Getting to know the Sioux Lookout Municipal By-Election candidates
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout residents will vote for a new Councillor-At-Large this month.
According to the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, the Voting Period for the 2020 Municipal By-Election will commence on Monday, January 20 at 8:00 a.m. and will run through to January 27 at 8:00 p.m. Eligible electors are able to vote at any time during the Voting Period using internet and telephone voting.
Four Sioux Lookout residents have put their names forward to run as candidates in the by-election: Nick Costello, Connor Howie, Darlene Angeconeb, and Michael Quince.
Candidates were asked to: 1) Tell the community about themselves and let people know what they should know about them. 2) Share with the community why they have decided to run for the position of Councillor-At-Large? 3) Tell people what experience and qualities they would bring to the job that they feel would make them a good Municipal Councillor? 4) Share what they feel are the major issues on the minds of people in the Municipality of Sioux Lookout and what they see as being the major challenges and opportunities the Municipality of Sioux Lookout is facing? They were also asked how they would work with Mayor and Council to address these issues, challenges, and opportunities. 5) Candidates were given an opportunity to share additional thoughts, information with voters.
The following are the candidates’ responses in the order in which they were submitted.
1) My name is Nicholas Costello; I was born in the U.K. and moved to Canada when I was 7 years old. I went to University in the United States and in Southern Ontario while racing on the Canadian National White Water Kayaking Team. I moved to Sioux Lookout 13 years ago and have fallen in love with the town and the people.
2) The municipal council is integral to the success of the municipality. The system works on a check and balance system that requires the residents to be represented. I believe that the opportunities for Sioux Lookout are vast due to industrial interest in the area. The Watay Power Project is almost a 1.9 Billion Dollar project that will have a profound effect on the town. I believe we should focus on these opportunities to ensure that the changes that occur are positive and benefit the municipality in accordance with the resident’s vision. I want to hear from and discuss these issues with the residents of Sioux Lookout and represent the residents to council.
I also believe in transparency and that that municipal employees are accountable to their specific roles. There is a responsibility of council to understand and audit municipal roles to ensure that leadership is used effectively.
3) I will have a lot to learn as a municipal councilor, I want to hear from the residents of Sioux Lookout and learn from the existing councilors. What I bring to the table is the ability to communicate and evaluate, I will listen, discuss and fight to get to the root of issues and then work to a solution that represents the vision of constituents.
4) I think that the residents are most concerned with:
Fiscal Responsibility of the Municipality
Infrastructure (water, electric, roads, sewer)
Social Development (how the town will manage population growth)
Parks and Lifestyle
The first step to working on these issues is discussion. Discussion with the residents, you. I have set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to gather your thoughts and discuss topics with you. It would then be my responsibility to take your vision to council.
5) I would like to say to voters – YOU are important! Your ideas are important! I will represent you. I want to learn about what you need and represent your wants and goals. If elected, I would learn how to best represent your vision to council. Get involved! Get out and Vote!
1) I am proud to say I am born and raised in Sioux Lookout. I have always felt that is something to be proud of.
Giving back to the community has always been important to me. While attending high school I served on the Sioux Lookout Youth Development Commission as I felt involving the younger generation in the growth of our community would ensure our growth was in-line with the direction of the next generation. Through this process I hoped to ensure youth would see their community as a place to stay/comeback to, invest, and grow. As I have. I also volunteered coaching hockey with the Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association being awarded the Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association Volunteer of the Year Award.
I graduated from Lakehead University with a Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology, and currently work as a Kinesologist with the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.
Today, I maintain my involvement in youth sport as a referee and in working with the Sioux North Warriors Boy’s Hockey Team as their strength and conditioning coach.
Currently, I serve as a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee and I also joined the Sioux Lookout Fire Service, I am proud to be part of such an amazing group and to serve our community.
I believe a sense of community, and service is of the utmost importance.
During the recent provincial election I worked as part of a campaign team, listening to the diverse voices of our region, and hearing the concerns of not only our community members but those of our neighbors
Personally, I am an avid user of our greenspace and recreation facilities. To put it simply, I love the outdoors and the natural beauty of our surroundings. The cross-country ski trails in the winters, the many lakes and trails to explore all year round are one of our greatest assets. I look forward to the potential to serve our community in the capacity of Councillor-at-Large. I am passionate about representing community interests, and ensuring our community members concerns are heard.
2) Sioux Lookout is an amazing community with unlimited potential and opportunity. I decided to run for council because our community is faced with several issues we must tackle together. I have never been one to sit back and complain. I certainly do not plan on becoming that person. I put my name forward to help our community continue to evolve and continue to be the great community that I am proud to call home.
3) I will bring a fresh perspective to the council table. Yes, I have grown up in this community. I have seen the many changes it has made; some good and some bad. I have heard the concerns of our community members from all backgrounds. I am here to listen to everyone. I do not believe a single councilor should represent a specific group of people but instead act decisively and with the direction of the electors in mind.
My involvement as a member of the Sioux Lookout Youth Development Commission and my current role on the Parks and Recreation Committee have provided me with an understanding of the role of community leadership and the need to fully consider and balance a number of, sometimes quite divergent, interests to achieve an informed result.
I am committed to educating myself on the agenda and direction council is taking, for this reason I have attended many of the meetings, community feedback sessions, and budget discussions in order to best prepare for the role.
I believe hard work and a great deal of energy must be invested in order to see the desires of our community members fulfilled.
4) I will be joining our council part way through the term and as such discussions and decisions on items such as the budget and the strategic direction for our community have already occurred. Our town beach is undergoing renovations, and council has just announced they will review the potential development of a new recreation facility occurring in the coming years. These capital items which are important to council are not their only concern. We have major social issues that are impacting everyone, in some way, in our community. Businesses have demands and we must work with stakeholders to ensure our economy is strong. The development of housing not only grows our tax base, it also provides security for our community members. We need to work toward finding feasible solutions to our housing crisis. People need homes. Families need room to grow. Our council needs to be part of the solution.
Our community has great members. Some have lived here for generations. Some are new to town. We need to capitalize on the strengths of all our community members. A great example of community members with different interests coming together would be the Cedar Bay Trail Co. a non-profit made up of outdoor enthusiasts developing recreational snowshoe and biking trails along with the Nordic Nomads to who provide beautiful cross country ski trails for the community. Sioux Lookout for Paws does amazing work for our community and region at large delivering amazing care for animals in need. Another great example is Mahkwa (Bear) Clan Street Patrol with the goal of assisting people in need, ensuring they can access the proper care, and working toward a safer community. Council needs to work with these groups because they make us better. The examples I use above are only a few of our great local groups and individuals. I commend all devoted and hardworking individuals committed to making life better for the entire community. Council needs to listen to groups such as these to adequately represent our community members. It is your money we as councilors are to spend. It is the place you live and work. I will work to ensure we represent all voices.
I hear many people concerned about the allocation of their tax dollars. Appropriate informed spending and public consultation needs to happen. I will ensure this.
5) If we talk about capital items, like water and sewage or roads and housing or if we talk about social needs we must look for solutions to make the community of Sioux Lookout the best it can be. Sioux Lookout is an economically important community in our region. Our community is a service provider to our neighbours to the north, south, east and west. Our community members are the ones I will represent. Always keeping in mind what is best for the community and the tax payer.
I need our community to come together, put your trust and support in me. Vote to elect a person that will listen, and respect the voice of all individuals, and groups of our amazing community. Together we can continue to grow our community, making it the best it can be.
1) My name is Darlene Angeconeb and I work for Equay-wuk (Women’s Group) as the Acting Director and Project Coordinator.
I was born in Sioux Lookout and I am a Lac Seul First Nation band member residing here. In 1966, our family participated in a government relocation program to Elliot Lake. There were 20 other First Nations families who took part in this short-lived program. After that, at the age of six, I was sent to Pelican Lake Indian Residential School and during that time, attended schools in Sioux Lookout (Wellington and Central Public Schools and one year at Queen Elizabeth District High School). I completed high school in Sault Ste. Marie and later studied Fine Art at Ontario College of Art (3.5 years) and then studied Political Science at Algoma and Laurentian Universities (2.5 years).
2) I decided to seek office as a result of my participation in the “Diverse Voices” workshops, which is an initiative of the Federation Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the town of Sioux Lookout.
‘Diverse Voices’ promotes women’s leadership in municipal governments and in organizations. It is because I am an Indian Residential School survivor that I became a member of the Coalition for Healing and Reconciliation which was part of the Sioux Lookout Anti-Racism Committee.
3) As for the experience and qualities that I would bring to the position of Municipal Councillor. I have been active on a community committee and a board. As Chair for the Mayor’s Committee for Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) since September 2016 and as the Chair for the Sioux Lookout Police Services board since February 2017. Both are appointed positions. I enjoy volunteering my time on the committee and the board and I hope I am helping to make a difference. My decision to run for office is an extension of being politically engaged on the TRC committee and Police Services Board.
I am an Acting Director of a non-profit organization since August 2012 so I am able to work with budgets and I am aware of what is required to run an administration. I also have 20 years of experience in seeking funding and writing funding proposals. I am, therefore, highly aware of the need for partnerships to develop projects, programs and initiatives.
My background in political science provides me with the knowledge of governance structures and procedures. I have a good understanding of not only the mainstream Canadian political systems, but I also have the added knowledge of First Nations political governance and the many levels (5). Sioux Lookout is a hub with 30 First Nations in surrounding communities and the municipality has developed the Friendship Accord with some of those First Nations. I hope I can contribute to improving relations from previous Town Councils which will further benefit all of our communities.
4) believe a municipal government should be transparent and maintain fiscal responsibility for citizens. There should also be fairness and understanding in the way decisions are made for the municipality and for the people.
As a candidate in this election, I, like many others, am concerned about the high cost of living, taxes and the lack of housing. While a number of jobs are available, there is little to no housing available.
The cost of living and taxes need to be examined and we need to work toward solutions to lessen costs for residents. We need to develop a strategic plan relevant to the many concerns and to address the many issues.
Sioux Lookout is a hub for the northwest region, with people of approximately 30 First Nation communities traveling into the town for health, education and other services. We need to support growth of infrastructure to create spaces for programs and businesses as the community grows.
• To learn from the past - Recognize and commemorate
• To look at what we have – beautiful natural surroundings. Tourism can be promoted, arts, crafts, education, and land-based activities need to be encouraged.
• To see what is needed – programs for housing, health and wellness, employment
• To create strategies for the future – advance economic, social, environmental solutions
We need to open our hearts and minds to gain a better understanding of solutions for the homeless and we should learn about solutions from other Canadian municipalities such as communities in Alberta, may of which have worked to eliminate homelessness.
I have gained many insights into the issues in our community in my role as Chair of the Police Services Board. A Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for Sioux Lookout will be developed in the next five years as a requirement of the new policing legislation. I look forward to working with others towards completion of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.
We have also been implementing a volunteer Makwa (Bear) Clan Street Patrol for Sioux Lookout.
This would train and empower community volunteers as well as alleviate some of the costs for policing.
In working with the Mayor’s Committee for Truth and Reconciliation, we become aware of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and how it affects First Nations communities. We discuss complex issues such as addictions, mental health, and poverty which are evident in Sioux Lookout.
We need treatment centers, for alcohol and drugs, and, we need more support for mental health
programs and solutions for poverty and homelessness. The Mayor’s Committee for Truth and
Reconciliation encourages dialogue on the current realities we face as a municipality.
5) Many First Nations families are sending their youth here, because of the lack of secondary schools in the remote northern communities. Families are choosing to have their children attend high school here because it is a smaller town and a safer community.
We need to be creative to address the many issues facing our community. People of all backgrounds come to Sioux Lookout to work, to live and to raise their families here. We are a welcoming community that continues to grow.
We, the Mayor’s Committee for Truth and Reconciliation, are active in the work toward reconciliation and we are being noticed as a model by other Canadian communities. We are working positively to discuss what has happened in the past and we are looking at ways to address the 94 recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
Sioux Lookout is a leader in reconciliation. Let’s keep this going.
I would like to say that I will listen to voter concerns and I am willing to work on solutions for our growing town and thriving community. I believe we can all work together for the benefit of all.
I wish good luck to all the other candidates and I hope to see a good voter turnout in this year’s election. Miigwech!
Hello. My name is Michael Quince. I have decided to run for the Municipal Councillor position vacated by the recent passing of Calvin Southall, for whom I have had great admiration and respect.
I have been a resident living in and around the Hudson-Sioux Lookout area for over forty years, which surprises even me considering all the beautiful spots throughout the world. However, few can match the network of lakes, rivers and natural topography that surrounds our community. And despite its challenges, I enjoy our winter landscape.
Since graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1975 (Environmental Studies/ Architecture) I have invested most of my working years in the design and construction field, in a variety of locations across Northwestern Ontario from isolated fly-in northern communities to Nipigon in the east and across to Lake of the Woods in the west; building, consulting and teaching the art of creative construction with natural and locally available materials (stone and earth foundations, log walls, and sod roofs).
Whether to run for Council is not an easy decision. When residents approach me and ask me to run for Council, I evaluate the merits of their point of view. I enjoy discussion and debate; asking the tough questions, acting on the best interests of the community, the country, the planet. HARD TALK (for example, from the BBC) is key in an era of False News and Half Truths.
Council, along with its Mayor, needs to be open and accountable to the community it represents and serves. Open discussion is key. Sharing of relevant information in a timely fashion is key. Continuous public feedback from our diverse community encourages Council members to focus themselves in the more thoughtful direction and to make wise decisions accordingly.
A personal goal I would like to focus on is the rejuvenation of our downtown public space, Centennial Park. A potential jewel of our community, this historic welcoming greenspace can become a hub of activity, bringing people together in an engaged atmosphere of enjoyment, richness of experience, and sharing. And that is what a healthy community is all about.
In order to achieve this, I would draw from the strong leadership and, creative, innovative minds in many corners of our unique community, including members of our present Municipal Council.
Planning Board, 6 yrs.
Local Citizens Forestry Committee, 20 yrs.
Economic Development Commission, 4 yrs.
Environment Committee, 5 yrs.
Community Radio, 3 yrs.
Minor Hockey (coaching, convenor, trainer), 8 yrs.
Contributor to the local newspaper, 30 yrs.
Alternative affordable housing opportunities
Revitalized Downtown Core (bringing back the Farmers Market – more accessible without a car)
Full and proper analysis of the Town Beach contamination (more than just words)
Full public participation in the Management of our Forest Landscape
Efficiency and Accountability in the actions and the costs of governance that affects our TAXES
Strengthen Hudson-Sioux Lookout connections
Expand the already successful Umfreville Trail
Redesign the dangerous intersection of Highway 72 and Highway 17
Equality = Dignity = Respect (curtail divisions between people)
Residents can find out more about the 2020 Municipal By-Election by visiting the Municipality of Sioux Lookout’s elections page, where they can find answers to 32 “Frequently Asked Questions”, including information about how Internet and Telephone Voting will work and how to find out if they are on the Voter’s List. People can visit the page at www.siouxlookoutvotes2020.ca.