Episode 2.12 – Season 2 Finale and Reflections

A discussion of my thoughts on Season 2 and a tease of Season 3

Season 2 finale

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Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Episode 2.11 – Mayor Darrin Canniff of Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Darrin’s passion is giving back to the great community he lives in. Besides co-chairing the 2018 International Plowing Match, Darrin is the past Chair of Mainstreet Credit Union, past Chair of Entegrus Inc., past co-chair of the United Way Campaign, past Director of the CKHA and past Chair of the Prosperity Roundtable. Darrin was first elected to Council in 2014 and served for one term as Councillor for Ward 6 before being elected Mayor in 2018. His goal is to empower all citizens and encourages them to get involved with their community.

Facebook:

Twitter:

Instagram:


2020 non-COVID Story

Full podcast can be listened to here or on your favourite platform!.


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?
  • 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. CK is unique as it is a single tier municipality. 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? .
  • How do the communities within Chatham Kent see themselves? How do you balance the different needs and priorities?
  • 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 Chatham-Kent? In the Community?
    • Budget Impacts? Projects delayed? Services Reviews?
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
  • Housing Prices – They are spiking across Ontario. How is it impacting CK?
  • Affordable Housing/Homelessness – Additional pressure due to higher housing prices?
  • Erosion on Lake Erie shore – Shore line study
  • Thoughts on the Provincial Budget? Was there anything you were looking for?
  • Where do you want Chatham-Kent to be in 10 years? Challenges/Opportunities to get there
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

Episode 2.10 – Sarah Emons Councillor the Township of Southwold

Sara Emons

Sarah grew up in the City of St. Thomas.  She has a husband Theo and two sons – Alex and Nathaniel.  Sarah has a BSc. Biology from the University of Waterloo and a MSc. Geography (Environmental Science) from Western University.

Over the years, Sarah has worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Imperial Oil – Cold Lake Operations.  Currently, she manages a small goat farm. Sarah supports sustainable agriculture, and enjoys hiking (Botonizing and Birding along the way), and other outdoor activities such as kayaking.  She sits on the Young at Heart Committee, the Landfill Committee, Canada Day Committee and the War Memorial Committee.  Sarah volunteers at as many community events as possible (Shedden Fair, Optimist events etc.)

Her family has set aside space on their small farm to restore three wetland cells, tall grass prairie plantings and over 100 trees, and hope to continue with more in the future. 


Teaser Lake Erie Erosion

Hold for full episode


The first half of the show is standardized (more or less) with each guest talking through these themes.

  • 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? .
  • 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?

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 Southwold? 
    • Budget Impacts? 
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen? 
  • Population in 2016 was shrinking (from 2011). Are you seeing growth now that a lot of municipalities are seeing?
    • Housing affordability?
  • St Thomas growth and potential challenges of ex-urban Elgin communities. 
    • Growth in Elgin County vs St Thomas? 
  • Rural Broadband – SWIFT investment – How does the digital divide impact your community? 
  • Lake Erie shoreline erosion
  • Thoughts on the Provincial Budget? 
  • Where do you want Southwold to be in 10 years? What are the Challenges/Opportunities to get there
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing – federal, provincial or municipal law, what do you change and why?

Southwold Township

Episode 2.09 – Councillor Gary Kaschak – Ward 8 Councillor in the City of Windsor

Gary Kaschak was born and raised in the City of Windsor. As a lifetime resident of the city’s east end, Gary has come to know Ward 8 and the City of Windsor very well. He began his schooling at Coronation Grade School before graduating from W F Herman Secondary School. He continued on to post-secondary education at St. Clair College and the University of Windsor.

In 1981, Gary accepted full time employment with the Canadian Federal Government working for what was known back then as Revenue Canada. Gary performed many civil service functions but prides himself on helping people and answering questions regarding income tax matters. Gary later became an administrator and transferred to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). His prime role was border security and securing other CBSA facilities. Gary had extensive involvement in public safety, dealing with cameras; radios; access control; threat and risk assessments; and government security clearances.

Once elected City Councillor, Gary kept his promise to retire from the CBSA, and after a 37-year career has now become a full time Windsor City Councillor as of December 2018. Gary has been heavily involved in many local sports organizations. Coaching children in hockey and baseball and giving back to the community was always very satisfying, which added to his desire to serve the residents of Ward 8 and the rest of the city as well.

Gary and his wife Mary are the proud parents of two sons, Ryan and Adam Kaschak who both have full time careers and are productive citizens in their community.

Facebook – Gary Kaschak Ward 8 Councillor


COVID Impacts that ends on a cliff hanger!

Hold for full episode

Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The episode in in two parts: first 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 Windsor?
    • Budget Impacts? Community Impacts? 
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
  • You retired when you were elected. Given the work that you are doing, do you think you could you have kept your job and be an effective councillor as well? 
  • An open mind around the Council Table? It has come up at Council meetings that you have taken the time to do walks with Housing support staff downtown before votes on those issues, Alley walks with fellow councillors, go to Peche Island and see the impacts of erosion. 
  • Housing Prices – They are spiking across Ontario. 
  • Economic Development has been a hot topic in  Windsor Essex for a long time. What do you see as the priorities? 
  • Thoughts on the Provincial Budget?
  • Where do you want Windsor to be in 10 years? Challenges/Opportunities to get there
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

Ward 8 Map

City of Windsor

Episode 2.08 – Mayor Hilda MacDonald from the Municipality of Leamington

Born and raised in Leamington, Hilda MacDonald was elected Mayor of the
Municipality of Leamington on October 22, 2018. Mayor MacDonald served
as Leamington’s Deputy Mayor for one term and as a Leamington
Councillor for two terms. Mayor MacDonald sits on Essex County Council,
and serves on many local boards as well as the Association of
Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Board of Directors and Ontario Small
Urban Municipalities (OSUM) Executive Committee. Known for her honesty
and fairness, Mayor MacDonald is a fierce advocate for the community that
she loves.


Hold for Podcast

Purchasing a closed school for housing!

The first half of the show is standardized with each guest talking through these themes.

  • 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)? How do you engage the community? Why did you run for council? What drives you?
  • 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, what is in common/different between your community and your neighbours? 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?

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 Leamington? How did it impact the municipality and community? 
    • Migrant workers and the outbreaks in those facilities 
    • Why migrant workers? 
  • Due to COVID it is possible that what people know about Leamington is largely related to those migrant worker/COVID issues, what was a story that people didn’t hear in 2020 about Leamington?  
  • Agri-sector is a major employers and driver of local economic activity but there are challenges – Light pollution by-law
  • Housing affordability – School purchasing
  • Provincial Budget will be on March 24th, if you have any reaction or comment on that? HWY3, Hospital, or the funding etc.  
  • Where do you want Leamington to be in 10 years? Challenges/Opportunities   
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing to improve your community, the lives of people in it, what do you change and why?

Leamington Ont

Episode 2.07 – Stephen Bolton – CEO Libro Credit Union

The Head Coach since 2012, Stephen has been with Libro since 1988. He spearheaded the combination with United Communities Credit Union in 2013 while focusing on economic development in southwestern Ontario, while enabling and ensuring outstanding customer satisfaction levels. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor, and an Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business. He is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors Program through the Rotman School of Management, an Associate of the Credit Union Institute of Canada, a graduate of the Queen’s Executive Program, and holds certificates from the Canadian Securities Institute.

During his career, Stephen has been on a number of community and financial services boards. He currently serves as a director on the London Economic Development Corporation Board, as well as the Canadian Credit Union Association, of which he was Chair of the Board for 2016 – 2018. Stephen and his wife Betty live on a farm west of London, and have two children. He enjoys reading, coaching, travelling, running, and biking. He is active on social media.

