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luke charbonneau

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau spoke before a full gallery at the inaugural Saugeen Shores Council meeting December 3 in Council Chambers. Here is his address in its entirety:

I am honoured and excited to be the Mayor of the Town of Saugeen Shores; the fastest growing community in our region and one of the best places to live in this country.

We are all extremely lucky to live in this place - and I am the luckiest of all; because I get the opportunity to work with all of you, the members of this Council and all of the people of Saugeen Shores toward making this community even better; and to leverage our collective good fortune for the continued benefit of our friends, our neighbours and future
generations.

I am especially lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life who have made it possible for me to take on this role. I have a small business and a young family and my taking on this role will require a great deal of support, patience and sacrifice from members of my family. With that in mind, I would like to thank my parent’s Norman and Nora, my mother and father in-law Janet and Ken and, most of all, my wife Alison and my sons Ben, Teddy and Marty.

Saugeen Shores is a community of leaders; every day, by jumping in and by seizing the initiative, our residents are turning opportunities into realities.

Leadership, in our community, is not a role reserved for Mayors or CEOs. In our community, anyone can be a leader. That is why, Saugeen Shores is a community poised to take the lead.

We will lead by working with our partners and neighbours to ensure that vitally important community services are maintained close to home and under local control.

We will lead by being inclusive and accessible; welcoming a diversity of newcomers while building and sustaining neighbourhoods that work for the people who already live here; and always looking ahead to ensure that we are planning today for the growth of tomorrow.

We will lead by addressing our housing needs head-on. Working to provide stable and sustainable housing options; with a desire to ensure that everyone who wants to, can live and work in Saugeen Shores.

We will lead by working with our partners to seize the incredible opportunity presented by Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement project; encouraging nuclear suppliers to establish and grow in our community and across our region and proudly partnering with Bruce Power to ensure that their vision for a ground-breaking Nuclear Innovation Institute is realized right here in Saugeen Shores.

We will lead by welcoming businesses of all types and sizes to our community; endeavouring to remove barriers to their establishment and to promote their success. And we will support businesses as they develop innovative ways to address the labour shortage issue that is facing us on a local, regional and national level.

We will lead by understanding the importance of our history; recognizing that the heritage of many cultures is woven throughout our community and forms part of our present; and, importantly, we will work together to find ways to reconcile indigenous culture and experience with the future that we are ALL working together to build.

At the same time, we will lead by championing the future. We will embrace innovation and creativity; we will always be relentlessly optimistic about the future of this community and about the potential for NEW ideas to change our community for the better.

Without a doubt, the people of Saugeen Shores will take the lead; making this the place where innovators and creators can express their energy and achieve their full potential. And, as our community takes the lead in all of these areas, the Council and Administration of the Town of Saugeen Shores will lead by example.

We will set an example of civility in our public discourse; creating a welcoming environment in these Council chambers; inviting debate and disagreement while insisting that respect be shown by everyone and for everyone who rises to speak in this place.

I believe and expect that the members of this council and the employees of this municipality will endeavour to always be at the positive and productive heart of this community; always treating each other and every member of this community with the respect that all community members owe to each other in EVERY circumstance.

These are exciting times in Saugeen Shores; we have experience, youth, energy and ambition. We are a great community on the verge of becoming something even greater. And, as has always been the case, whatever success we experience will come as the result of the hard work of volunteers, innovators, artists and professionals working collectively and toward the greater good.

I am very excited to see what we will accomplish together during this term of Council but one thing I know for sure; the future is bright for Saugeen Shores.

See also: New council readies for the coming term

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