Meet the candidates for Rainbow Board trustee, Billings and Gore Bay

MANITOULIN—With the upcoming Manitoulin Island municipal elections taking place October 24, The Expositor is profiling the candidates for mayor/reeve and councillor positions in all those municipalities where elections will take place.

This week we are profiling candidates in the Town of Gore Bay, Billings Township, and the two candidates for trustee for the Rainbow District School Board.

In the Town of Gore Bay an election will take place for both the position of mayor and councillor seats. Ron Lane, former mayor, and newcomer Maureen (Mo) Armstrong will be in the running for the mayor seat.

There are a total of seven candidates in the running for the six Gore Bay council seats. They include incumbent Mayor Dan Osborne, incumbent councillors Ken Blodgett, Pauline Nodecker, Leeanne Woestenenk and Aaron Wright, along with Kelly Chaytor and Terry Olmstead. Mr. Blodgett could not be reached by press time Monday.

Billings Township councillor Bryan Barker was the only candidate who put his name forward for the position of mayor of the township, and was acclaimed. However, there are six candidates in the running for the four council seats. They include incumbent councillor Michael Hunt and newcomers Dave Hillyard, Jim Cahill, Vince Grogan, Mike Larocque and Paul Darlaston. Mr. Hunt could not be reached by press time Monday.

There will also be an election held for the Manitoulin Island trustee on the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB). Incumbent Margaret Stringer, who had earlier this year indicated she would not be returning, has decided to throw her hat in the election for another term. Recently retired teacher Lisa Corbiere-Addison will also be running for the trustee seat on the RDSB.

Rainbow District School Board

Lisa Corbiere-Addison

Lisa Corbiere-Addison, a newly retired educator of over 27 years, believes she is the person to take on the role as Island trustee for the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) come October 24.

“I was born and raised on the Island and come from a family of educators—I’m third generation,” she tells The Expositor. “I’m a parent, grandparent, teacher and businesswoman. I’m used to working two jobs; I’m accustomed to long hours and hard work.” When Ms. Corbiere-Addison would leave Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) for the day, she would head straight to the family business, BJ’s and Addison’s.

Ms. Corbiere-Addison also represented the staff at District 3 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) as the Communication and Political Action Rep for MSS.  “From the District 3 level, I was promoted to a OSSTF Provincial First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) Advisory Committee where I served for eight years, working with the leadership advising on policies involving FNMI issues. I also spent eight years servicing the public of Algoma Manitoulin in the role of Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Review Team, working constantly for the betterment of Manitoulin Island.”

Ms. Corbiere-Addison says her view both as a businessperson and teacher gives her a unique and fresh perspective on the role of trustee, and she’s keen to use the tools of assessment she taught her business students and set straight to work surveying the public for their wants and needs from the RDSB on Manitoulin.

She’s been ‘pounding the pavement’ during this election period and is proud to say she’s attended all of the candidates’ nights that have been held across Manitoulin. Throughout this time, she’s heard from many parents, students and staff about their concerns. She raises a new protocol bus drivers must adhere to this school year as one such concern. As was reported by this newspaper in August, the Sudbury Student Service Consortium, which oversees the handing of school buses in the Rainbow Board, including Manitoulin, enacted a new technology whereby each student is equipped with a QR code which drivers are meant to scan with a tablet each time the student boards or exits the bus. The tablet uses cell data, Ms. Corbiere-Addison says which on Manitoulin is fraught as there are huge pockets with no service, so the technology doesn’t work. “Plus,” she adds, “this is distracted driving” as the bus driver is forced to pull out a tablet over and over again.

“You know as a parent if you put your kid on the bus or you didn’t put your kid on the bus,” she says. “And if they didn’t go to school, the school secretary will call and ask where that student is. This system is not working efficiently. I would rather see that money put toward additional resources that are needed by the void left by COVID … Throughout the pandemic our children have suffered.”

Because of this, Ms. Corbiere-Addison would like to see the opportunity for summer school at MSS, to help students earn lost credits in compulsory credit courses. “Many students need access to special education resources, literacy skills, math and science support.  Fundamental skills have fallen behind. In today’s classes, many teachers are pressed into teaching basic literacy skills, to help kids catch up instead of teaching the curriculum in various courses.” 

Ms. Corbiere-Addison says students are struggling to make up for lost time in the classroom, the effect of COVID-19 lockdowns. She’s hearing from parents of children in daycare who are frustrated by some of the mandates still in place. “Some of these mandates need to go back so we can again function as a society.” While daycare is not in the purview of RDSB trustee, Ms. Corbiere-Addison believes these things go hand in hand.

She says she would like to see a transition plan in place for children going from daycare to Junior Kindergarten, similar to what happens with Grade 8s heading to Grade 9 suggesting a buddy system with an older child at elementary school as one suggestion.

Ms. Corbiere-Addison says she would take a holistic approach to the role of trustee. “It’s not just about focussing on the students, but the support systems too.”

The candidate has concerns with staffing shortages and suggests that one way to attract teachers would be by offering housing, which was done in the past.

The candidate for trustee gives three examples of areas that she believes can see vast improvement.

First, more focus on the trades at the secondary level. “We need to look at tailoring education to available jobs,” she says, giving the Ring of Fire development by way of example.

Second, she would push for a feasibility study for outdoor education. “While a student at Queen’s University I had the opportunity to attend a variety of outdoor education schools. These centres brought students in from across the board, taught in an outdoor setting. Here on Manitoulin, we have a unique environment and unique culture, both could be shared so effectively.” Ms. Corbiere-Addison believes that with more outdoor education in Manitoulin schools would make for good stewards of the land and would create a better understanding of First Nation culture and effective steps toward Reconciliation.

“I retired in February 2022—I have a fresh perspective of the needs of students, staff and administrators,” she continues. “And I feel I’m in touch with people from one end of the Island to the other, the heartbeat of Manitoulin.”

Margaret Stringer

Margaret Stringer came to Manitoulin in 1984 with her husband Jim, a Haweater and long-time teacher at Manitoulin Secondary School. Ms. Stringer was an educator for 35 years, including 30 on Manitoulin as a teacher and principal. She has worked at schools in Gore Bay, Mindemoya, Little Current and Manitoulin Secondary School. For five years she was the principal of special education programs and services, with responsibilities for all schools in the board.

Ms. Stringer has represented Manitoulin Island as a trustee on the Rainbow District School Board for the past four years. Earlier this year she announced her retirement but decided to run again after learning there was only one candidate. “I believe that democracy requires that voters have choices and are able to make informed decisions based on competing goals and visions,” she said.

As one of nine trustees (with three being from Manitoulin), she has been part of a team effort to advocate for and to support students. “The results of that team effort included substantial efforts to maintain and improve our school buildings,” she said. “Manitoulin has received its fair share of that spending, including a major revitalization project at Manitoulin Secondary School, improved ventilation at all of our schools, and various upgrades at our elementary schools ranging from lighting and heating systems to exterior brickwork, water lines and parking lots, to name a few.”

“We’ve also increased transparency and accountability by live-streaming board meetings and strategic planning meetings, and archiving board meetings,” she added.

Ms. Stringer has served on a number of committees, including the Special Education Advisory Committee, Labour Relations, Audit Committee, Strategic Planning and the First Nations Advisory Committee. “I’ve played a leadership role when needed and I’ve been able to use my 30 plus years of experience as an educator and principal in Island schools to help shape the direction of the board.”

Recognizing that communication with parents and community members is important, Ms. Stringer does use social media and has been available through her Facebook page, but she is “old school” and prefers telephone or face-to-face communication.

Ms. Stringer was part of the Manitoulin COVID leadership coordination committee, since fall 2020, keeping community partners (including mayors, reeves and chiefs) informed on the situation in schools during the pandemic.

“The last two-and-one-half years have been dominated by the pandemic,” she said. “Not that we weren’t focusing on achievement but our top priority was to keep everyone safe.”

A crucial element to this was ensuring the board provided (and continues to provide) the necessary mental health supports while addressing learning gaps created because of COVID, and continuing to prepare students for their future.

