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Brockville's Municipal Election: Council Candidate's Bio

Municipal Election Candidate Bios

For the upcoming municipal election, we have reached out to each council & mayoral candidate for their biography to better inform our members. Please feel free to read each bio, reach out to the candidate, and make your informed decision when voting between Monday, October 17th, 2022 at 10:00am until Monday, October 24th, 2022. 


Your Acclaimed Mayor 

Matt Wren 

Email: mwrenfd@gmail.com ~ Phone:613-498-8522

Currently a Brockville City Councillor, I am a member of the Economic Development, Recreation and Tourism standing committee, as well as being Council’s representative on the Brockville Public Library Board. 

In 1989, I came to Brockville to complete my internship in my chosen profession.  Brockville became my home forever when, shortly thereafter, I met my soulmate here, married and we started our family.  Dana and I have a daughter, Jena, who is a recent uOttawa grad, and a son, Nicholas, who sets off for his first year at University of Waterloo this fall.  

As a funeral director by profession, and during a career spanning more than three decades, I have had the privilege of being there to support Brockville and area families through some of the most difficult days of their lives.  In 2016 I left front-line funeral service to join a niche not-for-profit financial institution, Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Canada, as Director of Business Development.  From my remote office in Brockville, I lead a team that manages GFD’s relationships with funeral providers and cemeteries across Canada. We hold and administer over $1 billion of consumer funds in prepaid funeral trust deposits and insurance policies and my team is responsible for revenues of over $140 million per year.  In association with Barclay Funeral Homes, I continue to maintain my funeral director’s license. 

Serving my community is my passion.  I was President of the Kiwanis Club, a former member of Rotary and have sat on boards including St. Francis Cemetery, the local chapter of CARP, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Diabetes Association among others.  Currently I am a director on the board of Career Services.  Along with colleagues I co-founded the National Capital Chapter of the Unforgettables Fund at CHEO and our family, led by my wife Dana as coordinator, has volunteered for the annual Christmas Day Community Dinner.   Within my profession, I had the opportunity to serve on the board of the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals for several years, including a term as President. 

On August 22, 2022 I was acclaimed to become the next Mayor of the City of Brockville. To the role of Mayor, I believe I bring a strong background in small business, and substantial experience in regulated environments.  More importantly, I know how to listen to people’s needs, see both sides of issues, solve problems and find solutions.  I am a consensus builder, one who looks for the greater good and a methodical decision maker.  I want the best for our community, for your family and for mine.  


Candidates For Council

Sheryl Ananny 

Email: sheryl.ananny@gmail.com ~ Phone: 613-345-3516

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself ahead of the upcoming municipal election in which I’m running for a seat on council. I decided to run, because I think Brockville is an amazing city and I would like the opportunity to help make it even better. I am a retired teacher, formerly with the Upper Canada District School Board. I grew up in Brockville and moved away in my late teens, returning 11 years ago to find a still beautiful city, but with many fewer businesses and recreational opportunities. I see other small communities like Gananoque, Cornwall and Smith’s Falls enjoying a revitalization, particularly in their downtown core and I think, “Why not Brockville? What are they doing that we’re not?” I have a number of ideas that would make the city more inviting and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs with little or no cost to the city. In addition to revitalizing the downtown, I am concerned about: A lack of affordable rental housing. Homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. I am committed to lobbying the province to get more funding and programming to improve the lives of people in our community dealing with these issues. Climate change – the city needs a development strategy that includes preserving greenbelts, greenways and significant trees in conjunction with a tree planting initiative in order to mitigate the effects of global warming. Traffic calming initiatives. I want to hear from you. What are your concerns? Do you have suggestions to improve our Beautiful city? Contact me at, Sheryl.ananny@gmail.com , and I will always respond. If you want change, you have to vote for it. Together we can make Brockville Better! Brockville’s Municipal Election is October 24th. Have your say! Need help? A voting help centre will be available at City Hall, 1 King St West Brockville. It will be open for advance voting between 10a.m. and 4p.m. October 17th to October23, 2022, and on October 24th from 10a.m. to 8p.m.


