Tracy Kwissa Municipal Election Candidate Profile
Name: Tracy Kwissa
Municipality: Carleton Place
Position Sought: Councillor
Currently Retired or Working (where?): Employed at Lanark County Community and Restorative Justice in Perth as Coordinator of the VIVA Lanark County project (Volunteers Initiating Vitality Across Lanark County), employed at PLEO (Parent’s Lifeline of Eastern Ontario) as a peer group facilitator to provide support to parents with children up to age 24 who are facing mental health and/or addiction challenges. Freelance writer for DivorceForce.com a support forum for people who are going through or have recently been divorced.
Former Elected Positions/Terms if applicable: N/A
Community volunteer experience (service clubs, local committees, fundraising, etc): Survivor representation on the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Advisory Board for Lanark County; Facilitator and Project Coordinator for Survivor Engagement Projects with Lanark County Interval House; Member of the Rural Forums Action Committee for Lanark County; Board Member for Peggy’s House for Men as Survivor representation; Founder of Slut Walk Lanark County (2nd Annual to happen August 23rd in Carleton Place); Member of the ODSP Action Coalition; Member of Believe/Croyez (We can end violence against women) which is group of survivors and advocates from the Ottawa Valley (I am the only representative from Lanark County and from a Rural community) working with other groups selected by the Minister of Women’s Affairs to make recommendations and provide input to aid in the development of a National Strategy to end VAW and gender-based violence; host parent for MIL Homestay hosting international students for 5 years; Member, Treasurer and Poet of LiPS (Lanark County Live Poet’s Society); and competed at the National level at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2017.
Top 3 issues facing your municipality and its residents that council has control or major influence over: Housing, Employment, Tourism
Your solutions/approach to those 3 issues: We need to advocate for more RGI/affordable housing units for disabled, marginalized and senior-aged persons. The amalgamation of LCHC with the County of Lanark, we need to push them to advocate to the Provincial Government to increase funding, so that more units can be built to alleviate the affordable housing shortage. Council must include housing in the budget so when funding becomes available, projects can move forward without delay. This will aid in addressing the dire circumstance of homelessness; we could request that some of this funding be directed to building in temporary shelter beds for those in need of interim housing. These units should not be segregated, but included in/added to new neighbourhoods to destigmatize social housing. We need to actively solicit and attract new and innovative businesses that will bring employment opportunities and pay a livable wage to people that already live in Carleton Place or may be willing to relocate for employment. New employment opportunities will allow people to become empowered and lift themselves out of poverty, bring new tax dollars to support, repair and for the maintenance of new and established infrastructure, and bring consumers to patronize our local stores, restaurants and services. This will bring prosperity to our town. We need to increase our tourism with a strong marketing strategy. We need to market our town as a destination and be sure to provide a positive experience that will create recurrent vacationers and tourists. This strategy must include inviting a hotel chain to build a large hotel/conference centre so that tourists have a place to stay while visiting Carleton Place. They will be more likely to make us a destination and this hotel will provide needed employment opportunities.
Do you own (or have a stake in) or operate a commercial/industrial business in your municipality? (Including vacant development lands or rental units): No.