Responses from Candidates for Ward 8 – North Marysburgh


RSVPs

With the aim of increasing voter turnout in the upcoming municipal election, candidates for Mayor and Ward Councilor in Prince Edward County invited to share their thoughts on a wide range of issues once a week.

Responses from candidates for Ward 8 – North Marysburgh are here:

Respondents

Invitations
Candidates for Ward 8 – North Marysburgh (1 office) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
David HARRISON
Ben THORNTON

Responses to Invitation 8

Candidates received Invitation 8 on October 5, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 17, 2022. Candidates who wanted their responses to be published before advance voting started were to forward them by October 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook beginning October 13, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. Please share how you would enhance Council’s approach to public engagement.

When issues come upon the agenda, if elected, I will proactively and inclusively seek my constituents input on a one-to-one basis. This has always been my style. Once I receive the input from constituents, I would bring the issues back to Council. This type of personal engagement sometimes is missing and that is one of my strengths.

I would like to seek broader public engagement by being available at the North Marysburgh Town Hall. This would allow for in person public engagement on current issues or issues of personal concern. This speaks to my accessibility and my genuine interest in my constituents and our community.

As a lifetime resident of North Marysburgh and someone who is very actively involved in my community I have always been approachable and will continue to be.

My cell phone and email will be published on the County website and I will be a responsive representative for my constituents.

2. Please share why you’re running and why voters should support you in the municipal election.

I am seeking office to:

  • Improve the climate for business investment and growth – without sacrificing what makes our County thrive as a community.
  • Create more opportunities for “living wage” employment.
  • Implement infrastructure improvements and efficiencies in operating costs.
  • Actively support our new hospital build and new affordable housing initiatives.
  • Ensure our tax dollars are used effectively and efficiently.

I am also running for Council because I am unhappy with some of the decisions in the last term of Council that have detrimentally impacted the wellbeing of our community.

Knee jerk decisions have led to a divisiveness within the community.

I have been very active in business here and still am. I have experience in commercial fishing, fish processing, farming, vegetable processing and tourism. In addition, I am experienced in exporting County fish and produce to the United States and Europe.

I live in North Marysburgh. My family has lived in the County for seven generations. We live, work, and relax in Prince Edward County. My family employs many people in the community, they contribute to the local economy, and pay taxes that help support all of us. They provide well needed services to the ratepayers of this County. I am very proud of their contributions.

There has been much change in our community over the years, and I suspect there is more to come. I see my role on Council as helping by providing experienced leadership and making decisions that will best impact our County. My goal is to give back to the community where my family has lived for these past seven generations.

Should the personal interests of myself or my family come before Council, I will respond appropriately as I have done in the past – declare any conflict and recuse myself as warranted.

I had the honour to serve 17 years in Municipal Government representing North Marysburgh residents, in both 2 tier and single tier government. There will be no learning curve because of this experience that I bring to the table. I can hit the ground running, and I know how to get things done for you, the constituent.

Voting for me is voting for a committed, experienced, prepared and available Councillor.

Thank you to all my supporters.


Ben Thornton

1. Please share how you would enhance Council’s approach to public engagement.

I would use social media and email to keep in touch with or inform constituents as much as possible. I would also schedule a regular “office hours” time at the North Marysburgh Hall or somewhere else appropriately convenient to allow direct face-to-face conversations with constituents. Through the course of the campaign, I’ve provided every household with my cell phone number and email address, and would hope everyone feels comfortable using it to reach me. Engagement in municipal government is a partnership between elected members and the public. I will listen, and I hope you will ask me the questions you need to ask.

2. Please share why you’re running and why voters should support you in the municipal election.

I’m Ben Thornton and I’m running for Council in North Marysburgh.

My history in the County runs five generations deep. In 1912, my great-grandfather James Carter, himself descended from United Empire Loyalists, founded the Waupoos Canning Company. My grandfather Ed “Bumpy” Carter took over and ran it until his death. Their legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship at the forefront of a then-new industry is worth remembering. As you drive or bike through North Marysburgh, you’ll see my campaign sign designed to recall one of their vintage canning labels – a reminder of our history, but also that the history of the County is one of change. Every generation or so, new technologies, shifting demographics, new markets, even climate change bring new industries here.

Fast forward to today, and my wife and I are working and raising our three kids aged 5 to 16. They go to PECI where my grandmother taught Latin for many years.

