Plenty of drama this elec­tion

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - STEVEN WARBURTON

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.

School board

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.

Deputy-May­ors

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.

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