Students optimistic about new mayor

AMS and SGPS say they’re positive about Paterson

Bryan Paterson.
Image by: Emilie Rabeau
Bryan Paterson.

The AMS executive and the SGPS President are feeling positive about Bryan Paterson, despite the perception that Kingston’s mayor-elect is anti-student.

Paterson, who’s finishing out his term as Trillium District councillor, was one of the councillors who voted in favor of dissolving Sydenham District last year.

There were a total of 35,856 ballots cast throughout Kingston in Monday’s election.

Paterson won the mayoral race with 13,577 votes, followed by Dorothy Hector with 8,663 votes, Rick Downes with 8,388 votes, Brenda Slomka with 4,108 votes, Scott Foster with 492 votes and Michael J. M. Owen with 362 votes.

SGPS President Kevin Wiener expressed happiness with student involvement in the municipal elections.

“I think the student turnout, from what I can tell, is a little higher than four years ago, which is good,” Wiener, JD ’15, said.

“I also think this year we had strong proactive engagement by both student governments.”

This included Queen’s Municipal Affairs Commission informing students how to vote, registering student voters and providing students with basic information on the candidates.

Wiener worked on the appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board contesting Council’s realignment decision last year.

“I spoke with Bryan about it, and obviously I would have preferred that he had voted [against] the realignment,” Wiener said.

“I think unfortunately the whole question got politicized at council about the political makeup of council, when it really should have been about making sure that we had — have been about making sure that we had effective representation of all residents.”

He said he didn’t consider Paterson anti-student.

“While it’s true that he did vote for that motion, he has never taken the stance of attacking students or that students aren’t real residents,” Wiener said.

“I do think we’ll see a much more positive tone in the role that students play in the Kingston community in the next four years.”

AMS Vice-President of University Affairs Philip Lloyd said the AMS is looking forward to working with Paterson.

“We would like to congratulate the newly elected Mayor and Council. We are excited and eager to work with all members of City Council in the coming months and to continue to strengthen the relationship between the AMS and the City of Kingston,” Lloyd, ConEd ’13, told the Journal via email.

“Building off of the student platform passed by AMS Assembly, we hope to work closely with City Council on achieving the goals outlined within the platform.”

Peter Stroud won the council seat for the Sydenham District, with 56.75 per cent of the vote. He said he was surprised he received over half of the votes in the district.

“I was a little shocked by the numbers of the results, then also relieved that our hard work had paid off. I thought it was a close three-way race and the numbers didn’t reflect that,” he said.

Stroud is now focusing on both short-term and long-term plans for the city. His short-term plans include adequate snow removal from sidewalks so that pedestrians are safer and changing the bylaw that limits houses to putting out one garbage bag by providing residents with 52 additional tags for the year.

His long-term goals include creating harmony among all residents of Kingston.

“I will always be guided by my wish that all residents of Sydenham be treated equally, regardless of what stage of life they’re in,” he said.

“I would like students to be treated as citizens, as fully engaged members of the community and that starts with the way that people talk — you talk about your fellow citizens and you don’t talk about them as a generalized group.”

Jim Neill won the Williamsville council seat with 55.99 per cent of the vote.

“I’m really, really looking forward to the next Council. We’re going to have more youth, we’re going to have — I believe — more women, and we’re going to have a lot of people with fresh ideas,” Neill said.

“It is so good to see new faces around the horseshoe and people who I know from other community activities are progressive and forward-looking and committed to making the community better.”

Rob Hutchison, the King’s Town District incumbent who won his seat again, was unavailable for comment.

Liz Schell, the Portsmouth District incumbent, retook her council seat with 57.99 per cent of the vote. She is looking forward to another four years on council with people who can bring a fresh perspective. “I’m really pleased, I know most of the candidates who won — there are some sad goodbyes, but it’s a very interesting, new, youthful and forward-thinking council,” she said.

Schell plans to begin implementing the goals in her platform in the near future.

“I’m going to go with the School of Urban Planning to a meeting next week about Portsmouth — the Providence Care property, walking and biking trails going through the property, the waterfront along all of Kingston is very important.”

— With files from Natasa Bansagi and Chloe Sobel



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