Many northwestern Ontario towns lacking election candidates
Aside from Thunder Bay, some municipalities showing a weak interest in upcoming municipal election
Only a week before candidates have to file papers for elections, Thunder Bay has a full slate of people who want a seat at the council table but for some other municipalities there is a severe lack of interest and competition.
Thunder Bay city clerk John Hannam said he’s not surprised to see 17 candidates so far, with at least four vying for the mayoral seat as interest in council remains as strong as it was in 2010.
“At this stage, pretty much at the same level we were then,” Hannam said.
But in many other communities in province’s northwest, the interest in municipal politics appears to be quite weak.
Only two people have signed up to fill the six seats in Atitkokan and in Marathon there is not yet anyone who has come forward with an interest in being mayor.
“[There’s a] 50/50 chance we’re going to have an election for council members,” said Doug Gale, editor of the Marathon Mercury, adding only two people have signed up for council at all.
But Gale is not too concerned and thinks that more will come forward closer to the date.
“This is Marathon… and like other small towns it’s last minute Marathon. Everybody will be filing at the last minute,” he said.
However, Gale said there’s another possibility.
"People are satisfied with the status quo,” he said. “They're happy with the way our municipal leaders are performing, what they're doing."
Other communities that don't have many registered candidates include Fort Frances, Dryden and Kenora, but all of those towns do have at least two people in the running for mayor.