The new faces on township council

Unlike our neighbours to the east in Scugog, where all but one member of the local council was acclaimed in Monday’s municipal elections, we actually had five races here in Uxbridge. The incumbent ward councillors in Ward 1 (Pam Beach) and Ward 5 (Todd Snooks) were re-elected (and the incumbent in Ward 4, Willie Popp, was acclaimed), but in Wards 2 and 3, there was no incumbent running, so the township has two newcomers. Here’s a quick introduction to the new faces in charge of our local government for the next four years.

Ward 2 : Gordon Shreeve

Ward 2 incorporates the northern half of the township, including the hamlets of Zephyr, Sandford, Leaskdale and Udora (south of Ravenshoe). Shreeve has lived there for two decades, arriving as the pastor of the Zephyr Missionary Church, which he still shepherds, although he also works for a non-profit providing accessible transportation services in York Region.

He first ran for council in 2018, narrowly losing, but this time won a narrow victory over former councillor Pat Molloy.

Shreeve lists six priorities for Ward 2 in his work on council: upgrading local parks, increasing the safety of roads, improving accessibility to high-speed internet, as well as natural gas, ensuring the ward gets a good share of tourism to Uxbridge (the ward has two of the township’s prime attractions in the Leaskdale Manse and the Foster Memorial), and ensuring the prosperity of the township’s agricultural sector.

Ward 3 : Zed Pickering

Ward 3 comprises much of the eastern portion of urban Uxbridge, between Main Street and Lake Ridge Road, from Ball Road in the north to Reach Street.

Pickering has lived in the township for seven years, and works largely from home as a territorial sales manager for a craft brewery in Elora, Ontario. Locally, he has worked with a number of charities, most notably as a board member for North House, a social housing advocate, and as a co-founder of the Uxbridge Anti-Racism Coalition. This was his first run at political office, but he won comfortably over two other candidates in the ward. Perhaps it’s due to the political blood in his veins; his great-grandmother, Alma Walker, was the first mayor of Markham.

In his campaign, Pickering had several priorities as a representative of Ward 3: road safety (the ward contain’s Uxbridge’s high school and its largest elementary school), downtown revitalization, affordable housing, and stewardship of the environment.

Conrad Boyce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos