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Down to the wire for Renfrew candidates to register for election

None of the current five councillors of Renfrew have filed for this year's municipal election as the clock is ticking before this Friday's 4 p.m. deadline.
Voting box and election image

With none of the five incumbent councillors who currently sit around the Town of Renfrew council table yet to file for this year’s election, it is more than likely the clerk’s office for the town of Renfrew may be the busiest office on Friday as that is the last day for residents to submit their candidacy papers in order for their name to appear on the ballot.

The clerk’s office confirmed as of the afternoon of Thursday, Aug 18 that six individuals, none of whom currently sit on council, are registered for the opportunity to be elected to one of the five council seats.

Current Reeve Peter Emon is only candidate vying for the reeve’s position.

There will be a new mayor one the ballots are tallied as current Mayor Don Eady (2014, 2018) announced he will not be seeking a third term. That opening will be contested by current two-term Councillor Mike Coulas (2014 and 2018) and former three-term Councillor Kathryn “Kate” Windle (2000, 2006, and 2014).

No other candidates have stepped forward for mayor or reeve.

Six seek councillor position

Over the last week five residents, Guy Longtin, Clint McWhirter, Jason Legris, Adam Laviolette and Kyle Cybulski joined Andrew Dick as the only names put forward for councillor.

Among the six who have filed, the most notable is Guy Longtin.

Longtin was the former fire chief (1992-2018) who was suddenly terminated after council passed a bylaw requiring all firefighters, including the chief, to retire at the age of 60 years.

Longtin subsequently sued the town seeking $1.35 million. He was 61 at the time and his lawsuit stated he intended to work until he reached 70 years and argued the town was guilty of discrimination. Eventually both parties reached an undisclosed settlement in January 2021.

None of the current councillors, Arlene Jamieson, Tom Sidney, Andrew Dick or Sandi Heins have registered with the clerk’s office and many have speculated it has come down to a waiting game with many holding off to see what Ms. Heins intentions are. A popular mayor (1998-2010) and at the same time completing her current term as councillor, she has not decided whether to run again for a council position or mayor, or if she intends to run at all.

It all may come down on Aug. 19 when the 4 p.m. deadline is reached and there may be a flurry of filings at the Renfrew clerk’s office.

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