KAWARTHA LAKES: Longtime Lindsay lawyer Jason Ward is going to be running for Mayor of Kawartha Lakes in the next municipal election.
Mr. Ward owns Wards Lawyers PC, a firm based in Lindsay, and practices civil litigation.
“Public service has always been in the back of my mind. I have got to the point in my professional career where I have achieved my objectives, and what I set out to do. I’m ready for a change and to bring the skill set I’ve acquired into a new set of services,” Mr. Ward told The Standard.
Mr. Ward previously dipped his toes into politics in 2003, when he ran as a Liberal candidate in the Ontario provincial election.
“I learned during that time about how politics is about fielding and dealing with unlimited demand amongst very limited resources. That means decisions need to be made and analysis needs to be done. Frequently, efficiency and change needs to be constantly analyzed,” he explained.
Mr. Ward discussed why he decided now was the right time for him to throw his hat in the municipal ring.
“I’m at the point now where my children are older, the law firm is doing very well and doesn’t need me anymore. That’s where I’m making a change, to fulfill some of my other objectives in life.”
Mr. Ward plans to retire from his law practice.
“I would be dedicating my entire time to the mayorship,” he stated.
Development wise, he views growth in the municipality as inevitable.
“We can’t maintain a quiet, sleepy community attitude. The population is increasing, development is increasing, and the key is to manage that growth and development in a way [which is] consistent with our historic values.”
One challenge for the City will be navigating the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created.
“I think council’s challenge over the next several years will be partly fiscal. I think, at this point in time, the City and the council need to look at our financial viability, [and] what we are spending on the services we want versus what we can afford. I think the pandemic has exacerbated that issue,” he said.
Mr. Ward is not fazed about the possibility of running against experienced municipal candidates in next year’s election.
“I’m a trial lawyer. I like a good fight, that’s what I do. So, I’m looking forward to that,” Mr. Ward said.
He believes there are lessons he can take from his present career and apply to this new endeavor.
“My entire career has been about weighing evidence, listening to different sides and opinions, and coming up with the right answer, not just legally, but [also] morally,” he explained.
Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper