St. John’s City Hall gets Con­cep­tion Bay North flavour

Bur­ton, Korab re­ceive strong sup­port in first at­tempts at run­ning for elected of­fice

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

An in­fu­sion of new voices in St. John’s City Hall as a re­sult of last week’s elec­tion in­cludes two rookie coun­cil­lors with ties to Con­cep­tion Bay North.

Mag­gie Bur­ton of Bri­gus and Har­bour Grace’s Olympic hero Jamie Korab both ran suc­cess­ful elec­tion cam­paigns and had strong re­sults to show for it. Bur­ton, who ran for coun­cil­lor at large, re­ceived the most votes (20,623) out of 12 can­di­dates look­ing to fill four seats.

“I’m re­ally happy to know that the com­mu­nity is be­hind both me and my poli­cies, and I think that peo­ple re­ally want to hear de­tailed ideas about what can­di­dates want to do,” she told the Com­pass last week.

In Ward 3, Korab achieved a land­slide vic­tory, re­ceiv­ing 63 per cent of all votes in his ward. He learned the good news at home on elec­tion night sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends.

“One of my cam­paign guys was on the com­puter — kept on re­fresh­ing and re­fresh­ing,” he said, al­lud­ing to the wait for fi­nal re­sults that went on for hours. “Then the mo­ment came and we’d seen it flash up with the 5,000 votes and (63) per cent.

“The place went up. Ev­ery­one cheered. It was pretty cool, know­ing all that hard work over the last four months had paid off.”

Korab, a real es­tate agent best known in New­found­land and Labrador for help­ing Brad Gushue’s curl­ing team win Olympic gold in 2006, has given thought to pol­i­tics in the past. When Jerome Kennedy re­signed as an MHA for Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace, Korab gave se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to seek­ing the Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion, but ul­ti­mately with­drew be­fore a nom­i­na­tion vote was held.

“I stepped away from that, and I kind of kept my ears and eyes open,” he said. “Two years ago, in the pro­vin­cial elec­tion, my daugh­ter was only two at the time, so I never put any

se­ri­ous thought what­so­ever in (run­ning) provin­cially. But I knew at some point I was go­ing to make a run at some­thing.

“I try to live my life with more of a ‘no re­grets’ pol­icy, and I didn’t want to be 60 or 70 years old and say, ‘Well, I should have run.’”

He’s be­come heav­ily in­volved in his com­mu­nity in the Cowan Heights area and does a va­ri­ety of vol­un­teer work. With his daugh­ter get­ting a bit older and lo­cal ward coun­cil­lor Bruce Til­ley de­cid­ing to re­tire, Korab felt ready to give it a go.

“I’ve lived in St. John’s now since 1999, and it’s where I’ve called home since then. I fig­ured at the mu­nic­i­pal level, it’s great to get in at the ground level and get more in­volved.”

A lead­er­ship coach with a young fam­ily, Bur­ton is heav­ily in­volved in the non-profit and cul­tural sec­tors and also has con­sid­er­able mu­si­cal tal­ents.

She first picked up the vi­o­lin as a stu­dent with Yvonne Stel­lisano at All Hal­lows Ele­men­tary in North River and took lessons lo­cally with An­drew Mercer and Ren­dell Mercer right up un­til the mo­ment she left home for univer­sity. She’s now a mem­ber of the New­found­land Sym­phony Or­ches­tra.

Bur­ton has al­ways been in­ter­ested in tak­ing on lead­er­ship roles, and hav­ing a young fam­ily in the city, she knew there was a need for new per­spec­tives on coun­cil.

“I have a lot of unique ex­pe­ri­ences, and they can be use­ful in go­ing for­ward in our city.”

As a coun­cil­lor en­ter­ing her first term, Bur­ton is ea­ger to tackle the next mu­nic­i­pal plan for the city.

“I also just want to see coun­cil as a whole de­vel­op­ing a shared vi­sion for the city that ex­tends be­yond the next four years.”

She also cred­its her ex­pe­ri­ence grow­ing up in Con­cep­tion Bay North for help­ing her get to where she is to­day.

“I’d like to thank peo­ple in Bri­gus, Bay Roberts and the com­mu­ni­ties I grew up in for re­ally fos­ter­ing a love of this prov­ince in me that al­lows me to be an ef­fec­tive politi­cian.”

As for Korab’s plans, he’s ready to rep­re­sent res­i­dents in his ward. He learned a lot about their is­sues while cam­paign­ing in the area and hopes to ad­dress traffic calm­ing and tax­a­tion.

The re­ac­tion back home to his elec­tion win was still get­ting pro­cessed as of late last week. In the days fol­low­ing his vic­tory, Korab was flooded with mes­sages con­grat­u­lat­ing him on the win.

“The sup­port has been very amaz­ing and very hum­bling, I have to say.”


Jamie Korab is no stranger to folks in the Con­cep­tion Bay North area, but he’ll be new to St. John’s City Hall fol­low­ing his win in Ward 3.


Mag­gie Bur­ton, who grew up in Bri­gus, is now a coun­cil­lor at large in St. John’s.

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