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Sarnia Votes 2022: Bradley, Colquhoun face off in mayoral race

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Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series of stories highlighting Sarnia’s Municipal Election candidates. 

Journal staff

The Journal invited Sarnia’s two mayoral candidates — Mike Bradley and Nathan Colquhoun — to introduce themselves and explain why they’re running. Here are their responses:

Mike Bradley 

Tell us a little bit about you: (in 100 words or less)

Mike Bradley was elected to Sarnia Council in 1985 and elected Mayor in 1988. In 2018 he was re-elected for a 10th term. Prior to this he was executive assistant to the late Hon. Justice Bud Cullen, Sarnia-Lambton MP (1980-1985). He currently serves as board chair for the University of Western Ontario Research Park (Sarnia Campus) and the Sarnia Police Services Board. He has championed civil liberties, security and environmental issues. He has been awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant contributions to Canada and achievement. He appeared in Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine.” Mayor Bradley is a frequent media commentator on local, provincial, national and international issues. For may years he wrote a column for Sarnia Lambton This Week – a mixture of humour, politics and life – called ‘Open Mike.’ A longtime Bruce Springsteen fan, he contributed to two books about Springsteen in 2007 and 2009 — ‘For You’ and ‘The Light in the Darkness’ by Lawrence Kirsch.

Why did you decide to run in this election, and what issues are most important to you?

The last four years:
– Leading the community through the pandemic; stable leadership that kept Sarnia operating, taxes low and services delivered
– Continued fiscal fitness, reducing debt to free up funds for infrastructure spending
– Detox/withdrawal management centre approved/work underway after years of advocacy
– Advocacy on National/International issues like Line 5; Hydrogen Hub; ArriveCan app;  border issues during COVID
– Growth Plan adopted for the future. $50M to make Sarnia’s waterfront a destination place
– $100M re-development of former Bayside Mall
– Hundreds of homes and residential units approved
– Re-development of SCITS, Mitton Village
– Best real-estate/housing sales in our history
– Creation of community safety plan through the county
– Environment and energy summit held to chart our future as an energy hub
– Engaged in the creation of an Immigration/Newcomer Task Force led by Lambton College And at the same time continued the citizen service of responding personally to e-mails, phone calls, text and visits from the public on issues of importance to them

The future:
– Continued fiscal fitness
– Renew/upgrade investment in roads, sewers, parks, bike trails
– Ensure flooding areas in Coronation Park/Sherwood Village are a priority in 2023 capital budget
– COVID recovery plan: economically and socially for the years ahead
Waterfront plan to upgrade and renew.
Environmental, energy, economic stability in a world of rapid change and technology
– Affordable Growth Plan for Community for the decade ahead
Immigration/newcomer attraction to grow and diversify the City
Skilled labour force growth with a diverse labour pool
– Taking to a higher level the Pillars of the Community that will drive the new economy: the Research Park, College, and Sarnia Bioindustrial Innovation Centre
– At County level: homelessness, addictions, housing services need more direct engagement with the urban area where the population is and where the need is the greatest. Sarnia needs a new deal with the County.

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Nathan Colquhoun
Website: www.nathancolquhoun.com

Tell us a little bit about you: (in 100 words or less)

I have started five successful businesses here in Sarnia and manage multi-million dollar budgets with 70+ employees. Personally, my experience as a charity director and volunteer board member educated me on how to serve others and how to be human first in my decision-making.
I strongly support unions and workers’ rights, public services to boost the quality of life for everyone, and scientific research to implement policy. I choose people before profits, listening before speaking, unions before corporations, quality before quantity, honesty before flattery, respect before power, and local interests before global aims. I welcome criticism, speak frankly, and enjoy the process of debate.

Why did you decide to run in this election, and what issues are most important to you?

I decided to run for mayor after a successful 4 year term on city council and wanting to see the initiatives that I have begun followed through to completion. This includes a 15 year waterfront plan, indoor rec center, housing initiatives for affordability and modern zoning, active transportation plan, making more walkable neighbourhoods, following strong towns philosophy where applicable and making Sarnia the kind of place where families and young people don’t have to leave in order to reach their potential. I love seeing and supporting small businesses and creatives and have consulted many start-ups in Sarnia, but the city still needs a lot of work to remove the red tape and barriers to starting something new here. A beautiful, creative and prosperous Sarnia is my passion and I want this passion to be contagious for all citizens.

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