Choosing which candidate to vote for is a subjective matter, and will depend on which issues move you most.
We approached our research with a view to finding the candidates who are:
- most attuned to the need for protection of the environment (lake health), especially in the case of large developments on or near the lakes;
- most committed to open, transparent local government and to listening to and consulting with the community on key issues, including environmental protection.
= This candidate best reflects the Environment Council mandate to support environmental protection and sustainability for our lakes and adjacent lands.
With the above factors in mind, and having reviewed a wide variety of sources, we present the candidates for North Kawartha:
CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR
Rick Woodcock (incumbent)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting, Rick said the lakes are the economy of North Kawartha (NK), and that the update of the Official Plan (OP) and Zoning By-laws during the coming term will be vital to getting things right to protect the water quality of our lakes. He also said that he would ask for lake association input to these (as part of a committee) and on phase two of the septic re-inspection program. Asked what he would do to support lake quality, he said it is imperative to work closely with the lake associations and NORKLA.
In response to email questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal, he said Council has a duty and responsibility by law to weigh all the facts and reports presented by all parties before it makes a decision. That he will show great concern for issues such as density, water quality, wetlands, endangered species.
In May 2015 he voted to oppose the Burleigh Bay Corporation (BBC) development of the Fraser property on Stony Lake. In public forums and local media he has often spoken about engaging constituents in discussion on township matters and has said he will continue to have community workshops and push for the creation of community committees to help provide direction to council.
Click here to read Rick’s full Questionnaire Response.
Carolyn Amyotte (challenger)
In her opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting, Carolyn said she wants to see citizen involvement in the process to update the OP and Zoning By-laws. And that re-development on the lakes needs to be properly managed with respect to owners’ rights and their right to ask for relief.
Asked what she would do to support lake quality, she said she would present the next phase of septic inspection to council. She did not respond to the North Shore Land Group’s email questions on the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal, but in response to questions from the Association of Stoney Lake Cottagers (ASLC) about this development, she said she was not in a position to make a decision or express an opinion prior to the completion of the legislated application process which includes a public hearing.
For years, Carolyn has been the NK liaison on the Environment Council. Nevertheless, hers was the lone vote against the motion to oppose the Burleigh Bay development proposal.
Click here to read Carolyn’s full Questionnaire Response.
CANDIDATES FOR DEPUTY MAYOR
Doug Hutton (incumbent)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting, Doug said it is important to keep the lakes healthy, and noted that the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) – formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) – puts additional responsibility on council. And that it is important to move redevelopment on the lakes back from the water and create natural buffer zones. Asked what he would do to support lake quality, he said he would work on passing the Zoning By-law regarding redevelopment setbacks and creating buffers.
In response to email questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group and ASLC about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal and the Fraser development, Doug said he is keenly aware of the importance of the lakes to the sustainability of NK. That he had seen the Pilgrim’s Rest plans and attended the public information session, and that while he will wait until all the facts are in before making a decision, his first impression is that the density of the buildings and septic systems, combined with the adjacent wetlands and steep terrain, “feels wrong.”
With respect to the Fraser development, he pointed out that he was the one that made the motion to deny the Burleigh Bay project. That he came to this decision after paddling around the shore, considering a huge amount of data and discussions with experts.
Click here to read Doug’s full Questionnaire Response.
Jim Whelan (challenger)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting, he made no mention of the
lakes, water quality or the environment. Asked what he would do to support lake quality, he said he would continue with the next phase of septic inspection.
In response to email questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Group about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal, he said, “I will give you the same answer I gave the ‘Friends of the Wetlands’ re. the Burleigh Bay Condo Application” – a development proposal that he supported when he was Mayor. Also on Pilgrim’s Rest, he said he will study the application and decide when all parties are heard from whether he will be in support or opposition.
He did not respond to email questions from ASLC about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal and Fraser development.
Jim declined to answer the Environment Council Candidate Questionnaire, preferring instead to make a statement.
Click here to read his statement.
CANDIDATES FOR COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
Roman Miszuk (incumbent)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting he said the local economy is dependent on healthy lakes, which are dependent on healthy septics and appropriate setbacks. He also mentioned the need to control invasive species.
In response to email questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group about the Pilgrims’ Rest proposal, he said he had received very limited information on the project, making it difficult to make an informed decision. He added that, as of this moment, he would vote against this proposal in its current form.
In response to ASLC email questions about Pilgrim’s Rest and the BBC Fraser development, he said he was never in favour of the Fraser development, that if anything the site could only support a handful of cottages, and that he was “leaning against” the Pilgrim’s proposal.
Roman toured the Fraser shore by canoe with Doug Hutton and in May 2015 voted to oppose the BBC proposal at the OMB.
Click here to read Roman’s full Questionnaire Response.
Tim Powell (challenger)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting, he said his over 30 years of experience and knowledge of the OP and Zoning By-laws, provincial policy and building code make him a valuable resource in planning decisions affecting the lake community and residents in the township. (He retired four years ago as NK’s Chief Building Official.)
In response to email questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal, he said he has not reviewed or seen any applications in respect to this proposed development.
In response to ASLC email questions about Pilgrim’s Rest and the BBC Fraser development, he noted that he was on staff when the BBC proposal came forward initially. That in his staff position he “viewed the proposal as a control of the lands, if all approvals had been in place and it was determined that the development was appropriate, then the 60 proposed properties and the restrictive zoning on the remainder of the lands would have been the end of development on this property. So that would have been a very real control . . . that in my mind would have potentially reduced impacts on the lands and lake in the long term.”
On the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal he said in part, “With the trailer park, it exists and does not require County or Municipal approval, it is there and in my mind is more of a negative impact than 35 [sic] seasonal dwellings would be.”* Also that, “I do know the history of the property and the alternative to 35 sites rather than 87 sites in my opinion is a viable option. This in no way states or implies that I would rubber stamp any application. . . .” (Please see questionnaire answers for further detail on this.)
Click here to read Tim’s full Questionnaire Response.
Note: the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal is for 30 residential units.
WARD 1 (previously the Township of Chandos)
Jim O’Shea (incumbent) ACCLAIMED
CANDIDATES FOR WARD 2 (previously the Township of Burleigh Anstruther)
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting Colin said it is important to protect lakes and forests, settle the dock size issue and control invasive species. He said he supports public input sessions and that they need follow up.
In response to emailed questions from the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group about the Pilgrim’s Rest proposal, Colin said he took a look at the site from the property boundaries and would not vote for 30 units on that plot. That the toll it would take on our environment and the sudden change to the neighbourhood are unacceptable.
In response to ASLC email questions about the BBC Fraser development and Pilgrim’s Rest, he said the Fraser proposal was environmentally reckless, that any new proposed development on Fraser could not be big, maybe a few individual lots with single units.
He said the Pilgrim’s Rest land is not suited for that specific project (current proposal), that there should be fewer units and more detail is needed on what is proposed for the waterfront.
Click here to read Colin’s full Questionnaire Response.
In his opening statement at the August 25th candidates meeting Dave did not mention lake health, the environment or consultation with the community. No questions were directed toward him and he appeared inattentive.
He did not respond to the Environment Council questionnaire, or to email questions from ASLC or the North Shore Stoney Lake Land Group.