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 seven candidates for the councillor-at-large position.
Rory Cavanagh lives in Kincardine with his wife and two young daughters. Through his work with Cavanagh Family Medicine, he has connected more than 800 municipal residents with a local family doctor. He also coaches youth sports and is the President of the Elgin Market Public School – Home & School Association.
“Our community deserves leadership that acts with dignity and respect,” he said. “I want to connect every resident with a local doctor, make life in the municipality more affordable, and tend to our many beautiful beaches, trees, trails, and parks. I believe in working together, celebrating diverse viewpoints, treating others with respect, and providing quality, sustainable services to our community.”
Jim David lives in Kincardine with his wife and two grown children. Municipal politics and politics in general has been an interest of his.
“I am running as a councillor at-large because there is a feeling change is needed and I would like to be part of that change,” he said. “I would like to be part of a team that continues to prepare the Municipality of Kincardine for the needs of today and the future.”
“My goal if elected is to continue following the municipality’s official plan,” concluded David. “I have not read it from cover to cover but what I have read, lays an excellent foundation to dealing with many of today’s current issues and credit goes to councillors and staff for preparing and approving the document.”
Carla Glover was born and raised in Kincardine. She and her husband have two children. For ten years, Glover was a business owner and currently drives school bus.
Glover plans to prioritize affordable housing, tree preservation, crowded landfills, downtown accessibility and the reconstruction, highway traffic safety, food insecurity and rural access to medical care.
“Municipal government is one of the most important local democratic processes that has influence,” she said. “The decisions (and actions) of a Council (and its members) need to be reflective of consensus-building, collaborative decision-making, and based on undue influence and mutual respect. To this extent and reality, I commit to contributing to the advancement and positive influence of the Municipality and will employ a participative leadership approach that is responsive to the concerns of constituents.”
Jeff Hegmans raised his three daughters in Tiverton with his wife and currently resides in Kincardine. He began his career as a local chimney sweep and worked for 15 years as a Boilermaker at Bruce Power and at several other industrial sites in Ontario. He has also been a Firefighter with the Municipality of Kincardine for almost 16 years after spending 12 years as a member of Tiverton Fire. He currently works at Bruce Power as an Emergency Services Maintainer.
“I think the biggest issue we have in this Municipality is our aging infrastructure and amenities. We love our small town and many previous Councils have fought to keep our town small over the years. I think this has caused us to miss opportunities for better things to come to Kincardine. You don’t have to look too far to see other small towns around us growing quickly. Other towns have been able to sustain their small businesses, and their small town feel while welcoming other larger retailers. I believe that both can coexist. We are behind in upgrading and updating our town to increase our tax base and revenue, so that we are able to provide better services to the people of Kincardine and the surrounding area.”
Mike Hinchberger graduated from Western in 1989. A job at BNPD prompted his move to Kincardine, where he worked for fifteen years in Chemistry Environment Management. He went on to work in Operations, as a Shift Manager for several years at Bruce B, Manager of Shift Operations, Operations Training, and lastly Director – Operational Focus roles. He and his wife and himself are the parents to three daughters.
“The words ‘Great Energy, Balanced Life’ were once used prominently to describe a vision for our municipality,” explained Hinchberger. “From my perspective, what we currently have is ‘Great Energy, Unbalanced Life’. I’m of the belief that most of the solutions to (our local) challenges are known and there are people (municipal and county staff and the public included) who have the commitment and passion to see them implemented. Execution in a timely manner is our biggest challenge and I think that Council can do more to address this.”
Scott Wilson, who spent plenty of time in Kincardine as a child, ended up moving here in 1990 to work as an Electrical Engineer with Ontario Hydro. He has volunteered as a civilian instructor with Air Cadets since 2006, and has been on various boards and committees helping with a variety of local groups. His family often gives time to groups such as the Optimists, Lions, Girl Guides and the Legion.
“Many of my friends and family have been discussing the need for positive change within our governments,” explained Wilson. “They feel that I possess the necessary characteristics to help usher in such changes locally. To convince me of their claim, they offered three points. I work hard to listen to all sides of an issue. I seek to understand the point of view of those affected. I act objectively and rationally to the best of my abilities. So I am running because I trust the belief that my friends have placed in me, namely that I can be an influence for positive change in the Municipality of Kincardine. Consequently, these will be my principles as a councillor: Listen carefully. Seek to understand. Act rationally and wisely for the benefit of the whole community.”
In Huron-Kinloss, there are eight candidates for the councillor-at-large position.
