Cormier named Antigonish’s new deputy mayor

ANTIGONISH: Willie Cormier is the new deputy mayor in the Town of Antigonish.

Cormier replaces Councillor Andrew Murray, the town’s outgoing deputy mayor, after Murray completed his one year term.

Councillors share the responsibility and hold the position of deputy mayor for one year, before council nominates another councillor into the role.

Selected by Diane Roberts, Cormier, who has 13 years council experience, was the only councillor chosen and he accepted the nomination during the town’s regular monthly council meeting on Nov. 15.

In a phone interview with The Reporter, Cormier said to have the support of his fellow councillors to fill the role, means a lot to him, especially with the year that’s ahead of the town.

“Normally when you have a deputy mayor, it’s a bit ceremonial, when the mayor’s out of town, you fill in,” he said. “This year, where we’re going through the whole question of regional government, it kind of changes things.”

Cormier indicated the steering committee, which is comprised of both CAOs, the warden, the deputy warden, the mayor and the deputy mayor, will and have already started to meet on a regular basis and will guide the day in and day out details of the process.

“Ultimately, things come back to council for decision, but you’re really in on the ground floor,” he said. “Let’s say we do decide to go with regional government, once we pull the trigger, that steering committee, basically becomes the new council on any major decision.”

For Cormier, who has served three full terms at the council table, having his fellow councillor’s trust is so important to him, so they know he will act on their behalf, in what he describes as being the most important year around the council table.

“As we walk down this regional government, it kind of falls into two kinds of decision camps, one being how you slice and dice the dollars,” he said. “From that perspective, my professional background is I’m a retired Chartered Professional Accountant, so in my work life, dealing with numbers with a lot of zeros is nothing new to me.”

The deputy mayor advised the other piece is how decisions are going to be made.

“While I’m on that committee, I’m just going to be an extension of the other councillors,” Cormier said. “Anything that substantially gets done, gets done at the council table, but that said as we work through regional government, those little details, how you put the spin on the ball, gets done at that steering committee.”

Cormier suggested while he’s been deputy mayor once before, as he now enters his 14th year as a town councillor, he’s looking forward to overcoming the challenges the town will face in the next year.