Editor’s note: With the new Kingston City Council beginning its term of office on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, we thought it would be a great time to catch up with the new and newly-re-elected members of council so that we could share a bit more about the 13 people who’ll be sitting around the horseshoe for the next four years. Using the classic Kingstonist model ‘Six questions with…,’ we present Kingston City Council 2018-2022 councillor profiles.
One of the new faces that will soon frequent Council Chambers in Kingston City Hall, Simon Chapelle will kick off his first term on council this coming December, representing the Loyalist-Cataraqui District.
Chapelle and his family moved to Kingston from Belleville almost five years ago so that Chapelle could serve on the Parole Board of Canada. He and his wife have two sons, Ryan, who is in grade 11, and Ian, who is currently attending the University of Ottawa. The family also has a dog named Cinnamon.
Chapelle is no stranger to the political realm, as he is a member of the National Council for the Conservative Party of Canada. And to make Chapelle’s swearing in as a member of on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 even more special, it will also mark his 20th wedding anniversary!
What made you want to get involved in municipal politics?
Municipal government has always been fascinating to me because local issues matter most to residents and taxpayers. It’s where the ‘rubber hits the road.’ I’ve prepared to serve my community by obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Administration, by serving on the Parole Board of Canada, by becoming a Director on the Kingston Hydro Board, and by meeting thousands of residents within my own district and throughout Kingston. Now I have the opportunity to make a difference in the everyday lives of my neighbours and I’m honoured to do so.
What other work, if any, do you do? (Or what did you do before becoming a councillor?)
I’ve made a commitment to my constituents to devote my full time to the role of city councillor. I own a consulting business, where I assist businesses in conflict resolution, proposal writing and economic development, however, I’ve chosen to set it aside for this term of council.
What is the number one issue you want to address during this term of council?
Public Safety is of paramount importance to me as a resident, a father, a Councillor and a taxpayer. There is significant growth in my District, which brings with it safety challenges for our children and all other residents. Community policing, partnerships with schools and community associations, traffic calming, parking, cycling and pedestrian trails are all areas I wish to explore in order to make the people of our community feel and be safe. During the upcoming budget process, I hope to convince my colleagues on council that investing our tax dollars in these mandated services is a wise choice.
Will you vote in favour of moving forward with a ranked ballot in 2022?
No. I am of the firm belief that residents have a constitutional right to vote for the person they believe to be the best candidate. I have yet to be convinced of any benefits to ranked voting.
In your mind, what is special about the district you represent?
What an honour to represent one of the fastest growing areas within Kingston. New families and businesses are joining us every day and the long-time folks are very much engaged in their community. I’ve met thousands of residents during the election campaign and the people are warm, friendly and very proud of their historic city. We are blessed with much green space, walking trails and parks. However, the District is not without its challenges, which I intend to address during my term on city council.
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
A balanced life is very important to me. Naturally, my family comes first, which includes our dog, Cinnamon, who enjoys our walks as much as I do. Reading about our country’s forefathers and world history is fascinating to me. Music to relax and family time is a must. My business is rewarding work, as I am responsible for helping other businesses enjoy some success. However, my role on council will now take precedence, as I intend to be a full-time representative. I’m eager to begin and follow through on the issues facing my community and the city as a whole.