Skip to content

Lefebvre pledges to help ‘make good things happen’ as mayor

‘I promise that I will keep all the citizens in mind as I work to move Greater Sudbury forward,’ Paul Lefebvre told supporters shortly after it became clear that he would become Greater Sudbury’s new mayor

Paul Lefebvre appears to be Greater Sudbury’s new mayor, with early results showing him in a clear lead above eight other registered candidates in the Oct. 24 civic election.

A crowd waiting for Lefebvre at The Daventry Kitchen and Bar on Regent Street cheered loudly as the results rolled in, showing Lefebvre with a decisive early lead of more than 50 per cent of ballots cast (at that time, 73 per cent of ballots had been tabulated).

Lefebvre arrived shortly thereafter, spurring more cheering from supporters gathered in the crowded restaurant on Regent Street.

In a speech delivered in both French and English, Greater Sudbury’s bilingual mayor-elect was flanked by family members as he thanked supporters and highlighted his plans for Tom Davies Square.

“It’s clear that the residents of Greater Sudbury do want to make good things happen, and we will make good things happen together,” he said in reference to his campaign slogan.

“Tonight is evidence that a positive, optimistic message is what Sudbury was looking for and we delivered.”

After thanking a team of more than 100 volunteers and all candidates who sought public office, Lefebvre reiterated his campaign pledges and five pillars, which included lead with purpose; promote, attract, innovate; environmental responsibility; support and empower citizens; and foster a livable city. 

On Tuesday, he said he plans on phoning all elected city councillors to line up meetings within the next seven days to discuss their visions for the city.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” he said, after which he made a few key promises. 

“I will promise that I will work to build an economy that is sustainable and a tax base that is progressive,” he said, adding this will include streamlining the processes at city hall and cutting red tape. 

The tax base must grow, and he said his goal is for there to be more than 200,000 people residing in the city within 20 years.

“We need to make it easier for citizens, developers and businesses to invest in our community, grow our economy and create jobs,” he said. 

Greater Sudbury is also poised to be a leader in the green economy, he said, as the world will need more of the critical minerals mined from the region.

Lefebvre pledged to be the “brand ambassador that brings the Sudbury story to the world,” as he said he did during his time as MP.

“I promise that I will keep all the citizens in mind as I work to move Greater Sudbury forward”

There were nine people vying for the mayor’s position in Greater Sudbury during this year’s civic election. This includes Mayor Brian Bigger, who sought re-election until he announced on Oct. 4 that he was backing out due to family reasons. His name remained on the ballot due to his withdrawal taking place after the deadline to do so.

Political newcomers Don Gravelle, Devin Labranche and Miranda Rocca-Circelli joined past city council members Mila Wong and Evelyn Dutrisac in seeking the mayor’s chair alongside outspoken homelessness advocate Bob Johnston, who unsuccessfully sought election in the past. Filling out their ranks was stalwart candidate David Popescu, whose campaign did not actively cover due to his conviction for purveying hate.

Lefebvre’s campaign launched in April, when he announced his candidacy, at which time he argued a shift from his previous role as Sudbury Liberal MP into the mayor’s seat would be a natural transition.

The tax lawyer was elected as MP in 2015 (23,534 votes, well ahead of NDP challenger Paul Loewenberg’s 13,793), and did not seek re-election in last year’s election, which newcomer Viviane Lapointe secured for the Liberals.

When he announced his plan to not seek re-election as an MP, Lefebvre said, “the time away from my family these past six years has been difficult, and it’s time someone else earned the chance to serve this great riding.” He reiterated this point when announcing his candidacy for mayor.

“Now that I’m here I’m going to miss less of their stuff that I can be at,” he said. “There will be some times that are conflicts, but at least I’m home.”

Lefebvre officially launched his campaign at First Round Sports Bar and Restaurant in Val Caron on June 23, at which past mayor and Member of the Order of Canada Jim Gordon endorsed him as a candidate. The campaign slogan Lefebvre has used since that time has been, “Together, making good things happen.”

He went on to open a campaign office on Notre Dame Avenue in Sudbury on Sept. 1, making him the first candidate to do so. He was followed by Dutrisac, who opened a campaign office of her own downtown on Elgin Street a couple of weeks later.

During his campaign, Lefebvre pledged to: 

Other candidates pledged such things as a tax freeze and deep audits of city finances, with a prevailing theme that money was being wasted at Tom Davies Square.

When polling stations closed at 8 p.m., Student Vote released the results of their election, drawing results from 38 schools in Greater Sudbury. They selected Johnston as mayor with 23 per cent of the vote, or 692 votes. Lefebvre followed with 533.

Later this week, will publish a rundown of election pledges from all winning municipal candidates so voters have an easy to reference guide to hold them accountable. 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for