By Clint Harris
THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – As many of you know I have always had a great interest in making Thunder Bay the best place to live and raise a family. Giving back to communities is not new to me and as I lived in numerous cities in Ontario I always found a way to contribute. In Ottawa, Belleville and
Windsor I belonged to Kiwanis and helped to raise money for under privileged children which was the main goal of Kiwanis.
When I moved back to Thunder Bay I joined the FW Rotary and was a member for 25 years and helped in every way to support the goals of this club to enhance places like the Shelter House, Dew Drop Inn and Grace Place that fed and housed our most vulnerable.
Charitable work has been an important part of over 40 years of my life and compassion for those that need our help has and is still the most important thing I can do. I’m going to list some of my accomplishments not to boast but to help you make the best decision based on qualifications for the important position for our City that we all care about dearly.
1. Chair of the Lakehead School Board Foundation for 13 years where our goal was celebrating the successes of our children within the entire school board. This included raising funds to help children that needed important resources to succeed, like breakfast, books, clothing and support systems that enabled all students to succeed.
2. Chair of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute responsible for continuing the research endeavors and supporting our scientists with funding efforts to ensure we move forward with the best possible solutions to help save lives and provide the best care available.
3. Board member for 20 plus years of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Foundation. I held many cabinet positions responsible for raising funds for the much needed equipment and technology. Seeing my first new cathlab technology replacing the old after months of begging for dollars left a lasting impression on me knowing that early detection of heart disease became that much clearer, literally!
4. President of The Thunder Bay Community Auditorium and the longest term board member to date with 25 years commitment to bringing up he best of the best to entertain our City including taking on the Bluesfest with became the most successful event for those that attended. This role also included the success of the Symphony Orchestra. Now I did also get to premiere as a soloist for their cabaret series which was an honor I will never forget and raising the most money a cabaret has ever raised and helping them balance their budget in many years.
5. United Way board member for many years and we all know the importance of raising funds for the organizations that count on keeping the doors open to those that require all the necessary resources to survive. The 30 plus agencies that counted on us and what this city and it’s employees contributed to saving lives daily made this position in the community a major role in my life for years.
6. Chair of the Adding life to Days campaign with my co-chair Karin Sitko who lost her husband and was provided care in St Joes Hospice. Karin wanted to give some funds to spruce the floor up and after we met I decided we could do more with the help of a team of dedicated board members. We were able to raise almost a million dollars in less than 5 months and renovate the entire floor and provide the necessary environment where families could spend the last days with their loved ones in as much comfort as possible. It was not long before my dad and step dad were four rooms apart on this floor and knowing I hard a part in making them and my family more comfortable during this very difficult time will have a life long effect on me and why it’s important to give back as you never know when someone close to you will need the support from many of the organizations that work hard every day to make Thunder Bay the best place to live.
Now I have worked as a volunteer with the Arthritis Society, Alzheimer’s Society, Wesway, Avenue 2, Children Centre, George Jeffrey , Ronald McDonald House Easter Seals and actually supported all the organizations that provided care to those that that needed my help.
As many of my close friends know the three hundred plus events a year as Publisher of the newspaper and taking on all the important roles in our community I took on eventually caught up and the well published incident for over a year took its toll on me.
It was time I took care of me and that I did putting in the hard worked required to become healthy mentally and physically. Well after a three year hiatus I can tell you I am stronger in every way and ready to do what is needed to make us all proud to live in Thunder Bay.
Now I’m not the smartest person in the room always and I’m always willing to learn from those that have skills and knowledge I have not acquired I am very comfortable being part of a team and creating solutions for the better and in the many years I’ve learned what it
takes to be a contributing member of any team.
I am also familiar with leading a team and ensuring we are making the best decisions and understanding the current climate, you know reading the room as in making the best decisions the City can make to ensure they meet the goals of the community.
My education has helped me be a stronger contributor and leader and I have continued my education throughout my entire life to date.
I have two degrees and one diploma that have enabled me to move forward with my past and current careers.
My honors Psychology degree and my Bachelors of Science degree enabled me to become a professor for eight years in the college setting and teaching thousands of students and arming them with the tools necessary to attain their goals. This was a role I held to the highest regard and while teaching working in women’s shelters, homeless shelters across Ontario.
My Human Resources Diploma enabled me to understand the labor environment and the importance of working together and creating solutions for numerous newspapers across the country and becoming one of Thomson Newspapers skilled negotiators and educators.
My education as a facilitator with Corporate Lifestyles in LA for a year is a valuable skill I have used to create solutions for numerous companies over the years and use to this day for much needed conflict resolution to ensure satisfied parties on all sides win and have long lasting effects in those companies to excel.
During my time as an educator I became the purchaser for dozens of colleges across the province Now this was a way to enhance my salary but became an integral part of the success of the colleges purchasing power and enabled classrooms to have the best tools possible for students to achieve their goals.
Also during my time in the college system I became the contested exam evaluation leader helping student through difficult exam fairness Revaluation of thousands of exams over the years resolving student crisis over marks and language interpretations.
I became the student advisor in three colleges as counsellor, tutor and resource manager and this was one of my most fulfilling experiences in the education field.
Now I provide this short synapse of my past that does not include my dedication to my health and fitness through many years as a martial artist and amateur boxer for our local club and the dedication to get to the highest level of each sport. Yes I have all the belts but mostly they held my Gi together.
This type of dedication takes all you have under pressure and survival skills that all of my likeminded combat sports friends understand It’s a mindset needed and useful throughout all aspects of life and leaves me with the ability to stay focused on whatever is at hand ahead of me.
Now all this said it’s important when selecting someone for this position of Mayor of our city and be able to compare the skills and education of the others willing to take this to the next level of greatness. I applaud all those that have selflessly given their time to council and Mayor and I know many of these great community leaders and have worked with most of them in one way or another. Many of them now finishing their political careers and moving on with their lives deserve our respect for the time they have given.
I know the challenges ahead and if you know me, I am a serious guy when it comes to caring and I have created solutions throughout the city in almost every role I played as a leader or part of the team. This new team will need a leader that can in every way bring
solutions that meet the needs of our current climate and take great care in listening to our community and allow their voices to be heard without prejudice which is the only possible way for the entire city to be part of the bigger team, all of us working together to create successes we can celebrate together.
I believe we should have choices and I offer you one more choice and believe I have what it takes as well to meet the demands of all citizens that want to take part in growing Thunder Bay to the level we deserve. I will not however make promises I cannot keep.
The goals that are attainable will be reached. It will not be difficult to do business in Thunder Bay, we will build and allow growth for contractors and builders, we will take care of the vulnerable and we will become competitive and do business right here in Thunder Bay.
I am a professional marketer and know what is needed to promote this city for new business opportunities and expansion so we are no longer going backwards so our children can thrive and afford to stay here and be proud to live in Thunder Bay. These promises will be kept.
The organizations mentioned above would not hesitate to say during my time volunteering, I showed up, I worked and I raised funds and created comfort where it was most needed.
As I give the rights to open myself up as required in this application many will see my past and my present. My social media will be shared apparently and I’m am proud to say my friends are many I have known for decades. I belong to only a few groups an the one that stands out is the Sam’s Pool Hall group.
Those that I have known my entire life growing up and the friends that continue to support each other after all these years. We are quite a bunch:). Of course I have made many new friends over the years from all backgrounds that have enriched my life and shown me love and kindness through all the challenges and successes. I feel fortunate every day knowing all of you and thank you for supporting me
during the good times and the more challenging days.
I will not be posting any political messages on this platform and will continue to post my pets, my food and my songs and hope you will continue to enjoy seeing me enjoy what makes me happy every day as I enjoy seeing you enjoying life as well.
You will have to choose and vote for who you think is best for the Mayor’s position. This is my resume and I hope it helps you make the right decision.