Candidate for Russell Township Councillor
61 years old
Occupation: Candidate in Russell Township
1. What prompted your decision to run for trustee this time?
I decided to run again because I feel I still have things to do; just getting into the swing of things (there is a steep learning curve when you become a member of Council) and I want to be a voice for my community and have their concerns heard.
2. What are the key strengths you would bring to the job if elected?
My strengths include being a good listener, taking action, being there for the right reasons, age and maturity, and caring about people and my community. I have compassion and empathy which many politicians lack.
3. What are the top few issues that you see facing the Township?
Growing too rapidly, a changing face, losing green space, losing our rural roots. We were voted top 3rd best place to live in Canada and we have to ask ourselves “why?” We are presently a safe community with still a small town feel where people care and look out for one another. If we get too large, we may lose some of that. I am also concerned about the new developments that want to build bigger houses on smaller lots with no room for any green space, trees. We will have a sterile look devoid of nature. Also, supporting our small businesses is extremely important to me and they may get swallowed up by some larger commercial businesses.
4. Is there anything you hope to change in the Township?
Yes, I hope we can come up with a “green” standard and protect our old-growth and urban trees. We should have more tree-lined streets that enhance neighbourhoods, provide shade and produce well-being. Also, better communication with the public and keeping an open-transparent municipal govt. in place. I would like to see a long-term care facility here to keep seniors in their community close to their families. Embrun needs a new library and it is critical to get one in this next mandate for the safety of its users and for children. It needs to be accessible. I would like to see all businesses accessible to our residents which includes people with disabilities and seniors.
5. How is your message being received during this campaign?
I think my message “I’m here for you and will work hard for you” is being well-received as residents have witnessed my track record. I am honest, am ethical and keep my word. I have learned you can’t always accomplish what you hope to, but I am willing in put in the time and have a strong work ethic.
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 we need a plan in place at the Municipal level but seeing that this is a Federal decision, it seems like it is a “wait and see”. I think we need to make decisions that are in our control and look at the “what ifs”. While in favour of “controlled” medical use of marijuana for people with chronic pain or cancer patients, I do have some concerns and have been attending information workshops on this matter such as at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) at the Conference in Ottawa this summer. Presently, I am not in favour of store fronts due to past experience but if a responsible business that follows the rules and regulations wanted to open a business here, I would have to relook at this scenario and make an informed decision. There has to be better communication and education on this as well, as many people are misinformed and think it is going to be smoking everywhere, anytime and this is just not the case. Smoke-free Ontario Legislation has to stay strong.