Make a mark this election!

As if the sacrifices made in the name freedom by those before us are not enough, there are many other valid, if not equal, reasons to make a mark this election.

On October 17, voters will go to the polls to elect municipal and town councillors, as well as mayors and wardens.

Around the Strait area, 64 candidates in seven municipalities have spent the past few weeks and months visiting voters, making phone calls, attending public events, talking about the issues they’re hearing about, and bringing their own ideas to the table.

Aside from a couple of municipalities, the level of involvement has been impressive with multiple candidates in each district, and most districts in each municipality up for grabs.

And that’s encouraging but not surprising given this region has historically been politically active, especially for municipal elections.

In addition to close races and multiple candidates, the Strait area has always boasted voter turn-out levels in the 80 per cent range, which is usually among the highest in the province.

While not surprising, the level of involvement in this election is encouraging given the world remains in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has made traditional campaigning a challenge.

Looking past the challenges, what should prove compelling for voters is that no other level of government hits closer to home than municipal government. These elected officials and municipal staffs take care of water and sewer services, collect property taxes, conduct waste collection, financially assist community halls and groups, augment health care services, and maintain recreation programs and infrastructure, among other important matters.

And most candidates are known to voters. Unlike federal, and even provincial candidates – who are sometimes more removed from those they represent – municipal candidates live, volunteer, work, and pay taxes in the community.

They are the people we see at the grocery store, the hockey game, or the community festival. They are the folks that know what’s going on in the community and who their neighbours are; they have friends, family, businesses or jobs, and are invested in the future of their community and municipal unit.

And if anyone out there considers themselves invested in the future of their community and municipality, then please vote!

Municipality of the County of Antigonish

District 2 (North Grant-Antigonish Harbour-Lakevale)

Kristel Fleuren-Hunter

Donnie MacDonald

District 4 (Brierly Brook-Lower West River-Sylvan Valley)

Shawn Brophy

Vaughan Chisholm

District 9 (Linwood-Havre Boucher-Auld’s Cove)

Carol MacEachern

Harris McNamara

Neil Corbett

Town of Antigonish

Candidates seeking 6 town council seats

Sean Cameron

William Cormier

Travis DeCoste

Mary Farrell

Donnie MacInnis

Jack MacPherson

Barbara McCarron Quirk

Andrew Murray

Diane Roberts

Municipality of the District of Guysborough

District 2 (Lincolnville, Sunnyville, Upper Big Tracadie)

Mary Germaine Desmond

Sheila Pelly

District 3 (North Riverside, Boylston, Manchester, St. Francis Harbour, Melford and Pirate’s Cove

Neil DeCoff

Elton MacPherson

District 5 (Little Dover, Hazel Hill, Tickle, Fox Island)

Lynette Newell

Janet Peitzsche

District 6 (Lundy, Larry’s River, New Harbour, Tor Bay, Charlos Cove)

Susan Cashin

Vernon Pitts

District 8 (Canso, Tickle)

Fin Armsworthy

Silva Rehel

Municipality of the County of Inverness

District 3 (Inverness area)

Larry Lariviere

Bonny MacIsaac

Jim Mustard

Gerald M. Poirier

District 4 (Whycocomagh area)

Christine Dowling

Jason Bernard

John MacLennan

District 5 (Port Hood-Mabou area)

Lynn Chisholm

Betty Ann MacQuarrie

Thom Oomen

District 6 (Judique-Port Hastings)

John Dowling

Catherine L. Gillis

Gerard Gillis

Mary Jess MacDonald

Town of Mulgrave

Mayoral candidates

Ron Chisholm

Lorne MacDonald

Town of Port Hawkesbury

Mayoral candidates

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

Archie MacLachlan

Candidates for 4 town council seats

Jason Aucoin

Paula Hart

John Ouellete

Hughie MacDougall

Mark MacIver

Blaine MacQuarrie

Michele Tabensky

Municipality of the County of Richmond

District 1 (Petit de Grat-Arichat)

Brandon Boudreau

James Goyetche

Rod Samson

Shawn Samson

District 2 (West Arichat-D’Escousse)

Gerry Bourque

Carolyn Clackdoyle

Michael Diggdon

District 3 (Louisdale, Evanston, Cleveland, Dundee)

Brian Marchand

Melanie Sampson

District 4 (River Bourgeois-St. Peter’s)

Gilbert Boucher

Amanda Mombourquette

District 5 (L’Ardoise-eastern Richmond County)

Jason MacLean

Brent Sampson