“The work to fill in gaps has begun, with tutoring in our elementary schools, starting last April and continuing this fall, extra resource teachers in place starting this fall, along with a variety of other supports including summer literacy and numeracy programs for elementary students, and summer co-op and learning options for secondary students. That said, it is critical that these measures continue until the job of getting everyone back up to speed is complete,” said Ms. Stringer.

She believes the board must continue to prepare students for their future. “We need to stress the basics, and develop strong reading, writing and math skills. We need to help students develop the resilience needed to meet life’s challenges, and the character and interpersonal skills that will help along the way. We need to encourage our students to look at areas like the trades, where graduates are in high demand, and will be for the foreseeable future.”

The board must always look at things from the perspective of keeping students safe, healthy and in school, Ms. Stringer said. She doesn’t believe there will be a dramatic resurgence in COVID but if there is, she would expect the provincial government to focus on keeping students safe and in school by expanding public health measures like masking.

“Public health measures, including masking, helped keep students safe during the pandemic,” she said. “A large majority of our people are vaccinated now, which is why we are where we are today. Masking is no longer required. We’re now in a place of personal choice, one of kindness and respect for others, recognizing that some people have personal reasons why a mask was necessary.”

“The province should only close schools and move to virtual learning, if its public health experts determine that students can’t be kept safe in school even with enhanced public health measures,” said Ms. Stringer.

“I care deeply about our students. I want to see them all succeed, and their success is my motivation as trustee. If elected, it’s my pledge to continue to work as hard as I can to ensure that the students of Manitoulin have everything they need to become the best possible versions of themselves,” she said.

Township of Billings

Jim Cahill

If elected, I will: oversee the best use of the township’s finances and other resources; listen and respond to residents and businesses concerns and ideas; focus council decisions toward a healthy and sustainable Township of Billings and bring common sense to the council table.

My background: I have lived in Kagawong for 19 years (16.5 years seasonal resident and 2.5 years permanent resident), father of five grown children, chartered professional accountant (CMA) with 30-plus years of accounting, finance, budgeting, infrastructure project financing and project management experience; and 20 years of community volunteering and hobbies include hiking, kayaking, fishing and golf.

The issues facing Billings Township include: demographics in Billings have begun to transition from a natural occurring retirement community to more of a mixed community due to the growth in population of younger families. This is great. However, as a result of this shift there is a lack of both daycare and youth activities that need to be addressed. A second issue that Billings is facing is the lack of affordable housing. 

At the start of the new council’s mandate and over the next four years I’d like to see all council meetings and committee meetings return to in person meetings.

In the coming four years I’d like to see Billings collaborate with other Island municipalities to obtain grant support to install electric chargers for vehicles and implement a glass recycling program. Additionally, it will be important for Billings to work toward solutions to the issues identified above. 

I think that my 30-plus years of financial and business experience, together with my common-sense approach, makes me a strong candidate for councillor for Billings.

Paul Darlaston

Good day to Billings voters. I’m Paul Darlaston and I live in Kagawong with my wife Suzanne. We moved to Kagawong 16 years ago. We were leaving a community just north of the Greenbelt under huge development pressure. Coming here we didn’t know Kagawong. We chose Manitoulin and we chose a house that happened to be in Kagawong. Never regretted it. 

Born in England to an English father and Irish mother, I got into information technology in its early days. Recruited to Canada to help build BMO’s original online banking system. Four years later my family and I became Canadians. I progressed through technical specialities in Canada and with Bell Canada International in Saudi Arabia; then consulting (with KPMG). 

I bring experience and good judgement of capital projects and tax funds generally. I believe a councillor’s job is to listen to the community and to advice coming from staff and experts and then vote for what is best for the community. I have extensive experience preparing and executing complex budgets. 

I successfully lobbied Queen’s Park to cancel plans for mandating grey water holding tanks in pleasure craft. I organized residents of a 1920s street and persuaded local council and Ministry of Transport to modify standard road specifications to preserve streetscape of 70-year-old trees. 

I’ve collected 800-plus signatures on a petition to Ontario government to stop utilities like Hydro One spraying glyphosate pesticides. 

