Windsor·Windsor-Essex Votes

Here's who's running for Ward 5 — and why they say you should vote for them

CBC News reached out to all the candidates in Ward 5, asking the same questions so voters can learn a bit more about who may be their next councillor.

The municipal election is Oct. 24

A map of Windsor's Ward 5. (City of Windsor)

CBC News reached out to all the candidates in Ward 5, asking the same questions so voters can learn a bit more about who may be their next councillor.

Note: Some of these responses have been edited for length as well as style and grammar.

Ken Acton

Ken Acton is a Windsor City council candidate in Ward 5. (Courtesy Ken Acton)

Age: 54

Occupation: St. Clair College, professor of Architectural Technology

Where do you live? Ward 5 (54 years – third generation to live in the ward)


  • St. Clair College, professor, Architectural Technology (25 years)
  • Windsor Region Society of Architects, executive, secretary (15 years)
  • Ontario Association of Architects, honorary member (seven years)
  • Ontario Public Service Employees Unions, OPSEU Local 138, office of the 1st vice president (current for over five years) chief steward (five years), executive secretary (six years), shop steward (four years)
  • Windsor and District Labour Council, delegate for OPSEU Local 138, Windsor Essex Labour History Project Steering Committee.
  • Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation, member of the board of directors (completing a four-year term)
  • Boston Architectural College, affiliate faculty member (four years)
  • Congress for the New Urbanism, board member, State of Michigan (five years)
  • Various committees: City of Windsor Bicycle Committee, Vision Zero Stake Holder Committee Member, Ojibway Prairie Complex, National Urban Park Initiative, City of Windsor, focus group — St. Clair College Representative.

What are the top issues facing your ward?

To gain a comprehensive understanding, the ward's issues must be vetted. However, a lack of public engagement and communication have been expressed by the constituents. They've also expressed a deep-seeded concern for traffic calming, along with a lack of municipal and commercial services. Both transparency and accountability could be improved by introducing a robust public consultation process. 

Why are you the right person for the job? 

Throughout my professional career, I've studied the development of cities and the implementation of policies used in creating the built environment. I truly feel that I've gained the appropriate insight and knowledge needed to assume the role of a public advocate. Our ward and city are at a critical point in the development process, which requires a progressive approach. As a councillor, I will represent the community using a transparent and democratic process to create a socially just, environmentally resilient and economically sound city for everyone.

Something you'd like voters to know about you:

As a member of the Michigan State Board for the Congress for the New Urbanism, I've promoted the importance of urbanism in regional planning, community building and place-making, while advocating for best practices.

Alessandro Didone (Alex)

CBC News has reached out to the candidate about the questionnaire, they have not responded by the date of this publication.

Caitlyn Desmarais

CBC News has reached out to the candidate about the questionnaire, they have not responded by the date of this publication.

Ed Sleiman

Ed Sleiman is seeking re-election in Windsor's Ward 5. (Hebert Studios)

Age: 79

Occupation: Member of Windsor City Council Ward 5

Where do you live? Ward 5

Experience: 12 years as a member of City Council for Ward 5, as well as:

• University of Windsor, Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering.
• University of Michigan, Associate Degree in Industrial Training.
• St. Clair College, studied management.
• Taught trade related courses to journeymen and apprentices.
• Past member, Professional Engineers of Ontario, American Institute of Industrial Engineers, Canada Green Building Council.

What are the top issues facing your ward? Investing in Ward 5 to improve the quality of life. In the past 12 years I have brought unprecedented levels of infrastructure spending on roads, sewers and sidewalks in Ward 5 providing safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. I delivered many enhancements and amenities for Ward 5, continuing my commitment to an age-friendly city while pursuing job opportunities for our young people. Affordable housing obviously impacts many in our ward. I championed and focused effort on streamlining development approvals and building permits to attract more affordable housing being built for young families.

Why are you the right person for the job?  I have always been fiscally responsible, transparent, accountable and approachable and support the role of the auditor general and the asset management plan to achieve efficiencies, cost control and environmental protection to provide quality public services at a cost taxpayers can afford.

I fought to bring down our debt significantly, increasing our ability to pay as we go for many projects which means savings to taxpayers. 

My 12-year tenure and experience on council will be the steady hand required to deliver on the Stellantis-LG battery plant to create thousands of new jobs and stay on track for the construction of a multi-million dollar hospital.

My lifetime experience in the construction industry makes me a most effective watchdog for taxpayers, to minimize any cost overruns on municipal infrastructure and building projects.

Something you'd like voters to know about you:

My decision to seek re-election was an easy one. I love what I do. It is my passion to work diligently with my colleagues on council on numerous issues important to both my Ward 5, and the city of Windsor as a whole. 

Currie Soulliere

Currie Soulliere is running in Windsor's Ward 5. (Submitted by Currie Soulliere)

Age: 38

Occupation: Mother, writer, artist, activist and rally co-coordinator

Where do you live? Windsor, Ontario

Experience: I spent the last two years as a leader of Windsor's organized response to COVID-related restrictions. This required me to keep myself up-to-date about ongoing developments, and to cooperate with diverse, capable, headstrong people. It has been the most educational and fulfilling experience of my life. Navigating hierarchies and regulations is easy; helping groups find commonality despite conflicting aspirations is the tough stuff, and it turns out I'm great at it.

What are the top issues facing your ward? Whatever side of the fence we stand on, we can all agree that our community is suffering after the last two years of COVID restrictions. Ward 5 faces universal hardships: economic, social, emotional and spiritual depression. Let's rebuild Ward 5 our way. More freedom for small businesses to develop the solutions that they know work best for them. More respect for medical privacy in hiring practices and job policies. More official information resources to help clarify regulations, and empower residents to build resource independence. That is, I'd like to make it easier for residents to use their private property efficiently, to save money and to need less money in the first place. We also need to find honest, compassionate solutions to growing crime and opioid dependency.

Why are you the right person for the job?  I love to dig into the details and wrestle with core conflicts in search of creative resolutions. There's nothing like finding a satisfying compromise for a community. It's often very possible to "Have your cake and eat it too," if you're willing to think outside the box.

Something you'd like voters to know about you: To learn more about my vision for Ward 5, visit

Richard St. Denis

Richard St. Denis is a council candidate for Windsor's Ward 5. (Submitted by Richard St. Denis/Sooters)

Age: 60 years old

Occupation: Retired from Stellantis Windsor Assembly (August 2020), now part time at Arbor Memorial.

Where do you live? Own my home with my wife and son (away at university for master's degree) in Ward 5 for 22 years.

Experience: First delegation was with Mayor Mike Hurst, been a delegate to every mayor and council since. Delegate to WECEC [Windsor Essex County Environment Committee], WDLC [Windsor & District Labour Council] and currently president of the Unifor Windsor Regional Environment Council.

What are the top issues facing your ward? Communication with council both in terms of bringing voice to issues and listening to residents; quality of life including safety and neighbourhood concerns, and investment both from private groups and city council budgets. I graduated at the top of my accounting program at St.Clair College and immediately was hired by my accounting professor in his business.

Why are you the right person for the job? I have been active in the community for three decades, not just in my chosen career field (environmental) but in many other aspects, including serving on board of directors for multiple groups, 21 years with Scouts Canada, two years as June 27 Miracle Captain, as well as several church groups including Sunday school teacher, usher and church council.

Something you'd like voters to know about you: I have always been known as the person people go to when they want results. During my time at Windsor Assembly, I won several awards for programs and initiatives getting results. One of these programs was planting more than 1,500 trees in Ward 5. There is always an opportunity to improve the situation and I always look for the best and most efficient method to achieve success.