Ward 2’s All Candidates Meeting a resounding Success

Candidates on stage
Ward 2’s All Candidates Meeting a resounding Success

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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A packed auditorium of 300 plus residents greeted the candidates for Ward 2’s by-election meeting at St. Thomas Aquinas High School on Tuesday April 5, 2016 put together by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. In the audience were MP Pam Damoff  along with several of Oakville’s councillors, but more importantly Cathy Duddeck, Oakville’s Town and Regional Councillor for Ward 2, who will be working closely with the newly elected town councillor.

“Remember the Veterans who died so that we could vote, and honour them by casting your vote on April 11, 2016.” – John Sawyer, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

There are a total of 11 candidates running and all attended the meeting. They include:

  1. Chris Kowalchuck,
  2. Ruth Anne McAuley,
  3. Julie McLeod,
  4. John Pilcher,
  5. Fraser Damoff,
  6. Sean Neville,
  7. Shiba Anjum (candidate was not available for an interview)
  8. Hart Jansson,
  9. Dirk Soeterik,
  10. Cheryle McCullagh, and
  11. Ray Chisholm.

During the evening each candidate had an opening remark, followed by a rebuttal, and then each were asked to answer just three questions. Prior to and after the meeting, the public had the opportunity to speak with the candidates one-on-one.

Candidates sitting

Candidates preparing for their opening remarks. Photo Credit: OakvilleNews.Org

The evening was not totally serious with Chris Kowalchuk managing to start off with a joke that made the audience chuckle. Julie McLeod ran into a little bit of a problem, when she indicated that Fraser Damoff was only on the slate because of his last name. However, Sean Neville got a noticeable reaction after he mentioned that the town’s budget over the last 4 years did go up by 23%. It was also heartening to hear the warm applause given to Shiba Anjum.

Cheryle McCullagh roused a strong round of applause after she thanked Cathy Duddeck for doing such an excellent job, since Pam Damoff resigned her council seat after being elected as the Federal Member of Parliament for Oakville North Burlington back in October 2015.

The hot button topic for the audience was development, and how best to deal with the current situations of infill, minor variances, the Ontario Municipal Board, as well as landlords who allow their properties to sit vacant for years. Each candidate provided thoughtful responses, which can be found on their websites.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce did an excellent job of managing the all-candidates meeting for Ward 2, with the support of the student volunteers from St. Thomas Aquinas. The Oakville Milton District Real Estate Board, Tim Hortons, and the residents associations that make up Ward 2 (Coronation Park, Hopedale, West Harbour, and West River), also supported the evening.

John Sawyer stated an excellent reason why we need to vote. “Remember the Veterans who died so that we could vote, and honour them by casting your vote on April 11, 2016.”

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Gordon Brennan says:

    It was indeed an excellent night for Democracy in Oakville hosted by an excellent organization. As an audience only participant, I took six full pages of copious notes for future reference. Thanks for mentioning President John Sawyer’s wonderful closing remark concerning our war vets and their ultimate sacrifice towards our freedom to vote.

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