Philip Deery

Email: pdeery@gmail.com ~ Phone: 343-402-8432

      My name is Philip Deery and this year I will be campaigning for a seat on Brockville City Council. My family moved here in 1998. I have been married to my wife Annette for the past twenty eight years and raised my two children Liam and Meara here in Brockville. During this time I have witnessed many changes in our community both good and bad. I want to be part of "positive leadership" in the community committed to improving the quality of life for all Brockville residents. We must use a common sense approach to city spending which combines both control and compassion, while maintaining the highest possible levels of service.

    Like many small communities, ours has gone through difficult economic times that have forced many of our friends and neighbours to adjust their lifestyle to make ends meet. Over the past two years COVID has changed the way we interact with others, in both our personal and professional lives. Our manufacturing sector has been hit hard with both supply chain l, and labor shortages, which has unfortunately created additional challenges. We have seen increased strain in our housing market as the rapid increased costs have made it increasingly difficult for those families looking for affordable or attainable housing.

    Our current council continues to explore opportunities to resolve many of these issues and must continue to make this a focus in the coming years. I am not a career politician who has lost touch with the everyday needs and concerns of day-to-day people. My work in the private sector and volunteer commitment to not for profit organizations in our community has given me a unique perspective on the pains and challenges you face.

    If elected I will continue to provide good governance, listen to my constituents, and make decisions based on what is in the best interest of our community.

     Brockville is a place where community means something, and in times of need I have seen first hand how the people of brockville come together to lift people up and give them hope. Brockville is an amazing community that we should all be proud to be part of. As your representative I promise to make myself accessible to you as my priority is to continue to support the needs of all our citizens. I want what we all want, to ensure positive growth and the future prosperity of our community.  To do this we need to have a strong plan moving forward and people in government with the passion to achieve our common goals.

In October, place your trust in me and vote Philip Deery!




Jeffrey Earle 

Email: sweepoar4@gmail.com  ~ Phone:  613-802-0298

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Jane Fullarton 

Email: jane.fullarton1@gmail.com ~ Phone: 613-345-3410

I was born and raised in Brockville and area and have raised my family here. I am married with 3 children, who along with my 5 grandchildren live in the area.

I have a B.A. from the University of Guelph. I have 30 years’ experience as a small business owner and most recently spent 12 years as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Leeds and Grenville.

I have spent 6 years as a Trustee on the Leeds and Grenville Public Board of Education, before amalgamation. I spent 6 years as a Councilor in Augusta Township, and I have been a Brockville City Councilor for 16 years.

As a City Councilor I know that I represent the citizens I serve, and this is always my focus. As a Councilor I come to meetings prepared, with reports read and ready to speak up.  My goal is to improve the quality of life in Brockville for all our citizens. To me this means ensuring our citizens have housing, well-paying jobs and amenities that will attract and keep our young families here.  I have been proud to serve Brockville residents as a City Councilor for the past 16 years and I am asking that you re-elect me to Brockville City Council.

 


 

 

Katherine Hobbs 
Email: votehobbs2022@gmail.com ~ Phone: 613-325-8927

Hello everyone, I am Katherine Hobbs.  From 2017 to 2021 I worked for the Chamber of Commerce as Brockville’s Tourism Manager. Following that I was personally selected by the Minister for Tourism, Sport, Culture and Heritage to sit on a province-wide task force for six months to work on economic recovery strategies for the province as a result of the pandemic. Subsequently the City of Brockville hired me to do a comprehensive implementation plan for tourism services delivery in Brockville. Currently I work for the Regional Tourism Organization for South Eastern Ontario managing a program providing over $5 million in tourism relief funding to over 80 recipients.  As a result of this work I’ve built a solid understanding of the impacts and unique needs brought on by the pandemic on a macro level and also on a micro level here at home for so many impacted members of our own community as well as our businesses and charitable organizations.   

My understanding of municipal issues runs deep as I was a City Councillor in Ottawa. I sat on the Planning Committee, the Community and Protective Services Committee (overseeing fire, police, paramedics and affordable housing), as well as sitting on the Board of Health and the Transit Commission. I know how how cities run, and I can start to work for you on Day 1.

I have strong ties into our community as a volunteer as well with the Rotary and many other event committees. I love living here in Brockville. What we do in our lives makes a difference and that is why I have decided to run for Council - to make a bigger difference here in our incredible city. To make sure we retain all that is wonderful and historic about Brockville while ensuring economic viability, embracing the new things we need to do with our infrastructure, and determining how we will address climate issues. Brockville is a community where housing should be available for all within a safe community where arts and culture and all forms of creativity thrive. 

But at the end of the day, this election is about you. Your ideas. Your Concerns. Your Voice. Not the status quo! Let me know what is important to you, and vote to give me the opportunity to work for you on Brockville City Council.  

On OCTOBER 24 please VOTEHOBBS.ca 


Mezaun Hodge 

Email: mefactor@hotmail.com ~ Phone: 613-803-1637

Born in Brockville, I have lived in Leeds in Grenville my entire life. I grew up in Prescott where my parents ran a small business for over three decades. I moved back to Brockville with my husband and son 4 years ago.

After graduating from Carleton University, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology and a Social Service Worker diploma, I started a career in the manufacturing sector including 9 years at DuPont. With the loss of jobs in this sector I was able to secure a job in my field at Victim Services of Leeds & Grenville. Since graduation, I have primarily worked with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville as a Case Manger supporting our homeless population as well as those in crisis. I have recently accepted a position of Policy & Program Review Analyst in the Housing Department of United Counties.

As an avid community volunteer, I have been active with local agencies, volunteered and sat on boards including Leeds and Grenville Interval House, Connect Youth and Girls Inc. I am a founding member of the Diversity Advisory Coalition whose mission is to work towards a safe, engaging & welcoming community where all feel safe and accepted.

My vision is that together we build a more resilient, safe, welcoming, and inclusive Brockville. I am committed to working with others to ensure all citizens have a voice. I will listen to your concerns, and work diligently on your behalf to find solutions.


Mike Kalivas

Email: mkalivas@truespeed.ca ~ Phone: 613-342-9521

Mike Kalivas was first elected to Brockville City Council as a west ward Councillor in 1997 at the age of 35. He held that seat until October of 2021 when he was appointed to head of Council. During his 25 years with the City, Mike served on a variety of committees such as: Chair of the Planning and Operations Committee, Chair of the St. Lawrence Lodge board, Finance and Administration and the Brockville Police Services board, to name a few. Since established in 1960, Mike has worked at his family business, Jon’s Restaurant. In 1993 he became the proud owner. A lifelong resident of Brockville, Mike obtained his business administration diploma at St. Lawrence College Brockville campus. When Mike isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his family. A community volunteer, he also serves as the President of the Greek Community of Brockville. Mike is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Barb. They are the parents of two wonderful young adults, son, John and daughter, Karoline.

 


Nathalie Lavergne

Email:doubleconceptnl@yahoo.ca  ~ Phone:514-699-4102

Born and raised in Montreal, QC, Nathalie started her events production career in 1993, organizing events locally. Professionally, Nathalie worked for the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Olympic Games, the Rick Hansen Foundation and the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games. As route coordinator, Brockville was one of her stops. That is when she fell in love with the town. Nathalie and her partner moved to Brockville in 2015 and opened Spitfire Café. They awarded the 2016 Entrepreneur of the year by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Centre and, in 2017, the Small business of the year by the Chamber of Commerce. She has brought to Brockville the Red Hot & Blue Rockabilly Weekend, Oktoberfest, the Christmas Market, the Wedding Show and has hosted 3 drive in nights, to raise money for BBBS. In 2018, Nathalie relaunched the Neighborhood Watch program. Nathalie has been involved with the DBIA, as chair of the events committee, the Tourism Advisory Committee, and the Museum board. She is a member of Brockville Women in Business and, in 2018, was proud to be elected to council. Now working as an event advisor for the Cancer Research Society Nathalie is more than happy to bring her passion for events, tourism and helping others, to her role as councilor, where her motto «If you aren’t happy with how things are, get involved, work hard and make it happen » is put to use daily.

