Cornwall ON – On Tuesday morning Seaway Radio got the scoop live on-air that Mark MacDonald was running for Mayor of Cornwall Ontario. MacDonald who is seeking votes on October 25th held a press conference at the RCAF. He spoke in front of a packed house, with over 100 energized supporters in attendance, including friends and family, that were all cheering and clapping for their mayoral candidate.
There was also a few former mayor’s of Cornwall in attendance for the gala event as MacDonald pointed out. Phil Poirier and Brian Lynch were both in attendance. MacDonald also mentioned on the podium a few people contending for city council seats who were in attendance: Maurice Dupelle , Jason Setnyk, and David Murphy all listened attentively to what MacDonald had to say.
“As of about 2:30pm this afternoon I filed my papers officially, I am in the race!”.
MacDonald believes he has a real shot at being elected, because he identifies real issues that separate himself from the current Mayor. “The media portrays me as the underdog, personally, I don’t see it that way. There are issues that clearly separate the current mayor and myself”.
MacDonald says, “The population of Cornwall has not grown and that is a real problem, because they keep paying the same bill, and that bill keeps getting higher, and the method is to get the tax payer to pay it all the time. I get criticized for bringing ideas to the table, but at least I bring ideas to the table. We can’t keep raising taxes, we have to find alternative ways”.
MacDonald has a vision for growth, he says he does not want to rubber stamp everything, and he will be more critical then the current mayor. He thinks the Mayor should be making more decisions and showing more initiative, instead of letting the bureaucracy run the city.
MacDonald is not impressed with the time Council spent debating pay raises and upgrading council chambers. MacDonald wants to push against the status quo, and stop wasteful spending of tax payers money.
MacDonald sees himself as a progressive and populist. “I will work for economic and social renewal and long-term planning based on leadership, vision, sound thinking, and good judgment.”
MacDonald did not grow up with money and privilege, he was raised in social housing in the 60s. He says, “I know what it is like to be poor”. MacDonald pulled himself by the boot straps, and was a fire fighter for almost 25 years. He volunteered a lot in the community, and in 1991 won the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship.
MacDonald who is a father of two, and now a grandfather, wants to transform Cornwall into a better community for everyone through job creation.
“I will work to attract good paying jobs in the new green economy, high tech jobs, and the decentralization of provincial and federal government jobs to Cornwall. We need these new jobs in order to help keep our educated young people in Cornwall. I believe in taking a regional approach to job creation and the problem solving with the Three United Counties of SD&G and our neighbours in Akwesasne. At the same time, we most work closely with the provincial and federal level of government to obtain much needed funds for local infrastructure and job creation projects.
MacDonald also believes in partnering up with groups that are already trying to make the Cornwall community a better place.
MacDonald is an advocate of social justice and reducing the high levels of poverty in our community, and that includes working with the local Social Development Council to support the efforts of the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation to build more affordable housing.
MacDonald also wants to partner with groups like the Carbon Reduction Team and St. Lawrence River Institute to make Cornwall a more green and clean community.
MacDonald’s vision for more tourism includes developing the waterfront and working with all the stakeholders to make that happen, and supporting more arts and culture festivals, as well as heritage preservation.
MacDonald also wants city administration to be more accountable, open, and fiscally responsible. MacDonald supports good affordable programs that are accessible to all citizens of Cornwall, but he wants to stop wasteful spending and reduce property taxes.