Pat McCourt

(revised Oct 4, 2018)

Pat McCourt was born and raised in Toronto where she also completed High School. After marriage, she and her husband moved to Hamilton Township where they raised their family of 4 children. Pat lives in Harwood, and has and has 7 grandchildren. She is also a graduate from the architectural technician program at Loyalist College, and did design a number of houses before switching back to her greater love, working at a residential treatment center for youth. She is now assistant administrator, with additional responsibilities for staffing and training.

She was first elected to Hamilton Township council in 1997, and ended up loving the job, having to sift through lots of information to see the bigger picture, and then having say (even though she did not always get approval for her recommendations). Since then, she has served a total of 4 terms, and remained on a number of committees during the times she was not elected back to office.

The upcoming election is pivotal, she thinks, for a number of reasons. With a new provincial government, there has been talk of Premier Ford wanting to strengthen regional government, but what does this really mean for municipalities? And with legalization of marijuana happening in mid October, the municipality is going to have to make its decision on whether to allow retail outlets in the Township. She would favor not allowing them until more is known about the impact in the communities, and additional costs involved (having heard that policing costs are going to increase by 1-2% because of legalization). If it works out well in other jurisdictions, then opt in later.

She believes that the Municipality is on sound financial footing, with adequate reserves to fund infrastructure needs without having to borrow money. As well, tax rate increases have been kept to approximately 2%. Demographic trends are encouraging with more younger families taking up residence, and filling up schools.

However, more needs to be done to improve internet service to rural residents and farmers, who are increasingly dependent on new technology. While this is not a direct township responsibility, she would continue to advocate other levels of government and industry to help make this happen. While public transit has been greatly improved through partnership with Community Care (currently offered two days a week), she would like to see this expanded to four. And roads are the biggest budget item, but there is also a disconnect because of shared responsibilities by County and Township. And representation on County Council is a concern, with no substitution allowed if a mayor representative is unable to attend.

Pat McCourt would also like to change the fact that Hamilton Township is the only one without bicycle routes. She would like to make municipal buildings more available for community groups and events, and to increase the trail system (noting however that major tourist improvements have been made to the Bewdley waterfront, Gores Landing, and Harwood dock

Hamilton Township is an amazing place, with so many great people and potential. But she does not want to see it stagnate. She would like to use her energy, enthusiasm and planning skills to help make sure of that, and preferably by being re-elected to council.

Larry Williamson Image.jpeg

Larry Williamson

Larry Williamson grew up in Etobicoke, and after high school, went on to complete the graphic design course at Sheridan College in Oakville. He and his wife Marcia lived in Oakville and raised their son and daughter there.

After a number of years of doing graphic design work, he switched career direction by getting into consulting and “problem solving” through two companies he founded - one called “Cooper and Williamson”, and later Surefire Multimedia, where he produced communication and design solutions for leading Canadian and international companies, as well as government and non-profit organizations for over 47 years.

In 2008, he and his wife built their dream house in Harwood (noting that Marcia’s roots in Harwood go back to 1924). Larry is now semi-retired, and last year he made his decision to run for council in Hamilton Township. Since then, he has talked with many residents, and learned that while there seem to be few huge issues, there is dissatisfaction with the current council’s apparent lack of delivery on promises, and frustration with inaction on simple needs in many villages and surrounding areas. Its time for change, and in order to help make change happen, he explains, you have to be in a position to make change.

And there are many. He would want to get people more involved in municipal affairs, and one start would be to change the time of council meeting to the evening, and to have more participation on advisory committees, including budget preparation. He would like to see Q and A sessions as part of council meetings. While there is an official municipal plan, he does not believe it to be adequate as a master plan for going forward with an infrastructure plan to attract both residential and commercial growth and development, in the future. He would like to see recreation, fitness and cultural event programming for youth and seniors, connecting citizens throughout the rural, urban and Rice Lake communities .

He is concerned about what he senses are going to be disruptive initiatives by the provincial government, and he is “dead set” against any amalgamation. In addition, Hamilton Township has a great pool of diverse talent that can be encouraged to be more involved in community affairs, and he has lots of experience in bringing people from different backgrounds and training to the table, to discover ways to make life better in Hamilton Township.

His approach is based on three principles: simplicity, clarification, and sound reason for decisions.

How would he apply those principles to the issue of marijuana legalization and the municipalities response? Firstly, the simple reality is that it will soon be legal, and that in the past, it has been the cause of a great deal of crime and imprisonment. Then in terms of clarity, if the municipality does not allow vendor outlets, sale of marijuana could be driven underground. And by allowing vendor outlets, crime will be reduced, and control of sale can be maintained. Although this decision should be addressed with the citizen's for their input and consensus before a bylaw be approved through council.

In summary, Larry talked about leadership through values and dedicate his to the township values of leadership, respect, integrity, accountability and professional. He would also add empathy. Policies and positions on specific issues can change, but never the values.