Campaign Launch Speech

On August 10, I announced that I am running for Mayor of the Township of Douro-Dummer. Below is my speech from that event.

Good evening and welcome.

My name is Heather Watson,

And I am here to announce my candidacy for mayor of the Township of Douro-Dummer.

Earlier today when I filed my nomination papers, I was reminded of a similar day four years ago when I stood before you at Greendale Church in Donwood…

And announced my candidacy to serve as your councillor in the Douro Ward.

On that day, I set out an agenda.

I said I wanted to improve the community. I said I wanted to be accessible and make Council more accessible. And I said I wanted to access more financial support for the Township.

During the past four years, I have done my best to deliver on that agenda.

Through the SUN Warsaw program we created rain gardens in Warsaw….

While on the Donwood Parks committee, I led the rehabilitation of Clintonia Park 

…Updated Maryvale Park and added a disc golf course in Daleview Park. 

We created a garden to recognize and honour our Frontline health workers in 2020 at the Donwood fire hall.

And we’re taking the first step in improving our Arenas facilities through a committee that I advocated for and now chair.

During my term I worked to be accessible to residents and improve their access to government.

Prior to the pandemic I supported changing our meetings  so they would be live streamed. 

We implemented software that allowed  Council agendas and reports to be posted in full and kept in a publicly searchable database.

I worked with Council and staff to update our procedural by-law…to make participation in decision making easier, and reinstating Committee of the Whole.

Over the past four years, I have built a reputation for actually answering my phone…

Responding to emails and texts and keeping people informed through my website and on social media.

As for funding, I was successful in securing a Trillium grant to support the Clintonia Park redevelopment. 

We secured funding to provide accessibility enhancements at the Library and with support from ORCA we have seen improvements at the Warsaw Dam, Back Dam and Warsaw Caves.

Today, I still stand for improving the community, increasing access to government and creating funding partnerships…

Of course, needs change…and we are always looking to new horizons.

Over the next few weeks you’ll hear me talk more about my campaign theme….

Building on Tradition. Here’s what that means.

To grow, we will need to not only look to the future but look to the past. 

To grow, We need to build,…build our community, continue to update our infrastructure and build partnerships

To grow, we need to honour and celebrate the traditions and rich history of families and community builders.

…For months I’ve been listening to people in Douro-Dummer to understand their needs and concerns.

You know what I’ve been hearing from you?

I’ve been hearing that it’s time to rebuild and reconnect the community. 

After more than two years of lockdowns and uncertainty we need to find ways to bring us together.

You’ve told me that you are concerned about how inflation and the housing crisis is making it difficult for you and your family. 

That you want creative solutions to help people stay in their homes  and to help kids stay in the community.

You’ve told me that while you’re very proud to call Douro-Dummer your home,…

… you see other similar communities that appear to be able to invest in their facilities …

while we remain stagnant. 

You want to see some vision and planning so we can have facilities that meet community needs… and will attract new investment and new opportunities in Douro-Dummer.

I’ve also heard real concerns about the environment and climate change. 

That you’re expecting we will see more frequent weather events like the one we had on May 21st 

And that we need to do our part to preserve and protect the environment 

While also being better equipped to help residents clean up and recover from weather events.

As your Mayor, I want to work to address these concerns that we are all faced with. 

Over the next several weeks I will be making a series of announcements on actions I will take once elected.

So that we can reconnect the community, address issues like the housing crisis and climate change and attract new investment and partnerships in Douro Dummer. 

During my campaign for Mayor, engagement is at the forefront …which is why in the next few weeks I will be leveraging social media to get input from residents. 

Also, I will be launching a new website tomorrow… HeatherWatsonForMayor.ca

where I will be posting a series of updates and proposals. 

And most importantly, I will be holding a Town Hall meeting on September 19th. 

So residents can come and share their concerns and ideas to help shape future policy.

The next several weeks are about you. I want to hear from you.

And I want to take your guidance…as we rebuild and reconnect the community.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank Mayor J. Murray Jones and Deputy Mayor Moher who have served this community for 25+ years. I wish them all the best.

Now it’s time to look to the future… where we can be Building on Tradition.

On October 24 … I ask you for your vote.

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