Profiles by Ayesha Barmania: All mayoral candidates, David Haacke, Bill Templeman, Stephen Wright, Diane Therrien, Jason Stabler, Jim Hendry, Keith Reil, and Gary Baldwin.
Profiles by Pat Reddick: Andrew Beamer, Kathryn Eyre (with files from Ayesha), Dean Pappas, Bill Juby, Donald Fraser, Paul Teleki, and Len Vass.
No profile is an endorsement its candidate, and every attempt was made to remain as unbiased as possible. When candidates could not be contacted by phone, their profile was written using information from their website. If they also had no website it was noted in their profile.
These three wards were chosen because of their high Trent student populations.
Bennett is the incumbent mayor of Peterborough and is seeking his second-term in office. Bennett is the founder of the Liftlock Group of Companies, which manages the local Greyhound terminal, Capitol Taxi Service, a towing service, and a freightliner service. He has served on the Trent Board of Governors, Peterborough Community Futures Development, and the Greater Peterborough Business Development Centre.
Downtown Revitalization – Bennett would like to see the city invest in the infrastructure of downtown, namely the roads, sidewalks, and hygienic facilities.
Safety and Security – Addressing the issues of safety in the downtown, Bennett suggests that the best course of action is increased police presence in the downtown core.
Transportation – Bennett is a strong proponent of the Parkway Corridor project, citing the need for getting traffic off of residential roads and the need for a faster corridor for motorists going along North-South routes.
George “Terry” LeBlanc
LeBlanc has experience in automotive repair and industrial engineering. He moved from St. Catherines, ON to Peterborough four years ago while he was recuperating from illnesses. In St. Catherines, he ran for mayor and came in third; he is resuming this political engagement for the second time this year. He has plans to start-up an automotive repair business in Peterborough in the future.
Realizing Peterborough’s Potential – LeBlanc would like to see City Hall stimulate local economic development so the full tourism potential and business potential is realized. He would like to see politics deal with the real issues and steer clear of personal feuds.
Foreign Investment – LeBlanc would like to stimulate economic development with investment from Southern Ontario tourists who are heading to cottages and up the Otonabee in boats. He would like efforts to be made to attract these transients to stay.
Big Business – Due to his connections in industrial engineering, LeBlanc has several contacts that he would like to use to bring in big manufacturers, which would also create decent jobs.
Peeters has spent a total of 11 years on city council as a councilor for Ashburnham ward. During that time, she spearheaded the Hunter St. East revival project. She gained a reputation for stirring the pot, due to her challenges to the status quo and the problematic practices of city council. Furthermore, Peeters has been engaged in the community with multiple organizations in a volunteer capacity.
Jobs – Peeters would see the coordination for Peterborough’s economic development moved back into the walls of city hall. Specifically, she would see the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (GPAEDC) dissolved and economic development integrated with all other city policies.
Downtown Safety – Having heard safety concerns from many Peterborough residents, Peeters would like to see better supports for citizens with mental health and addiction issues. As well, she would like the promotion of affordable housing downtown.
Accountability – Peeters sees a lot of potential for Peterborough, which can be realized with a city council that represents and serves the needs of the community.
Monsef is a community organizer, activist, and leader in not-for-profit industry. She immigrated to Peterborough from Afghanistan 18 years ago. Upon arrival she enrolled in PCVS (a local high school) and continued on to graduate from Trent University. She has been engaged in many community organizations, notably she founded the Red Pashmina Campaign which supports Afghani women.
Jobs – Monsef would like to stimulate an economy that keeps post-secondary graduates in Peterborough. She feels that keeping graduates here will lead to more businesses and high paying jobs.
Transportation – She would like to see a holistic plan in place, which services public transit, bike trails, sidewalks, and roads.
Sustainability – Cross-cutting all of Maryam’s ideas is the foundation of sustainable development. She would like to see all projects consider environmental impacts and the effects projects will have on future generations.
Arts and Culture – Monsef would like to see arts and culture promoted by working with local artists to create programs and attractive public spaces.
Wilson is a retired engineer and police officer with decades of leadership experience. He immigrated to Peterborough in 1980 from Belfast, Ireland. He worked for Quaker Oats until retiring in 2006. He currently owns a small consulting business in Peterborough. He has been involved in several community organizations such as the Peterborough Architectural Heritage Society.
Local Business Support – Wilson proposes model where 80% of economic funding would go supporting local business and 20% would be directed at courting big business. Furthermore, he would like to see a “Peterborough Content Clause” which gives government contracts to local businesses.
Promote Sports, Arts, and Architectural Culture – Bring arts and culture hubs downtown and remodel certain buildings and infrastructure to promote foot traffic to these hubs.
Transit – He would like to see increased transit traffic at off-peak times, by giving bus passes to seniors and youths which are free during off-peak hours.
Young has lived in Peterborough since 1989 after moving from Mississauga to get away from the big city. He has been engaged in community organizations, such as Food Not Bombs, and in political activism, especially regarding transit issues.
Safety and Respect – Young would like to see a culture of safety and respect promoted in Peterborough starting with the way City Hall operates. He is a strong supporter of Courage PTBO, a local NGO which combats hate crimes.
Alternative Transit – As a bus-user himself, Young sees several issues with the way public transit is organized. He would like to see more frequent service and different types of routes. Furthermore, he would like to see improvement of bike lanes, pedestrian routes, and road safety standards.
Student Engagement – Young stressed that students are residents of the city and should be engaged in Peterborough’s politics. He is trying to reach out to students and make sure that their voices are heard.
Haacke is a commercial realtor for DNS Realty Group. He grew up in Oshawa and, after doing his undergraduate degree at Trent University, he decided to stay in Peterborough. He has run twice before in 2003 and 2010; both times he lost by a small margin.
Employment – Haacke would like to see city council foster the opportunities for local employment. Particularly he supports the development of the airport and Seneca College’s aviation programs.
Traffic – He sees that traffic is a considerable issue for Northcrest area, particularly the high volume of traffic on residential roads. He would like to see the Parkway Corridor built.
Taxes – Haacke believes that taxes should be kept low through careful management and tying it to rates of inflation.
Open Doors – In a term on council, Haacke would hold regular open houses for community members to approach him and discuss various issues.
Templeman is a leadership consultant in the not-for-profit, private and government sector. He owns his own practice, Ascent Associates, and has recently published a book on leadership. He moved to Peterborough in 2000 for to raise a family.
Good Governance – Templeman sees that city council needs to be more transparent and more accessible to community organizations.
Innovative Industry – He believes that Peterborough has to move on from its manufacturing past, and look at innovative industry. He would support small businesses in Peterborough as well entrepreneurial start-ups.
Reprioritizing Infrastructure Projects – Templeman sees the funding devoted to the Parkway would be better-suited building flood control mechanisms, road repairs, and stimulating higher density downtown development.
Wright is a businessman and former lobbyist for the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. He has lived in Peterborough for ten years and sees it as a great place to live, raise a family, and retire.
Taxes – Wright thinks taxes should be fixed at low rates to make Peterborough an attractive destination moving into the future. He believes that municipal taxes must remain low and alternative modes of funding should be pursued.
Economic Development – He would like to see the potential of post-secondary graduates harnessed toward local business development. Furthermore, he would like to see Peterborough draw multi-national corporations.
Engagement – Wright would like to see taxpayer interests better reflected in City Hall’s operations, and for that reason he opposes the Parkway Corridor. He would also like to see a Youth Council created to better engage post-secondary students in municipal governance.
Eyre is a kindergarten teacher at James Strath Public School. She is also a physiotherapist. Eyre could not be contacted prior to publication and does not have a campaign website. The following information was drawn from a past interview.
Transportation – Eyre expressed that she is in favour of finishing the Parkway. Additionally, she would like to see more bike lanes on city streets. She would also like to have a critical look at bus routes, especially with respect to their centralization.
Local Economy – Eyre indicates that she supports shopping local, and would like to see local solutions to employment problems.
Public Voice – Eyre says Northcrest residents need a way to have a voice in city hall. This could come either through a suggestion box, a blog, email account, or some other avenue to reach their ward representatives directly.
Beamer served as the social services chair for the city during his first term as a councillor. He also works for Nestle Canada as a retail development representative in the Peterborough area. Beamer could not be contacted prior to publication and does not have a campaign website. This information is compiled from Internet research, largely the Peterborough Examiner article “Beamer runs for second term on council” by Joelle Kovach.
Recreation – Because Northcrest is the fastest growing ward in the city, Beamer is keen on ensuring that it has the appropriate recreational amenities including parks and arenas.
Parkway – Beamer is one of the incumbent councillors who supported the Parkway. He continues to do so.
Industry – He wants to keep investing in industrial lands, including Peterborough’s airport.
Therrien moved to Peterborough in order to get a Masters at Trent University. She has worked for the provincial government and currently works at the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network (PPRN).
Reinvestment in the Infrastructure – Therrien would like to see City Hall put the investment into the streetscapes of downtown, making it an attractive hub for the city. She believes this will lead to private sector investment and more businesses downtown.
Safe and Affordable Housing – In regards to concerns about safety in the downtown, Therrien believes it should be addressed with increased services for low-income and mentally ill. Key to this is affordable housing for local residents.
Alternative Transit – Therrien argues that more frequent service for public transit, alternative routes, and improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians is a vital component for the city to address.
Stabler grew up in Peterborough and left to complete post-secondary studies in policy analysis and law. He currently works at the New Canadians Centre as the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration (PPCII) coordinator.
Streetscape Investment – Stabler would like to see similar projects as the Hunter St. W development take place on streets such as Charlotte St. These would involve development in sidewalks, parking systems, and building facades.
Transit – As an individual who does not use a car, Stabler is particularly attuned to issues of public transit, bike paths, and pedestrian mobility. He would like to reprioritize transportation projects to promote alternative transit.
Affordable Housing – He would like to see innovative ways for encouraging affordable housing in the downtown core, in which the city should encourage private landlords to improve
Hendry recently retired from the Peterborough Examiner as the editor-in-chief. He moved to Peterborough 32 years ago to work as the reporter assigned to City Council coverage.
Peterborough’s Identity – Hendry feels that Peterborough has immense potential for a distinctive character, and the way to develop this is embedded in downtown. The various projects that the city works on should contribute to and by informed by the city’s character.
Land for Big Employers – Hendry believes that the means for attracting jobs lies in the attraction of big business. This can be implemented by negotiating land for development from the neighbouring township of Cavan-Monaghan.
Develop North-South Roads – Hendry would like to see alternative North-South routes implemented other than the Parkway Corridor. In particular, increasing the capacity of Television Rd., University Rd. Brealey Dr., and Atkinson Rd would be his ideal solution.
Pappas has been a city councillor in Town Ward since 2006. He was born and raised in Peterborough, and attended PCVS and Trent University. He owns a local business, Pappas Billiards on George St, and is highly involved in the community. On council he’s been the Chair of the Arts, Culture, and Heritage portfolio and the Diversity Portfolio.
Arts and Culture – Pappas was influential in the city’s adoption of the Municipal Cultural Plan, which ensures that arts and culture are considered in every city decision.
Urban Renewal & Revitalization – In addition to the already established Heritage Districts and Heritage Tax Credit program run by the city, Pappas is hoping to establish Neighbourhood Plans that will capture what makes each area of the city unique, as well as what their needs and opportunities are. This will establish things like zoning guidelines to shape future development.
Jackson Park – Pappas believes the city must protect and preserve Jackson Park. He calls building a bridge through it a “reckless spending” of tax dollars. His solution would be improving the existing road network in the city.
Recreation – Pappas wants to continue to develop a network of trails to and from major destinations around the city, which he hopes will also encourage people to use alternate modes of transportation. He also promises to support updates to sports fields, arenas, and urban park spaces.
Juby is a lifelong Peterborough resident and has worked as a realtor for 28 years. He’s also a long-serving council member, first elected in 2000. He’s proud of how council handled the last four years by moving forward with projects rather than deferring them, and he hopes to stay the course if re-elected.
Parkway – Juby is the only Town Ward candidate who supports the Parkway. He says it serves two purposes. Short term it reduces traffic on roads that were never designed to handle it. He also believes it is essential to the growth of the city. Despite this he promises to protect Jackson Park. Financially it also makes sense he says: the deferred costs of intersection repairs that will result from building the parkway are roughly equivalent to its cost.
Downtown – Juby was part of the Hunter St. Cafe District project, and is hoping to continue work on a similar project on Charlotte St. and the Louis Lot. He hopes this will draw commercial and residential traffic to the area. That the downtown is unsafe is a “perception that’s actually a misconception” says Juby. Panhandlers are present in every city, he says, and the problems are largely addictions and mental health, which we need to address.
Fraser has been a resident of East City for the past eight years along with his wife Krista. Fraser owns two local businesses: Small Print Writing and Consulting and Farm to Table Peterborough. At the former he specializes in writing communications materials for government and non-government organizations. At the latter he raises awareness about businesses specializing in local food through both writing and weekly tours. Fraser worked with Peterborough GreenUp for 10 years, and has been heavily involved with many Trent groups such as Sustainable Trent, OPIRG, and the Kawartha World Issues Centre. He is also the founder and chair of the #Petertweeter Awards.
