Timmins elects new mayor, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay stay with status quo

The new mayor of Timmins says he will work to make the city more affordable for all residents.

Municipal election held in Ontario on Monday

George Pirie (centre) is the new mayor of Timmins. Al McDonald (left) was re-elected mayor in North Bay and Christian Provenzano was re-elected in Sault Ste. Marie. (Supplied/CBC)

The new mayor of Timmins says he will work to make the city more affordable for all residents.

On Monday, voters in Timmins elected new mayor George Pirie. He won with 10,323 votes, beating incumbent Steve Black who came in second with 5,525 votes.

"We always campaigned that we're winning by one vote and always going to get one more vote," he said.

"We haven't rested a day since the process started."

Pirie says he wants to review big projects in Timmins, such as the annual Stars and Thunder festival which lost money and a proposal for a new aquatics centre.

"I'm not against the festival [but] I don't want to risk the tax burden to be borne by the taxpayers," he said.

"I could support a model where there's a non-profit corporation."

The results in Sudbury have yet to be determined, as voters have one more day to cast their ballot due to problems with a third party company set up to deal with online voting.

Status quo

However, voters in Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay opted to return their current mayors to office.

Christian Provenzano was reelected as mayor in Sault Ste. Marie with 15,300 votes. Rory Ring came in second with 5,142 votes.

Provenzano acknowledges his city has faced a lot of challenges in his last term, but says he's looking forward to moving the city forward in the future.

"We had Algoma go into [creditor protection], we had oil prices drop, had Tenaris layoff all of its employees, we had the instability of the OLG," he said.

"Whatever challenges come our way this term, I have the utmost confidence I will be able to deal with those with whomever is elected."

In North Bay, incumbent candidate Al McDonald won with 8,079 votes, beating Gary Gardiner who came in second with 6,715 votes.

McDonald says he believes his promise to grow the community resonated with voters. He says his focus this term is to attract new businesses and new citizens to a city that has shrunk in recent years.

"And of course we're on the right side of the provincial government this time," he said, noting the current MPP for the area is finance minister Vic Fedeli.

"[For] the last eight years, we were on the wrong side and it really showed. Sudbury really benefited over the years and we kind of took second fiddle when it came to provincial funding."


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