Living North of 7

Bancroft, one of the most beautiful and most talented areas!

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All these pretty signs are pointing to an election!

voteAll these pretty signs are pointing to an election!

I think elections should be treated like job interviews. If I were interviewing a candidate for a potential spot on my municipal council I would likely ask the following questions.

Please tell me about the moment when you decided to run for council?

So far, any regrets with throwing your name into the competition?

Let’s cover some broad themes.

  1. Quality of life:

What will you do to keep this part of the world liveable?

How will you make this a place that can sustain jobs?

How can you make this a place that can support the needs of an aging community?

How will you balance the needs of tourists with the needs of seasonal residents?

  1. Policing:

If we have no say in how much we pay for policing will you at least advocate for the kind of policing we might want? Things like trail patrols and foot patrols?

Will you advocate for officers to get out from behind the tinted windows and walk through our communities, building trust and relationships?

(admittedly this is a leading question)

  1. Communications:

How will you communicate with your constituents?

How will you encourage more input and community engagement?

What do you think about social media? Do you think you should always be professional in what you publish – even when you’re not in a council meeting? Read more

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Hastings County Member Municipalities Offical Candidate Lists

Hastings County is made up of 14 member municipalities and for ease I created the list of all members certified lists of candidates in your municipality, just click on the link. As this is a work in progress, we have tried to locate all municipalities and as soon as we can we will have the complete list (we saved you the headache 🙂


Town of Bancroftcountyofhastings

Township of Carlow Mayo

Municipality of Centre Hastings

Town of Deseronto

Township of Faraday

Hastings Highlands

Township of Limerick

Township of Madoc

Municipality of Marmora & Lake

Township of Stirling Rawdon

Township of Tudor and Cashel

Municipality of Tweed

Township of Tyendinaga 

Township of Wollaston


Is the Bancroft election a bit offside?

After speaking with my father, who is running for Reeve in Carlow Mayo we of course talk about the upcoming elections on a regular basis. I find it interesting and I of course learn a great deal about municipal politics from him as I am new to it. He sent me the Official list of candidates for Carlow Mayo and I in turn went to see my ward which is Bancroft….there isn’t one.

You see under the Municipal Elections Acts Examination of nominations 35.1 the first Monday at 4pm following nomination day, the Town Clerk should have certified that all candidates met all the requirements. So far there is no Official list of candidates….what does that mean. Good question and I do not know.

It is now Wednesday so my next question is, why?



Bancroft is having an election (a real one)!

bancroft-ontario-crestThat’s right folks we are having an election now as I have been informed that two new candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Barry McGibbon has already filed in Dungannon Ward and another will file this morning in Bancroft from my understanding. This has taken us from an acclamation to an election.

What does this mean for us? We have been given a democratic right to make a choice … before it was just status quo. Now we have an opportunity for change (that is if you want change). The Town of Bancroft has had its challenges to say the least for a few years now and maybe just maybe having new blood will bring new perspectives, new skill sets to the table which I feel that would be beneficial to our community.

Like the rest of you, I will need to listen and hear what all candidates have to say. I do not know them (although have met a couple of them briefly at town functions) except for one incumbent with whom I had the pleasure of working alongside with regards to our public transit system the TROUT.

For a list of the present candidates click here

We have been handed a real opportunity here and I hope that all members of the community will take the time to first get the information you need to make an informed decision and secondly VOTE.

The deadline to file is Friday and who knows maybe we will get another surprise candidate.

Urban Girl xoxo


A Bancroft view from inside the Ontario East Municipal Conference

northof7_Bancroft-OntarioThe Ontario East Municipal Conference is an annual conference on the topic of economic development  – something that is of particular interest to us at the Town of Bancroft.  Several councillors, the mayor and staff attended. There were many different sessions offered, covering a variety of topics;  we split up to take in most of the agenda. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet with other municipalities and presenters to gain more insight and discuss different options and possibilities.

The first keynote speaker, Ken Wong,  discussed Promoting Change which is something that we are keenly interested in as we have to find a new means of making Bancroft more economically stable and attractive to potential investors. All municipalities are competing to attract investment and economic growth and the bottom line is that we have to be experts in making Bancroft attractive to tourists, small home businesses and larger development. The message was similar to marketing advice that I have received for my own business, “what makes us different and more attractive than other municipalities and what will make an investor want to come to Bancroft”? What is our unique selling proposition? We have to be prepared to sell ourselves and fortunately, our staff and council have been working on doing this for several years. We begin the next month to develop a long-term strategic plan to guide our path forward and to develop direction that will help the town move forward in the future.

Another keynote speaker was Jeff Leal, Minister of Rural Affairs. His message of more funds now being available in Rural Economic  Development  grants is good news, but these grants require the municipality to put up a high percentage of the funds  for any project.  With services being downloaded on us from the provincial and federal levels,  rising policing costs and crumbling infrastructure repair costs,  it is often not possible for rural municipalities to come up with the money to participate in this program.  At this time, The Town of Bancroft unfortunately does not have the funds to make the best use of these available monies.

I attended a seminar on Community Energy and gained some information that I will pass on to the people involved in our Biomass project, who are close to making this project a reality. Community-based energy offers the advantage of making it more reliable and more attractive to investors as well as creating jobs that contribute to overall economic growth. I recently learned about a town in Germany of 2600 people who developed a goal of creating energy to reduce costs. They now produce 321% more energy than they need and garner income of $5.7 million US dollars from this production. I will come back to this later as it is an important concept for our future. Today’s municipalities are learning that we must lower expenses and find other avenues of income other than taxes.

I also attended a session on Developing Sustainable Communities. This is a concept that was initiated many years ago in Bancroft  and our

Model of the Train Station

Model of the Train Station

Sustainable Plan is researched by other communities as a guide for creating their own plan. Sustainability is an important concept in economic development as we cannot be creating initiatives that will not support themselves over the long-term. The significance of the concept of sustainability is that it points out that economic development will not be successful on its own. The overall community development also requires a strong social and cultural presence as well as respect for the environment. By following the long-term goals in our Sustainable Plan, we will develop a community that will provide the healthy and vibrant lifestyle that is needed to attract investment and young entrepreneurs. One example of this, and one of the loftier goals in the Plan,  was the recent rebuilding of our  historic train station. It is now a focal point of the town – with a world-class mineral museum and tourist information centre as well as a community hall and a centre to promote tourism which is so very important to our region.  It was rebuilt by a community effort – volunteer labour, donations of funds, goods and services, and government grant money. Continue reading