The County is full of charms and challenges. The charms of this place are why we are here, why so many choose to come, and why so many choose to stay. The challenges are why I’m running: taking the long view, I want Prince Edward County to be a vibrant, livable, inclusive community where my children (and yours) have a fair chance to succeed, to find a career and a place to call home.

Affordable housing remains a priority, and we must continue to encourage the creation of affordable year-round rental opportunities to give young families a place to start. More affordable housing also means a better chance to fill staff shortages and a more successful business environment. We must address childcare. The lack of accessible, affordable childcare is a barrier to young parents trying to participate in the workforce. Investment here pays off in economic growth.

We need to do what it takes to recruit and retain doctors and nurses – to let them see the charms of living and working here as we do.

We need to manage growth responsibly, to encourage development that meets the character and scale of our community. At the same, we need to ensure our natural environment is protected and that every major planning, zoning, or infrastructure decision is made to limit contributions to climate change and to mitigate its effect on our community.

Roads, infrastructure, financial accountability, services for youth and seniors – these are all important challenges which speak to the same goal of a livable, successful community.

I am committed to community service and currently serve as chair of the Regent Theatre, on the board of Glenwood Cemetery where four generations of my family rest, on a council advisory committee, and as a newscaster with 99.3 CountyFM. I coach kids’ baseball in the summer. I have run not-for-profit organizations, worked with municipal governments, and lobbied at the provincial level. Professionally, I am a real estate agent and have a background in small business.

I am committed to bringing an informed, consultative approach to Shire Hall, and to represent North Marysburgh inclusively and passionately. I am the only candidate for this office with no conflicts of interest that would interfere with my ability to represent you at Council or committees. Vote for me and let’s preserve the charms and face the challenges together.


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Accountability & transparency

Three Invitations asked candidates to rate six proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency:

We have categorized candidates’ ratings of these proposals [Not in favour | Neither | In favour] below. Candidates were also asked to explain their ratings and we encourage everyone to consider their ratings alongside their explanations.

Table 1. Candidates’ ratings of proposals to enhance Council’s accountability and transparency.
David HARRISON
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.
Ben THORNTON
Proposition Not in favour
Neither
In favour
1. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.
2. A Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.
3. A public register of requests for County records.
4. The routine disclosure of County records.
5. The active dissemination of County records.
6. A Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.

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Responses to Invitation 7

Candidates received Invitation 7 on October 3, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 11, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 12, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. For any one of [the nine themes covered in the 2022 VitalSigns Report], please outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the 2022 VitalSigns Report.

Good health & well-being
Council should continue with its doctor recruitment program.

Council should also implement a program immediately in our high school to attract “home grown” doctors and other health care professionals, for example, nurse practitioners, nurses etc. This program should include financial assistance for students enrolling in medical school in exchange for a reasonable amount of time practicing medicine in our community upon graduation. These students may wish to practice in their home community.

A program should be developed to assist in education costs in other healthcare professions for the same reason.

2. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following proposal: “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.”

Agree.

3. Please explain your rating.

I agree in principle, however this needs to be further examined and fine tuned. Consultation with the Clerk would be required to determine the increase in workload for the Clerk as well as the extra time involved in meetings could make the Clerk’s job more onerous with very little net benefit on minor issues, particularly as the meetings are already recorded.

4. Please share examples of how you’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in your thinking? How are you applying what you’ve learned in your work in the County?

In my experience, having lived here my entire life I have always thought that various ethnic/minority groups have lived harmoniously. Having said that, I realize that may not be everyone’s experience and the diversity of the County’s population has increased over the years. I believe the County should provide equity and inclusivity training for all Council and staff, which I will happily participate in.


Ben Thornton

1. For any one of [the nine themes covered in the 2022 VitalSigns Report], please outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the 2022 VitalSigns Report.

Inclusive economy.
Many of the challenges identified in the VitalSigns report are interconnected. We have an economy that is largely supported by tourism, which tends to be seasonal. We have employers who have difficulty finding and retaining staff because they cannot pay enough for their staff to afford housing, which has seen dramatic rises in cost over the last few years. The County’s efforts to build affordable rental units will help begin the long process of increasing the rental housing supply and lowering the cost, thus reducing some barriers to keeping a workforce here. An improvement in housing affordability will help keep workers here, initially filling the existing demand in unfilled jobs, but eventually allowing businesses to expand, and making the County attractive to new enterprises. The work-from-home movement that took off during the pandemic brought some new opportunities here – those kinds of jobs have the benefit of bringing paycheques from other locales into the local economy, and should be encouraged, especially if existing residents can find spots in those industries. Ongoing support of career counselling agencies in the community and participation in federal and provincial jobs grants programs should continue.

2. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following proposal: “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.”

Agree.

3. Please explain your rating.

It’s about accountability. Voters should be able to find out if they want to how their representative is serving them, and to question them if need be.

4. Please share examples of how you’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in your thinking? How are you applying what you’ve learned in your work in the County?

I try to support diversity, equity and inclusion whenever I can, but I know that as a white guy I have my own biases and blindspots. I try to let those who are working regularly in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion guide my decision-making. I have learned that it is easy to misjudge the importance of issues to members of the community from different backgrounds. In recent years, the controversy over the John A. Macdonald statue was an example – I supported the removal, as did many, but I think some on both sides were surprised by the depth of resistance by some on the opposing side.


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Responses to Invitation 6

Candidates received Invitation 6 on September 23, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 3, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on October 5, 2022.

Respondents

Ben Thornton

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following service categories:

Service category Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
General government
Protection services
Transportation services
Environmental services
Health services
Social and family services
Social housing
Recreation and cultural services
Planning and development services

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

User fees and service charges for municipal services are a good way to augment property taxation revenue based on the specific needs of citizens, and every care should be taken to apply this model fairly, so access to services is not made more difficult for those who face economic need. Revenue from service charges has remained generally flat over the three quoted years, while taxation revenue has risen along with property prices. This balance needs to be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the right goals are being met, that is, fair access to services for those who want or need them, especially health care, housing, transit, and children’s services, and fair taxation to allow seniors or others facing economic pressures to afford to stay in their homes.


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Responses to Invitation 5

Candidates received Invitation 5 on September 20, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 26, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 28, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Neither disagree or agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

I have been out campaigning and have not researched the various calls of action fully in order to respond knowledgeably.

However, I believe at this point the Canadian Government is leading the way as this process of reconciliation continues to evolve. There are still aspects of this the Canadian Government needs to work through. It is certainly something I believe the County Council should keep its eye on going forward.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Neither disagree or agree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

I cannot agree or disagree as I have no way of analysing the costs.


Ben Norton

1. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following:

“Council should adopt a Strategic Initiative to respond to [the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s] Calls to Action 43, 47 and 57.”

Agree.

2. Please explain your rating.

Thankfully, the efforts of many groups involved have brought issues of systemic racism and disadvantage against indigenous peoples into the public eye. It’s only right we begin to reshape our thinking and take stepw to create a more inclusive, equitable society.

3. Please rate your level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the following statements:

“The cost of maintaining a public register of requests for County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Agree.

“The cost of the routine disclosure of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

“The cost of the active dissemination of County records would likely outweigh its benefits.”
Disagree.

4. For any one of your ratings above, please describe your analysis of the different costs and benefits that lead to your conclusion (max. 500 words).

[A] The goals of transparency and public accountability that a responsible Council and municipal government strives for may already be met by current practices. The County does routinely release a number of reports, agendas, and other documents as a matter of course, and actively disseminates quite a bit through the media, through social media, and its own communications channels. Nevertheless, for information that might not be routinely disclosed or disseminated, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy act requires, the FOI process requires municipal staff to release information to the public as requested for a $5.00 fee, and indeed to inform the requester whether the information is publicly available already. Five dollars is a modest and reasonable price (if the information is not already publicly available) for someone who is serious about making a request. To the point of subquestion (a), the County would already maintain records of requests, and it would be possible for the public, media, or any other interested party to make a request for the information they are looking for, and bear a small part of the cost in preparing it.


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Responses to Invitation 4

Candidates received Invitation 4 on September 14, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 19, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 20, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

My wife owns a STA, a small Bunkie located on our primary residence property that we rent for 10 week per year.

My son owns a construction company and there are times that I may need to declare a conflict, similar to what I did when I served as Councillor for NM in 2014-2018.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Neither disagree or agree.

Without diminishing the negative impact of mental anguish, pain and suffering, how this may be addressed or qualified was not revealed. Therefore, I responded neither.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Strongly disagree.

If the pecuniary conflict does not involve a close family member it is no different than any member of the public.

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

I have not been presented with a question while I have been out campaigning, that I did not feel comfortable not answering.

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

N/A.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I cannot comment on which way I would vote today, as I don’t have the information that was presented, nor did I take part in the discussion that guided Council at that time to make the decision they did.


