September 26 | 7-9PM | Clarion Lakeside Inn & Conference Centre
Meet your Mayoral Candidates
I was born on the evening of February 7th, 1954 at St. Joseph Hospital. I have lived in this beautiful city all of my life.
I joined kindergarten at the age of five. I stepped on to the big yellow school bus and headed ten miles there and back. On the first day of kindergarten, I found an envelope pinned to my little coat with $5 inside for the bus driver; a one time payment for my rides to school.
I joined the workforce after finishing my grade eleven. I quickly learned of my passion, working with people, after being hired at a local café. It was the right job for me.
At the age of 22, I became a single mom to my daughter. It wasn’t easy, but I moved forward with my life. I loved my beautiful, little girl.
I returned to high school in 1985 where I graduated with the rest of the students. Life was good.
I’ve worked minimum wage jobs my entire life. I worked as the noon hour supervisor for children, ten years in the Catholic school board, and three years in the Public school board. Following that position, I began my current role as the paper deliverer for the Daily Miner & News and the Enterprise where I have been for 15 years. Fresh air, friendly dogs, and wonderful people makes for the perfect job for me.
In the year 2000, I joined the political scene. I have been going to city council meetings for ten years. In 2003, I ran for City Council and in 2014, I ran for Mayor.
Four years later and I am here again running for Mayor. It has been an exciting challenge and only time will tell of the outcome as the votes come in.
I am a lifelong resident of Kenora. I was born, raised, educated and worked my entire
career in Kenora. I bring a unique perspective to the Council in that I worked almost my entire career for the Town of Keewatin and the City of Kenora. This work experience and financial knowledge is a valuable strength that I brought to the Council table these past 4 years during my first term as a Councilor.
My wife Laurie and I have been married for 8 years. I am step-father to 3 married adult children and Laurie and I have 6 grandchildren.
My major priority is to focus on investment and partnerships relating to expanding opportunities within the housing market for a seniors apartment, retirement condos or townhouses with a long term goal of establishing an assisted living complex. This will trigger an availability of existing homes for young families to enter the market. The added benefit to new housing units is the increase in taxable assessment and users on the sewer/water system which provides a greater source of revenue to offset future operating expenditures.
I believe that I bring a level of knowledge, experience and leadership that allows me to be a major contributor at the Council level as the next Mayor of Kenora.
I have demonstrated my commitment to our community through being an active community volunteer having been involved for 35 years in minor hockey at both the local and regional level as a coach, instructor and administrator.
Meet your Councillor Candidates
I feel very fortunate to live and work where people come to vacation and reconnect with nature. Looking back, I’m often amazed at the path that lead me to Kenora. Looking forward, I’m excited to continue my work in the community, build my business and provide a stable and loving home for my family.
My journey to Kenora began in the summer of 2005. I started spending most weekends and holidays here and truly fell in love with this place. I became a permanent resident in the spring of 2010 when I started a career in real estate. I had recently shut down an internet start-up I began after college and was searching for opportunity and a fresh start. Kenora seemed like a natural fit. I felt like the city was going places, I was meeting lots of new friends and it’s where I wanted to spend my free time.
Today, I’m an entrepreneur. I am co-owner and Broker of Record at Cabin Country realty on Main Street. I’m a homeowner and I’m also a proud husband and father. I do my part to give back too and make Kenora a better place. You may recognize me as a past volunteer and Board Member of Harbourfest, or, maybe you’ll have seen my photo in the local real estate guide. But what you may not know is that I presently Chair the Lake of the Development Commission, the City of Kenora’s Economic Development Board, and I’m a current member of the City of Kenora’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and Board of Adjustment. I bring an abundance of recent and relevant experience in economic development, in-depth knowledge of the planning process and relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. These are some of the things that will make me a productive and contributing member of our City Council. But that’s not all. I’m enthusiastic and high-energy, I take a thoughtful approach to decision making and I have a willingness to take risks and think outside the box. I have a vision for the future of Kenora and hope to provide diversity and a younger/fresher perspective – something I truly believe we need at City Hall right now.