I’ve attended many Billings council meetings (physically and virtually). 

For this term and beyond climate change will loom over all decisions. I have been an active member of Billings’ Climate Action Committee from 2019-2022. I hope that stands me in good stead. 

I’m told I’m approachable. For sure, community members regularly come up to me and ask ‘Paul, what do you think of…’  

Billings’ Official Plan states, “municipalities should plan for a population growth of approximately 800-900 residents by 2036.” Based upon property sales this last year I think that those numbers are already wildly out of date as new arrivals are buying up every bit of housing stock. Billings council needs to plan the service capacity, for example water treatment and roads for all these extra residents.

Vince Grogan

Please give me a few minutes of your time to introduce myself, Vince Grogan. My wife Denise and I have been together for over three decades and have raised two fantastic children, a son and a daughter. We raised our family in Cambridge, Ontario where I was very involved with minor sports, both hockey and lacrosse.  

Every opportunity Denise and I had for holidays we would pack the family, the dogs and the boat up and head north.

We first spent years exploring the Massasauga Provincial Park system, just south of Parry Sound, very remote, very peaceful. Then, thanks to some close friends, we were introduced to this beautiful island. I discovered quickly that my soul is at peace here. We spent two to three years renting various cabins and cottages, predominately in Billings Township, and spent many days just enjoying the whole Island’s charm.

We found that our hamlet is a flawless diamond and fell in love with the natural beauty and tranquility, not to mention the incredible people we have met. From our pristine shorelines and water systems to the most incredible night skies. We had to find a place here to call our own. Our first property on Maple Point Rd was part of the original Dodge estate and we hear it could have been “Danny Dodge’s duck pond.” Still living in Cambridge, we purchased that property in 2005 and as a younger couple Denise and I cleared a lot of the land and now have our little bunkie in the bush.

Just like you, I love our hamlet and I would like an opportunity to be part of Billings town council with a commitment to protect and preserve our beautiful environment, from the pristine waters we are blessed with to the vital farmland that feeds our families, council must be good shepherds.

Council is also obligated to focus on fiscal responsibility and economic development to encourage smaller to medium sized companies that want a healthy lifestyle option for their valuable employees to consider opening a facility in our community.

I look forward to meeting as many of my neighbours in person as possible and I would really appreciate your support in electing me to your town council.

David Hillyard

I’m known as a big kid, full of life and the happiest person in the room. I love to have fun, to serve others in my community and I love my home. I have lived in beautiful Billings Township since 2019 with my wife Stephanie and our two boys ages 6 and 4. 

I am new to politics, but I am not afraid of hard work. I know that joining the Billings council is a big responsibility which brings with it an extremely steep learning curve. I care deeply about Billings Township and am willing to go above and beyond to serve its needs. I’m a people person and a simple family man. I will do my homework and get informed on the issues that arise as I represent the taxpayer. I want to give the Billings taxpayer a voice when it comes to important matters such as bylaw opposition or major decisions generated without any public input.

My goal as a young councillor is to encourage people to get back out into the community. I want to work with and develop options for our kids and youth to start enjoying year-round outdoor activities.

I would like to review the current bylaws and recently changed bylaws. Another issue on the rise the last four years is that we have an abundance of jobs and limited supply of workers available, and this has become an Island-wide problem. We should work with our neighboring municipalities to develop an Island-wide strategy to tackle this problem.

Projects that I would like to see completed right away: update strategic plan, address the continued parking challenges at Bridal Veil Falls to improve public safety, promote local food and strategies to reduce our carbon footprint and speeding on our back roads is a problem.

We can dream big while maintaining fiscal responsibility. We can lead as a council by example, building on the vision of those that have gone before us—capitalizing on serious investments to infrastructure such as the river trail, the marina overhaul and the improved road through town, to seize new opportunities building a bright future and set the tone for a Billings that our children will grow and thrive in.

Michael Hunt (incumbent [no response by press time])

Mike Larocque

I’m Mike Larocque, running for council in Billings Township. I was born and raised in Sudbury and permanently reside in Kagawong since 2012 following my retirement from INCO with 31 years of service.

I was involved with the Community Centre in Blezard Valley for 20 years with the last five as vice president.

My priorities for the community are road maintenance (specifically snowplowing, sanding), Lake Kagawong management and to promote more business and tourism to the area.

I would like to have the opportunity to represent you and be your voice on council. I am also fully bilingual.

Town of Gore Bay

Ron Lane, mayoral candidate

Ron Lane has a total of 16 years experience in municipal government, having served as councillor for eight years and mayor for eight years. Mr. Lane is running for mayor of the Town of Gore Bay. “I know how council works and am familiar with our partners, including government people,” he said. “I know the town, having lived here for over 60 years.”

Mr. Lane was the mayor of Gore Bay from 2010 to 2018 and served two terms on council in the 1990s. He was also a manager in public service for 30 years and has “dealt with the public and have been working with people my whole professional life.”

After three years on the sidelines, Mr. Lane re-entered public life in July 2021 by sitting as a citizen member on the general government committee. Once he was back and involved again, he decided he would put his name in for mayor if the current mayor, Dan Osborne, decided not to run again; if he did, Mr. Lane would put his name in for council.

Mr. Lane said he is focussing on a broad number of issues to look at if elected. “The next four years could be tough, especially in the area of health care,” he said. “As we all know, the (Manitoulin Lodge) nursing home does not meet provincial standards and because of this, they had to reduce the number of beds from private and semi-private. Fewer people are getting into the nursing home but the demand for this senior’s living facility is growing.”

The lease with Jarlette Health Services runs out in 2025. Mr. Lane wants to ensure the nursing home remains open in town.

The current doctor situation is another issue that must be addressed. Drs. Bob Hamilton and Shelagh McRae would like to retire. While the town has been trying to recruit new doctors, it has not been successful so far. If both doctors retired, Gore Bay would be down to one doctor, Dr. Chantelle Wilson. “Ideally we want an additional full-time doctor,” he said.

The health care issues affect more than Gore Bay, as the nursing home and doctors provide services for all of Western Manitoulin.

A lack of housing for seniors is another concern. “At one time there were three senior housing buildings in town, the Bayside, Millsite and Woods Lane apartments,” Mr. Lane said. “Now we are down to one. All of us are getting older and there will be more of a demand for senior housing. There are huge waiting lists.”

He’d would like to see more housing for seniors, like they are building in Little Current. “This is a huge issue for me,” said Mr. Lane.

He also pointed out the need for more affordable housing for young families and individuals. The newer apartments have higher rental costs that might be affordable for families with two incomes, he said. “We have to be able to provide something, housing wise, that they can afford.”

Downtown revitalization is also on Mr. Lane’s agenda. “The core area of town does not look good.” He pointed to work that needs to be done to curbs, sidewalks and interlocking stone that needs to be repaired or rebuilt. The last time we did this type of work in town was 30 plus years ago. Our town has to look good. I would like to see the downtown revitalization take place.”

He also has his eye on the master plan for the marina. In 2019 the town completed the first phase of upgrades, which included new docks and hydro. Phase two includes more docks on the east side of Fish Point, similar to the west side of the marina. Mr. Lane would like to see this phase move forward and is confident the town can obtain funding for the work.

Mr. Lane pointed out numerous projects currently underway, including the new gazebo and boardwalk repairs. The water project up to Thorburn Street will take up most of next summer and other cast iron watermains need to be replaced, he said. “That will carry on.”

Another thing Gore Bay needs is a marketing plan to let people know what Gore Bay is all about and where to find it, he said. “The key is getting people here.”

The marketing plan would also encourage people to move to Gore Bay. This would be facilitated by a partnership with local businesses, a round table consisting of council and business owners, Mr. Lane said.

Event-wise, Mr. Lane wants to see the successful Main Street summer market continue. He would also like to see another community event take place in town on an annual basis, maybe bringing back the winter carnival, adding to the popular summer theatre and the Harbour Days celebrations, he said. “It makes money and brings in people to the town. That’s a win-win for the town and businesses. I think we need a major festival twice a year.”

The mayor sets the agenda for council and sets up committees, he concluded. “It is a big job, one that I have done in the past and know I can do now. I have a lot of knowledge of this town and have all kinds of experience.”

Maureen Armstrong, mayoral candidate

Maureen Armstrong is a long-time resident of Manitoulin Island and feels it is time for her to give back to her community. With that, she has several issues that she would like to see the town address and lists what would be part of her focus if she is elected mayor of Gore Bay in the upcoming municipal election.

“The first problem that I can see is we need to address the needs of the Gore Bay Medical Centre, which not only serves Gore Bay but the entire West End of the Island, along with summer visitors,” said Ms. Armstrong. “The doctors there need help with Dr. Bob (Hamilton) and Shelagh (McRae) wanting to retire soon, which would leave Dr. (Chantelle) Wilson as the lone doctor. It is super important to add more doctors and we need to focus on that.”

“Secondly, in the town’s strategic plan dated March 2016, under infrastructure, it was stated they would ensure our streets, curbs and sidewalks meet the current and future needs of the town. They are in terrible shape and need not just repairs but a rebuild with accessibility in mind; not only for those with accessibility issues but with a large senior population it is tougher for them, and others, to get around,” said Ms. Armstrong. She notes that according to provincial legislation, all municipally owned buildings need to be accessible by 2025.

“Next, as our town’s population shrinks and ages, we need an influx of younger people to come and live here,” said Ms. Armstrong. “To that end, we need to find and develop more housing for people to live. Some new building needs to take place.” 

“Finally, we have spent so much money and effort on the marina, which is wonderful. I would like to ask the question of what is there to do once visitors arrive. We need to meet that question with amazing answers,” said Ms. Armstrong.

Ms. Armstrong explained, “I came to the Island to live full-time in the 1990s because I wanted to raise my kids in a country environment. My mother was from Silver Water and I have long felt strong ties to the Island.”

“I started my career doing visiting nursing as a registered nurse with Bayshore,” said Ms. Armstrong. “One of the things I am most proud of during that time is learning about the portable pain pump that is used to help people with terminal illnesses stay at home instead of going to the hospital. It provided people with a choice to die at home instead of in a hospital. I went on to teach its (portable pain pump) use to healthcare professionals all over the Island.”

Other accomplishments Ms. Armstrong noted include teaching the personal support worker (PSW) program twice for Cambrian College (on Manitoulin Island) and the registered practical nurse (RPN) course in Wiikwemkoong.

“I worked for 18 months in M’Chigeeng First Nation as the long-term case manager, giving me experience with the Ojibway culture,” said Ms. Armstrong. “I also worked in the far north with the Cree for Health Canada, learning advanced nursing skills.”

“After that, I went back to school for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, graduating in 2008. When I returned, I worked nightshift for Manitoulin Lodge and then became the Director of Care in November 2009,” continued Ms. Armstrong. “In December of that year, I was involved in a car accident that ended that career, as I wound up in a wheelchair. That changes one’s perspective on life entirely.”

Ms. Armstrong said, “I have no political experience per se, but I have navigated the medical system for years with its many changes in legislation, rules and regulations. Also, as a nurse, I have experience in looking at problems and finding solutions.”

“I also think of myself as being a people person, and after COVID-19 people need attention,” said Ms. Armstrong. “The people of this town were so giving and supportive at the time when I was originally hurt. Now is the time when I can give something back. I am running for Mayor because I think the townspeople just need someone who cares about them, and I am ready to be that person.”

Kelly Chaytor

I have been a resident of Gore Bay along with my husband Greg and our two children for the past six years. I work at Manitoulin Transport and have been with the company for 18 years. I have also been on the school parent council at Charles C. McLean Public School for the past five years where I have gotten to work with some amazing parents.

I have put my name forward to run as a councillor because I want to be a voice for the youth and young families within Gore Bay. With being involved in the local school and having my own children I want to help make Gore Bay the place to be for generations.

This past summer, along with my husband and our two children, we organized and ran Nerf Wars at the arena for kids of all ages. We had kids from five years old up to 65. It was a great experience where I got to meet parents and kids. I heard from so many people saying they loved that there was this activity for our community.