Fraser has three main priorities:
Quality of Life – This priority is multi-faceted, encompassing multiple areas of life. Among his goals, he wants to improve and update transportation infrastructure, increase access to recreational programs, greenspace, and trails, and promote both local arts and local food through the creation of partnerships and committees.
Quality Governance – Fraser would like to see ward-based neighbourhood associations that allow citizens to voice the concerns that matter to them. He also wants to get residents involved in the budgetary process. He would like to see greater accountability and transparency in city hall.
Quality Employment – He would like to see a comprehensive economic development plan implemented to get businesses and secure, well-paying employment in Peterborough.
Teleki ran for a council seat in the Ashburnham Ward originally in 2010, coming in third place. Since then he has been a business owner in Peterborough, as well as a volunteer with the Peterborough Rotary Club and the Youth Emergency Shelter.
Teleki has built his campaign largely through a Community Voice Engagement project in which he surveyed residents to identify key areas the City of Peterbough ought to be focusing on.
Job Creation – Teleki is particularly interested in youth employment strategies and bringing green and innovative job opportunities to Peterborough.
Representation, Accountability, and Taxation – He wants to communicate with residents how taxes are being spent at City Hall. He does not want to raise taxes at a higher rate than inflation, and he believes prior to a tax increase City Hall should assess whether it is spending existing tax dollars efficiently.
Environment, Culture and Heritage – Teleki wants to see the city follow through with its green waste program. He also wants to preserve the city’s “natural, cultural, and built heritage.”
Recreation and Local Development – Increasing community space and ensuring that this space is close to home for those who want and need it are his goals here.
Transportation and Community Safety – Teleki wants to work towards alternative measures to address traffic flow, looking towards other Ontario communities as inspiration. He would also like to see sustainable lighting installed on the trails throughout the city.
Vass has been a Peterborough resident all of his life, and has run a business here, Northern Woodheap Consultants, since 1980. Vass has served on council for three consecutive terms since 2003, and ran for mayor twice before that. Vass says he appreciates that city hall is there to service taxpayers, and is particularly interested in the service side of council. He has prominently been involved in transportation, sitting as the Chair of the Transportation Portfolio in the past session of council.
Team Participation – Implementing good and effective governance is a top priority for Vass. Finding a better understanding of what that means is what the city needs to him. He believes this should underpin any checklist of priorities.
Economic Development – Vass wants to see job opportunities created for young people in Peterborough so that university and college students have a reason to live in Peterborough after graduation. For Vass, economic development also supports the services the city is able to provide to the most vulnerable members of society.
Municipal Infrastructure – Vass wants to ensure that aging infrastructure, whether its for arts, sports, transportation, or something else, is continuously improved.
Social Services – Services relate back to good governance and economic development for Vass. The city needs a good, sustainable economy so it is able to provide good services. This is the government’s role to facilitate in his eyes.
Riel is a lifelong Peterborough resident. He has worked for General Electric as an industrial technician, and he was the union president for several years. He has owned three businesses over his lifetime in Peterborough. He is seeking his second term on city council. During his first, he sat on 11 committees and boards and was the chair of the Waste Management Committee and the Advisory Accessibility Committee.
Environment – Riel feels that every decision made by the city should be informed by environmental sustainability policies. He supports higher density housing in the city over suburban sprawl for the sake of preserving farmland.
Jobs and Industry – He recognizes that jobs are a key issue in the city. The city’s support for the airport and initiatives to draw big projects here are crucial in his mind
Infrastructure Repairs – The city, according to Riel, should be better maintaining roadways, controlling the flow of traffic, and better supporting the users of public transit.
Baldwin is a lifelong resident of Peterborough, and a resident of Ashburnham Ward for 33 years. He has led a successful career as a public school teacher and vice principal. He is involved with many community organizations such as the Trent Valley Archive. He’s also involved with sports as a hockey referee and former coach of the Peterborough Bees Junior A hockey team.
Attracting New Business – Baldwin sees the role of the city as one to provide an atmosphere for business development and alongside it, well-paying, long-lasting jobs.
Improving City Infrastructure – He would like to see the flood control plan implemented as well as the existing infrastructure of the city maintained. He is especially interested in supporting sidewalk construction projects in the Ashburnham ward.
Fiscal Management – The operation of the city should, in all projects, consider the financial resources of the city and how it can be used for the maximum effect.