I look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail and earning your vote.
-Born in Timmins, Ontario in 1949
-Moved to Kenora in 1954 and spent most of my adult life in Kenora
-Married to Emily for 48 years; two adult sons
-Independent owner of a local retail store for 30 years
-Active promoter of live music events
-Served as convenor and coach for Kenora Minor Soccer for ten years, current sponsor of a local men’s league team
-Member of the Ducks Unlimited Lake of the Woods Committee for five years, acted as Chairman for two years
-Founding chairman of Wintermission; revived the winter carnival, from 1988 to 1992
-Invited to serve on the Kenora Tourism Committee in 1989-1994
-Founding chairman of Lake of the Woods Heritage Festivals, produced hundreds of concerts/ festivals for national and international touring acts
-Served as entertainment producer of first seven Harbourfest events, twelve blues festivals and dozens of Harbourfront shows
-Served on three committees studying feasibility of a local performance venue
-Elected to the executive of Harbourtown BIZ in 2006; served as president 2008- 2014
-From 2007 to 2018 served on Tourism Kenora, Harbourtown Centre Committee, Big Green Committee and several ad hoc City committees
-Ran for council in the 2010 municipal elections, but fell short by 24 votes, elected in 2014
-Board member of Lake of the Woods Development Commission 2010-2014, Chair of Tourism Kenora and Commission Vice Chair 2012-2014, currently sitting on both boards
-Member of Brand Leadership Team that developed the new Boating Destination brand
-Interests: photography, travel, gardening, cooking, entertaining and live music.
I was born in Fort Frances and grew up in Emo. I Graduated from University of Manitoba (B.A. History/Geography, Native Studies/English) and Lakehead University (B.Ed. Indigenous Learning), and have worked in the field of Education over the last nine years. I moved to Kenora on a part time basis in 2014 and became permanent in spring 2016.
My wife Melissa and my adorable seventeen month son have enjoyed their home in Kenora so much that they encouraged me to run for city council.
My main interests include watching Ice Hockey, playing Ball Hockey, Tennis, Racing, and PC Gaming. I have attended and enjoyed several community events
Kenora has hosted over the years.
I am currently employed at Seven Generations Education Institute as Student Services Coordinator the coordinator for Community and Justice Services Post-Secondary program.
Being involved at the Municipal level has been a passion of mine since being first elected to the Township of Emo Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. I was Deputy Mayor from 2012-2014 as well as having been a board member with the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board, Chair of Emo Rec Council, Municipal Representative for the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board (NTAB), President of the Rainy River District Municipal Association, and Chair of other community and school board committees.
I have also been involved in provincial politics being the 2011 and 2014 Ontario Liberal Candidate and currently the President of the Kenora-Rainy River Provincials Liberal Association. I have had strong relationships that transcend party lines.
I hope to bring to the table a sense of working together, focusing on the now and the long term that will bridge the gap between what is needed immediately and what can be done to make it sustainable.
Hello, my name is Eric Lovas and I am a life long resident of Kenora. I am and have been a local business owner for 11 years as a co owner of CO-OT TAXI.
I am running for city council because I believe I can help continue to make Kenora a great place to live, work and play.
I believe we need to look at is the lack of affordable housing for seniors, young students and working people as well as low income individuals. I believe the city needs to look at ways to attract and assist investors as well as work together with agencies and government to build affordable housing units for the long list of people who need it.
I feel we as a city need to do more to deal with the needle epidemic. Both how and where the needles are used and discarded as well as assisting people who want help to get off the drugs altogether.
Finally, Kenora needs to be open to industry. Small business and big business alike. Let’s as a city council stop telling entrepreneurs why they can’t open a business. And start asking them how can we assist you in opening a business. I think working with 7 generations and assisting them anyway we can to help them expand and continue to do the amazing work they have been doing at their school. Don’t you think a large college would be a good fit in our community?
