Editor's note: MidlandToday has asked council candidates in Midland, Penetanguishene and Tiny Township to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24.
The following response is from Gibb Wishart, who is running for council in Tiny Township. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.
What is your name, what will be your age on election day, and who are your key immediate family members you rely on for support?
Gibb Wishart - 77 - my wife Susan - my son Gordon and daughters Anne and Nansy.
In 10 words or less, why is your municipality the best in the province?
Beautiful rural countryside on the shores of Georgian Bay.
What prompted you to run as a municipal leader?
I'm running for re-election because there are a number of very important issues I would like to see completed.
Beach ownership doesn’t affect all residents, but is fiercely disputed by those who get involved. Before property owners took over their part of the shoreline, the municipality allowed seasonal cottagers to use the land, after signing the Indigenous treaty many years ago. Who owns Tiny beaches, and what is your stance on beach rights?
There is township-owned beach and there is privately-owned beach - the township has over the last few years purchased properties that have come up for sale that abut the township property, severed off the beach and sold the cottage as a beachfront property instead of a waterfront property there by expanded township beaches for residents to use. People are permitted to walk what is called the wash even on private beaches.
There is a difference between what is legally right and morally right, and the aggregate operations in Tiny appear to straddle that definition. What is your stance on aggregate operations in Tiny?
I feel that the operators of the pits have no regard for the water. The various ministries that make the rules in respect to gravel mining and washing do not care about the water at all. There is no way within the courts to stop the gravel extraction and wash - the only way to affect the process is to rally together all the municipalities in Ontario that have the same problem and approach the political types who need us to vote for them to get a change made, which would give the municipalities more control over what happens.
You will be asked to join committees and other municipal representations. Which are you eager to become involved in?
Committee of adjustment, airport commission.
Voter apathy is always a concern, ranging between 25.7% to 42% of cast ballots across North Simcoe in the last municipal election. Knowing you could be elected without even half of possible voters turning out, what will you do to combat voter apathy so your municipality is best represented?
Use the greatest number of advertising approaches I can afford.
There are many prominent concerns ongoing in the region, from affordable housing to the opioid epidemic to short-term rentals as well as others. What is one concern that you think the majority of residents are not aware of?
Definitely the opioid epidemic.
The province is planning for a population of 555,000 and 198,000 jobs by 2051. If now is the time to prepare for that influx, what will you proactively do as your part in the process?
Develop the Huronia Airport industrial area to create more jobs, and encourage council to allow more affordable housing within our villages.
Recidivism isn’t just on the police and courts. As a municipal leader and crafter of bylaws, what initiatives will you undertake to address crime in your care?
Infrastructure projects require taxpayer dollars. What infrastructure project does the municipality desperately need, and does it justify a tax increase from the ratepayers to have it done as soon as possible?
The township has inherited a lot of small subdivisions from years ago that had inferior paving and ditching. We need to fix this situation.
Times change. What is the most aged or obsolete bylaw in your municipality’s code?
Not permitting backyard hens.
Once you complete your four-year term, what is the legacy you want residents to best remember for your time in office?
I want to be remembered for dealing firmly with short term rental businesses in residential area's. For the moment we are heading toward a maximum of 300 -way too many in my estimation.