Ben Thornton

1. Please identify and describe the general nature of any conflict of pecuniary interest – real or apparent, direct or indirect – that you would foresee needing to declare, given the sort of conflicts that have been disclosed by your predecessors in 2020-2022. [We later clarified the reference to 2020-2022 here. As the preamble re: “Pecuniary Conflicts of Interest” notes, these three years are the ones reported in the County’s online Annual Registries of members’ disclosoure of conflicts of interest.]

I don’t foresee any conflicts.

2A & 3. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.” Please elaborate.

Agree.

Elected representatives should be beyond reproach – that is the basis of their public trust.

2B & 4. Please indicate your agreement with the following statement: “The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.” Please elaborate.

Agree.

Conflicts of interest can be fluid and situational. It’s quite possible that matters involving siblings, cousins, or other members of a family might cross lines of conflict.

5. In the voter’s own words, please identify the most difficult-to-answer question that you’ve been asked in your campaign.

How do we bring down water rates?

6. Please explain why this question was the most difficult-to-answer.

It’s a complicated thing to keep up a waterworks in a community with a small tax base. We either need to grow enough to spread the cost among more people (who also will need water) or pay for the upgrades and maintenance over a longer time, perhaps through borrowing. There’s no easy short term answer.

7. On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, how would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?

I would deny, given the risk of disturbing the bed of the harbour and stirring up toxins that would affect the environment, and possibly the County’s drinking water.


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Responses to Invitation 3

Candidates received Invitation 3 on September 7, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 12, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 14, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
P.E.C. Affordable Housing Corp., should be reviewed as affordable housing in not just a County problem. It is a national and provincial problem and should be addressed as such.

Health Initiatives
I am satisfied with the health care initiatives that are being attempted in both Doctor recruitment and helping fund the new hospital.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Official Plan
The County Official Plan should be amended to include a formula for residential development on designated RU Lands.


Ben Thornton

1. Please rate your overall satisfaction with each of the following strategic initiatives:

Strategic Initiative Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied Very satisfied
By-law and policy review
Downtown revitalization
Healthcare initiatives
Municipal Accommodation Tax
PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Short-Term Accommodations
Tourism management
Understanding Growth and Water/wastewater infrastructure

2. Please explain two of your ratings.

Health Initiatives
The recruitment of doctors and nurses to the County continues to be a priority for residents. The initiatives and incentives are moving in the right direction but progress has been slow.

PEC Affordable Housing Corp.
Another critical issue for residents. The approval of zoning for affordable rental developments in Wellington and Picton is a good start, but until they are funded and built, residents won’t see the benefit. Council must continue to ensure these projects have the best chance of success.

3. Please outline one County-wide strategic initiative that is missing from the above and should be adopted by Council.

Commercial Accommodations
To follow STA policy and tourism management, a strategy to increase commercial accommodations – hotels, motels, lodges – that fit the needs, character, and infrastructure of the County.


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Responses to Invitation 2

Candidates received Invitation 2 on August 31, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 6, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on September 7, 2022.

Respondents

David Harrison

1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Agricultural Advisory Committee
  2. Planning Committee
  3. Quinte Conservation Executive Board

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Agricultural Advisory Committee
I have worked in the Agricultural Industry for 50 years.

Planning Committee
I have 17 years municipal experience which includes planning.

Quinte Conservation Executive Board
I feel my hands-on background in Agriculture and Fisheries qualify me as an effective voice on the Quinte Conservation Board.

3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

When called upon to make a decision I would use my experience in those areas to make sound judgments that represent the best interests of all parties.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

Unfortunately low voter turnout in the County is representative of low voter turnout provincially and federally due to apathy.

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

Never.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

Work with other candidates to encourage constituents and supporters to vote.


Ben Thornton

1. Please identify two internal and one external committee or board listed above whose areas of municipal responsibility would showcase your skills and interests in municipal government.

  1. Community & Economic Development Commission
  2. Heritage Advisory Committee
  3. Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation

2. For these three committees or boards, please highlight your skills and experience (work, volunteer, life) in those areas of municipal responsibility.

3. For these three committees or boards, please describe the impact you’d hope to make in those areas of municipal responsibility.

Community & Economic Development Commission
Successful local businesses are at the heart of the County’s economic success. I have a background in small business, and through my professional and volunteer work here in the County have come to know business owners, and groups like the Chamber of Commerce and BIAs.

Impact: The Council needs to support an environment where existing businesses can be successful, make it attractive for new businesses to establish themselves here, and keep in mind the broader goals of the County regarding development and growth, tourism management, and environmental stewardship.

