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Brock municipal candidates speak at Sunderland all candidates meeting

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

BROCK: Residents of the Township of Brock had an opportunity to hear from a number of municipal election candidates, during an all-candidates meeting, on Monday, September 19th.

Fourteen candidates for Township council, Regional council and the Durham District School Board were seated at the Sunderland Legion branch for the event.

Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce themselves and discuss their platforms, at the event’s start.

Mayoral candidate Ryan Williams said, he feels he can bring “a new perspective to the Township. I want to ensure some better oversight on budgets and expenditures going towards Township projects. I’m also focused on listening and working with the community, towards a more productive and responsive Township of Brock. I believe our community deserves the best.”

Walter Schummer, who is also running for Mayor, explained, “Brock council needs and deserves professional leadership” as the Township deals with a number of issues going forward. He added, “Brock Township has unique challenges, but it also has challenges shared by so many municipalities across the province and across our country.”

Mr. Schummer noted the “need for a better, more effective transit system,” as one of the issues he hopes to tackle if elected.

The last mayoral candidate to speak, Ted Smith, said he decided to run because he enjoys “serving the residents of Brock Township.” He added, “I have a lot of experience as a volunteer, business person and politician.”

Regional Councillor candidate Michael Jubb said, he feels “Brock needs a strong voice locally and at the [Regional level]. The Region is growing rapidly, and we need to ensure Brock gets its fair share of resources and attention. Brock is a hidden gem,” Mr. Jubb stated.

He noted heavy traffic from gravel trucks and alleged issues at Allan’s Place, in Cannington, as concerns he has in the community. He also promised to advocate to get more police officers in Brock Township and to “fight for lower taxes.”

Another Regional Councillor candidate, Dorothy Sanderson, told those in attendance, she has a lot of experience attending council meetings, and her attitude is, “if I have a question, I want an answer.”

The final Regional Councillor candidate, David Marquis, stated, his support for reconstructing the Sunderland Arena and completing the Brock Community Health Centre. He added, he would use his “years of experience” to build and create “solid, positive relationships” at the local and Regional levels.

Ward 1 Councillor candidate, Peter Frank stated, he believes in “giving to the community more than you take from the community.” Adding, “This is a way for me to give back to the community.” His biggest priorities, will be to get more police officers in Brock Township and to attract healthcare workers to the Township.

His opponent, Mike Simard, said he wants to bring his “common sense [and] project management skills” to council.

Mr. Simard mentioned, the Township’s Harbour Development plan, as something he’d like to be involved in.

Acclaimed Ward 3 candidate, Angela Canavan, said, her past community involvement and the connections she’s made in the community would be “very helpful,” as she takes on this new challenge. “I have an understanding of the issues and challenges we face in Brock. I think there’s also a lot to celebrate in Brock.”

The acclaimed Ward 4 Councillor, Cria Pettingill, said, she is “honoured and privileged to be returning to her role as ward councillor next term.

Incumbent Ward 5 Councillor, Lynn Campbell, stressed, her experience on council is the biggest asset she brings to this race.

“With the knowledge I’ve gained and the contacts I’ve made over the past two terms, I know who to call and what to do if there are problems,” she said. She added, she wants to continue to oversee the “transformation of [the] Sunderland Arena.”

Ward 5 candidate, Tony Laundrie is looking for a collaborative approach to issues facing the Township. “As a Township, we have to have all of our committee members look at all the answers and work as a team,” he explained.

The lone Regional Chair candidate in attendance, John Henry, noted his accomplishment of getting the tolls off Highway 412 and Highway 418, lauded the Region’s Climate Adaptation Plan and promised to “get the Go Train to Clarington.”

Durham District School Board trustee candidate, Gord Baxter, said, with only one representative, residents “need a strong voice in [North Durham],” adding, “We need to be noticed and appreciated,” he said.

Discussions regarding the Region of Durham’s Beaverton supportive housing project dominated the question-and-answer portion of the event. This project is a 47-unit modular housing development.

The Region of Durham website states, access to these units will be prioritized for “unsheltered residents in North Durham.” The project has been opposed by a number of residents and council members.

While apologizing for how the project was communicated to the Township, Mr. Henry defended the intentions of the Regional project.

“The supports will be put into the facility to manage the challenges we are having. I can tell you, there are problems in all eight municipalities and we see it each and every day. Across the country, [there are] opioid addictions, [and] mental health challenges,” he said.

Mr. Smith said, he voted in favour of the project before and he would do it again. “Two years ago, in June, when this was being brought up, Mayor Bath-Hadden and I were getting phone calls about homeless people living in the park in Beaverton. We were getting phone calls about people panhandling on the streets in Beaverton,” he explained. “We were getting reports of the food bank in Beaverton being overwhelmed.”

However, Mr. Schummer said, he currently can’t support the project because he feels there are too many issues to iron out still, and, the Region is setting the future residents of this facility up to fail. “This is supportive housing, and if you ask people in the area, ask people in Beaverton, Sunderland and Cannington; we don’t have a lot of supports in this Township. Some of the supports which will be offered at that location will be, essentially, Telehealth. It has said this in the documentation,” he stated. “The supports which are needed, at this facility, have to be excellent.” He added, the Township lacks the needed number of doctors and police officers to ensure this facility is successful.

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