Municipal election 2021 – Get to know your candidates; Grand Manan

In this edition of the Courier, you’ll find details on candidates running for council seats in our coverage areas in the Monday, May 10 election. All those who provided phone/email contact information to Elections NB were contacted and invited to participate. Each candidate was provided the same questions, and a maximum word count for the return document.

We are running the candidates alphabetically, both geographically and by name.

There is not a listing for St. Stephen as the council will be named by acclaim.

Coverage for those running for mayor in the region will be in the Tuesday, May 4 edition of The Saint Croix Courier.

editor@stcroixcourier.ca

GRAND MANAN – The island council is electing nine seats.

Daniel Boyd

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I am running for council because I want Grand Manan to move forward. We have a great community and lifestyle that I want to protect, while also fostering growth with an increased focus on tourism. We have so many amazing sites for people to experience and with ecotourism and staycations on the rise, we need to promote the beauty that is in our backyard.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

Municipal reform is a huge file that will need a lot of time and attention over the next council term. Also, l would like to see our airport upgrade/refurbishment needs addressed as it is our lifeline. Road quality and safety is a huge concern as well; therefore, I think the new mayor and council need to put pressure on the province to let us have more input on how the road maintenance budget is spent.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I would like to see a more flexible building by-law put in place to encourage growth and development. I think there are opportunities out there for the Island to work with developers and contractors to address affordable housing issues and tailoring a building by-law with that in mind is a great first step.

Philman Green

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I believe a community is made stronger when people give something back. I have coached little league baseball and basketball. I have been a member of various local boards and committees including the Grand Manan Housing Association, Rotary Isle Estates board, Grand Manan Nursing Home board and the Fundy Community Foundation. All of these roles have been rewarding in different ways. I find my current role, as a volunteer firefighter, to be most rewarding. With the record number of new faces that will be around the table I believe that my 17 plus hears of experience as both a councillor and mayor, as well as courses in municipal government administration taken through Henson College, would make me an asset in helping to move our island forward.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

The lack of housing on our Island is constraining most potential economic growth efforts. There is a need for both short and long term rental properties. With both senior levels of government recognizing this problem, and ready to help, the Municipality has a role to play in attacking this problem. It may be by addressing our rural plan/zoning by-laws to allow clusters of tiny homes or other outside the box solutions. It may be by simplifying our building by-law to remove any real or perceived roadblocks. It would definitely include acting as a facilitator in connecting potential developers with government programs.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I would like to see the committees appointed by council involve as many non-elected people as possible. If we are talking about tourism there needs to be people from that industry at the table. If we are talking about sports facilities there needs to coaches, officials, and maintenance people there. I don’t think the 10 elected people , no matter which 10 you choose, have a monopoly on all the good ideas, and best paths forward. The business of governing our island takes a team. Each member brings a different skill set and life experiences to the table. We need the right people in the right place at the right time to have our best chance at success. Wayne Gretzky may have been the greatest hockey player of all time but he needed somebody else to play goal and defense.

Cara Greenlaw

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

In the hopes of being involved in building up our island in a way that preserves our rural way of life yet builds opportunities for islanders.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

A review of our by-laws, and to see the airport extension through to completion. 

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I would love to see a program that promotes tourism on the island and more support for island businesses.

Jennifer (Sewell) O’Neal

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I am running for our village council because I love our island community. I love our values and our unique way of life. I am a graduate of Global Tourism and Marketing. I also studied heritage and cultural tourism management at Capilano University in Vancouver, British Columbia. We need a tourism representative on council, someone who can work with provincial and federal agencies to secure funding and programs to benefit our community. I feel my experience and studies will aid in the growth and development of our tourism industry and its very important role for the future of our island’s economy.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

One of the first issues I would tackle if I became elected as a councillor would be addressing the need for a rehabilitation of our island’s main road, Route 776. It has been discussed in previous meetings, but never implemented. We need bike lanes which would double as a walking sidewalk/shoulder. Many island residents agree with implementing this. I feel it is as important as some of the other major issues that have been presented to the previous council. Much of our highway is quite scenic, I feel visitors to the island and the people of our community would benefit from this greatly.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

My husband’s career in the military has had us living in various towns and communities, one of which being Petawawa, Ontario. I was so impressed with their waste management and composting initiatives. I felt our island would benefit greatly from implementing their simple strategies. The program or policy I would put in place would be to create a simple, yet effective system to mimic the waste management and composting plan from other small towns. I believe our community needs a better understanding and a program to easily implement small adjustments to the way we handle our waste. Moving forward with a great plan of action on this matter, will have huge benefits for our future.

Gregg Russell

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I am running for a council seat as I have a great interest in our island. I have a lot of experience that I feel will be useful to help resolve the issues that come up over the next three years. I welcome progress and change that supports our island identity.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

The first thing I want to do if elected is to get to know my fellow councilors better and get their input on various issues.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

I would like to see programs developed that would assist and encourage our seniors and youth get out more and be more active.

Wayne Sturgeon

Why are you running for a council seat in your region?

I’m reoffering because I still burn with a fierce passion for my community, and many of my community continue to encourage me to be there, for them. That’s why I have gladly volunteered for various volunteer groups and causes since I arrived in 1991 and have served 13 years on council. I love working with like minded individuals who want better and believe we can accomplish great things by working together. While it’s often said that many hands make light work, it’s important to note that all great things start with a single idea and it’s important to listen to all to hear what that next great thing can be. It’s important to understand there is no “I” in team! There’s no greater sense of satisfaction like when you with the help of your fellow council members make the impossible become reality.

What is the first issue you’d like to tackle if elected?

While there are many important issues that will become priorities identified by the next council, the first that has to be dealt with is where Grand Manan will fit in the very near future when the province introduces municipal reforms in the fall. In the recently released Green paper, that’s not a policy paper but merely ideas and suggestions, Grand Manan is cited as a success story of the positives that can happen when small communities join together to make large accomplishments reality for the greater good. We have a very limited amount of time to ensure this success story continues when the province releases its white paper, which is actual policy, in the fall. It is much better to be a fore thought than an after thought.

What new program/policy would you like to put in place?

When the latest Local Governance Act became law on January 1, 2018, one of those things introduced was that each municipality must enact a personal code of conduct by-law for its council members. While many municipalities have moved on this, we are yet to move in this direction but move we must. Personal code of conduct bylaws help to ensure that all council members treat members of the public as well as staff and fellow council members in a professional manner with courtesy and respect at all times. People must believe that they matter all the time, not just at election time in order for true democracy to work. Respect is not about agreeing all the time, but how you handle different opinions. A constituent must feel comfortable approaching their representatives even if they know you both think differently.

Those running who did not respond:

Joanne Brown

Cara Greenlaw

Kim Shewfelt

Ian Spicer

Jayne Turner

No phone number/email listed with GNB:

Josiah Crossman

Roger Fitzsimmons

Murray Green

Vincent Guptill

Jordy Leighton

Darcy Scott Russell

Trish Toll