Haliburton School of the Arts was a packed house for last night’s all candidates meeting. Questions from the floor surrounded recreation and accessibility in the community. Deputy-Reeve candidates, Andrea Roberts and Dennis Casey said the municipality needs to make sure the current recreation coordinator is hired on full time after the funding runs out in March to keep the community active. Murray Fearrey, running for re-election for Reeve addressed accessibility saying it’s an ongoing project in the community. Running against him, Janis Parker said accessibility projects need to be addressed by talking with people in the community who need the help and discuss what the priorities are. 

Three candidates weren’t at the all candidates meeting last night. Bill Davis, running in Ward 1 was sick and couldn’t make it. Bob Nichol who’s also running in Ward 1 declined the invitation and Bill Sinclair who’s running in Ward 3 didn’t respond.

Fearrey and Parker addressed the issue of economic growth in the municipality. Fearrey said the official plan is taking steps toward development, but said the municipality doesn’t create jobs, they create the atmosphere for businesses to succeed. Parker outlined her main goal in her platform for an economic development plan with input from the community to draw new businesses in and keep youth in the area.

Reeve and Deputy-Reeve  candidates also had their say on attracting and attaining businesses in their community. Fearrey said his plan is to start the second phase of the industrial park to bring jobs in and take a look at the commercial tax rate. Parker said she thinks the economic development plan can be done in six months and she wants to look at what jobs are outsourced and work to bring them here.

Roberts said she wants to see collaboration with other economic development committees in other townships to support the businesses that are in town. Casey said he plans to revamp the housing and economic development committee to split it into two groups and involved young professionals and seasonal businesses.

Residents in Dysart et al will receive their voters package in the mail. If you don’t have yours by the middle of October, go to the Municipal office.