Heritage Advisory Committee
The history of PEC, including its architectural heritage, is a driver for tourism and the historical character is a large part of why people stay or move here. I am involved with several organizations whose mission is in part to preserve heritage properties.

Impact: I am pleased to see a new local branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario established here, and would like to see more co-operation among the groups with a historical or heritage focus with an aim to add value to tourism, improve scholarship, partner with local businesses, and preserve the historical flavour of the County.

Prince Edward County Affordable Housing Corporation
Affordable housing remains a challenge here (and throughout Ontario). Without a properly implemented program to address it, we are bound to see more young people leave the County, and more businesses unable to retain staff for want of affordable housing. I work in real estate and intend to bring what expertise I have to the table.

Impact: In the short term, I would like to see progress on the approved affordable housing sites in Wellington and Picton. I would also like to see more incentives for homeowners to create long-term rental options on existing properties.

4. How would you account for these rates of voter turnout in the County in recent municipal elections?

Low voter turnout is a problem nation-wide, and particularly at the municipal level. Usually, low voter turnout is a symptom of voter disengagement. The municipal government, the media, community leaders, and candidates all have a role to play to encourage and inform voters.

5. Please relate an occasion when you (nearly) decided not to vote in an election.

I’ve always voted. Nearly missed it once in a municipal election because the polls closed earlier than I realized, but I made it.

6. How would you propose to work with other candidates to increase voter turnout in the County in the upcoming municipal election?

I believe every candidate wants as robust a turnout at the polls as possible. To that end, I believe most are doing their part to inform voters about why, when, where, and how to vote.


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Responses to Invitation 1

Candidates received Invitation 1 on August 24, 2022 and were asked to share their thoughts by August 29, 2022. Candidate responses were published here and on Facebook on August 31, 2022.

Respondents to Invitation 1

David Harrison

1. How long have you resided in the County?

All my life.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

All my life.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

PEC Agricultural Advisory Committee.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

Councillor North Marysburgh.

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association and Lake Ontario Commercial Fish Management Liaison Committee.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

I have never separated “old” from “new” because I have always recognized all residents as equal.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

Negotiator.


Ben Thornton

1. How long have you resided in the County?

I have resided full time in the County since February, 2019. My mother was born in Picton, but passed away when I was 3, and I grew up in the Toronto area, but returned often to the County to visit my grandmother and other family, and spent a good deal of time here. In 2019, after years of renting cottages here, we decided to raise our family here.

1b. (Additional question for candidates for Ward Councilor only): How long have you resided in the Ward in which you are running to be Councilor?

I do not live in North Marysburgh, but have more than a century of family history there.

2. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the current term of Council (Fall 2018 – present).

I serve on the County’s Cemetery Advisory Committee.

3. Please identify your membership on Council, committee, commission, board, or other body associated with the municipal government in the County during the previous term of Council (Fall 2014 – Fall 2018).

NA.

4. Please identify your membership or volunteering in a not-for-profit, non-governmental oganization associated with the County during the current term of Council (November 2018 – present).

I serve as the chair of the Regent Theatre, on the board of Glenwood Cemetery, as co-ordinator of PEC Minor Baseball Association’s program for 4-6 year olds, and volunteer at 99.3 County FM and PEC Community Theatre.

5. How do you understand talk of tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County?

Tension between old and new residents is sometimes typified as concerns about too much or too fast change on the part of the “old” and refusal to adapt on the part of the “new” residents. It’s not a particularly helpful lens through which to look at the issues of the day.

Please indicate your agreement with the following statements:

6a. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s agenda. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

6b. Tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County influences Council’s decisions. [Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree]

7. Please identify any role you see yourself in addressing any tension between “old” and “new” residents in the County.

Council should be making decisions in the best interests of the community, no matter how long people have lived here. The charms of the County are why people choose to stay or move here. The challenges are faced by all of us – affordable housing, good employment, infrastructure, development and growth, fiscal responsibility. The County has always had people coming and going with different experiences, backgrounds, cultures and ambitions. I think most see the appeal of preserving our natural, historical, and architectural heritage and character, while embracing the changes that make the community better. Change is a constant – industries (cheesemaking, canning, for instance) come and go, technologies change, demographics change. Even old industries change – agriculture for instance is affected by new technology, changes in the global market, and environmental issues. Council must respect a diversity of opinion and try to craft a vision supporting the ideals that make Prince Edward County a great place to live, work, and visit.


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© Paul G. Allen