Twitter: @SteveLibroCU

Twitter: @libroCU


Libro’s History

Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


Questions/Topics of Discussion with Stephen

  • Tell me a little a bit about yourself – what was your journey to becoming President, CEO and Head Coach at Libro Credit Union?
  • Can you tell me about the parallel journey of Libro?
    • So everyone is clear, what is the difference between a credit union and a bank?
    • You are a BCorp for those that don’t know what does that mean?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted Libro? Lots of talk about how the nature of work has changed due to the pandemic? How has COVID changed and continue to change Libro going forward?
    • What impacts have you seen on your owners, business that work with you, the
      communities you are in?
  • Libro has 30ish locations across SW Ontario. One of the broader themes of the podcast is telling
    some of the broader SW Ontario narratives. As a result Libro has a unique position to be in
    communities across the region, so I am curious what are some of the narratives or stories
    coming out of these communities that people don’t hear but you get to see?
  • Building community wealth is something that Libro has committed itself too.
    • How do you go about that particularly in communities that are smaller where economies of scale for certain economic activities or population density don’t exist?
    • What does that return on investment look like on the wealth building that you are trying to achieve?
    • What are some of those measures, successes or goals that might be hard to see from the outside that Libro looks for in measuring it’s success in this space?
  • One of the themes that I have heard from some of the smaller communities is the struggle to keep institutions and small businesses open. You have had to close branches previously, it is a part of doing business. W hat role does Libro have in keeping small towns viable and how does that hold up against the reality of doing business?
  • One of the narratives that has emerged from almost every politician and community member I have spoken too is the issue of housing affordability in SW Ontario.
    • As a financial institution, you can’t give bad loans. At the same time, I assume you are seeing your owner trying to save up for houses, and being blown out of the water with housing prices rising 30% in a year and houses are going $100,000 over asking price. How do you reconcile that?
  • Thinking about recovery either later 2021 or 2022, all of the big banks have weighed on what priorities should be during recovery, do you have any thoughts on what the priorities should be for recovery both at a provincial or national level.
    • What about locally? Municipalities are challenged by scope of powers, but they are relied upon more directly by people.
  • I ask everyone this question but if there was a magic policy wand that you could wave. What would be that policy (Local, Provincial or Federal) that you would want to see enacted?

Episode 2.06 – Mayor Aina DeViet of Middlesex Centre

Aina DeViet, was elected Mayor of Middlesex Centre in 2018 having served on Council since 2010 and County Council since 2016.  In 2018, Aina was also elected to the Board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and appointed as a County representative to the Board of Health (currently MLHU Vice-Chair, and Finance and Facilities and Governance Committee member).  AMO appointed Aina as their representative to the LAS (AMO Business Services) Board, a not-for-profit corporation created to enhance municipal capacity through operational improvements in 2020.  At a municipal level, Aina sits on the Lake Huron Water and Ilderton Medical Boards.

Facebook — Aina DeViet, Mayor of Middlesex Centre

Twitter — @AinaDeViet


Full Podcast!
Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
How does Middlesex Centre fit into SW Ontario?

To frame the conversation below are some topic areas.The first half of the show is standardized (more or less) with each guest talking through these themes.

  • The first part begins with you, as we introduce you as the guest. Who are you? What is/was 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, 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?

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 Middlesex Centre? 
    • What would be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
  • Sustainability
  • Female elected officials coming together forming a woman’s caucus
    • You also have one of the few gender balanced councils in the region.  
  • The relationship with London?
  • Rural Broadband – SWIFT investment?
  • Provincial Budget is March 24th, anything you saw or caught your eye?  
  • Where do you want Middlesex Centre to be in 10 years? What are the Challenges/Opportunities 
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

Episode 2.05 – Councillor Jesse Helmer Ward 4 Councillor City of London Ontario

Sworn in as the city councillor for Ward 4 on 1 December 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 and is serving his second term on city council. He served as Deputy Mayor for two years, ending my term in Dec 2020.

As a city councillor representing Ward 4 he considers his role as a legislator, a resource allocator, helping residents and listening, connecting, advocating and informing the community.


Conversation with Councillor Jesse Helmer
Regional Planning

Tonight I am joined by Councillor Jesse Helmer Ward 4 Councillor in the City of London

  • 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)? How do you engage the community? Why did you run for council? What drives you?
  • 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, 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?

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 London? 
    • Budget Impacts? London does a multi-year budget. How did that get impacted? 
    • Multi-year budget most municipalities don’t do that
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen? 
  • Not running again – stepping aside to help bring potentially bring diversity/perspectives to Council.
  • Did the removal or ranked ballots play a role ?
  • London growth and potential challenges of ex-urban Middlesex communities. 
    • Growth in Middlesex County vs London – Is there enough regional governance to manage it? 
  • Thoughts on the Provincial Budget? 
  • Where do you want London to be in 10 years? Challenges/Opportunities 
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

Ward 4 in the City of London

Episode 2.04 – Deputy Mayor of London Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan is the Deputy Mayor of the City of London.  He is an active member of the London community and was first elected to London City Council as Councillor for Ward 7 on October 27, 2014.  He was re-elected to a second term on October 22, 2018 with support from 75% of voters.  He was appointed as the Special Advisor to the Mayor on budget during the 2016-2019 Multi-year Budget and was formally appointed as Council’s first Multi-Year Budget Chair for the 2020-2023 budget. He also serves as Chair of Council’s Audit Committee, Chair of Council’s Governance Working Group, and an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.  Josh has formerly served on the London Public Library Board as Chair, as President of the Western Fair District Programming Council (and Member of the Board of Governors), as a Director of The Raceway Corporation, as a member of the Museum London Board, and is a Past President of the Oakridge Optimists.

Twitter: @JoshMorganLDN

Instagram: @JoshMorganLDN

Facebook: facebook.com/JoshMorganLDN


Podcast

Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Our conversation begins with.

  • 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)? How do you engage the community? Why did you run for council? What drives you?
  • 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. 
    • New role as Deputy Mayor? What does that mean? 
  • 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?

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

  • COVID Impacts on London? 
    • Budget Impacts?
    • London does a multi-year budget. How did that get impacted? <- Wonkieness alert we spend some time on this!
    • What would we be talking about if COVID didn’t happen? 
  • London growth and potential challenges of ex-urban middlesex communities. 
    • Growth in Middlesex County vs London – Is there enough regional governance to manage it? 
    • Affordable Housing vs NIMBY
  • Thoughts on the Provincial Budget? 
  • Where do you want London to be in 10 years? Challenges/Opportunities 
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

City of London Ward Map

Episode 2.03 – Deputy Mayor Kelly Elliot of Thames Centre

Kelly Elliott is the Deputy Mayor for the Municipality of Thames Centre, as well as Councillor with Middlesex County. She is a member of the Women’s Caucus of Middlesex County Council, Director with both the Ontario Good Roads Association and Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Board Member of the Middlesex-London Health Unit. She sits on various Committees both on a local and federal level. Outside of her Council duties, Kelly is a business owner and a proud baseball/hockey/soccer Mom of two kids who spends most of her free time watching her kids play. 

Twitter: @kellyelliottmcm


Music notes
Deadly Roulette by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3625-deadly-roulette
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
The Middlesex County Women’s Caucus

To frame the conversation below are some topic areas.The first half of the show is standardized (more or less) with each guest talking through these themes.

  • 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)? How do you engage the community? Why did you run for council? What drives you?
  • 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? .
    • You are the first deputy mayor we have had on so what does a Deputy Mayor do in Thames Centre? 
  • 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?

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 Thames Centre? 
    • What would be talking about if COVID didn’t happen?
  • Female elected officials banding together forming a woman’s caucus
    • Your council make up seems to be unique where Mayor and Deputy Mayor are female and the rest of council are male. 
      • Can you talk about that Council Dynamic at all? 
  • Provincial Budget is March 24th, anything you are watching for? 
  • The relationship with London? Directly the City. 
  • Rural Broadband – SWIFT investment?
  • Where do you want Thames Centre to be in 10 or 20 years? What are the Challenges/Opportunities 
  • Magic policy wand – change one thing, what do you change and why?

Thames Centre

Wards