I am pleased to be joined today by North Perth Councillor Neil Anstett. Neil was first elected to North Perth Council in 2018, and currently represents the Listowel Ward of North Perth. Neil currently serves on the North Perth Economic Development Committee, along with the North Perth Recreation Committee. Neil previously served as chair of the Brockton Police Services Board, and was a founding member of the Grey Bruce Crystal Meth Task Force. Neil is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, (’10) where he received a Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Political Science. Neil currently lives in Listowel with his wife Amelia, their two year old son Everett, and their cat Nudge.
With all of our conversations we begin with the following topic areas beginning with the guests personal story, then rising through geography and people level to better understand their community and how it fits into SW Ontario. Some of the questions include but are not exclusive too:
- Who are you? What is your day job (if not a full time politician)? How do you engage the community? Why did you run for council? What drives you?
- Who are your people? If you represent a ward what does that ward look like (urban, suburban, rural)? Who are your constituents – what do they do for a living, what are the issues you see in your inbox or talking to people week in and out.
- Describe your municipality as a whole. Paint a picture for someone who has not been to your town or community before or has only seen it as a sign on the side of a road. What is working, and what is not, what are you building towards?
- What is your region, what is in common/different between your community and your neighbourhood? Most municipalities are a part of some upper tier government, how does your community fit into that upper tier?
- Finally, how does your community and constituents fit into SW Ontario as a whole? Why should someone in Kitchener or London (as examples) care about your community? What should a Torontonian know about your community and why it is important?
Digging into specific issues:
- COVID Impacts on North Perth?
- What would be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
- Listowel Arena demolition – other communities/smaller towns are struggling to keep amenities open
- School closures have been another item,
- Rural Broadband – SWIFT investment?
- Urban-Rural divide? Does it exist?
- Where do you want North Perth to be in 10 or 20 years? Challenges/Opportunities
- Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?