something of a bad word when it comes to dealing with the city of Sudbury. It’s also no secret that the price for permits and development fees has climbed ever higher. Leading to many people quietly doing their own work or simply not taking action to improve on their property or even build what they intended. Under my leadership we’re going to decrease the prices for permits and development fees as well as increase the efficiency in which they can be acquired. It’s time to let the people build this city forward in a responsible manner and not cringe when it comes to dealing with the city on matters on their own property.
Let’s bring business and jobs to Sudbury
As Sudbury’s population grows so does the opportunity for new businesses, more jobs and the expansion of current local enterprises. With the amount of red tape imposed by federal and provincial entities I think it’s time that Sudbury which is the hub of the north works towards more progressive and business friendly practices so that the entire community can grow together. Under my leadership we will listen to feedback from businesses big and small as well as take steps to fast track economic growth and get more good jobs here in Sudbury. Let’s be competitive, bold and benefit from growth and the arrival of new business.
Investigating Industrial and Commercial tax rates
When it comes to Industrial and Commercial tax rates it’s no secret that we are not competitive with our municipal neighbors making it harder for businesses to expand here in Sudbury as well as pulling potential jobs and new businesses away from Sudbury. Under my leadership we will investigate these rates to be more competitive as well as set up better consultation for businesses looking to start up or expand.
Time to pay off our debt, work towards a higher accreditation rating and build.
Since the last council took charge we have accumulated 355 million dollars in additional debt. That is unacceptable, under my leadership we will better balance the budget and produce more revenue by the end of my 4 year term as well as pay off some of our debts and in the process for a better accreditation rating so that if we ever need to take on further debt it will be cheaper. The way forward will be to allow developers and builders to get homes built so that we can then collect taxes. As well as to speed up the process of getting severances done for more development. We have a provincial housing crisis and working people want to move to Sudbury. Let’s make that happen.
I have never in my life heard somebody tell me that they have come to Sudbury from out of town to experience our core. Although pivotal to our community and its prime location to gather for drinks and culture it’s not what we’re known for. The future of tourism in our city is on the outskirts. Between fishing, quadding, hiking, watersports, snowmobiling, camping, hunting, mudding and countless other adventures that’s why outside of events people come to our city. Under my leadership we will not only promote the outskirts but work with the outlying communities to organize events surrounding these activities to draw out the community and over time the province, country and perhaps beyond. Through this it will encourage business, community and our northern culture.
Taking federal and provincial synergy to the next level
A big part of running a city is the synergy with the province as well as with the federal government. It’s imperative to be consistently and very publicly talking about how each entity can be helping each other based on governmental goals and to leverage everyone’s vision so that our community can mutually benefit from programs and funding from those entities. If elected mayor I will be very active in communicating with our MP and MPP to take advantage of anything Sudbury can use to better the community as a whole. We are the hub of the north and we’re ripe for investment from the province and federal government. Let’s be loud about it. We pay a lot in taxes and the money shouldn’t all go down south.
The importance of our Francophone community and culture.
Our city hosts a population where over 25% identify French as their mother tongue and where 38% identify as bilingual. As most know this number used to be higher and throughout the country the number of French language speakers is slowly decreasing. Under my leadership I will work with the school boards, francophone community and other leaders to showcase French culture, create events and ensure that this culture the community has grown up with has a strong place in Sudbury’s future.