2022 Municipal Election – Question of the Week for September 7, 2022

SOUTH DUNDAS – This week, The Leader begins our weekly Question of the Week series to help inform readers about the candidates seeking election to South Dundas municipal council.

This week’s question asks candidates about their background, professional experience, family, and community involvement.

All local election candidates were given the questions with a deadline and were limited to approximately 150 words for their response. Only responses received by the deadline given to candidates are published. The Leader reserves the right to edit responses for journalistic-style and word count. Questions were determined by the editorial staff of the newspaper. This seven week series will continue up to the October 24 election. Responses are grouped by the elected office the candidates seek, and listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Mayoral candidates

Jason Broad
Age: 51

I’ve lived in Morrisburg for 24 years. Married to Shelley Casselman; two children (Cameryn and Joshua).Employment: Leadership Coach (BizXcel Brockville); retired HR Leader (Procter & Gamble)

Since our family settled in South Dundas, I have been an active volunteer in the recreation community (minor hockey, youth baseball, and golf). Through these experiences, I have led large teams by leading meetings, creating agendas and priorities, and maintaining budgets. I’m proud to have spent two decades of community service to provide recreational opportunities for all members of the community.

Through my two decades of community service, I have worked with all local stakeholders. I have prepared and presented proposals for council, improved recreation programs and facilities, and by hosting youth baseball tournaments, have brought thousands of tourists into the municipality. After these two decades of community service and leadership, the natural next step is to be Mayor of this great community.

Bill Ewing
Age: 67

I grew up in old Matilda Township, west of Iroquois. Moved to Iroquois in 1974 and to Morrisburg four years ago. Life time resident of South Dundas.Completed trade school for a hydro linesman and worked for the Village of Iroquois for 20 years, the last 10 as Manager of Public Works and Hydro system. Currently owner of Bill’s Towing in Morrisburg for the past 18 years.

Served on South Dundas council for three terms, retired South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services deputy chief after 36 years.Sat on too many committees to list over the past 40 years.

Kirsten Gardner
Age: 51

I live in Morrisburg with my husband, son and daughter.

Three years ago, I left my position as Senior Manager with the Ontario Public Service (ServiceOntario) to focus on my role as Deputy Mayor, community work and Mental Health Education. My career has also included roles with the SLPC and UCDSB.

As Deputy Mayor I have worked with residents on committees to move community projects forward (tourism, economic development, Morrisburg waterfront, doctor recruitment and the youth advisory committee).

At SDG Counties Council I am the chair of the Rural Education committee (advocating for Rural education), outside of my role as a municipal councillor, I am the most recent chair of the Morrisburg Public school parent council, current board chair for Victim Services of SDG&A and I am on the executive for Friends of GTR 1008 (save the train) having personally negotiated the contract to keep the beloved train in South Dundas.

Deputy Mayoral candidates

Donald Lewis
Age: 66

My name is Donald William Lewis, I’m 66 years old, I’ve lived at 63 Augusta St. Morrisburg for the last 32 years. I have a Grade 11 education, I retired after working 29 years for the Municipality of South Dundas.

For the last four years I’ve sat on the South Dundas Doctor Recruitment committee, the Downtown Business Improvement Area committee in Morrisburg, and the Carmen House committee.

For eight months, I was doorman at Laura’s Valu-mart in Morrisburg at the start of the COVID-19.I have been a Councillor in South Dundas from 2018 to the present day.

Marc St. Pierre
Age: 51

Thirty-five year resident of Morrisburg and Mariatown. Married to Michelle for 26 years. Daughter Victoria attends Carleton University.

Formally educated as Architectural Technologist at Algonquin College.Senior Project Manager for Novatech in Kanata for 29 years. In that position, I have developed leadership skills managing privately owned residential, commercial, and industrial land development projects and been senior manager through the design, approvals, and construction of municipal publicly funded projects. I understand the importance of developing and maintaining infrastructure budgets throughout design construction for both the private and public sectors.

Member of South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services over 16 years, coached South Dundas Minor Hockey, and served on Iroquois Public School council. Served as South Dundas councillor from 2014-2018, and was representative for the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee and the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce. I understand the importance of open communication, maintaining a controlled budget and representing all residents, business owners and the agriculture sectors in South Dundas.

Tammy Thom
Age: not provided

I live just north of Williamsburg, with my husband, in his family’s century farmhouse. I have lived in South Dundas for just over a decade. I am married and a mother. Our family includes four grandchildren and one more on the way.

I successfully completed the Algonquin College Real Estate Sales course, Principles of Appraisals and Principles of Mortgage Financing courses.Formerly a member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Real estate gave me a good understanding of zoning, set backs etc. My background includes everything from entry level customer service to self employed and business owner. I currently work in healthcare.

I have been following the local political process for quite awhile and thought it was time for me to contribute and hopefully make a difference.

