Episode 3.09 – Deputy Mayor Aakash Desai – Municipality of Grey Highlands

Brent Rose/Global News

Aakash Desai moved to Canada in 2006 at the age of 15. Since then he has been a proud resident of Grey Highlands. He got involved in the public sphere in 2011 when he was elected to the Grey Highlands Chamber of Commerce Board. He was elected Vice-President in 2013. On April 29, 2014 Aakash became a Canadian citizen and soon after filed his nomination papers to run for council in the 2014 elections. He was sworn in as a councillor on Dec 1 – his 24th birthday. In 2018 he successfully ran for the position of Deputy Mayor and defeated the incumbent. He lives in Markdale with his fiancée and (still) dreams of someday playing for Manchester United.



Is Grey Highlands a part of SW Ontario?

Tune in Thursday night at 7pm to hear more!

The first part begins with you, as we introduce you as the guest.

  • Who are you? What is your day job (if not a full time politician)? Why did you run for council? What drives you?  How do you engage the community?
  • Who are your people? If you represent a ward/whole community what does it 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, how would you describe the region as a whole and the City’s relationship with the region? What is in common/different between them? 
  • 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?

The second half of the show is a bit more political/policy related. We may not get to all of these topics and this might not be the order we discuss them in.

  • COVID Impacts on Grey Highlands?
    • Budget Impacts? Community Impacts?
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
  • Can you talk about the Beaver valley development and council’s decision to move it forward.- It seems like there is some tensions between development and community/environmental preservation.
  • Next year is a provincial election and news from smaller communities like yours often do get heard during campaign,
  • Magic policy wand – change one policy at a local, provincial or federal level that will make things better in your community, what do you change and why?

Municipality of Grey Highlands

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