Meet your candidates for deputy mayor
by Hannah MacLeod
The October 2022 municipal election is underway, with the official list of candidates being published on Aug. 22.
In Kincardine, there are three candidates running for deputy mayor:
Andrea Clarke has lived in Kincardine for the last few years with her husband and three children. She runs the Law Offices of Andrea Clarke in Port Elgin and Kincardine.
Clarke says she is running in this election because she is a strong believer in public service and the importance of being active in the community. Prior to joining the local council, she spent a number of years as a councillor in the UK and felt equally as strong as she does now about the importance of inclusion and representation, whether that be ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or religion.
If elected, Clarke plans to focus on a number of issues locally, such as the lack of affordable housing and record unemployment rates.
“We have to look at how to create or adapt housing locally,” she states. “There are a number of larger issues surrounding developments including ensuring that there is sufficient and adequate infrastructure to support and sustain large developments. It is worth looking in tandem at alternatives such as the creation of duplexes, tiny homes, potentially the parking of RVs in town or closer to town.”
Clarke hopes to work with the federal and provincial governments to tackle the record high unemployment rates through job retention schemes or wage subsidy programs. She also hopes to join the government in bringing the high cost of living and the high cost of raising a family back down with strong anti-trust legislation to prevent pricing exploitation, capping of energy prices and progressive tax reforms. Clarke believes the municipality supporting private in-home childcare providers is one way to address the current need and lack of supply, and further encourage individuals to obtain their early childhood educator certification.
“As a mother of three young children, the issues concerning childcare for working parents along with the costs of childcare is something familiar and I understand and acknowledge the challenges faced by families,” she explains.
Clarke is on the physician recruitment and retention committee.
“I believe that there is a need in putting sufficient resources behind the recruitment of physicians along with nurses and nurse practitioners, which assist in relieving some of the burden currently being experienced,” she explained. “There will need to be a continued long-term plan, not only in the recruitment of healthcare professionals but also in the retention, to ensure that in years to come, we do not find ourselves facing the same shortages.”
Clarke also believes there has been an increased need for mental health and addiction issues and hopes to increase federal funding to ensure our community is adequately sourced to support the needs of their community, both with the adequately trained staff and necessary resources.
Finally, Clarke wants to take a unified approach to ensure that nursing home providers are properly regulated and that there are a sufficient number of government run nursing homes operating in municipalities to offer choice, care and affordability.
Also running for deputy mayor is the current mayor, Gerry Glover.
Glover is also a Bruce County councillor and resides locally with his two children and wife. He has completed the Executive Municipal Leadership program and Ivey School of Business and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. He is currently enrolled in the Administrator Leadership program and has completed Board Governance Training and Executive Management certificate programs. He was elected as Ward 1 councillor in 2018 and mayor in 2021.
“I have the demonstrated competence and leadership experience to effectively lead the municipality, am able to professionally engage with constituents and stakeholders, and will contribute knowledge exchange while providing continuity to Council,” he said.
“The role of mayor is understood to be more neutral – an enabler to achieve common ground, to encourage consensus building and collaborative decision-making,” he explained. “I seek the portfolio of deputy mayor to effectively contribute a voice representing the entire municipality, to continue building on the work leading to the advancement of the corporation, and to provide knowledge exchange.”
Glover seeks to improve the council onboarding and orientation by providing training sessions that provide an overview of what council is able or unable to do. He plans to increase community engagement by ensuring all platforms and mediums are exhausted to ensure they are maintaining transparent communication and creating remedial awareness. Glover also aims to improve staff relations. When he joined council, he was appointed to the staff-council negotiating committee, where they undertook a first-ever organizational review and advanced a third-party market rate strategy. This resulted in staff and Council committing to wage parity and benefits equity, in that all staff are recognized in an equitable and consistent manner.
Glover hopes to prioritize affordable housing by advancing the Community Improvement Plan (CIP).
“To support diversified entry into the housing market, we need to support the advancement of an attainable housing strategy, which will assist to provide opportunities for home ownership, and will increase rental unit vacancies,” said Glover.
Glover is excited to continue to work on the Waterfront Master Plan and the Lifeguard Program (Open Water), which he believes will help lessen the tragedies that occur on our lake.
Glover is focused as well on traffic safety, advocating for traffic calming and safety enhancement measures along Highway 21 at the intersections of Kincardine Ave., Russell St., Sutton Park and Bruce Road 20. He also hopes to resolve the issue of speeding through the community of Tiverton and reduce the speed limit through Kincardine proper from Kincardine Ave. to the Kincardine-Tiverton Township Public School.
“I continue to hear from those within and external to the community that there is poor planning and co-ordination to community events and that, while we market our municipality as a tourism destination, there is really nothing locally that distinguishes us as a destination of choice,” concluded Glover. “It has been offered that while we have amazing events throughout the year, when multiple events of competing interest are co-planned to occur over the same weekend, with other weekends having nothing planned, that perhaps a better coordinated response would position us as a destination of choice. I have also heard multiple times that tourism doesn’t exist locally aside from cottagers or those merely passing by and that we need to create the ambiance and attractions to market us as a destination, otherwise we will become irrelevant in this space.”
Uli Hack is running for deputy mayor in Kincardine.
Born in Germany to a farming family that converted to organic/biodynamic farming in 1967, Hack graduated high school as the top student in the natural science subjects of math, physics, chemistry and biology. For five months he worked in a long-term care home before he moved with his family to Kincardine, where he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps with organic/biodynamic farming in partnership with his brother Martin. In 1994 he married his wife, Martha, and together they have three grown children. Hack has volunteered with the organic/biodynamic movement serving 30 years on the board, many of those as Chair.
“Kincardine was always a great diverse community that was great in caring for each other and I hope that it will continue to be that in future,” he said. “With the pandemic, a bit of a split happened, fuelled by fear and our Prime Minister, which made it okay to withdraw services from those who did not vaccinate. Elderly people often need these services, and there are ways to provide them without putting others at risk.”
“A lot of the local issues have become more serious due to the pandemic and its mandates,”
Hack continued. “Therefore, it makes more sense to rather work with recommendations than with mandates, unless there is clear, undisputable science to back up the mandates.”
Hack is also planning to work with the police force and the OSPCA to give vets more control in the decision-making process of animal removal. This issue sparked his interest after a raid of a farm in which the police and the OSPCA sent away a vet and took away some animals, charging the family to allow some to stay, despite the vet’s opinion favouring the animals to stay.
Hack believes it is important for the farming community to be represented on council as they are used to coming up with creative solutions.
“Like everyone else, the municipality faces the higher cost of energy, which also affects the cost of parts and replacement of equipment,” he commented. “The dying Ash trees will be a big expense to deal with, and the downtown project will also be a big one.”
Hack wants to continue to attract doctors to the area and work on child care regulations.
“Child care got a lot more regulations a number of years ago, limiting the number of children per caregiver,” explained Hack. “So a lot of caregivers quit, which helped drive up the cost.”
Finally, Hack would like to work with the building department to better serve those living in the community.
“A few years ago, the Kincardine building department only scored a two whereas Port Elgin had scored an eight out of ten,” he recalled. “The building department should be reminded that their job is to apply the building code in such a way that it best serves the local needs. Also, local needs should be considered before mandating to tear down older existing houses, in order to keep more affordable houses available.”
“I want to continue to find creative solutions, so all people can feel safe and all people can be served in this wonderful community,” Hack concluded.