Retired grain inspector supervisor Brian Wright wants the Municipality of Neebing to progress into the future, but wants seniors in the community to be comfortable in their twilight years.
The incumbent Crooks Township councillor and deputy mayor is pushing for a seniors’ residence in Neebing with a medical clinic to go hand-in-hand with the facility.
“I would like to see a seniors’ residence here — that’s what I’d like to complete,” said Wright, who is a driver for Red Cross and the Cancer Society to get patients to their medical appointments.
“Also a medical clinic. We did have one on line (for a property at Boundry Drive and Highway 61), but that’s on hold due to an appeal that’s on.
“As far as I know, this is only a very small chunk of agricultural land. . . . If we’re talking about a great tract of land — maybe 100 or 200 acres — I could understand (the appeal), but it’s just a small portion of land. We’re only talking about a few acres for a clinic which would benefit everyone in the area.
“I was approached by a fella who is partnered with another fella in (Thunder Bay) who asked me if there was property for sale in Neebing to set up a combination seniors’ residence and clinic. . . . He was aware of the medical clinic that was proposed and on hold, so I think they’re holding to see what happens there. At least they’re interested in a seniors’ residence and I’m hoping we can get that accomplished.”
Those are the main goals on Wright’s wish list, but he would also like to see progress in the chipsealing of roads, lower property taxes, the expansion of the landfills, small business resurgence, the bolstering of recreation, the Pigeon River tourist centre retrofitted to be used year-round and taking over the dormant Pigeon River Provincial Park with the idea of putting in a small trailer park in the area.
Wright, who was acclaimed in the 2014 and 2018 municipal elections, is being opposed by Obie Egbuchulam for the Crooks job, but is happy to see the interest shown in the municipality.
“This is the first time I actually had somebody run against me and it’s kind of encouraging in a way,” said Wright. “We’ve been advocating for people to get involved and volunteer. It’s good to see the people are at least getting involved in something or at least trying to.
“We now have a couple of ladies (Jill Cadieux for Neebing’s at-large position and Katherine Hill for the Blake Township councillor spot) running for council, so we’ll see how it works out in the end.”
In the other races, Cadieux takes on incumbent Gordon Cuthbertson for Neebing’s at-large councillor seat, while Neebing’s Blake Township council seat race sees Ron Woit, Gary Shchepanik and Hill competing for the council position being vacated by mayoral candidate Mark Thibert.
In Neebing’s mayoral race, Thibert, the current Blake Township councillor, faces former mayor Ziggy Polkowski to replace the outgoing Erwin Butikofer.
Incumbent councillors Curtis Coulson (Pardee), Gary Gardner (Pearson) and Brian Kurikka (Scoble) ran unopposed and had their positions acclaimed.
An all-candidates night for the Municipality of Neebing is set for Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Blake Hall.
Ontario municipal elections will take place Oct. 24.