Matthew Graham, Cavan Monaghan’s deputy mayor, challenging Daryl Bennett in mayoral race

·2 min read

Matthew Graham announced Wednesday he’s running to become Cavan Monaghan Township’s mayor, setting the stage for a two-way race between the municipality’s current deputy mayor and former Peterborough mayor Daryl Bennett.

Both are vying to replace outgoing two-term mayor Scott McFadden.

“The role of mayor is a very important one. I took my time in making the decision because I respect the position and I respect the work that goes into filing that role,” Graham said in an interview with The Examiner.

“It’s going to be a challenge. But over the last four years, I’ve learned a lot and now I’m better at implementing and using what I’ve learned to get things done in the community and that’s really what I’m hoping to do as mayor if they’ll have me.”

Graham, who grew up in the township, is serving his first term as deputy mayor after being elected in 2018. Voters will head to the polls for the municipal election on Oct. 24.

He said he began considering making the leap after working closely with McFadden, representing constituents on township council and Peterborough County council.

“When you’re in the role of deputy mayor it’s something you think about and I know first-hand from my exposure and work with (McFadden) how much of a responsibility it is, so it’s not a decision to take lightly,” Graham said.

“We’ve done a lot of good work but there’s more to be done and I want to continue to be part of solving problems and that’s what I hope to do.”

Looking ahead, as the township emerges from a challenging pandemic, Graham is setting his sights on two main priorities: managing the township’s significant growth and attracting much-needed physicians.

“We’re going to have to deal with growth successfully. We’re a growing community; there’s a lot of development pressure,” Graham said.

“But it’s important that we’re not just growing for growth’s sake, we’re growing and building housing that serves the needs of our existing residents as they age and want to continue to live in the community they grew up in.

“The secondary issue of importance is that we, like a lot of rural municipalities, are in dire need of more physicians and doctors to serve our growing population.

“With the county increasing the effort for physician recruitment, I think we as a township need to re-engage and create our own effort to ensure we’re at least competing for those physicians that we so desperately need.”

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner