Mokriy Wants to Stand Up for Grey Highlanders

Terry Mokriy - Grey Highlands Council Candidate

Terry Mokriy – Grey Highlands Council Candidate

First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform in 100 words or less.

My wife Lynn and I live on a farm on Grey Rd 31, just north of Feversham. I am a retired elementary school principal with political experience at the federal and provincial levels.

I am the current Chair of a Community Health Centre in Markdale and have extensive volunteer experience.

I will work to ensure that our citizens are appraised of council decisions and policies; streamline services provided; hold the line on tax increases and stand up for the needs and concerns of our communities.

What do you see as the major issue(s) facing business-owners in Grey-Bruce?

Businesses in Grey- Bruce are facing the reality of an economic base which is in a state of rapid transformation from its traditional agricultural base. We are experiencing an aging population, an out-bound migration of our young and huge changes to the structure and functioning of our family farms. Taxes are a constant and ongoing concern. We do not live in isolation and changes at the provincial and federal levels are echoed in our ability to attract and to retain large scale businesses. Our smaller and our more rural businesses face increased competition from the large multinational “box stores”.

We do not live in isolation and changes at the provincial and federal levels are echoed in our ability to attract and to retain large scale businesses.

The stimulus for economic growth must first come from within. We cannot rely, solely, on federal or provincial assistance. Grey-Bruce is becoming, more and more, a destination for those in the larger urban centres. It is a place where quality of life trumps that of urban and suburban areas. Approximately 40% of Grey Highland ratepayers are non-residents who have lived the “box-store” life.

Business needs to respond to this change and to adapt their marketing, products and services to meet the demands of this segment. An example of this is the “Chef’s Forum” and “100 Km Food Inc” in Grey Highlands. Local agricultural products are brought to a central location in the municipality and then transported and distributed to Chefs in the GTA.

Do you feel economic growth should focus on:

A) Bringing in new business developments, or

B) Encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

Economic growth cannot be dependent upon either bringing in new business or encouraging our small businesses. There needs to exist a blending of both. We need to aggressively market what sets us apart. We need to encourage our agricultural sector to look to unique “out of the box” processing and marketing. Cider, wine, nurseries, local markets and distribution centres are just a few examples.

We need to sit down with small business owners and provide them with alternative strategies and suggestions for improving and increasing their success and market share. We need to educate as to demographic, market and business trends. We need to work cooperatively with landlords and business tenants in order to maintain and to increase profitability for both.

Do you think local business taxes should be:

A) Increased

B) Decreased

C) Maintained at current levels

I would, as would we all, love to see business taxes lowered. Because of a myriad of local and external factors, that probably will not happen. It is therefore incumbent upon our local Councils to seek innovative ways of streamlining services and controlling spending.

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