Thank you for your consideration of my bid for city council.
Rod is currently semi- retired, with 45 years’ experience in managing large sawmills in the forest sector. He has recently retired as Manager of Kenora Forest Products. Rod has overseen numerous major capital projects from the ground up. He has extensive knowledge of business plans, finance, infrastructure, construction and equipment. Rod’s educational background consists of a Banff School of Advanced Management degree, a Purchasing Management degree and professional development in numerous management systems. Rod feels that this knowledge and experience will allow him to effectively contribute in managing the City of Kenora in making sound business and financial decisions. Currently, Rod has a Consulting Business working to help businesses improve their management systems.
Rod and Marion, his wife of 43 years have two grown daughters, and three grandsons. His interests include fishing, boating, travel and restoring his Corvette.
Rod was a Kenora City Councilor from 2010 to 2014. He enjoyed the experience and felt that in the 4 years he worked hard and gave lots of thought and understanding to the many decisions that positively impacted our community.
A key focus for Rod is ensuring there continues to be a safe growing economy providing jobs for Kenora’s families and creating entrepreneurial opportunities. Kenora needs a multi-faceted balanced economy. Rod wants to ensure that the City of Kenora gets good value for every dollar spent and that City Council spends the dollars wisely. He believes we must protect the Prosperity Fund and its ability to help reduce taxes.
There is a lack of affordable housing for all income levels and with the changing demographics Kenora will require senior’s housing of all types as the Baby Boomers age. A solid plan to improve the housing situation in Kenora will have the biggest impact in the short and long term. Rod will focus on getting the City of Kenora to actively work to secure developers to invest in expanding the housing market. The aging infrastructure is always a concern. The challenge will be to repair and rebuild infrastructure and control taxes for homeowners.
Homelessness and the drug addiction crisis is a major issue in our community. Rod is committed to working to ensure that all levels of government and agencies involved are working together to come up with viable and sustainable action plans solve this crisis.
Rod believes that by working together we can work to build a city that is safe, prosperous and growing for all its citizens. A community where people want to live, work and play.
I have spent my adult life (40 years) living in NW Ontario where my husband and I raised our two children in Dryden and Red Lake and then moved to Kenora in 2014 to build our retirement home and stay.
I am seeking a seat on Council now because I’ve recently retired from 18 years with the Northwestern Health Unit and I have the time to build on my current volunteer work with Making Kenora Home, the local Anti Human Trafficking Coalition and the Lake of the Woods Hospital Board.
If elected to Kenora City Council I would prioritize reasonable and affordable taxes. I am pro-development for investments in business and housing as we need expedient solutions to the lack of housing in all housing sectors. I believe in using renewable energy for municipal infrastructure where possible and economical; and I value and want to build the relationship we have living in Treaty #3 Territory side by side with the surrounding First Nations.
In the years we lived in Red Lake I was elected four times to Town Council, and I also served as President of Kenora District Municipal Association (KDMA) and President of Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA). I was council representative on the boards of the Red Lake hospital and the Pinecrest District Home for the Aged as well and I relish the opportunity to get involved in municipal issues at the local council level once again should Kenora voters see fit to elect me.
For more information check out my face book page @VoteJenniferMcKibbon
Rory McMillan is a City of Kenora Municipal Councillor who has enthusiastically and responsibly represented the citizens of Kenora for the past 23 years. He is seeking your continued support on Election Day, October 22, 2018 to continue to serve his community with a sense of purpose and commitment.
He held Social Work positions in the private and Government sector ranging from child welfare to working with seniors. Starting out as a frontline worker, he evolved to become a retired Program Supervisor with the Provincial Government.
After graduating High School from Beaver Brae in his home community of Kenora, Rory’s formal education included: A Graduate Degree of Social Work Administration, University of Manitoba, an Honours Bachelor of Social Work from Lakehead University, and a two-year Social Services Diploma from Confederation College.
