Mayor candidate Valiquette wants to keep Grey Highlands green

·3 min read

Grey Highlands mayoral candidate Danielle Valiquette is excited about the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the council chambers if she is elected mayor.

Valiquette is completing her first term as a councillor and has run as the local Green Party candidate both provincially and federally.

“I feel like we have been able to do good things in Grey Highlands and I want to continue to do good things,” she said. “Grey Highlands is in a place where it needs a new style of leadership. We need to build relationships with each other and that’s what I do well.”

Valiquette said she is anxious to continue to promote and implement policies to deal with climate change.

“When it comes to climate, we’re in a really dangerous place right now. We need people who are willing to be brave. We need to expect more,” she said. “I want to lead a group of dynamic and different people who are interested in doing the right thing for Grey Highlands.”

Valiquette praised the current council for all being there for the right reasons and said she learned a lot over the past four years.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to just be authentic. Sometimes that means I’m a bit goofy, but I’m also a person who does the work. On policies and decision making, I really map that stuff out,” she said.

Valiquette lives on her farm near Ceylon with her husband, three children and an assortment of pets and animals. Her family farms pigs and horses and her entire family has a love of the outdoors and the natural environment.

“Grey Highland is such a beautiful place. I love it, this is where we’re supposed to be,” she said.

Valiquette said the next few years are going to be critical for the municipality.

“The environment is very important to me. Grey Highlands is in this really neat space and time,” she said. “We can look at other communities that have seen growth and we can look at what we like and don’t like and take a proactive approach to what it is going to look like in the future.”

She said the growth that is coming is inevitable and council now has an opportunity to lead and shape what that growth will look like. She said it is critical to preserve the character of local communities, improve walkability, add attainable housing and protect local businesses that are unique.

“I want people to come to Grey Highlands to experience local businesses that they can’t experience anywhere else,” she said.

Valiquette said her track record on council shows she won’t shrink from making big and tough decisions.

“Talisman was the hardest decision for me. I spent many sleepless nights with that decision. It was huge,” she said.

If elected mayor, Valiquette will become a member of county council and she will continue to advocate for climate policies and Grey Gables.

“The county is really interesting to me. Ensuring Grey Gables becomes part of the plan for Grey County is important to me. There are a lot of opportunities to do things differently at the county,” she said.

She recently started an online blog where she shares her thoughts about municipal government, explains the how and why of her choices at the council table and offers tips and advice on how the public can engage with the municipality and local government.

The municipal election is Oct. 24, 2022. To confirm you are on the voter's list, or to find out about advance voting options, visit the Grey Highlands website here.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca