New Mayor and Coun­cil sworn in

Seaway News - - NEWS - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas.see­[email protected]

CORNWALL, On­tario - Ber­nadette Cle­ment was sworn in as Mayor of Cornwall in a cer­e­mony at the Civic Com­plex on Mon­day, Dec. 3, 2018 along­side a new Coun­cil for a four-year term.

The new Coun­cil is com­posed of Claude McIntosh, Elaine MacDonald, Syd Gar­diner, Dean Hollingsworth, Car­i­lyne Hébert, Mau­rice Du­pelle, Glen Grant, Todd Ben­nett, Justin Town­dale and Eric Berg­eron.

The new coun­cil was an­nounced by Town Crier Wes Libbey and they were piped into the room by a Scot­tish Bag­piper.

They each then took a turn at tak­ing the oath of of­fice be­fore fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers as well as City ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Unique for an in­au­gu­ral cer­e­mony of a new coun­cil, those gath­ered in the room were en­ter­tained by the Cornwall Sea Cadets band, a band from Holy Trin­ity that sang a ren­di­tion of Hal­lelu­jah, and fi­nally a mu­si­cal trio.

Each Coun­cil­lor was given a chance ad­dress the room.

“Be­ing elected to Coun­cil is not a right, but a priv­i­lege,” said Claude McIntosh. “to those not elected, I would thank you for putting your name for­ward and tak­ing the time to share your ideas on how to make Cornwall a bet­ter place.”

Coun­cil­lor Glen Grant, who had pre­vi­ously served on Cornwall City Coun­cil for 12 years, spoke to the ex­pe­ri­ence of him­self and his col­leagues.

“A cou­ple of friends asked me, ‘why are you to run­ning again, you’re too old,’” he said. “Then I thought of a hero­ine of mine, Hazel McCal­lion and she was in her 90s the last time, so I have a long way to go.”

New Mayor Ber­nadette Cle­ment out­lined her vi­sion in her in­au­gu­ral speech, but first spoke to the sig­nif­i­cance of her elec­tion to the of­fice.

“You may have no­ticed the rather in­tense me­dia at­ten­tion fol­low­ing this elec­tion,” she said. “It was a bit over­whelm­ing as dur­ing the cam­paign, the mat­ter of my gen­der and of my her­itage and of my lan­guage was not a sig­nif­i­cant sub­ject of dis­cus­sion. But it pleases me to think that my elec­tion may pro­vide some en­cour­age­ment to a di­ver­sity of peo­ple to en­gage in pub­lic life.”

Cle­ment is the first fe­male of colour to be elected Mayor in the prov­ince of On­tario.

“I am most hon­oured to be the first woman Mayor of Cornwall,” she said. “I have had a few lit­tle girls tell me that they would run for Mayor one day. That is a beau­ti­ful thing.”

Cle­ment pledged to move for­ward on de­vel­op­ing Cornwall’s Port Lands in part­ner­ship with the Mo­hawks of Ak­we­sasne.

“Few ar­eas of Canada hold in their hands such an ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­nity to truly en­gage in a re­spect­ful and mean­ing­ful part­ner­ship and as Mayor, I look for­ward to pur­su­ing mea­sures with Coun­cil that will fully em­brace this unique mo­ment,” she said. “Work­ing closely with the Mo­hawk Coun­cil of Ak­we­sasne, we will make the imag­i­na­tive devel­op­ment of our jointly ac­quired Wa­ter­front Port Lands. Wes. It’s time. It’s time to move for­ward pur­pose­fully to seize the hour in cel­e­bra­tion of our his­tory and most par­tic­u­larly, of our fu­ture.”

Cle­ment thanks out­go­ing Mayor Les­lie O’Shaugh­nessy for his sup­port dur­ing the tran­si­tion and went on to out­line some of the key pol­icy ar­eas she hoped to focus on.

“We face many chal­lenges,” she said. “That is noth­ing new. But we have been dealt a far bet­ter hand than some may think, and we must not fear to use it wisely, be­cause it is in­deed time to move for­ward in so many ar­eas, be it the fu­ture of our wa­ter­front and the Port Lands, eco­nomic and so­cial progress, the ap­pro­pri­ate for­mula for our Cen­tre for the Arts, elec­toral re­newal, and many oth­ers.”

Cle­ment also em­pha­sized af­ford­abil­ity and pay­ing at­ten­tion to the bud­get and long-term fi­nan­cial plan to keep the City in a bal­anced sit­u­a­tion be­tween taxes and ser­vices.

In her clos­ing re­marks, Cle­ment called the City to ac­tion.

“No Mayor and no Coun­cil can do this alone,” she said. “We need your en­gage­ment and your ideas. And so let’s roll up our sleves and get started. L’his­toire nous at­tend. Our his­tory is wait­ing.”

Go to www.corn­wallsea­waynews.com for the rest of this great story PLUS ad­di­tional SN cov­er­age.

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