Windsor

Meet the candidates for Windsor Ward 7 byelection

The Ward 7 seat opened up after councillor Irek Kusmierczyk won the Windsor-Tecumseh MP seat.

Twelve people are running for the seat vacated by Irek Kusmierczyk last fall

(citywindsor.ca)

The Ward 7 seat opened up after councillor Irek Kusmierczyk won the Windsor-Tecumseh MP seat. The byelection is scheduled for April 27. Twelve people filed the necessary paperwork to run as candidates by the 2 p.m. deadline Friday.

Igor Dzaic

(Gregory Edwards/Darkroast Digital)

Age: 30

Occupation: Administrator, Student

What is your most relevant experience for this position? Administrator (9+ years), W & I data clerk (I used to audit international freight bills), deputy returning officer, 2019 (federal election), tabulating deputy returning officer, 2018 (provincial election), information assistant, 2014 (municipal election), Bachelor of Economics (few classes left), B.A. Political Science, with Border management and International Trade (FITT/CITP), Occupational Health and Safety (Certifications), police foundations diploma.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? A lack of updated infrastructure. My top priority is fixing the roads, and the sewers. Ward 7 is at risk for flooding in several areas, and residents cannot afford another flooded basement.

Farah El-Hajj

(Simon Wyn Edwards)

Age: 25

Occupation: Constituency Assistant to Members of Parliament and Provincial Parliament. 

What is your most relevant experience for this position? I have worked in the financial sector for years helping Ward 7 residents and businesses. During this time, I came very knowledgeable on issues affecting the ward, while getting to know many on a personal level. I currently work in constituency offices helping residents resolve every day issues federally and provincially. I've learned how to develop and advocate for public policy to address citizens' concerns. This has reaffirmed my passion for public service. 

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? Protecting community livability is essential and it entails many aspects such as preventing homes from being flooded through infrastructure investments and protecting the natural environment by preserving and expanding the Little River corridor of park land. We have make sure that the growth in the ward benefits everyone such as implementing traffic calming measures for safety, enhancing services and infrastructure such as renewing the Forest Glade Library and maintaining the Blue Heron Bridge. Ensuring the taxes of Ward 7 residents are spent on their priorities in an accountable, transparent and responsible way. Working together to grow together. 

Michelle Gajewski

(Submitted by Michelle Gajewski)

Age: 30

Occupation: Customs Broker

What is your most relevant experience for this position?

Student Rep at the University of Windsor, president of the Polish Canadian Students' Association of Windsor, master's in sociology from the University of Windsor and a degree from the University of Southampton School of Law, raised $160,000 in grants for local non-profit, continuous community work to empower youth leadership.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? Community safety and preparedness. For instance, traffic calming measures and responses to extreme weather

Jeewen Gill

(John Liviero )

Age: 52

Occupation: Real Estate Broker

What is your most relevant experience for this position? I have the experience of being a director on business, health, and non-profit boards alongside experience in working with political figures and campaigns. I can effectively get the job done and push for necessary changes.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? Infrastructure (roads, parks, flooding)

Barbara Holland

(Submitted by Barb Holland)

Age: 64

Occupation: Business Owner of The Holland Benefits Group

What is your most relevant experience for this position? Business, volunteer and elected leadership experience. I represented Ward 7 residents on the school board for 18 years, seven as chairperson. I am a problem solver, a decision maker, and actively work with the people I represent. I have lived in and been active in Ward 7 for over 25 years. I get the job done. I delivered a new St. Joseph High School to the ward, enhanced elementary schools and grounds in the area, and collaboratively drove a robust middle school and academy system for our kids.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? The need to elect a highly qualified person to represent constituents and move forward on the many issues of concern. I bring a high level of service and qualifications so that regardless of current issues, or the ones we will meet head-on down the road, I have what it takes to represent and advocate for Ward 7 residents. My platform further supports the diversification of council by placing a highly skilled, strong, open-minded, approachable business woman at the table who intimately knows the ward she will represent and the residents she will serve.  

