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Opinion: The best part of being a candidate

In a new op-ed, Ward 5 candidate Mike Parent shares some of the perspective he says he’s gained while knocking on doors
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Mike Parent is running to be elected to the Greater Sudbury city council seat in Ward 5.

I won’t take on a job or position unless I’m confident that I can do it well. I believe this approach has largely contributed to the many successes in my personal and my professional lives. 

Before registering to become candidate for Ward 5 councillor in the upcoming municipal election, I studied the Municipal Act and met with select current and former members of council to understand the commitments of the role. In my opinion, the greatest elected officials are those that do well at “representing the public and the well-being and interests of our municipality.” 

Because I strive to be an informed and effective representative, I joined the Chamber of Commerce’s Municipal Advocacy Committee and the Valley East Community Action Network. After officially registering as a candidate, I began meeting with business owners and members of the public through social media platforms, email, phone calls, at coffee shops and knocking on doors.

By far, those door-to-door conversations have made the biggest impact on my perspective. There is simply no substitute for looking into the eyes of the citizens of our community and sharing in their emotions as they tell their stories and what’s top of mind for them. 

Some folks I met have lived in their homes since childhood, passing it from generation to generation. Others are new to our community and I had a chance to welcome them. I heard common themes of concerns about affordability and cost of living. There’s a longing for more transparency and a more collaborative approach from our municipal government. 

We also talked about what’s great about Ward 5 and living in Sudbury. Amid the frustrations, there’s also a sense of optimism that with the right people in place, we’ll be able to move forward in an intelligent way that won’t burden future generations with the whopping price tags of our nice-to-haves. 

The time I spend going door to door is giving me the opportunity to identify key themes and concerns for which I will advocate once elected. Not to mention, the residents also get to know me a little and question me on how I will represent them. The most awesome thing about going door to door: Getting to know so many great people and often their wonderful pets.

Election day on Oct. 24 is fast approaching. Until then, I’ll continue canvassing and listening to Ward 5 residents so I can do a great job representing them once elected. (And, in case you were wondering, the most popular pet in Ward 5 appears to be golden retrievers and labradoodles). 

Mike Parent is running to be elected to the Greater Sudbury city council seat in Ward 5.