In my last letter, I pointed out an interesting trend here in South Bruce, where we’re getting our first taste of municipal party politics, leading up to the October election.
Opponents of Canada’s plan for a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) for spent nuclear fuel, locally known as the “yellow sign crowd”, are running a full slate of candidates, and their publicly stated goal is to get at least four seats, giving them majority control of Council. This gives voters who oppose the DGR a clear choice (and they can check my previous letter if they’re unsure who the people are).
Amusingly, the yellow sign organization is even running its own “all candidates” meeting this week. Hosted by a one-issue special-interest group, and moderated by Tony McQuail, who has a history of anti-DGR activism, this promises to be an entertaining, if decidedly one-sided affair.
So, what are the choices for the rest of South Bruce voters? Well, the picture is not as clear, but I’ll give my perspective. The remaining candidates for Council and Mayor are not necessarily in favour of having a DGR, although some of them are current Councillors, and so far, the Council has supported the discovery and siting process. I’m sure each of them has a range of perspectives on the many important matters facing Council. A number of them are current Councillors, so they have experience, and a public track record.
For what it’s worth to voters, here are the “other” candidates vying for your vote:
In the Teeswater-Culross ward, there are two incumbents, Mark Ireland and Mike McDonagh. The “at large” candidates are two-term Councillor Mike Niesen, and newcomer Nigel Van Dyk.
The mayoral race appears to be most interesting. On one side you have Rita Groen, one of the most active and vocal opponents of the DGR, and the apparent leader of the yellow sign bloc. On the other side, there are two candidates, which of course could lead to vote-splitting, raising Rita’s prospect for victory. Incumbent Mayor Bob Buckle is seeking re-election, and the third mayoral candidate is current Councillor Mark Goetz. As we know, the two Mildmay-Carrick seats were decided by acclamation, Jeff Goetz and yellow-bloc member Audrey Bross.
I hope that helps clarify the landscape for my fellow South Bruce voters, and regardless of your viewpoints or political leanings, my advice is the same. Make sure you’re on the voter’s list. If you don’t receive your voter card in the mail, call the municipal office. And plan to vote for your favourite candidates during the voting period of October 17th to 24th.
Tony Zettel, South Bruce