Candidate’s kids get politics lesson

·2 min read

O’CONNOR TWP., ONT. — It started out as an educational school project to introduce his young twins to the world of politics, but O’Connor Township councillor candidate Jon Hari is in it for the long run now.

Hari, who filed his nomination papers on Friday, wanted to teach his twins, Joshua and Juliana, the importance politics plays in shaping the world around them.

And what better way to drive home that point than entering an election.

“It just started out as a school project about how important it is to vote,” said Hari, who ran unsuccessfully for councillor in the 2018 election in O’Connor when the twins were seven. “I just wanted to teach them about politics.”

The now 11-year-old twins will have a better grasp of what dad is trying to do over the next two and a half months as the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge community services worker hits the campaign trail.

Hari feels running in O’Connor and working for the Oliver Paipoonge municipality gives him a leg up on the learning curve of politics.

“I deal a little bit with the (Oliver Paipoonge) council where I work,” said Hari, who was present at O’Connor’s council meeting on Monday. “I have to talk to the councillors a lot.

“I follow the council meetings both for the (municipality) I work for and the one I live in (O’Connor).”

Hari’s main goal is to keep O’Connor the bedroom community it already is and keep costs down in the process.

“I’d like to keep (O’Connor) country,” said Hari, who has lived in the community for 15 years. “A lot of people complain about things because they’ve moved out (from the city) and we don’t have the services that people (in Thunder Bay) do. We can’t have running water for everybody — they have to have their own well. They try to (have services such as water lines installed) and that increases our taxes and a lot of it is not feasible out here.

“There’s even people that want the landfills paved and that’s just not feasible.”

If no other councillor candidates for O’Connor come forward by 2 p.m. a week from Friday, both Hari and current councillor Alex Crane will be acclaimed as they are the only two candidates to have filed their nomination papers for the four councillor positions.

Current councillors Wendy Handy and Jerry Loan have indicated that they will not run this time around with Handy handing in her letter of resignation effective July 28.

O’Connor Township Mayor Jim Vezina has said he will run again for the township’s top job, but has yet to file his nomination paperwork.

The deadline to file candidate nomination papers for Ontario cities, municipalities and townships is Aug. 19. Municipal elections are set for Oct. 24.

John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal