Where I Stand
by Andrea Buendia
Markham and its Municipal Government
Markham is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Ontario, home to over 332,000 people covering 212 square kilometres of land. More than 400 companies are headquartered in Markham due to a well defined transportation and communication network, high quality facilities, a diverse and highly educated labour force and pro-business environment. Also, Markham is Canada's most ethnically diverse community.
Though I think Markham is already a wonderful place to live in, I think Markham could be better community with the the right municipal government because they would listen to the people and help improve Markham. Municipal governments are local authorities put together by the provinces and territories. They provide services that impact the daily lives of people living in the community in numerous ways since they are responsible for police and fire departments, streets and roads, water and sewage, transit, recreation, community centres, parks, waste management, etc. They are able to pay for these because they get revenues by collecting property taxes and recieving grants from the provincial government. Municipal governments include cities, towns, villages and rural or metropolitan municipalities.
Something I want to improve in Markham
Parks are important because are complex elements of a city. They can serve scores of different uses, may be specialized in their function, or can simply provide visual appeal for residents. However they work, they act to define the shape and feel of a city and its neighborhoods. They also function as a conscious tool for revitalization. Also, Parks provide community revitalization, economic development, safer neighborhoods, community engagement, green infrastructure and promte public health and smart growth.
I like that parks have a lot of different activities for different age groups like playground for the toddlers and young kids, outdoor exercise equipment and walk pathways for the elderly, different ball parks for diverse age groups (baseball, soccer, basketball, etc.) and picnic grounds for the family. Despite such, I believe those who manage our parks should put more emphasis in implementing park rules and regulation and should consider more frequent cleaning and maintenance of our parks. It can be noticed recently that our parks have been sore to the eyes. Even with the placement of trash bins, a lot of litter in our parks can be observed. Pet walkers do leave they pet’s litter unpicked. Landscaping needs are left undone. And many more can be said. It can be also suggested that stricter penalties be imposed to those who do not abide by the park rules and regulation.
Community centres are important because they bring local communities together, engage residents in the development of services and activities that encourage participation and engagement, develop inspiring projects that bring together residents, small groups and local businesses, lead activities to improve local environments, work with residents in most need of support to improve social and economic engagement, motivates local residents and businesses to become more involved through volunteering, support the development of community, equips local residents with the skills and motivation to improve their life chances.
I like how Markham's community centres offers diverse activities and programs to keep the residents healthy, physically, mentally, spiritually and intellectually. But, I feel our community centres should improve on proactive marketing, the way the programs are promoted at the moment is very reactive in my opinion. They send out seasonal portfolio of programs that are offered on specific season. Thereafter, they await and expect residents to read through these seasonal portfolios. I believe they ought to find proactive ways to attract more participants onto the offered programs. This will not only benefit the community centres but also get more residents promote an active life style. Also, they should improve on quality of program trainers, I personally can attest to this by enrolling on one of the programs in a community centre near my home. The trainers who conducted the program do not even know the basics of the program they are teaching. It is perceived by most parents as a waste of money. Such losing the aspect of attracting more participants. In addition, community centres should improve on having
more activities and extended operating hours during weekends. It can be noticed that during weekends, community centres closes earlier than usual, when in fact, this is the very time that most parents are free to take their children to programs and activities available in the community centres.
Waste management is important because improperly stored refuse can cause health, safety and economic problems. All living organisms create waste, but humans create far more waste than other species. To prevent damaging the Earth’s ecosystems and maintain a high quality of life for the planet’s inhabitants, humans must manage and store their waste efficiently and safely.
I believe the Waste Management program in our community is good. But it can be recommended to have more frequent collection. It can be noticed that most residents, when they take out their trash during collection days, their bins are full and sometime even more than full. The collectors should also be trained and disciplined properly in a way that they are to dump the garbage collected properly onto the trucks. I often see that when they pick the garbage from our house, they leave some garbage scattered on our front lawn. They even sometimes leave the bins in the middle of our driveway and at worst; they sometimes leave the bins on the road. The bins are sometimes damaged by passing vehicles and can even be a cause of danger for passing drivers.