election 2022


Diane Huber

Photo credit: great-niece Hannah

I believe Councillors must consistently expect, and demand, that opportunities from growth, development, civic renewal projects and current or new programming enhance, and not diminish, our community legacy as well as our day-to-day experiences. This legacy includes residential neighbourhoods, downtowns, rural landscapes, shorelines, heritage buildings, commercial districts, parks, trails, recreational facilities, protective services, healthcare venues, schools, entrepreneurial successes, community groups and more that gives us a great quality of life and benefits whether we’re eight months old, eight years old or 80 years old and whether we’re here all year long or choose to spend some time elsewhere during the year. Not that long ago, I was this kind of Councillor for three terms; two as a Ward Councillor and one as our Vice-Deputy Mayor.

Beyond my Council background I have enjoyed a lifetime of experiences here mixed in with post-secondary studies (undergraduate in public administration and a graduate degree in municipal/urban political science) and a 20-year career in university marketing and admissions. For 10 years I was an appointed member to the Board of Governors at the University of Windsor. I was chosen to participate in Student Exchange (Kelowna, BC) and Adventure in Citizenship programs (thanks Southampton Rotary!) while in high school; did overseas work placements to Germany and Bequia (St. Vincent); was a delegate to a NAFTA educational conference in Mexico (one of four Canadians attending); attended a WUSC International Seminar in Egypt (one of 30 young Canadians selected); along with so many other opportunities that have informed my perspective. I never got married or had kids but I’m grateful others did as I love being an Aunt and a Great Aunt (both for real and honorary) to quite a few kids who live, work and go to school here in Saugeen Shores.

One of our greatest challenges is ensuring that housing is available to a range of economic and family situations. I believe Council can work with developers and other levels of government to determine where and how higher density housing is built so that it’s more affordable, attainable and appropriately located for residents employed in so many local businesses, young families and seniors. We need to find meaningful ways to cultivate an authentic small town ‘charm’ in both existing and emerging neighbourhoods and more ways to support cultural activity including arts programming, community development, respect for heritage and citizen groups.

We need to keep our community healthy, with access to protective and healthcare services, recreational facilities, playground places within walking distance of where we live, safe cycling and pedestrian routes, as well as maintaining and growing our tree canopy; preserving/promoting greenspace and park installations throughout all three wards; enacting environmentally smart policies and practices to all municipal activity (and encourage property owners to do the same); and, to always celebrate and protect the incredible natural assets we are fortunate to have (the Lake Huron shoreline, the Saugeen River, Mill Creek, Fairy Lake, woodland areas, heritage trees and Chantry Island).

When I was on Council, we knew people wanted to have better (and more) opportunities to participate ahead of decisions and to comment effectively throughout, and after, many projects or programs. I think there have been improvements made but I welcome more input opportunities that enable people, with valid stakes in outcomes, to participate in the way their community functions and is changing.

I am aware of what it means to be on Council. I am willing to do the work and bring my voice, and my vote, to represent all of us who passionately care about Saugeen Shores and believe that growth and development can be positive and bring good things if we grow our community in a thoughtful and appropriate manner while protecting our past. I believe we need to make sure that infrastructure and public facilities are working well, maintained properly and improved upon as opportunities come up, or proactively, to extend service timelines and value added. I want development and new buildings to add to community pride and to our amenity mix while bringing energy and creativity to Saugeen Shores via new residents, visitors, and business activity.

I promise to participate fully on Council and vote thoughtfully to ensure that the investment; financial, emotionally and in so many other ways; that you and I have made, and continue to have, in Saugeen Shores is protected and grows responsibly. To the younger generation here, I promise to be a Deputy Mayor who works very hard to give you a great place to grow up in, and a place that will always include a lifetime of experiences for you to enjoy. Your consideration is appreciated. Your vote will help get me back on Council.

The above was provided to Saugeen Shores Hub by Diane Huber.