THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge councillor candidate election list just became a little more crowded.
Rick Baraniuk filed his nomination papers on Tuesday along with veteran incumbent Bernie Kamphof to bring the councillor docket to six candidates for four councillor positions.
Baraniuk, who retired from Resolute Forest Products in 2017 and currently works for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario during the winter, feels the municipality is going in the right direction, but has room for growth.
“Continue to grow, get some swagger going, get some community spirit going,” said Baraniuk, who has a vast background in coaching hockey and running hockey schools.
“I wouldn’t mind getting a roof over the Rosslyn Road rink and the one in Murillo. Getting (the hockey rink floor) filled with concrete or paved. I know Conmee Township did a beautiful job putting in a concrete bottom with a roof.
“Having a Mardi Gras there in the fall where people could come out and sell all their vegetables — there’s government funding for that, I don’t expect the municipality to pay for that.”
While campaigning over the next two months, Baraniuk wants to meet with constituents of the community to hear their concerns and put those into play, should he be elected.
“Sit down, listen to the people and find out what exactly the community wants,” Baraniuk said. “Talk to the business community, should we expand that Rubin Industrial Park (which houses businesses and the volunteer fire department) out in Murillo.
“We have to get some of the infrastructure fixed up, some of the side roads that need some work. Definitely could do a little bit better job cleaning the roads after a snowstorm. That seems to take a long time.
“We have to respect the tax dollar. We can’t be running any deficits. We have to allocate the taxes — the revenue — in a smart way.”
The other four councillor candidates are incumbent Allan Vis along with Dan Calvert, James Cassan and Sabrina Ree.
Current councillors Rick Potter and Brandon Postuma are vying for the mayor’s post against current Oliver Paipoonge Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis.
In the Township of Gillies, incumbent councillors Bill Groenheide and Rudy Buitenhuis filed their nomination papers Tuesday and Wednesday respectively for another term.
Current councillor Elizabeth Jones is also seeking re-election, while newcomer Dino DeBenetti is seeking one of the four councillor seats.
All four councillor candidates would be acclaimed if no other nominee steps forward.
Presently, Township of Gillies Mayor Wendy Wright is running unopposed.
The deadline to file candidate nomination papers for provincial cities, municipalities and townships is Friday at 2 p.m. with municipal elections set for Oct. 24.
John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal