I’m a life-long resident of Chatham-Kent and have lived in the former Dover Township for over 40 years. I’m married to a farmer; therefore, I understand the importance of infrastructure within the rural communities – we need to keep our roads and bridges in good shape. Pumping schemes and drainage are topics about which I am familiar. I have worked with multi-million-dollar budgets. Most of my work experience has been in Healthcare – Acute Care, Retirement Homes and LTC. My knowledge of budgets and my determination to press for answers are what this municipality needs. I’m a good listener with a broad range of business experience and knowledge to get the job done. I have served as President on both National and Provincial non-profit Boards, where I honed my leadership skills. Visit patriciasylvain.ca for more information.
What do you prioritize first? Your ward or Chatham-Kent? Why?
I believe that Chatham-Kent needs to be prioritized as a whole. I also believe that we need to look at the way the wards are laid out across the Municipality. From what I have been observing at Council Meetings, there is a great deal of bickering happening between the councillors representing various wards. The advantages of reducing, or changing the ward structure should serve the citizens as a whole, as the entire constituency, rather than having sub-sections.
What are your two highest priorities for change in our municipality in the short term. What about in the long term?
In the short term, we need to continue the good work that the current councillors have been working on. My main priority is to look for redundancies in the way services are provided throughout the Municipality, and we need to come up with a funding plan for our infrastructure. Without roads and bridges, our economy will flounder, and there is no way we will be able to attract new business to Chatham-Kent without the proper upkeep required.
Should citizens be allowed to erect a billboard in Chatham-Kent (assuming the sign itself is bylaw-approved), that says “God says no to homosexuals” or something similar? Why or why not? What’s should Chatham-Kent’s role be when dealing with signs that express views that may be contrary to the mainstream?
Words count – words out in the public view affect the public. If our community believes in tolerance, acceptance, inclusivity and celebration of differences, we will attract those with talent, imagination, and youthful thinking. If we don’t have these beliefs, we will accept those words on the billboard and be certain of repelling those we want to encourage. And we will be sure to decline.
Should the new council deal with the matter of the size and makeup of council. If no, why not? If yes, then why, and what would your desired outcome be?
Absolutely! I believe we need to have a council that is large enough to be a true representation of all citizens in the Municipality, but small enough to expedite decisions and to avoid confusion and excessive debate.
Two-part question. In hindsight, what could have Chatham-Kent council done to prevent water wells in North Kent from being contaminated by wind turbines? What steps should the new council take to deal with this situation?
It is my belief that Chatham-Kent council should have listened to the public. I belonged to the Chatham-Kent Wind Action Group, and vehemently opposed the installation of turbines. Now Chatham-Kent needs to ensure that all of its citizens have access to clean water.
Who would you like to see in the mayor’s chair after the election? Why?
In my opinion, we have 3 viable mayoral candidates, and each has good characteristics which would make them a great Mayor. Since if I am elected, I will need to work with the individual, no matter who is elected, I will keep my choice confidential. I trust the voting process.
Chatham-Kent has the distinction as being the first designated welcoming community in Canada for Syrian refugees. What do you see as Chatham-Kent’s role in welcoming Syrian refugees in the near future? Should Chatham-Kent continue to encourage asylum seekers to relocate to Chatham-Kent.
As a first generation Canadian, I am proud that Chatham-Kent has stepped up to be a welcoming community. Chatham-Kent’s role should be to work with churches and other non-profit organizations to help the families settle and learn about Canadian values and customs. I also believe that the Municipality needs to develop educational messaging to help our current citizens understand why we are welcoming new families. A slow uptake in welcoming new families – ensuring they are well-established and settled before bringing in more families is ideal.
Do you have any plans for any pet projects if you were elected to council that would enhance life in this area? Let’s hear them.
I am not coming to council with my own pre-established agenda. I want to be a strong, clear voice for the constituents of my ward, and the greater community of Chatham-Kent. Of course, a healthier society and a better economic climate for small business growth and development are key objectives.