To be re-elected on council would allow Nathalie to work on making City Hall more responsive :

• To businesses, while supporting young entrepreneurs to start businesses.

• To residents concerns such as housing, homelessness and inclusivity


Priti Luhadia 

Email:pritikunjal@yahoo.ca ~ Phone: 613-342-4098

By profession I am a Pharmacist (BPharm, MPharm, MBA) and by heart I am a people’s person. Brockville is the first city that I came to 22 years ago and the Brockville community has been so warm and welcoming, making it possible for me to call this lovely city my home. I am a mother of two young adults and have had the wonderful memories of raising them in Brockville with my family.

Even since then, I have been volunteering for worthy causes with many of Brockville Non-Profits for the past number of years and once again the city has recognized me by awarding me ‘Ontario Volunteer Service Award 2021’ in recognition for my volunteer services. Being featured in the Canadian Immigrant magazine for my contributions was very special and a proud moment for me and my family. Currently, I serve as a Board Member with the Brockville General Hospital, Brockville Public Library, YMCA of Eastern Ontario, Board Chair for Volunteer Center for St Lawrence Rideau, and have served in the past with the Habitat for Humanity Brockville Chapter.

I feel what I'm doing for now is not enough and want to contribute more towards making Brockville one of the best cities to live in the Eastern Ontario. This made me think and feel that I can contribute more to the city if I become a city Councilor. Thus, my agenda includes:

·       Focusing on Mental health

·       Increasing Walk-in clinics

·       Promoting Women and Child Health

·       Creating Awareness Campaigns for De-addiction and rehabilitation to reduce Drug and Alcohol abuse

·       Engaging youth in skill training and volunteering work

·       Creating more job opportunities by promoting Brockville city to attract sustainable new companies

·       Making housing affordable for seniors, disabled, and low-income groups

·       Establishing more charging stations to promote eco-friendly transportation.

·       Introducing E-bikes partner to the city of Brockville

·       Tackling garbage and hygiene concerns of the city

I'm excited for the opportunity to serve my community and I am open to your suggestions and new ideas for making this happen. Let’s work together for the progress of our beautiful city of Brockville and to achieve a safer, stronger and healthier city for future generations to come.

Looking forward to your support in the upcoming election!

#voteforprogress #voteforpriti


Rob McArthur 

Email: rpm8554@gmail.com ~ Phone:613-349-4783

ROB MCARTHUR’S BIOGRAPHY Highly regarded for his attention to detail, work ethic, and energy driven leadership. Rob opened his shop in 2017 becoming a destination in the heart of Brockville’s King St. East. In 1988, Rob was born at the Brockville General Hospital and grew up on Park St. for most of his life. His first job was as a paper carrier for the Recorder and Times and he attended St. John Bosco and St. Mary Catholic Highschool. After Graduating in 2006, Rob spent a year in Ottawa working construction before relocating to Alberta where he would spend the next 9 years gaining valuable experience in telecommunications, business, and eventually the art of barbering. After realizing how quickly Canada is becoming a service driven economy he returned to school to receive a diploma in barbering. On a vacation back to Brockville visiting family, Rob noticed a for sale sign in the window of the barbershop that he got his first professional haircut at the age of two. He made an offer Friday, signed papers Sunday and opened the now-booming barbershop, on the Monday. Since then, Rob has experienced a great deal of success. He navigated the impact of the pandemic that so many small businesses endured with flexibility and resourcefulness. Through financial responsibility, proper planning, and marketing, he has gained all the necessary skills and the confidence to represent the community through its own obstacles to make it vibrant once again. He believes his fresh set of eyes and positive attitude combined with the very real advantage of having the chance to speak with all demographics of citizens gives him a unique position and perspective to represent the citizens of Brockville effectively

 


Susan Prettejohn 

Email: prettejohn@truespeed.ca  ~ Phone: 613-498-2842

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself. Born in Ottawa, my family moved to Brockville when I was two.

In turn I attended school at Westminster and St. Mary's  in the early years. Moved out of the area for 4 years, then returning to high school at both BCI and TISS.

