City Council Election Slate Firms Up – 23 at-Large and Five for Mayor

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City Hall
City Hall

THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – There will be a number of choices for Thunder Bay voters to make during campaign 2022. There are five candidates for Mayor, twenty-four candidates for Councillor-at-Large and all of the wards are being contested.

There will be a new mayor in the city, as incumbent Bill Mauro chose not to run.

There will also be a new Councillor in Northwood, Red River, and Neebing as the incumbents chose not to run in 2022.

There could easily be seven new councillors sitting around the Council Chamber.

There are some serious contrasts. In McKellar Ward, while for most of the nomination period it was looking like a two-way race between incumbent Brian Hamilton and challenger Lori Paras it is now a four-candidate race. Cory Bagdon and Stephanie Danyiko entered the race in August.

Hamilton and Paras have been at odds ever since the first time councillor failed to support keeping Dease Pool. Councillor Hamilton supported closing the much loved pool.

Paras promises, “In today’s political climate, electing a candidate that is not the status quo is more important than ever. We need a candidate that stays true to their constituents and doesn’t just talk the talk but gets things done. We need someone who will fight for what’s right, not what’s easy. We need someone who will stand up to special interests and put the people first. We need a fresh start, and I believe that I am that candidate. I’ll be a voice for the people, not the powerful. I’ll be a fighter for working families, not corporate interests. And I’ll always put my constituents first. That’s the kind of leader we need in today’s political climate. So if you’re tired of the status quo and ready for a change, I ask for your vote.”

Brian Hamilton says, “I’m a ward councillor through and through. I love being in the neighbourhoods; the laneways and on the front lines of issues. I enjoy solving problems and helping link residents to our capable city staff. I’m a ward councillor. It’s what I do. I know the territory. I understand operations. With your help we can unlock even more beauty and opportunity in this great city”.

Several wards have a number of candidates challenging for the seat.

Northwood Ward has five candidates seeking the seat that Shelby Ch’ng moved on from when she decided to run at-Large.

Bill Dell, Dominic Pasqualino, Chris Krumpholz, Syed Kabir, and Mike Maher are challenging for the seat.

For most of the nomination period in Red River, a seat vacated by long-time Councillor Brian McKinnon, it looked like a two candidate race with Jason Velti and James Dean Marsh. In the past two weeks four additional candidates have come forward.

Michael Zussino, Katherine Suutari, Brad Ford and Martin Rukavina have joined the race.

In Current River it will be a three-way contest with incumbent Andrew Foulds facing long-time opponent Andy Wolff. On August 18th, Duff Steward filed his papers.

Wolff promises that he will only make two promises, to care for Current River ward and to “hold administration to account”.

Neebing Ward will be another six candidate race. Shaun Kennedy, Debra Halvorsen, Greg Johnsen, Yuk-Sem Won, Basil Lychowyd, and Brad DesRochers will be seeing the seat vacated with the decision by first time councillor Cody Fraser decided to focus on his family and law career.

Westfort Ward will see incumbent Kristen Oliver face three challengers.

Allen D. Corbett, John Collins and David Tommasini are seeking to put Oliver on the sidelines.

For much of the nomination period, it was looking like Albert Aiello in McIntyre would be acclaimed, but on August 18th, Brent A. Boyko filed to run in the ward.

The at-Large category is very large with 24 candidates. With the retirement of Aldo Ruberto and Rebecca Johnson and the decision by Peng You to run for Mayor, there will be at least three new Councillors.

Mark Bentz and Trevor Giertuga are the only incumbents seeking a seat. Shelby Ch’ng has moved from Northwood ward to run at-Large.

The final confirmed list of candidates will be put out on Monday by the Returning Officer.