Kingston, Ont.’s new city council was sworn in Tuesday night — and it’s a new council indeed.
Only the mayor and four councillors are returning for another a term, with new faces filling out the rest of the horseshoe.
In his opening address, Mayor Bryan Paterson said Kingston has emerged as a leader in the province, although the city is not immune to the hot-button issues, like homelessness.
“As mayor, I will be relentless in pushing for provincial and federal funding we desperately need to provide housing with wraparound supports and expert staff, who can help our most vulnerable heal and get on the road to recovery,” says Paterson.
With eight new councillors, there will be a bit of a learning curve for some.
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But for Wendy Stephen, she’s ready to hit the ground running.
“I’m feeling very excited and motivated, and ready to get to work,” says Stephen.
“There’s so much to do and so many people who want to see positive change in our city. I think we’ve got a really great team going in this council, I think we can do a lot of good things for the community.”
Community seems to be top of mind for other councillors as well.
For newly-elected councillor Don Amos, he wants to be accessible to his constituents.
“If there’s an issue that a neighbour is dealing with, I want to make sure I’m there to help them navigate city hall,” says Amos.
“That can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, understanding the system. That’ll be a challenge for me at the beginning as well.”
With a number of issues in the community coming in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this council seems eager to get to work and get Kingston on the road to recovery.