Councillor Candidates

Michael Burton
Age: 61

Michael Burton, 61, resident of Morrisburg for 21 years. Born in Ottawa, spent my childhood in a small town near Arnprior, Ontario. My partner and I have been together for the past 30 years and we raised two children.

After moving to Morrisburg, my parents and sister followed to be part of this community. My education includes high school; post secondary was fashion and interior design. Career history has been lengthy both in design and the service industry. I have spent over 20 years in each field and am owner of Russell Manor B&B. No political position held so far.

I’ve worked extensively in this community, as chair of the waterfront committee, and I’ve sat on several committees in our community. I have participated in many fundraisers for the community. In the past four years I have raised funds to purchase three water fountains for our community; and, in the past two years, close to $15,000 of trees for the Morrisburg waterfront.

Trevor Riopelle
Age: 44

I’ve been privileged to have lived in South Dundas for 31 of my 44 years. During those years I have attended St Cecilia Catholic and Seaway District High Schools. Upon completion of school, I went directly to the work force.Have worked for many local companies, including Caldwell’s, Brown Foundry and Ross Video. Currently employed with the City of Cornwall in the Human Services. Furthermore, I’m the President of C.U.P.E local 4452 (union) and participate in the city’s environmental change committee.

Most importantly during my time here, I have started a family, raised children and given countless years within the community through coaching baseball, soccer and volunteering 18 years with the local fire department. After relocating to Morrisburg from Iroquois and retiring from the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services, I’ve decided that municipal politics was the next step in serving my community.

Tom Smyth
Age: 46

Live: Rural Iroquois all my life.

Family: Married with four kids ages 6 to 13.

Formal Education: Seaway District High School, then Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Technician diploma from Algonquin College in Nepean.

Service/Experience: Director for Dundas Federation of Agriculture.

Political experience: Although I have no formal political experience, I have always followed municipal politics intently. I have attended council meetings in the past, and several more recently since I filed my nomination papers in June. I plan to hit the ground running in November if elected.

Cole Veinotte
Age: 28

I’ve called Morrisburg home until recently when I purchased a home in Mariatown.

Terry is my dad and colleague, and Tracey is my mom and local realtor. Christyn, my younger sister (and my best friend) has just joined the world of real estate as well.

I have a three-year business administration diploma from St. Lawrence College and continue my education through work conferences and training.

Being part owner and fleet manager of Harland Veinotte Ltd. and Jade Transportation Services keeps me busy in the best of ways.

I served as a firefighter with South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services in Morrisburg for 8 years, I’m on the Tubie Festival team, delivered groceries throughout the pandemic and supported community projects like the South Dundas Dog Park and Earl Baker Park construction.

Municipal politics govern so much in our lives. Although I have no formal political background, I’m eager to learn and to contribute to a well-organized and productive council.

Danielle Ward
Age: 29

My name is Danielle Ward, I’m 29 years old and I live in Iroquois. I have lived in South Dundas for 3 years. I am originally from Wheatley, a rural town in Southern Ontario.

My family owned and operated a large potato farm, where I spent my youth working and learning about agri-business. I moved away from home to pursue my education, I have an honours Bachelors Degree in Environmental Resource Management from the University of Windsor, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario.

I am currently employed by the Township of North Dundas as a Planner and Drainage Superintendent. I have worked in Municipal Government for 12 years for counties, cities, and rural towns.

Working for various municipalities I have learned the appropriate functions and procedures associated with municipal government because of this I also understand the challenges and opportunities in South Dundas.

Lloyd Wells
Age: 59

Where you live: Williamsburg/South Dundas 27 years, prior to that Matilda Township 37 years.

Family: I have two children, Michael and Jessica, and three grandchildren – Jayden, Miles, and Leah.

Employment: Employed by Wells and Son Construction Ltd.

Community Service: My role in community services are done through donations to several community organizations for example; South Dundas Hospice, Dundas Food Bank, and South Dundas Christmas Exchange – just to name a few.

Political Background: I’ve been a councillor since 2018 to present for the Municipality of South Dundas. I also sit on the cemetery board as the council representative.

Jeff Welsh
Age: 60

I am 60 years old and have lived in Brinston for approximately 40 years. I have Grade 12 education, and have established and operated several businesses in the past including the Snack Shack in Morrisburg. I am now retired.

I have always donated back to our community. For example every year I would send a free Xmas meal to seniors across the street.

I only have political knowledge of what I read and watch in the media. l often gather with friends to discuss a lot about issues that are going on in our township.

I hear a lot people saying there needs to be accountability for their actions and I agree as a taxpayer. I would very much like the opportunity to be the people’s/taxpayer’s voice.

Next week’s question…

Family matters – in our families, recreation is an important part of family life. In that regard, The Leader will be reaching out to the candidates asking them to talk about their ideas and priorities regarding recreation.

See the September 14, 2022 issue for the specific question and their answers.

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