Ernie Lamont

(Provided by Ernie Lamont)

Age: 73

Occupation: I worked at Ford's, but I'm a super salesman.

What is your most relevant experience for this position?  I've been at city hall for 30 years and I've spoken on many issues and I'm the one who wants to bring another casino to Windsor, like I did in 1991, when I went to city hall and now we have casinos throughout Ontario. I think I am a very, very outspoken person who cares about people.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward?   Well the more I think, the main issue is Banwell. I think the City of Windsor instead of just doing it in parts, they should do it from all the way from Tecumseh Road right to E.C. Row Expressway.

Greg Lemay

(Submitted by Greg Lemay)

Age: 34

Occupation: Small business owner, Alpha Pro Floor Care & Machine Repair

What is your most relevant experience for this position? I'm a paralegal, small business owner and community activist.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? Infrastructure hasn't kept up with growth in the ward and caused flooding.

Mike Malott

(Joe Symchyshyn)

Age: 44

Occupation: I am an employee of PSA (Chrysler Canada) for the past 20 years and proud member of Unifor Local 444

What is your most relevant experience for this position? Simply stated, I love working with people and I'm passionate about it. I am very organized, love a challenge and take tremendous pride in all the projects I lead or play a role in.  

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? That really depends on where in the ward you are. In the Forest Glade area, flooding is a big hitter.  The closer you get to Banwell, driver and pedestrian safety stand out clearly.  

Angelo Marignani

(Submitted by Angelo Marignani)

Age: 53

Occupation: Magna International Materials Department

What is your most relevant experience for this position? Born and raised in Windsor nurtured my love for our city. Eight years living and working in Tokyo showed me what a world-class modern city can be. Owning and operating a business for 17 years in our downtown gave me daily insight into the needs of our community. Raising a family in our home in Ward 7 gave me the passion to want to improve the future for our youth.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward?  Infrastructure. Jobs. Clean and safe. With our ever-changing environment, it is crucial that we are proactive in our flood protection plan. We should focus on the strength of our city. Job security is very important and manufacturing is in the heart of Windsor.  Develop synergies with Detroit and become a true International Centre. Let's celebrate our history, from the Underground Railroad to the Rum Runners. One of the most important things that our city should do to be attractive to its residents and visitors alike is make sure our community is clean and safe. This includes our roads, sidewalks, shared pathways, parks and community centres. I will work hard for the taxpayers of Ward 7 and will not give up believing in a better Windsor.

Thérèse Papineau

(Submitted by Thérèse Papineau)

Age: 64 years old, born and raised in the Windsor area

Occupation: Retired with a strong 37 years from Toronto Police Service as a civil servant.  Currently working part time (last 8 years) as a care worker for Seniors with HomeInstead Senior Care

What is your most relevant experience for this position?  My most relevant experience is my 40+ year career serving the many needs of a diverse public.  Knowing how to listen, screening the concerns, and achieving an attainable and measurable solution, in both English and French is my biggest asset.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? The single biggest issue in my ward is currently the loss of local representation at the council level. The void of a councillor has left the citizens of Ward 7 orphans. I live, work and play in this ward; it's alive with growth, rooted in tradition and welcoming, and requires a candidate that is willing and eager to serve them with the respect they are currently lacking.

Albert Saba

(Submitted by Albert Saba)

Age: 51

Occupation:  Employment Counselor, Job Developer, College Professor & Community Organizer

What is your most relevant experience for this position? Involvement within community organizations, and academic education.

What is the single biggest issue in your ward? I have a 7-point-platform that details the issues in our ward.

Howard Weeks

(Submitted by Howard Weeks)

Age: 71

Occupation: Retired and working now for positive change at City Hall

Relevant Experience: As an activist, I have organized several effective community campaigns and movements. I have been vigorous in Windsor's political forum, addressing city council on many occasions and receiving accolades for my presentations and respect for process.  I have fought for improving transit, keeping soaring recreational fees in check, monitoring the city's sport tourism industry and of course, for the successful implementation of our new Auditor General.

Biggest Issue: Flooding.

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