Candidate for South Stormont Councillor
Occupation: Student-at-Law at McDonald, Duncan LLP in Cornwall, Ontario (will be a fully-licensed lawyer in 2019 as I have passed the Bar Exam)
1. What prompted your decision to run for Council this time?
I decided to run for Council because I love South Stormont, and I want to be part of helping the area prosper. Although I believe the previous, two councils accomplished many good things over the past eight years, I feel that there are areas that need to be improved upon.
Specifically, Council can do a better job consulting with community members when important decisions are being made. Too often, people have told me that they didn’t know about a particular project until they saw shovels in the dirt. This needs to change.
Further, Council must do a better job communicating to the public the factors it considered when reaching a decision. People have a right to know why their tax dollars were spent in all situations!
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
My education and work experience have helped me acquire a skill-set that would be useful for someone on Council to have. After graduating from Tagwi in 2012, I studied Finance and Economics at McMaster University. Thereafter, I attended Law School at the University of Ottawa. I graduated this May with a Juris Doctor degree.
For the past two and half years, I have also been working at the Law Office of McDonald, Duncan in Cornwall, Ontario.
As result of these experiences, I am very knowledgeable (and have ample, practical experience) in the areas of business, law, and real estate and development. I believe these are very useful areas for a councillor to knowledgeable in.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
One of top issues that the Township is facing is the lack of transportation for our seniors. As our population increases, we will have more and more citizens losing their ability to drive, thus making it harder for them to get into town to buy groceries and other essential goods.
Another big issue is the lack of doctors in the area. As our population increases, we must ensure that there are enough doctors in the area to provide medical services to our new and current residents.
4.Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
Our next council needs to find creative solutions to address the above issues, as well as others that may arise. As a young man in his early 20s, I believe I can help contribute fresh, innovative ideas to the council as a result of the different perspective I would bring to the table.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
I believe my message is being received quite well. At this point, I’ve knocked on the doors of approximately 1,600 homes in the Township trying to get a sense of what issues people in the various communities have. A big part of my campaign is a commitment to talking to community members before big decisions are reached. Most people I’ve talked to have also feel that this is an issue, and I get a sense that they truly believe me when I tell them I am going to change this.
6. Voting begins on Oct. 17 — ironically the day of marijuana legalization. The new council will have to decide soon if your municipality will permit storefront cannabis sales, or opt out altogether. Should your municipality allow pot shops or ‘just say no’?
I think our municipality should consult with all the other Townships in SD&G to ensure that we have a uniform policy throughout the Counties. This policy should reflect the fact that marijuana will, in fact, be legal throughout the country and reflect the fact that many other municipalities will be permitting cannabis sales. However, we must make sure that the policy we put in place addresses the safety concerns that the residents of SD&G have (i.e. making sure the sale of cannabis does not occur in places near schools, arenas, playgrounds, etc.) as well as the concerns of those who plan to use the product.