I was rooting through a pile of old family relics this week when I came across a blurry photo taken when my father took over the BP gas station, now the Circle K, at the corner of Elizabeth and Wallace Avenue North in Listowel. This would have been the late 70s, and I was only about three or four years old.
A few days after finding this record of my father’s early days settling into Listowel, I filed my nomination papers to run for the Municipality of North Perth council in the upcoming election. If I am successful in my campaign, it will be the apex of a journey that brings me kitty-corner across the Elizabeth and Wallace intersection.
So, as you may have noticed, things have slowed down at Woodstein.ca over the past month. Based on the strength of my work as a reporter for the Listowel Banner, a fair number of North Perth residents encouraged me to put my name forward as a candidate in the Listowel ward. As you can see, I was not totally against the idea. I mean, I’m in the race now.
I spent a month collecting nominations and thinking about how to move forward with the website if I were to give up on the local politics angle, which, to be honest, is not the main focus of Woodstein Media anyways. I will continue to publish articles on arts and culture that delve into the issues affecting the world today. If you are looking for coverage of landscape painting and cover bands, look elsewhere. If I lose the election, I can always return to council coverage, and if I win, I guess I’ve got to be prepared to see my quotes amplified through the media.
North Perth is a fast-growing municipality, among the ten fastest growing outside urban centres in Ontario, with the population of North Perth rising by about one-fifth between 2016 and 2021 to 15,538 people.
The growth has changed the dynamics of the community with a vibrant BIPOC community and North Perth Pride events which some council members only reluctantly accepted. This community needs fresh ideas, meaning new representation at the table. I hope that more new names will be on the ballot besides mine. It would be wonderful to see this community move forward, not backwards.
Issues affecting the community, like a truck bypass, were the talk of the town before my family arrived in the 1970s. Although the one-way section of Wallace Avenue South has temporarily alleviated some traffic issues, it is understandable that people in the south end are upset because of issues with the hourglass design of the town encouraging north-south flow through the core.
Housing, homelessness, and so many issues need fresh viewpoints for their tackling. They need to be approached by councillors who respect the work municipality staff puts into the reports they bring before council.
Attending meetings, monitoring several upper and lower municipal councils and provincial and federal elections and creating award-winning journalism about it has given me a unique perspective and an understanding of the issues North Perth council will deal with over the next four years and beyond. We’ll see how this election goes before I consider the future.
That’s it. That’s my big announcement. If you are a Listowel resident and want to discuss issues affecting you, please email me at email@example.com or like and share https://www.facebook.com/VoteColinBurrowes. If you don’t think I’m the right voice for you but agree that we need new representation, you have until August 19 at 2 pm to file 25 nominations with a $100 refundable fee. If you are reading this far from another municipality, why not consider running in your local election?
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