Too many school boards: warden
For the second time since 2016, Jamie MacDonald will serve as warden of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
In his opening speech on Friday morning at council chambers in Cornwall, Mr. MacDonald, who was acclaimed as North Glengarry's Mayor in the recent municipal election, listed better communication with Cornwall, improving cellular data service, and fighting the spectre of future school closures as being of paramount importance in the upcoming term.
He suggested that the number of school boards be reduced.
“School closures will continue to be an issue, they are a vital part of our communities and we need to fight for our children to be educated in the community they live in,” he said. “Change needs to happen. Four school board spending tax dollars advertising and competing for children to come to several half empty schools in the same community -- this is not sustainable or a financially sensible use of our resources.”
Regarding cellular data, Mr. MacDonald said that the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus will work with federal and provincial partners to implement a $213 million partnership to improve coverage in the area.
“This investment is not about dropped calls,” he stressed. “It's about providing real mobile broadband so local first responders, businesses and residents can enjoy connectivity on par with urban residents of Ontario.”
There were many positives in the new warden's speech as he spoke about the opportunities the area will see now that natural gas will be more widely available out here. He also noted that SDG is “one of only a handful of Ontario municipalities that are debt-free.”
Mr. MacDonald, who is known for his sense of humour, couldn't resist taking a few shots at the masses assembled in council chambers not just to witness the warden's swearing in but also to be present for the introductions of
the rest of counties council, eight of whom are first-timers.
For example, Mr. MacDonald said goodbye to Bill McGimpsey, North Stormont's former DeputyMayor who did not seek re-election this time around.
“I am going to miss your commentary on every issue and look forward to getting 20 minutes of
FAMILIAR ROLE: New SDG Warden Jamie MacDonald was introduced by his children, Madison and Cameron, at his swearing-in ceremony in Cornwall Friday morning.