OPINION: McDonald belongs on council

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Welcome to the horseshoe, Morena McDonald. We hope you feel (mostly) welcome.

We cannot say entirely, because as an appointed member of municipal council, you have some folks who aren’t in favour of you being there.

Oh, they’ll say they just wanted a by-election to let the electorate choose a successor for Steve Pinsonneault, who is now MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. And they’ll say if you were to win such a by-election, they’d be fine with such a decision.

But would they?

Chatham-Kent council made the smart move on May 13 by choosing you as Pinsonneault’s successor. It was by appointment, but you were the next-closest candidate in the 2022 election. After Pinsonneault and John Wright, the public did select you.

However, members of the Kent Federation of Agriculture spoke at council to seek a by-election.

Five municipal councillors, including your new pal in East Kent, Wright, wanted a by-election.

However, that attempt failed, and 11 councillors voted to appoint you, Morena. Good for them.

The opponents say that was not democracy in action. We beg to differ.

Point 1 – you finished third in the municipal election just two years ago. The people saw you as the third-best choice. With the top choice now serving at Queen’s Park, it makes sense to opt for you.

Point 2 – council, a democratically elected body entrusted with carrying the wishes and needs of the municipality in general – not one ward – voted pretty darned heavily in favour of choosing you, at 11-4. That’s more than 73 per cent of the decision makers favouring you.

That’s good enough for us.

Plus, council wisely saved an estimated $75,000 by not holding a by-election.

If East Kent is so supposedly hell bent on having an election, then they can do just that in two years’ time when the next municipal election takes place.

One cannot help but wonder what has people spooked by your presence. You are a woman, a Filipino-Canadian, young, and a person with strong commitments to C-K. Surely, none of those realities should be held against you; instead all should be considered positives for adding diversity to council.

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