The 2022-26 term C-K Council sworn in

It’s official.

The 18 members of the municipal council have been sworn in for the 2022-2026 term.

The ceremony took place in front of a large crowd inside the Capitol Theatre in downtown Chatham.

Mayor Darrin Canniff, who will represent Chatham-Kent for a second term, said council needs help from everybody.

“The 17 councillors and I can’t do it alone. We need help from everybody,” said Canniff. “Working together is the most effective. I put a challenge out to everybody to do five percent more in the community. If every person in this room and every person in Chatham-Kent gave five percent more, what a community we would have.”

In his inaugural address, Canniff said there are a number of big decisions coming for council, referring to a proposed Intercounty Baseball League team as an example.

He added economic development and the expansion of amenities would also be key in the coming years in order to attract and retain younger people.

“We, as council, want to give them a lot of reasons to be here,” he said. “We want job opportunities. We want quality of life. All of those things.”

In total, the municipality welcomed five new councillors, along with 12 incumbent councillors. A record eight women were elected to Chatham-Kent council.

Lauren Anderson, Ryan Doyle, Rhonda Jubenville, Conor Allin, and Alysson Storey are Chatham-Kent’s five first-time councillors.

In East Kent, John Wright and Steve Pinsonneault return to represent Ward 3 for another term.

Council will host its first meeting of the 2022-26 term on Monday at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre. It will be their first in-person meeting since March 2020.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News