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PEC mayor hopefuls vie for votes – watch video statements

The mayoral candidates also answered questions from the audience.

It was standing room only in the community centre Thursday night as about 450 Prince Edward County residents filled the chairs, lined up against the walls and overflowed into the foyer to hear from the six mayoral candidates vying for votes.
The evening was hosted by the Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and the Prince Edward County Federation of Agriculture – just in time for Internet voting and the first advance polls set for Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the community centre and at the Ameliasburgh Town Hall. The groups had prepared candidates with questions to answer.

Peter Mertens, Paul Boyd, Lori Slik, Monica Alyea and Sandy Latchford expressed support for County farms, farmers and the Federation of Agriculture. Five of six supported an exemption of new farm buildings from development charges. Gordon Fox suggested “consultation with farmers” and a more “in depth investigation.”

On the subject of children going to school hungry, all expressed a need to support existing programs and to create a better focus on healthy, nutritious foods.
Paul Boyd: I was probably the most surprised person to hear that school children were going to school hungry. That certainly should a big priority – forget the arts and all the other stuff. We should embark on a program to make sure that doesn’t happen in this County or anywhere.
Gordon Fox: Continue to support work of school councils, school board, health unit and existing PE Learning Foundation which currently helps provide breakfasts and snacks in schools. Questioned whether parents were “needy” or “unorganized” in the mornings preparing for work, early school buses.
Lori Slik: Has looked at a number of worthwhile programs. Wants fresh and non-packaged, nutrition-based foods in a universal student nutrition program with support of the health unit. “When these kids arrive at school hungry they have less ability to focus. Breakfast clubs provide a social start to the day and kids get to class focused on learning.”
Monica Alyea: Sad to report the equivalent of 20 per cent of the County’s population needs to use the food banks. “It’s a County problem that needs a solution. These people are working poor, single seniors, seasonal workers and people earning minimum wage. The Federation of Agriculture’s National Food Strategy Plan is a 15 year project. We need to act faster than that.”
Sandy Latchford: “Certainly the number of students going to school hungry has increased dramatically and it is really a shame to see this in this community where we have so much food and so much wealth around us. There is a lot of pressure on our families and they cannot meet the needs of their children. I would really appreciate support working with all of the existing programs and the OFA to come together as a community to make sure this doesn’t happen. It is part of the municipal role.”
Peter Mertens: “Many children are going to school without breakfast but more often, with breakfast, and with lunch, with foods that really shouldn’t be eaten by children – these are foods high in sodium, high in fat. The healthy aspect of the lunches is really what’s missing. There has to be a short-term and a long-term solution. We need to work with community groups and parent groups that are actively involved in this problem today.”

On challenges for the new council.
Gordon Fox: Finances – getting the facts and keeping them in context; Delivery of Services – too much paper work and Infrastructure – accommodating future growth, roads and senior’s housing.
Lori Slik: Good planning – local decisions should rule. Lobby others to claw back control of issues, including the Green Energy Act; capital and operating efficiency.
Monica Alyea: Managing property taxes; social needs and affordable living arrangements; health care and under-employment.
Sandy Latchford: Spending too much. Debt too high and reserves are too low. Jobs – but we must grow without destroying our County. No duplication of services. No development at any cost – must respect heritage and community.
Peter Mertens: Current financial situation is unsustainable. Need good value for the tax dollar and encourage new development. Support economic development strategies and address the considerable lack of affordable housing.
Paul Boyd. Need to allow youth to stay here (or go to school and come back here). One and a half million was paid out for remuneration, travel and expenses on current council. (Too many) people employed by council. Stop the spending.

MAYORAL CANDIDATES’ OPENING STATEMENTS (in order of appearance)



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  1. jac says:

    I know that after thirty some years I’m (sort of) “from away” but a thought, a question, occurred to me while I was watching the candidates statements.
    Has PEC ever had a female mayor?
    (I almost wrote “had a mayor that wasn’t a man?” but perished that thought almost immediately. For obvious reasons. Even my mother might have retorted that there’s likely been a few.)

  2. Why is it that none of the incumbents accept responsibility
    for what they have done in the past 10 years ? Do they
    expect the voters to forget what debts they have incurred,
    what disconnection from the people they have created ?

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