Plenty of drama this election
Holy smokes, was I ever wrong. Faithful readers may recall my May 2 column, where I made a number of predictions about the forthcoming municipal election. Only two of them came true. I was spectacularly wrong about everything else.
I had predicted a whole bunch of acclamations in North Glengarry. I was right only about Jamie MacDonald being acclaimed as Mayor and Jeff Manley being acclaimed as Kenyon Ward Councillor. I am happy to be wrong. Unlike 2014, there are going to be some real election races this year in North Glengarry. In South Glengarry, it will be even more dramatic.
So without further ado, and as the election campaign enters its infancy let’s look at some of the most intriguing stories from the 2018 campaign trail.
Both mayors acclaimed
Both North Glengarry and South Glengarry’s mayors will make the jump to the mayor’s chair in October. We already mentioned Mr. MacDonald in the north. In the south, Glen Walter resident Frank Prevost will soon be running the council meetings. Both of them went unchallenged. That’s awfully interested seeing as how there are three candidates contesting the Deputy-Mayor’s seat in both counties. Maybe they just felt that gunning for the top would be an exercise in futility seeing as how both men are veterans (Mr. Prevost has nearly two decades of experience on local councils.)
But isn’t it interesting that both of the new mayors share the same occupation? Mr. MacDonald is a real estate agent with Re/Max while Mr. Prevost works for Century 21.
If Lyle Warden wins the Deputy-Mayor’s seat in South Glengarry, that would mean three of our highest ranking political representatives would be in real estate; Mr. Warden works for Glengarry Real Estate.
Like father, like son
Speaking of Lyle Warden, it appears that his political trajectory is following the same path as his father, John, who was first elected to South Glengarry council in 2003. Three years later, he defeated Frank Prevost to become South Glengarry’s new Deputy-Mayor, a position he held until 2010, when he unsuccessfully challenged Jim McDonell for the Mayor’s seat.
Lyle Warden is also making a run for the Deputy-Mayor’s chair after serving only one term as Councillor. Whether his battle will be as challenging as his father’s remains to be seen.
A dozen on the ballot
Shed a tear for the poor media representatives who will be tasked with covering South Glengarry’s all-candidate meetings. These things are a mainstay of the campaign season as they give the public an opportunity to meet the candidates and ask some tough questions. One such meeting will likely take place at the Martintown Community Centre. Another one, perhaps, at the Char-Lan Rec Centre. It will be very tough for us to cover them.
Typically, we like to give all the candidates an equal voice. That’s going to be very tough with 12 people running for three of South Glengarry’s council spots. Two of them are incumbents (Trevor Bougie and Bill McKenzie) and the other 10 come from all over the county. We could probably fill an entire issue of The Glengarry News with in- terviews with these 12 individuals. With 16 candidates running altogether, it’s the most contested election in South Glengarry’s history.
The 2014 municipal election was so blasé that the Upper Canada District School Board actually gave us our most dramatic story. That’s when newcomer Wendy MacPherson – herself a former North Glengarry Councillor – gave a sound thrashing to veteran incumbent Art Buckland to become the region’s new trustee.
In 2018, the Upper Canada District School Board will give us some drama too. Marshall Wilson – a former winner of North Glengarry’s Youth of the Year Award – is the only candidate in this election who is barely legal to vote. Don’t let his youth throw you. In 2017, Mr. Wilson graduated from Glengarry District High School (GDHS) after serving that year as the board’s student trustee.
For the longest time, Mr. Wilson went unchallenged. (He was, in fact, one of the very first people to file nomination papers.) But then everything changed when veteran educator and Bainsville resident John Danaher threw his hat into the ring. Mr Danaher, who served as principal at GDHS as well as Char-Lan, obviously brings a wealth of experience to the table. We’ll have to see if voters choose him over the fresh-faced Marshall Wilson.
They may also choose departing South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft, who is also running for the position.
Sadly, there will be no drama for the other three school boards, at least not locally. All of their candidates were acclaimed.
The race for Deputy-Mayor will be a lot more heated in the north than in the south. That’s because two of the three candidates, Carma Williams and Brian Caddell, have butt heads several times while sitting on council. Their most notable barbs were exchanged recently over additional roadwork that was sparked by the Maxville Water Project. It’s likely that some additional choice words might be uttered at the inevitable all councillor meetings.
Let’s not forget Robert Proulx, who is a wild card in this race.
Wards up for grabs
With Brian Caddell’s entry into the Deputy-Mayor’s race, he leaves the Lochiel Ward without an incumbent candidate. No worries though. Three individuals – Andrew Neil McCormick, Brenda Noble, and Raymond Quesnel – are all gunning to replace him. As such, the Lochiel Ward may be up for grabs more than any other ward.
The other two contested council seats – the Alexandria Ward and the Councillor-at-large position – are both held by respective incumbents Jacques Massie and Michel Depratto. The former is being challenged by Louise Quenneville and former councillor Kevin van den Oetelaar whereas the latter is challenged by Naval Kumar Gupta.
An interesting sidenote: If Ms. Quenneville and Mr. Quesnel win their races, it could be the first time in history that Glengarry has had two councillors whose last names begin with the letter Q.