Before this, she served as the Northern Development Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and has decades of experience as an events and marketing co-ordinator. She’s worked on campaigns for the Niagara Wine Festival, and organized events and programs during her time at the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
Rochon seems happiest when bringing people together, and her experiences have given her an understanding of the importance of municipal politics, and how the policies passed at the municipal level affect local organizations, businesses, and the day to day lives of residents.
While working in Niagara, circa 2007, Kathleen met her future husband, Francois Rochon, who was also working in Niagara. However, Rochon has deep family roots in West Nipissing and when the couple paid a weekend visit to West Nipissing, they decided to stay. The couple moved to the area in 2009, “and immediately I was drawn to find ways to get involved in our community,” she said.
Since the big move, Rochon has also been watching council meetings, and would “take note of the various organizations and individuals that contributed to building our community.” These meetings helped her get to know the area better and make contacts with people trying to make a difference.
As a dedicated policy person, she also kept tabs on council motions and decisions affecting the community, “and when I disagreed with a decision, or witnessed behaviour that I felt was counterproductive I would speak out,” to councillors via email or write to the newspaper with her opinions.
“I am passionate about good governance and good policy,” she emphasized, “and I believe that the vision that I bring to those issues is exactly what we as a community need at this moment.” For Rochon, the position of mayor is really “about bringing people together,” and “bringing out the best in the people around you” for the common good.
Although in the early stages of her campaign, Rochon is ready and eager to run. Her website Rochon4Mayor.com will be ready to go soon, and in the meantime, you can follow her campaign on her Facebook page @Rochon4Mayor.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca