Municipal election race begins

by Vance Gutzman

Democracy is alive and well in all three North Renfrew municipalities, judging by the number of candidates who filed their nomination papers by last Friday’s deadline for the upcoming municipal elections in October.

In Deep River, for example, there are four people running for mayor – Anne Hutton, Benjamin Kolaczek, Larry Dumoulin and Suzanne D’Eon.

Two people are contesting the position of reeve, which represents the town at the county level – the incumbent, Glenn Doncaster, and current councillor Ron Desrochers.

And there are an astonishing 11 people, meanwhile, vying for the five councillor positions around the table.

Rajini Nitheanandan filed her nomination papers on Thursday, while Merrill Gasmann filed on Friday.

They join a crowded list which, as previously reported, includes incumbent councillors Bob McLaren and Terry Myers, along with new candidates Tanner Fleury, Sam McCarthy, Imran Bajwa, Will Fitton, Christina Giardini-Rochon, Kathy Hughes and Ken McDonald.

Two more people, meanwhile, filed their nomination papers in Head, Clara and Maria by Friday’s deadline.

The addition of Fran Kelly-Chamberlain and Nancy Rose, who was appointed to council earlier this year following the resignation of councillor Dave Foote, brings to 10 the number of people who are vying for the four positions as councillor in that municipality.

The others, as previously reported, are incumbents Calvin Chartrand, Cathy McKay and Ernie Villeneuve Jr.

They are joined by candidates Gayle Watters, Brent Allen, Wayne Clouthier, Chris Dowser and Patrick McGurran.

The incumbent mayor, Bob Reid, will be squaring off against former councillor Debbi Grills for the top elected position when voters head to the polls on October 22.

Over in Laurentian Hills, one more name, and a familiar one at that, has been added to the list since the last update.

Former councillor Dave Ethier has thrown his hat into the ring to once again represent the constituents of Ward 4 in that municipality.

Ethier has a long history in municipal politics, representing Ward 4 after the amalgamated municipality came into being back in 2000, and he served on Chalk River village council for a number of years before that.

Ethier will be squaring off against the ward’s incumbent councillor, John Hoyle, who defeated Ethier in the 2010 municipal election.

Former mayor Dick Rabishaw, meanwhile, is contesting the mayoral-ship in Laurentian Hills against the incumbent, John Reinwald.

Councillor Bruce Boucher, Deputy Mayor Anne Giardini and Councillor Brenda Blimkie have all been acclaimed as councillors in Wards 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

The two incumbent school board trustees, representing all three municipalities, have also been acclaimed – Marjorie Adam with the Renfrew County District School Board, and Dave Howard with the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board.