I’m a third-generation resident of Fort Frances, married to Debbie. We have three pretty amazing children and are the proud grandparents to six. I’m a former educator having taught Math and Science at the High School and College level, and a former union leader.
This community has been very good to my family over generations, and I have always tried to find ways to give back.
I’m currently the Deputy Mayor, have served three terms on council and sat on numerous boards and committees.
I love this community and feel strongly that it has great potential to become an even better place to live, work and play.
I believe in inclusivity, diversity, equity, and fairness. I believe that a mayor must represent every resident of our community, provide strong, stable, leadership and ensure that all voices are heard.
Fort Frances is in a time of transition. It is up to us to decide what that transition will look like.
Like many small towns in Ontario, we have our share of problems.
Public safety is an issue that must be addressed. Our community is having difficulty in recruiting and retaining health care professionals, not only Doctors and Nurses, but also Paramedics. We have a critical shortage of volunteer Fire Fighters. We must work together with local Not for Profit organizations, area First Nations and Health Care Professionals to deal with Homelessness and addiction. We need a sitting judge in Fort Frances.
We have a serious problem with a declining and aging population. The population of Fort Frances has declined from about 10 000 to 7500 over the past 50 years. The percentage of seniors and retirees in our population has increased. The pool of available workers for business or industry wishing to relocate here is getting smaller. We must reverse this trend.
We need affordable housing for young families, seniors, immigrants, and others that we hope to attract to our community. We also require more day care spaces, and the ECEs to staff them.
The population of District First Nations is expected to increase substantially over the next ten years. Area First Nations are very active economically in our community and have created hundreds of jobs throughout the district. With only two major industries in the Rainy River District presently, I think it is fair to say that area First Nations will become one of the major District employers in the near future.
We need to support and partner with First Nations in their economic and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Over half a million travellers cross the international bridge each year. We must tap into this potential tourist gold mine and make Fort Frances a destination not a gateway.
As the mill yard is cleared, prime land in the heart of Fort Frances becomes available for development and potentially attracting business, industry, and tourism.
I will use my experience to create a strong team at the council table to forge meaningful partnerships with business, First Nations, other Governments, and the amazing volunteer organizations in our town.