OLIVER PAIPOONGE, ONT. — Brandon Postuma has a vision for the community he grew up in and believes he has the political connections to pull it off.
The current councillor and mayoral candidate for the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge feels he could bring vast change to the community that houses the towns of Kakabeka Falls, Murillo, Rosslyn, Stanley and Slate River Valley, but he’s up against some stiff competition in four-term incumbent mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis and current councillor Rick Potter.
Postuma’s projections for the community are lofty, but he says they are attainable.
“I would look forward to being mayor,” said Postuma, who owns three Kakabeka Depot Express stores in Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay and Atikokan. “Some of the ideas and some of the things I would like to see come to fruition have not been welcome, so this might include things like keeping our tax rate lower than the five per cent annual raise we had this year.
“Some new exciting projects such as a splash pad at the Rosslyn Community Centre using some of our parkland funds that we would be getting through the province.
“I want to see what we have going for us continue — low taxes, good roads — and one of the things I’m really into is community events. I’d like to see more community events and I would like to see expanded health services.”
Postuma’s multi-layered platform also includes the continuing broadband expansion for higher internet speeds, senior housing projects, strategic planning, getting more constituents to hook up to Rosslyn’s water and treatment plant (but keep their wells if they choose) and large building construction in the municipality, which would see a hotel built in the Whitewater Golf Club area.
To see these projects come to fruition should he win the mayor’s seat, Postuma bent the ears of Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister David Piccini, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Kevin Holland and Infrastructure Minister Kinga Surma at the Association of Municipalities Ontario general meeting in Ottawa last month.
“I have an excellent relationship with provincial cabinet ministers and the government (Conservative) that now holds the majority,” said Postuma, who went to school with Piccini at the University of Ottawa.
“I know a lot of them personally and a lot of them have helped me with some of the funding things that we’ve received through our municipality.
“I think if I’m elected mayor, it will really encourage that relationship to foster even more. It would kind of open some doors for me to really take the helm and really lead the way on some of the provincial funding projects I’m working on.”
Municipal elections will be held on Oct. 24. Rosslyn and Murillo will have polling stations open on election day in Oliver Paipoonge with volunteers available to help learn the electronic voting system.
John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal