CFN- We are asking all candidates to fill out our mini survey so the public can get to know them better. We are posting them as they arrive in chronological order.
Up is rookie council candidate Justin Towndale.
1. Who are you? I’m 31 years old, born in Toronto, but raised in Cornwall. I grew up in Riverdale, in the house that my parents built over 40 years ago.
I got my first job at 16, in the kitchens at Porto Bello Restaurant and the Cornwall Golf and Country Club. My love of cooking comes from this first job.
I attended the University of Toronto, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts.
I spent five years at Queen’s Park, working for John Milloy, the Ontario Liberal Fund, and Sandra Pupatello. Politics has always been a passion of mine.
I’m involved in the 2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo, the Agapè Centre’s Within These Walls Campaign, and the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.
I find that it is the best way to decompress after a long day is by cooking. To me, preparing a meal is the best stress relief. I also like to run and cycle, not only to keep in shape, but to push myself. I’m gradually working towards longer and harder runs.
I’ll likely be found spending my free time with friends, reading, or playing video games.
2. Why are you running for office? The answer is simple: Because I believe in my community. Cornwall is where I grew up. Its where I spent my formative years. Where I celebrated my first birthday. Made my first friends. Met my first love. Worked my first job. Cornwall is my home.
I believe that its time for change at the council table. We need a new perspective, with new insight and new ideas. I also believe that I can be a part of that change, through my experiences and abilites.
My family has been involved in the community for over 40 years. Now that I’m back home, I’m looking to once again become involved in my community, in an area where I feel that I can make a contribution, just like my parents.
3. What are the 3 best things about our community? Our People. The backbone of any community is its people. We have great people in Cornwall who are always ready to help friends and strangers alike. Our people are the foundation on which a better Cornwall will be built.
Our Location. Cornwall is extremely well situated. We are on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. We have access to the Ontario, Quebec, and New York Markets. We are close to both Ottawa and Montreal. We are the perfect spot to do business, raise a family, or to enjoy the outdoors.
Our potential. We are at a turning point in the history of our community. With the opportunity to redevelop the Cotton Mill District, and the former Domtar and Courtaulds lands, we have a valuable opportunity to shape our future. In recent years, the city has been successful in attracting new industries, and has the potential to continue this success.
4.What are your 3 priorities to improve Cornwall?
I’ve broken down my platform into three components.
Economic, with a focus on jobs and growth. We need to not only ensure that our current residents have jobs, but that we also have jobs that will attract new residents to the city. There are three ways that we can achieve this goal. The first is by actively pursuing companies to set up operations in Cornwall. The second is to partner closely with the provincial and federal governments to ensure that they promote Cornwall when trying to bring new companies to Ontario. The third is to encourage local entrepreneurs by ensuring that they have the support and financial assistance that they need.
Governance, with a focus on accountability and transparency. As the elected leaders of Cornwall, the City Council should always set the example. This is why I’m calling for the expenses of City Council to be posted on the city website. I believe that this is the first step towards improved transparency and accountability.
Beautification. We need to invest in improvements that will attract people to our city and leave a legacy for future generations. Improvements for everyone to enjoy. I’ve suggested a few projects that we should look at, including an ice rink/reflecting pool in Lamoureux Park, and an expansion of the Farmer’s Market. I’d also like to see that our waterfront is developed properly with a focused plan that outlines goals, and sets achievable timelines.
5. Who was your hero as a child? Growing up watching cartoons, I was like most boys and idolized Optimus Prime from the Transformers. However, I had another, real, hero: my father. My father first arrived in the United States with $20 in his pocket. A few years later, he found himself in Cornwall, and when I was seven years old, he was named Citizen of the Year. As a kid, it was easy for me to look up to my father.
6. If you could brand the Cornwall of the future in one word what would that word be? Limitless
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