‘I feel it’s time for some new faces and new ideas in our town,’ says Penetanguishene candidate for council
Editor’s note: MidlandToday has asked council candidates in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny Township to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24.
The following response is from Lindsay Duquette, who is running for council in Penetanguishene. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.
What is your name, what will be your age on election day, and who are your key immediate family members you rely on for support?
My name is Lindsay Duquette, I am 30 years old from Penetanguishene. My parents, Mike and Cathy Duquette, are my biggest supporters along with my grandmother, Marie Marchand. I don’t know what I would do without them cheering me on.
In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?
Penetanguishene is a natural beauty with a diverse history.
What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?
I decided to run for council to be more involved in my community. I, like many others, feel it’s time for some new faces and new ideas in our town.
How much time and money should be allocated to upgrading the town dock? What is your stance on the town dock project?
I think the extent of the town dock project needs to be reviewed. I do feel that the dock should be connected to Rotary Park through a better trail system or board walk. However the parking plans need an adjustment. There absolutely needs to be sufficient parking for the launching ramp. This is a vital part of our town dock and tourism industry.
The beloved arena and curling rink are at the end of life, and in various states of disrepair. Is it worth more to pour into their upkeep or invest in a new facility? What is your stance on the facilities?
It’s time to invest in a new facility. Repairs are only going to last so long before we need to repair something else. Our community members are having to travel outside of town for recreational activities when they could be investing in their own community. They pay taxes here and deserve to be able to live in a town that meets their needs.
You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?
I’m eager to be involved with the conservation of our natural resources. I’m also looking forward to helping to grow our recreational activities and plan new events.
Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of cast ballots across North Simcoe in the last municipal election. Knowing you could be elected without even half of possible voters turning out, what will you do to combat voter apathy so your municipality is best represented?
Our society has become so reliant on technology as our main source of news and general communication. Because of this my campaign has become mostly web based. This allows me to target more people of all age groups. I hope to be able to grab the attention of more people and provide them the information they need to vote.
There are many prominent concerns ongoing in the region, from affordable housing to the opioid epidemic to short-term rentals as well as others. What is one concern that you think the majority of residents are not aware of?
With the rising cost of everyday life one issue that I feel we need to address is food security. We need to look at what options we have to allow everyone access to healthy food. I’d like to introduce a Sustainable Living Initiative which would include the benefits of urban agriculture.
The province is planning for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. If now is the time to prepare for that influx, what will you proactively do as your part in the process?
I hope to be able to address our housing situation. We need to provide more housing options for not only our younger families but also our senior citizens. With rising home prices, rental rates and extreme wait times for housing we need to take a look at the restrictions in our zoning bylaws. We also need to look at what land vacancies are available in town and the best use of these spaces.
Recidivism isn’t just on the police and courts. As a municipal leader and crafter of bylaws, what initiatives will you undertake to address crime in your care?
We need to take a look at the policing in our community. There does not seem to be a big police presence in town and I know this is concerning to many people. I’d like to look for new options to allow more patrolling of our neighbourhoods.
Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the ratepayers to have it done as soon as possible?
I feel that we need to look at having some road repairs completed. Major intersections, like Fuller and Robert, need to be addressed for safety reasons. However, I do not think this would justify a tax increase. I think our tax payers pay more than their fair share into this town and don’t see enough being done.
times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?
Bylaw 2014-29 to inhibit or regulate the keeping of certain animals. I think we need to review what animals are prohibited in our town, such as chickens and other livestock. We allow the keeping of pigeons in town but do not allow a chicken, which could help with food security.
Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?
I hope I’m remembered as a councilor that was for the people of this town. Someone who wasn’t afraid to speak their mind and ensure the voices of our people are heard.
Municipal election information for Penetanguishene is available on the elections page of the town website.
For Penetanguishene residents:
Visit voterlookup.ca, call 705-549-7453, or visit Townhall to be sure you are on the Voters List and that your information is correct. You will not receive a voter letter if your name does not appear on the voter list. In addition, any changes to your household (children who have moved away, tenants who have moved in or out, etc.) should be updated through voterlookup.ca which is maintained by MPAC.
Voter Letters which will include your voter ID and PIN are being sent by mail to homes during the last week of September to arrive to Voters on the list the first week of October. If you don’t get a letter, call, visit or email Townhall to get one. You may need to attend in person to show ID.
Voting by phone or internet opens on Tuesday October 11, 2022 at 10:00 am and goes until Monday October 24, 2022 at 8:00 pm The voting website and phone number will be provided on the voter information letter.