Outside of his civic priorities he engages in small home projects, reading, volunteering at a number of events, watching local sports, and frequenting the Kenora Recreation Centre gym. Time spent with his partner and wife is gratifying and foremost.
The building of relationships at all levels within and external to our community is Rory’s vision. His vision embraces building on our strengths and further developing our assets to extend and consolidate Kenora’s legacy as a GREAT place to live work and play.
Rory remains intensely committed to his community with a genuine desire to progressively move forward together. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew is the Manager of Operational Services for the Kenora Catholic District School Board. He has overseen many major capital projects within the board. As a member of the Executive Council he works with other senior management on developing long range goals and plans for the board as well as policies and procedures for the system. Andrew has received extensive professional development in his field. He has worked with numerous groups within the region allowing him to share his expertise and skills. He is currently a director on The Ontario School Board Insurance Exchange.
Andrew was a City Councillor from 2003-2009. During his tenure he chaired and was on various committees. He enjoyed the challenges that came from being a member of council.
Kenora is at a crossroads in our future. In order for the community to move forward Andrew is committed to looking at how to make Kenora safe. This means looking for workable and sustainable solutions to the local current homelessness and drug crisis. Andrew is also very committed to making sure that the infrastructure of the city is maintained; that roads, bridges and sewers are safe and meet provincial standards. Andrew looks forward to working with stakeholders to ensure that the aging population has adequate housing as well as recognizing the needs of millennials as they choose to build their lives here.
Andrew is a member of the Police Services Board. He is also treasurer of the Kenora Kinsman Club. He enjoys volunteering for Relay for Life, TheTerry Fox Run and other causes close to his heart.
I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, and I lived there until I graduated from the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program at Lakehead University in 2012. My husband is originally from Kenora and we decided to settle down here in 2014 while I was in my last year of law school at the University of Manitoba. I was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2016 and have been an Associate with Shewchuk, Ormiston, Richardt & Johnson LLP ever since. In February 2018, my business partner and I opened 1885 Wine & Whisky Room in downtown Kenora (KDCC member since June 2018).
As a business owner myself, and having spoken to some of my fellow entrepreneurs already, I know there is a need to bring more customers and more workers of all skill levels to Kenora. If elected, one of my goals will be attracting people to not only visit Kenora, but also to live, work and put down long-term roots here. Finding solutions to the current housing shortage is clearly one facet of this goal. I would also like to see Kenora taking measures to position itself as a more progressive city and a leader in the Northwest.
You can follow my campaign on Facebook and Instagram (@kralkokenora).
Sharon Smith, Experience, Commitment, Passion
My family and I have lived in the City of Kenora all my life. Retired after 25 years with the Ministry of Natural Resources Certified Human Resources Practitioner. Boards, Committees, Organizations. Municipal Councillor past 8 years
Chair, Town of Keewatin Planning Advisory Committee 7 years Director, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation 6 years Director, Northwestern Health Unit 6 years Director, Keewatin Non Profit Housing Corporation 7 years Director, Lake of the Woods Development Commission 4 years City of Kenora Tourism Committee 4 years City of Kenora Urban Trails Committee 10 years City of Kenora Accessibility Advisory Committee 8 years
Hobbies include; photography, gardening, boating, Harley Davidson motorcycling.
Small businesses drive our economy. It is important that small and medium sized businesses are supported by the City. I was a proponent of the Business Readiness Audit conducted by the City this year which lead to the development of a plan that would reduce red tape and create a one window approach for those doing business with the City. I believe the City works for you, not the other way around. Customer service is a priority for me and I have worked hard to instil that culture in City Hall.
Kenora has an infrastructure deficit that can’t be ignored. Council must continue to work hard to reduce that deficit while ensuring our roads and sidewalks are safe, clean and regularly maintained for citizens and visitors.