Following high school I entered St. Vincent de Paul school of nursing, the last class teaching, RNA’s, now known as RPN’s.

Married and  have 6 wonderful grown sons, with families of their own.

In 1983 I returned to school attending St. Lawrence College in Brockville. In 1985, graduating as a Registered Nurse and remain a Registered Nurse to this day.

During my nursing career and raising a family as well as working full time shift work I became an ONA representative for my fellow nurses at work, branching out to represent several other health care facilities in our area while working and raising my family.

I then took a two leave from my nursing after I was elected Vice President of Ontario Nurses Association and spent two years in Toronto and coming home weekends. During that 2 year time I participated in Lobbying the government on health care issues and was educated in Diversity Training, Media Training, Contract Negotiation and Human Rights and Equity education and Budgeting. These courses, as well as my valuable nursing education enabled me to communicate well with the public.

All of the above was a key factor in my ability to be a successful councillor for Elizabethtown-Kitley for 12 years, ending on May 27 when we purchased a home in Brockville after residing in the home, my husband Ian and myself built 19 years ago in the township.

I retired from nursing, however maintained my license to practice and returned to practice in March 2020 to help as a screener, and the assessment center part time during Covid, and to this day all while working as a township councillor.

It is an honour and a privilege to let my name stand for Brockville City Council.

My belief in life and if elected, is open, honest and transparent Leadership. Always looking for solutions to issues, meeting the needs of the public, listening and hearing concerns, and working as a team to serve the people of Brockville.

When I was a sitting member of council in Elizabethtown-Kitley, I was a member of the Brockville and township liaison committee working together for common interests.

My experience also includes, Planning, Economic Development, Public Works, Waste Management, Recreation, Airport Commission, and Fire committee.

Some concerns I  have and would like to address when elected to council are as follows:

We have an affordable housing shortage.

We need increased mental health care in our city and beyond.

We have and ever growing homeless issue.

We have an infrastructure that needs maintaining and upgrading.

We need to address interests of our Youth and our Seniors, as well as everyone in between.

We only have ONE TAXPAYER ,  and that is all of us.

I PROMISE TO HEAR YOUR CONCERNS, BE YOUR VOICE ON MAKE BROCKVILLE A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND VISIT, ONE STEP AT A TIME.

VOTE

SUSAN PRETTEJOHN

OCTOBER 24

TO LISTEN, HEAR, AND SPEAK ON YOUR BEHALF.

THE VOICE OF EXPERIENCE AND

COMMON SENSE


Louise Severson 

Email: louise.severson04@gmail.com ~ Phone: 613-213-3672

 

I have lived in the beautiful city of Brockville for most of my adult life and raised my three children Lisa, Angela and Jeff here.

Over the past 40 years, I have successfully co-owned and operated two small businesses in Brockville. I have three prior terms of experience on Council in Brockville, which I would bring to the table if elected. I have a proven history of listening to the constituents, and providing timely and productive responses to your inquiries and concerns. I pride myself in providing answers without excuses.

The pandemic has hit municipalities across Canada hard over the last two years. We need strong leadership at the table to make decisions that move Brockville forward toward economic recovery and continued growth. We are positioned as a stunning tourist destination with an incredible downtown core. It is my plan to work with Council to build a better Brockville that focuses on economic growth, a greener city, and safer streets. If elected, I will work hard to provide a forum for a diversity of community input on homelessness and mental health initiatives.

I have a strong history of community advocacy and involvement, including volunteer work with the Alzheimer's Society, Skateboard Park fundraising, and local minor hockey. Many organizations in Brockville survive from volunteer work and I would support these organizations in reaching their goals through quick action at City hall to assist them in doing so.

If you want a strong voice at the table to advocate for growth, change and representation of your voice - please vote Louise Severson on October 24, 2022. I would be honoured to have your vote and the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues and staff to continue to move Brockville toward its amazing potential.

 


Willy Stevenson
Email: melodyman11@hotmail.com ~ Phone: 613-803-8766 

As much as I don’t like to, because it's not what you did but what you're doing that counts, here is my bio:

My family immigrated from Scotland in the late 50s.
I was born in Kingston and raised right here in Brockville and this has been my hometown all my life. I spent time in the 70s Out West and seen many countries and ended up marrying a local girl, Kelly Gladu, and staying in Brockville. I worked at 3m Canada for 26 years and had 2 great boys, Austin, and Aaron. I also played in a band; life was good.
Then, disaster struck.
My youngest son, Aaron was killed in a drunk driving accident.
It changed everything; it changed me.
As we had only Aaron’s friends and our family, we decided to have a small festival to celebrate him.
This festival turned into a series of festivals with the local high schools getting all the proceeds. It was something we did with just the support of the community. we raised 20 to 30 thousand a year.
We then opened our musical instrument lending library or Aaron’s M.I.L.L.
This is an amazing place for all and we lend instruments, teach them to play, and give a safe comfortable place to practice to do it.
All for no money. This is a free service.

 

Things can be done. I am a Scotsman at heart and know how to save money. This is why I am retired and I owe no money whatsoever, except normal monthly bills and taxes. I will do the same with council expenditures.
I will continue to help as many people as I can until I cannot do it and this, I do in the name of my son Aaron Daniel Stevenson.
Our webpage is
https://difafoundation.ca/ and on Facebook it is, do it for aaron.
We did win the city council award as well as the Ontario Governor Generals award for the foundation we run.

Kind regards, Willy Stevenson


Royce Umgeher 

email: umgeher.royce@gmail.com ~ 613-246-0716

 

Background:  At the end of my second year in the business course at the local St. Lawrence College I opened my company Lexicon Masonry Canada at the age of 21. Given the fact I come from a modest family every problem, opportunity, and network, had be solved, bartered, and created from zero. Over the past 5 years of developing problem solving skills, monetarly, socially while all under schedules in real world applications. This has given me a set of specialized skills that would be expected of a city counselor.

Reason for Running:  After moving back to Brockville in 2020 (in Kingston for 2 years) I immediately started to grow a deep love for this city. As they say home is the where the heart is. Realizing the lack of interest from the community in the status of the municipality, I felt a sense of a disappointment followed by obligation. I am single, I do not have children, I don't smoke or drink. This may be the only time in my life I can dedicate to something greater then myself. 

Items & Ideas:  City's are in a very unique situation to earn income for them selves that is more then simply taxing its citizens further. I wish to explore these opportunities not only in an attempt to keep local taxes down, but to generate more budget power for repairs and features the town desperately needs.   Housing and rent has become absolutely unaffordable. No one under 30 is able purchase a home or rent without roommates or wealthy co-signers, including myself. Over the next 3-10 years nearly a 1000 residents are proposed. I want make sure these include subsidized rentals for youth, and retirees who's pension is not increasing with the record high inflation. Also I believe tiny homes can be done properly with the correct guidance to further ease the burden of living expenses.  Development and Redeveloping areas I do believe is critical to bring Brockville back to a status I have only heard stories of before my time. In the past Brockville was a booming development city where people especially in the trades, did not require leaving the city to find work. My goal is to bring the city back to such a time. I would like to mention historic buildings are very important to the past of Brockville and need to be restored and protected. But there are many areas in the city that hold no historic significance, and are dilapidated that require redevelopment." 


Cameron Wales 

Email: cam.wales@outlook.com  ~ Phone: 613-803-0361

Cameron Wales holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University, specializing in Strategic Public Opinion and Policy Analysis. From a young age, Cameron has been an active and engaged community volunteer, serving as Junior Trustee for United Way Leeds and Grenville, coordinator of Brockville’s community cleanup, and as a representative in student government throughout his academic career.

Cameron was elected to Brockville City Council in October, 2018 and serves on several community and Council committees, including as Chair of the Planning and Operations Committee. Since January, 2019, he has represented Zone 7 on the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Board of Directors. Outside of his public roles, Cameron works at a small business, flies as a glider instructor and private pilot, and enjoys participating in community theatre. 


 

 

 


 

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