Hughes pays tribute to Mayor Austin Hunt

A celebration of Billings Township Mayor Austin Hunt’s over 60 years of public service will take place in Kagawong on October 7.

Ottawa –   When you are able to retire as the longest-serving politician in Canada it’s because of hard work and putting your community’s interests first, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes.

Hughes paid tribute to Billings Township Mayor, Austin Hunt who is not running in this month’s municipal elections for the first time in 65 years in Parliament, today.

“As a young man Austin volunteered to drive Lester B. Pearson and quickly rose through the ranks serving as his campaign manager for three successive campaigns,” said Hughes.  “Five years later, Austin was serving as a Councillor in Billings Township. He quickly became the mayor and was never defeated in a municipal election.”

This incredible political success is rooted in community service and political vision which have been the hallmarks of Mayor Hunt’s time in office.

“His belief that civic engagement is more important than partisan politics helps explain his political longevity,” said Hughes.  “He sought to build bridges and improve relations between his community and neighbouring First Nations.”

Hughes told parliamentarians that Mayor Hunt worked tirelessly on behalf of his community’s interests while never shying away from the people he felt fortunate to represent.

“He also spent time as the President of regional councils and associations and served on the executive of numerous other local committees, boards, and associations,” said Hughes. “Perhaps most importantly, Austin Hunt has always been accessible to the people he serves who elected him time and again.”