It was great to see how the local business also stepped up to help with donations to show their support for the local kids in this event. Running this event is what started to motivate me to step up and put my name forward so I can help more activities for all residents.

We need to bring back the community events as everyone has suffered socially with COVID restrictions. The Gore Bay Recreation committee has some upcoming events which will be exciting for the community. Volunteers are a must to have for these events. I would like to encourage anyone who wants to help to please reach out.

If I am voted for council, this opportunity would give me a chance to learn how our town runs and works for/with the residents of Gore Bay.

Leeanne Woestenek (incumbent)

I have lived in Gore Bay for the past 15 years. During this time, I have enjoyed watching things change in our community. I have always had a genuine passion for Gore Bay and shortly after moving here decided to volunteer on the recreation committee as a citizen representative. Our committee has a lot of fun planning events for our community.

As our children grew older, working part-time at Service Ontario, and my husband serving a term on council I found myself having more time for myself to do something to give back to the community, so I decided in 2018 to throw my hat in the ring and run for council as well.

It’s been more demanding at times that I ever thought but I feel I bring the energy and hard work needed to be successful. Unpopular and controversial decisions are made at times and you experience scrutiny but you just have to listen to members of the community and hope you’re doing the best for them.

I have decided to run for this term of council again as the first four years went by far too quickly. I enjoyed being one of six decision makers, to ensure the alignment with our communities’ visions, values and wants.

Being on council has been a real eye opener in that you realize there is no money tree in the town that you can pick from. There is a lot more to making responsible and reasonable decisions. We need to make decisions based on reality and what we have.

Our taxpayers work hard for their money and it’s only fair if we let them keep it. I don’t believe they should have to pay the price for council’s wants.

I believe this past term there have been a lot of positives that have happened in our town. Some taking more time than wanted but that was out of our hands.

If elected, I look forward to promoting the welfare and interests of our residents and business owners for another term.

Terry Olmstead

For over 35 years, I have had the privilege of serving as a human resources professional for a number of industries, including logistics, retail, operations and manufacturing. My wife Rosanne and I currently run a consulting business from our home in Gore Bay, where we have resided for 25 years. Previous to this, I held the role as Director of Human Resources for Manitoulin Transport and currently maintain my membership as a Certified Human Resources Professional with both the Sudbury and Toronto Chapters of the Human Resources Professionals Association.

My career heavily focused on the areas of harassment and discrimination. I have been featured as an expert speaker at several industry conferences, additionally developing a number of training programs on this topic as well as others.

I feel strongly that, because of this, I can assist in the development and care of our infrastructure and accommodation needs. I have been working under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act for the past 17 years. I also have the knowledge required to be effective in the financial requirements of the councillor position. I am very interested in the retail success of Gore Bay, and through my experience in the retail industry (10 years) think I can assist.

In 2015, I joined the board of the Manitoulin Health Centre and quickly moved into the role of chair of the board from 2016-2021. Through this role, I served on several MHC volunteer committees including audit, executive, fundraising, governance, nominating, resource, strategic planning, and quality assurance.

If elected, my broad exposure to the health care needs of Island residents through the hospital board will prove very beneficial in the long-term planning for both the Gore Bay Medical Centre and nursing home which has to be rebuilt. I have developed and facilitated many successful strategic plans throughout my career in human resources and time with the board at MHC.

Through my professional career, as well as being a husband and father, I’ve embodied the importance of listening, mentorship, community, and helping people achieve their goals; qualities that I feel would serve my fellow citizens well if they choose to support me as their representative in the upcoming election.

For more information on my plan for Gore Bay visit

Let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear from you about how we can make Gore Bay better together. (705) 282-0894.

Paulie Nodecker (incumbent)

Hello. My name is Paulie Nodecker and I am running for the position of councillor for the town of Gore Bay.

I have been a full-time resident of Gore Bay since 1996. My mother was originally from Gore Bay, and I still have very strong family ties to the area. Although I was not raised on the Island, we spent every summer at our cottage on Tobacco Lake and I knew at a very young age someday I would be here permanently.