Larry Allison has resided in Blair’s Grove for sixteen years, and has spent his entire life summering at Emmerton Beach. He is retired from the municipal sector with 35 years’ experience in senior local government administration. In addition, he recently completed a ten-year term on the South Bruce Grey Health Centre Board of Directors including time as Board Chair. Currently, he participates in two advisory committees with the Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario, is a member of the Huron Kinloss Property Standards Committee and a former member of the Township’s Nuclear Waste Community Advisory Committee. He also undertakes contract work with both Elections Ontario and Elections Canada in the GTA.
“I believe I can utilize my administrative and governance experience to continue the good work previous Councils have undertaken,” he explained. “There is an opportunity to provide the perspective of a lakeshore resident to assist the incoming new Mayor and the elected Council as policy directions are formed and implemented this term.”
Alan Church is running based on a desire to play a larger part in the community. He is recently retired and has more time to focus on local issues and believes his experiences in industry as a tradesman would be of assistance in a councillor role.
“My biggest concerns which require immediate attention are health care, our food supply and housing for the young adults and elderly, as well,” he explained. “Healthcare could be valuably assisted by naturopathic professionals who are the first line of defense in keeping people healthy and out of the hospitals.”
“Preserving valuable farmland is crucial in my view with multi-generational farms being the foundation,” Church added. “Housing, I believe, could be addressed by more direct investing at the local level as opposed to having investments which are global. I am putting my money where my mouth is on this topic by investing in local business and soon, in housing.”
Shari Flett grew up in London, and graduated from Centralia College of Agriculture Technology as an Animal Health Technician in 1988. She and her husband have two grown children, who they raised in Lucknow. They currently reside in Point Clark. Flett returned to school in 2013 to study nuclear and now works in Radiation Protection at Bruce Power.
“Over the years, I have held many volunteer positions – Girl Guides Spark leader, Scouts Beaver leader, minor hockey positions, Lucknow Kinettes various positions including president, and Lucknow Strawberry Summerfest,” said Flett. “Since my work no longer takes me away from home, I am able to become involved in my community again. Serving on council would be challenging and a way to participate in my community. Community service provides me with great personal satisfaction and one of the best ways to get to know your neighbours.”
Scott Gibson was born and raised just west of Lucknow. He went to college to become an industrial mechanic Millwright. He is married with three boys and a daughter and currently works at Bruce Power as a Contract Supervisor.
“I’m running in this election to try and introduce a new voice into the council, I feel there needs to be a ‘heavy handed’ approach on expenditures. Some expenses are passed without realizing the impact in short and long term,” he explained. “I feel some of the biggest challenges are road infrastructure (as we all know), clean, safe water, sewage and waste. I know increasing infrastructure in these areas will promote growth in our small towns but it also has to benefit those with modest incomes. One of my biggest pet peeves is the local landfill. Every time I go there, I cringe at the damage we are doing to the planet and would like to look at new ways curb our impact on landfill.”
Brian MacEachern is a permanent resident in Huron-Kinloss, retired schoolteacher, President of the Kincardine Curling Club and past President of the Bruce Beach Cottagers’ Association. He has coached many youth sports, provided summer employment for local teens, built his own home from the foundation up and raised two children who now reside in Huntsville and Toronto.
“I believe that I am very approachable and am willing to work with others to improve our life in Huron-Kinloss,” he said. “I believe that our taxes have been increasing for years at well above inflation and with more responsible spending, we can get these yearly increases under control.”
MacEachern believes that it is important to spend money on the needs of the taxpayers and hopes to address the low income rates in the area.
“Money is needed along the lakeshore to protect the biodiversity of the shoreline and to make our beaches more accessible without random parking along Boiler Beach road,” he said. “The beaches need to be available for all our residents, as well as the surrounding community.”
Ed McGugan is running to serve his community.
“We have so many people who serve this community in so many ways,” he said. “I am not a police officer, doctor, nurse and really cannot be a firefighter, so I’d like to be able to continue to serve my community on the township Council.”
McGugan believes the biggest challenge this community is facing is representation.
“We need to focus hard on hearing what the people in this community have to say and respond to their needs,” he said. “A big part of that is availability of housing as well as ensuring we keep this an affordable place to live.”
Carl Sloetjes has been a Municipal councillor for 19 years. During this time, he has served on the medical centre board, fire board and recreation board. He and his wife have raised four children in the Lucknow community and have run a successful construction company for over 30 years.
“I am continuing to run for Municipal councillor as I believe I have a calm voice, fairness in mind. I am doing this without any personal agenda but for the love of community,” he said. “Lack of housing may result in rehabilitation of older main street buildings to affordable housing with entry level pricing to keep our younger people in our community and our job force strong.”
“I look forward to strong voter turnout and to be able to work once again with a well formed council. I hope to have your support,” he concluded.