I support the three Community Improvement Plans in Kenora that provide incentives for businesses. Walking the downtown core demonstrates the difference that program has made to our storefronts. I recommended that Keewatin also have a Community Improvement Plan and the difference it has made for businesses in that area is clearly evident. The Planner that designed that particular plan uses the Keewatin example when she gives presentations to other municipalities to encourage them to use CIPs to grow their business sections.
Housing is a critical file for Council. Positive change is happening in the Kenora market and Council needs to continue that momentum by encouraging developers and creating the conditions that make them want to invest in our City. We need to continually advocate upper levels of government for assistance in the creation of badly needed social and supportive housing.
My goal is that Kenora is a community where people want to live, work, play and retire. To recruit and retain a healthy workforce and to support retirees it is important we have a variety of recreational and healthy lifestyle options. It is important to me that Council supports recreational opportunities and I am very grateful to the service clubs and volunteers that are fundraising in support of recreational infrastructure. Kenora is stronger when we work in partnership and community is better when we work together. If we build a diverse variety of recreational options for our citizens, visitors will also want to stay and play in Kenora.
Health care is a valued service and a priority for me. I have a passion for public health and as a Board Director for the Northwestern Health Unit I believe in their mission statement, “Improving the quality of life in our communities, healthy lifestyles, longer lives, lived well”. A strong accessible primary health care system is a priority and it is important that patients have faster access to emergency rooms, and to family doctors and specialists.
I want to work on a Council that has healthy debates, decides and puts the debates behind them and works together.
CHRIS VAN WALLEGHEM
I have lived in Kenora my whole life, married to Jane [Lemay], 3 sons and 4 grandchildren. My father was the manager of Lakeland Dairies where we lived upstairs for my 1st 20 years and where I was taught the value of volunteering. During my 35 year career at the local paper mill my involvement included various committees and all positions with the local union. Away from work my time was spent volunteering with anything my sons were involved with. My interests include fishing, curling, baseball and golf. Once retired I spent a 4 year term on Kenora city council being involved with a large number of committees and major decisions being implemented. We then spent time travelling. Our interests have now shifted solely in being more involved with the city which hopefully includes a seat on city council.
My priority for Kenora at this time is to address the housing shortage. We are seeing citizens of all ages in Kenora wanting to live here but can’t find or afford housing. Co-operation with all stakeholders in the City is needed to accomplish this and I would work towards this goal. The other priority for me is winter tourism. While our summers have proven to be a huge draw for summer residents and tourists, our winters definitely need help so we can be a year round destination. If elected voters could count on an experienced person who has been on a large number of committees and has worked with others to accomplish many positive results for the City.
- Born in 1937 on Ochapowace Reserve in Saskatchewan
- Colin is of Cree/Saulteaux (Ojibway) descent and attended residential school
- First came to Kenora in 1957
- Profession was teacher and education director, working with the federal and territorial governments for 25 years
- Returned to Kenora in 1974 and worked with various native organizations in education, social services and the justice system
- First elected in 1977 as a Councillor for the Town of Keewatin
- Then elected as Councillor for City of Kenora following amalgamation in 2000 and has served several terms since
- Colin’s name was chosen by Lieutenant Governor David Onley and was recognized as one of the province’s outstanding seniors.
- Community work involvement includes serving on the Lake of the Woods District Hospital Board, Northwestern Health Unit Board of Health, Public Board of Education, Kenora Police Services Board, various city of Kenora boards and committees and various native organization boards including Grand Council Treaty #3
- Awarded a Premier’s Council on Health Award as well as a Social Justice Award and he was his high school winner of the Tom Longboat Award for the National Native Athlete of Canada.
- Thoroughly enjoys his life in Kenora
Colin Wasacase stands for:
- Better tomorrow for the city of Kenora
- To encourage economical growth in Kenora by encouraging both small businesses and large businesses to come to the city.
- To provide recreational facilities for both the youth and retirees
- To continue to encourage First Nations to build their Educational and Daycare Systems in the city of Kenora
- To continue to encourage tourism in the city
- To help provide good health services in the city
- To encourage both provincial and federal governments to provide funding for affordable housing.