Six questions with Bryan Paterson, mayoral candidate

Bryan Paterson, mayoral incumbent in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

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.

Bryan Paterson has been mayor of the City of Kingston for the past eight years. He’s put his hat in the ring again, and is facing three other mayoral hopefuls in the 2022 election.

Originally from Newmarket, Paterson came to Kingston in 2000 to attend Queen’s University as a graduate student. An economist and assistant professor at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), Paterson spent one term as City Counciller for Trillium District before being elected to his first term as Mayor in 2014.

Paterson and his wife of 19 years, Shyla, have two sons, Judah, 13, and Micah, 11. They enjoy spending time as a family, travelling, taking bike rides, and playing board games. “My family and I have a special love of Indian food. My mother-in-law moved to Canada from Southern India close to 50 years ago, so Indian food and culture has a special place in our family,” he shared

One of Paterson’s favourite parts of being mayor is being able to attend community events and festivals around the city. “Serving as both a city councillor and as mayor over the last 12 years has been an incredible honour and privilege for me, and I’m excited to once again be running for re-election as mayor this year.”

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

I generally consider myself as a reasonable, practical centrist. I think there are ideas and perspectives that are of value on both the left and right of the political spectrum. I believe in partnership and I have a track record of working well with people with different views and priorities than myself.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

This is a critical moment for our city. I see both great challenges and great opportunities ahead of us. I see the potential for Kingston to be a leader among cities in coming up with creative solutions that can make a difference in people’s lives. Just as we became recognized as a leader among cities during the pandemic, I think we can do the same as we grapple with these post-pandemic challenges. I’m incredibly proud to be a Kingstonian and I firmly believe we can accomplish great things in the coming years by working together.

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

  1. Lack of housing.
  2. The rising cost of living.
  3. Health care concerns, such as the ongoing family physician shortage.

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

I think the voters are absolutely right on this (see previous question.) I will add just a couple of other issues to this list:

  • We need to continue our local efforts to transition to electric vehicles, build more energy efficient buildings, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We need to expand City business parks to make room for the new businesses that want to locate here, and the jobs and investment they will bring to our city. 

What is the most pressing issue that will require the intervention of other levels of government and how do you plan to guide them towards addressing it?

Without question, the challenges we see with homelessness and our most vulnerable residents cannot be solved by the City alone. To be clear, homelessness is not just a housing issue — it’s also a health care issue. We desperately need more supportive and transitional housing for our most vulnerable residents, with provincial funding for the wraparound services and supports these individuals need. The scale of this problem is enormous and funding from upper levels of government is essential. 

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

First I just want to congratulate all of my opponents for being willing to run for political office. It’s not easy putting yourself out there publicly, but it’s clear to me that each of my opponents cares enough about our community and the great people in our city to put their name forward in this election.

I offer experience and a clear track record of being able to get things done, whether it’s infrastructure projects like the Third Crossing, affordable supportive housing like the Indigenous Housing Centre, funding for community initiatives like the Integrated Care Hub, or helping to attract new businesses and new family doctors to our community. I also have a demonstrated ability to bring people together to form important teams and partnerships that are vital to address the challenges that we face as a City. No one can solve the current homelessness, mental health, or labour shortage issues on their own, but through partnerships between the City, social service agencies, private businesses, and other community organizations, we can do amazing things.

To find out more about Bryan Paterson, mayoral candidate in the City of Kingston 2022 municipal election, visit his website, or contact his campaign office by phone at (613) 507-1111 or email at [email protected].

With files from Cris Vilela.

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