MacIsaac enters the fray in South Stormont

Jennifer MacIsaac, now a candidate in the South Stormont municipal election, speaks to the media in March 2017 after the Upper Canada District School Board's decision ending high school grades at Rothwell-Osnabruck in Ingleside. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

LONG SAULT — A community activist who passionately fought to prevent the closure of Rothwell-Osnabruck High School, Jennifer MacIsaac has entered the municipal election fray in South Stormont.

The Ingleside resident went public with her bid to become a township councillor when she filed nomination papers yesterday, June 25, at the municipal office in South Stormont — becoming one of several vying for spots at the council table in the Oct. 22 election.

MacIsaac was a member of the Accommodation Review Committee that delivered a report to the Upper Canada District School Board on its plans to consolidate schools in the region. She was a critic of the process and the included closure of the secondary-level grades at Rothwell-Osnabruck school in her community. She was part of a contingent of “Save South Stormont Schools” supporters that later watched in horror as the UCDSB nonetheless voted to close the Ingleside high school attended by both herself and her son — consolidating those grades into rural Tagwi Secondary School in Avonmore.

“It’s official, this afternoon I filed my nomination to run for Councillor in this fall’s South Stormont election!” MacIsaac declared in a Facebook post yesterday, receiving over 200 thumbs-ups in barely 14 hours.

The candidate has been involved for years as an organizer of the Ingleside Firefighters’ Association Challenge — which will change things up this July 21 as a 60th anniversary shindig without an actual competition this time around.

The married mother of two works at the Seaway International Bridge.

She has told Nation Valley News that she intends to see the Rothwell-Osnabruck campus put to greater public use again, noting that South Stormont taxpayers had invested in the school’s Lancer Centre, now “under-utilized.”

“The Lancer Centre is a great asset to our community and much more than just an old school gym,” says MacIsaac. “Given that our residents and local businesses helped fund the facility, I would like to see our community regain access to what is one of the nicest facilities in SDG. Currently rentals can be quite expensive and even if one is willing to pay, restrictions are put on as to what time of day and what time of year it can be rented.”

“Since the closure of R-O Secondary, this facility is not used at all by students during the day unless there is a planned special event,” adds the candidate. “With the Ministry’s interest to make schools community hubs, it seems logical that we petition them to regain access to this facility.”

On the hustings for the next few months in advance of the election, MacIsaac intends to “work hard to understand the needs of the of the people of all of the hamlets of South Stormont.

“Sometimes certain areas have been overlooked and I feel it’s important to put in the time to speak to the people and understand their needs so that pertinent issues can be brought back to the Council table.”


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