My education is in nursing; I have been a registered nurse for 22 years. As a student, when the opportunity arose for me to complete my final placement and preceptorship at Manitoulin Health Centre (Little Current) I jumped on it. I have been nursing on Manitoulin ever since (except for a year of adventures in northern Alberta driving a medic truck in the oilfields).

I have had the privilege of working in many different areas of health care Manitoulin has to offer. I have worked acute care, emergency, labour and delivery, and day surgery at Manitoulin Health Centre, at both Little Current and Mindemoya sites. I have worked at two long term care homes, Wikwemikong Nursing Home and Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay where I filled the role of Director of Care for six years. I currently work for Home and Community Care Support Service coordinating home care services for the wonderful residents on Manitoulin.

If elected in 2022 I would be serving a second term. Four years ago, I had interest but no experience in municipal politics. It has definitely been a learning curve and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Being part of a wonderful team of people, who genuinely care about the betterment of the town, has been a privilege and I look forward to serving another four years. Seeing how hard the dedicated and committed town employees work to make Gore Bay (in my opinion) the best town to live in on Manitoulin is truly inspiring.

For the next term I hope to see mayor and council build on the foundations laid for several projects and look forward to seeing what more can be accomplished.

One area particularly is physician recruitment and retainment. It is of utmost importance to find innovative strategies and collaborations to bring dedicated physicians to Gore Bay and the rest of Western Manitoulin Island. Time is limited and this issue should be top priority.

I feel current council has done a good job with improving services at the transfer station, staff are working hard to make more improvements and more plans are in the near future.

The recreation committee has had a few changes to the membership to include new community members. This is a hard-working committee and the members spend countless hours volunteering their own time organizing special events for the town residents to enjoy and participate in.

In conclusion, I don’t have a specific agenda, but I will say I am here for the greater good of Gore Bay. This town is a very special place and has a lot to offer its residents and visitors. I will remain committed to the role of councillor. I’m not afraid to ask questions, I will speak up and advocate for issues I believe in.

I hope to see everyone out at the polling stations and thank you for your support!

Dan Osborne

Lynn and I have called Gore Bay home since 1987. We came here as tourists and never left.

We raised our three children here and have operated a business on Gore Bay’s main street for 19 years.

I have been involved with town council since 2003, and have sat on numerous boards and committees over the years, gaining a lot of knowledge on the workings of municipal politics.

I do not have a specific agenda and can’t promise anything other than I will continue to put in the time and effort required to continue representing our residents and town.

We are facing many challenges similar to most places in Canada. We need doctors, affordable housing for both seniors and young families. We need to retain the employment. And we have to create an environment to attain more.

We need to continue improving our infrastructure and expand our water and sewer services to allow for more development.

Our marina is a key part of tourism in Gore Bay, and we need to move on to our next phase of expansion. All of these things and more are what we have been working at over the past years.

I like the path our town is currently on and would like to continue in this direction.

Looking ahead to the future years I would hope our council and staff can work together as we have in the four years and continue to move our town ahead.

I would like to be a part of the next four years.

Aaron Wright (incumbent)

Hi, I am Aaron Wright and I am seeking your votes for council in Gore Bay for the 2022 election.

I have lived in Gore Bay for over 27 years and work as a paramedic. I have enjoyed and learned from being on council during the past four years. We were faced with the challenges of COVID and being able to maintain all of our services. All while keeping taxes at a minimal increase; which we need to continually think about.

During the next term we need to be active in our community health care and extended health care. We need to encourage new doctors to come here and stay. We also need to work with our community partners in keeping our nursing home in Gore Bay.

This helps keep our seniors near their homes and their families close to them as they are cared for.

I am also aware that we need to work closely with all the local and prospective new businesses to continue growth and jobs here. We have a beautiful community that draws in many tourists from all over the world and we need to keep them coming. Our marina is constantly improving and that work needs to continue for more and bigger boats. This also contributes to our tax base.

These are all very important issues but what I want, if elected, is to work in harmony with all the councillors, mayor and staff for the betterment of Gore Bay. Thanks for your support.