Municipal elections in Waterloo Region will be held on October 27. CBC Kitchener-Waterloo has reached out to every mayoral candidate in the region who has officially filed to run so far. The deadline for nomination papers to be filed is Sept. 12.
Each candidate has answered the same five questions, and their replies will be reproduced. Today we speak to Bonnie Bryant, running for mayor of Woolwich Township.
1. What is the most important issue in your city for the next council term?
Creating a transparent and accountable government where the people of Woolwich can have confidence that their elected officials are responding to the needs of the community. Woolwich is a growing township and the government needs to manage the growth and maintenance of the infrastructure in a fiscally responsible way that allows our community to prosper while preserving our cultural heritage.
2. Voter turnout is notoriously low, especially in municipal politics. How will you engage voters?
Engaging voters is an ongoing commitment that requires the continued attention of government. It is a matter that needs to be addressed regularly, not once every four years. I will be available to listen to the residents through pre-budget consultations, town hall meetings, and through ongoing dialogue. Woolwich has a diverse population and it is important that we have an open and inclusive process so that the views of all residents are heard. By engaging the residents, my hope is that they will feel that they are part of the governing process and will want to have their voice heard.
3. What would you say is your biggest weakness?
I project my self-expectations onto others. I hold myself to a high standard of honesty, integrity, and work ethic. I expect the same from those around me.
4. Who is your political role model and why?
Sir John A. Macdonald. He was a nation builder that helped create the strong foundation that Canada has today. He oversaw the expansion of Canada and the union of the provinces. In doing so he demonstrated his strong leadership skills and resilience. He was also adamant that Canada retain its own identity and not become part of the United States. In the 1880s Macdonald became the first national leader in the world to attempt to grant women the vote. The policies he developed required a great deal of planning and brought a diverse group of people together.
5. 40 years from now, how do you picture your municipality?
I envision a growing prosperous township where development and growth have been balanced with the preservation of our farmland, green space and heritage. I picture a healthy, wholesome community where residents can flourish and thrive. I want people to be proud to be part of Woolwich. I envision that today, tomorrow, and in the future Woolwich will remain the best place to work, live and play.