AboutCameron Ells is a civil engineer, environmental consultant with 20 years experience in the private sector. He has worked (as a volunteer, he notes) on public-private partnerships. He describes himself as "pragmatic, constructive and persuasive." He also grows grapes.
Goals and Issues
Cameron, like all the candidates downtown, wants to "get it right" on the development front. For him, this means mixed use "commercial-residential-institutional" neighbourhoods. He wants to contribute to "good quality infrastructure development and encourage "broad based application of life cycle asset management." He wants more mass transit and less crime. He wants to finish HRM by Design and Tax Reform - though he does not give either an "unqualified endorsement." He wants to recycle "brownfield" lands (vacant lots of unused industrial sites) to spur "residential-commercial-institutional" growth. Finally he wants you to "live, love and laugh" in a "sustainable style."
On the record
(From Tim Bousquet's Sept. 25 article "Four way fracas")
"It's a four-year problem-solving contract," says Ells of winning a council seat. "Twenty years in the private sector---engineering and environmental consulting---it's essentially professional problem solving: go out and sort out the issues, find background information, bring some recommendations or conclusions to the table."Being on council "isn't like being a king," he says. "But there are opportunities to be a useful influence on folks, especially if you have the capacity to put forward a persuasive argument and have others agree with you and work together."He'll bring a environmental perspective to council, says Ells, especially on issues related to climate change. He wants a "sophisticated integration of climate change adaptation into the municipal decision making." Ells is supportive of tax reform, believing that "there should be an award" for people living in energy efficient urban districts. Asked if that means taxes will have to increase for suburbanites and those living in rural areas, Ells says that he "was focusing on District 12.""There's worse problems to have," than having lots of developments coming before council," says Ells. "The challenge of getting it right is what's there." But are the developments that have been recently approved "right"? "I think that's probably better for those folks that have been close up and studying it to answer that," replies Ells. "I can't really comment on the decisions that has made in the past, because she has sat down and looked at and studied these projects in a way that I haven't. With respect to what might happen in the future, or if the two of us were looking at the same information at the same time, would I come to a different opinion? It's possible. Might. Might not."
Cameron is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (APENS); a Life Member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science (NSIS); President of the Environmental Services Association of Nova Scotia (ESANS); founding member (to 2000) of Atlantic PIRI Committee; and founding member of ClimAdapt and Climate Canada Atlantic. Cameron says he has "never belonged to, contributed to, campaigned for, or been affiliated with a political party."
SourceWebsite, responses to Coast Questionnaire.