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Half of Kingston, Ont. councillors not seeking re-election this fall

Click to play video: 'Half of Kingston, Ont. councillors not seeking re-election this fall'
Half of Kingston, Ont. councillors not seeking re-election this fall
WATCH: Mayor Bryan Paterson is running for re-election, with only one challenger in the race – Aug 18, 2022

The race for municipal office in Kingston, Ont., officially kicks off this weekend, as the deadline to submit nomination papers to run is Friday Aug. 19.

Only half of the current councillors are running for a seat again, leaving the race wide open in six districts.

The Portsmouth District has six candidates running, with Bridget Doherty stepping aside after one term.

“Well, it actually was a really tough decision,” says Doherty. “But I have other responsibilities that I just need to prioritize.”

Doherty says she learned a lot in her term as councillor, and felt that this council really made a difference in the community. She stresses the importance of municipal politics, and how impactful it can be on everyday life for the residents.

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“A lot of people, perhaps, think of municipal politics as not as important as the provincial or federal level, but I learned that it is perhaps the most important one,” she says. “Because this is where all of the policies from all levels of government really impact people.”

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Doherty is among the six councillors that will not be seeking re-election — alongside Simon Chapelle, Robert Kiley, Mary Rita Holland, Jim Neill and Rob Hutchison.

Click to play video: 'Municipal election sign rules vary from one Ontario municipality to another'
Municipal election sign rules vary from one Ontario municipality to another

Mayor Bryan Paterson is running for office again, and he has one challenger.

Tina Fraser is the only other person running for mayor, and she says housing is her top priority.

“We want to provide and take care of our citizens and locals first,” Fraser says. “Because of the pandemic, it has created a lot of mental health issues for people. And I think Bryan Paterson has done an amazing job of developing our city and getting it to a point where there is enough housing. We can get people into housing by the end of December.”

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Fraser has already started public engagement, and has heard concerns that range from closing off downtown to snow clearing issues.

“All of these issues that people are talking about are personal,” says Fraser. “So I think it’s going to be a great year ahead, whether I win or not. The next person will be able to talk to citizens to really hear their voice.”

The municipal campaign will run for just over two months, with election day on Oct. 24.

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