Six questions with Annette Burfoot, candidate for Williamsville District

Editorial note:

Across the province, Ontarians are getting ready to cast their ballots in every city, town, and county as the 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching. With election day on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, Kingstonist has reached out to all candidates within the City of Kingston to create profiles allowing voters to find a brief overview of each candidate in one place. As response comes in, more and more candidate profiles will be added here, which you can access through our Municipal Election 2022 section (with the tab on the homepage), or through our ‘Candidate overview landing page.’

With 45 candidates in total for Kingston City Council alone – and with only one district acclaimed (Countryside District will once again be represented by Gary Oosterhof) and six districts without an incumbent – our goal is to provide as much information as possible leading up to the elections. Thus, we will endeavour to collect response from as many Kingston candidates as possible, with the hope of providing similar coverage for Loyalist Township, Frontenac County, and the Town of Greater Napanee moving forward. All relevant links will be available under the Municipal Election 2022 tab.

For more general information on election process in Kingston, including details on electing Board of Education Trustees, ensuring you are registered to vote, etc., visit the City of Kingston Municipal Elections webpage.

Candidate profiles are being published on our website in no particular order.

Annette Burfoot, candidate for Williamsville District in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

Annette Burfoot has lived in the same home in the Williamsville District for the past 30 years and now, she wants to represent that district on Kingston City Council. While this is Burfoot’s first time running in a municipal election, she has served on and presented to various City of Kingston Committees across the past two decades.

Williamsville, currently represented by Councillor Jim Neill (who announced he would not seek re-election in 2020), has five candidates (including Burfoot) running in the 2022 municipal election.

Originally from the UK, Burfoot’s family emigrated to Canada when she was just five years old. She grew up in Montreal before relocating to the Limestone City, where she is currently in her 34th year as a professor in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University. Burfoot has “a small family,” which includes one son, who is currently in university, and “one pooch.”

Active in a number of local organizations and advocacy groups, Burfoot shared that she also loves renovating in her spare time, has redone both a bathroom and living room down to the studs, and that “a basement renovation awaits!” She also has experience in both oxy-acetylene and arc welding, and holds an advanced NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) certificate in scuba diving.

How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?

I believe strongly in the power of municipal politics. I have studied urban decision making and believe it is one of the most direct forms of democracy. I like that, in Ontario, there are no formal party affiliations at the municipal level – it opens up possibilities of negotiation in the best interests of the city. I believe the City-level is a crucial place to help address climate change: how we generate energy, how we use it, how we conserve it, how we protect green spaces and waterways. And it is obviously the place to begin to figure out affordable housing needs, but requires working with provincial and federal partners, as well.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

The increased development pressure in Williamsville as it related to the housing and climate crises.

What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?

Disappointment with the process behind intensification so far in the area and development’s impact on established neighbourhoods; affordable housing; the condition of the roads.

What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally, in your opinion?

Respectful intensification as it relates to increasing affordable housing, and climate change.

What is the most pressing/important issues in your district?

Respecting and relying on the strength of established neighbourhoods while addressing housing needs and climate resiliency.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

My experience working on defending the City’s Official Plan, my commitment to my district as a collection of varied and progressive neighbourhoods with such incredible potential, and considerable experience with social justice issues and leadership.

To find out more about Annette Burfoot, candidate for Williamsville District in the City of Kingston 2022 municipal election, visit her website.

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