Six questions with Gary Oosterhof, acclaimed Councillor for Countryside District

Gary Oosterhof has been acclaimed as Councillor for Countryside District in the 2022 Municipal Election. Submitted image.

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.

Gary Oosterhof will remain on Kingston City Council for a third term, as he has been acclaimed Councillor for Countryside District on the 2022 to 2026 term of Council.

Oosterhof is a licensed electrician who lives in Glenburnie with his wife Corina. They have four children and have just welcomed their first grandchild, who is now a year old.

“As the incumbent candidate for this upcoming election, I was delighted and honoured to be acclaimed,” Oosterhof shared. “And although we did take an extended break in late August to hang out in our RV in Prince Edward County, I will not be resting during the campaign. My plate is always full of issues and matters going on in the City, so I will be using this time to stay involved and connected in all the things that are going on.”

Oosterhof said that he loves to play hockey, golf and “go on the occasional ATV run when able. My happy place is wherever my family is and helping my kids out on a weekend.”

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

I would say my personal political ideology is progressive conservative. I believe in responsible governance where less is best. I respect everyone, our heritage, and our freedoms, which is something we can never take for granted.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

Being a councillor is a privilege and responsibility that I take seriously and I am committed to it.

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

No response

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

  1. Local business and economic development: I sit on the Board of Economic Development because, as a local businessman, I am aware of how challenging and rewarding it is to run a successful business and have employees .
  2. Environmental protection and conservation: I also sit on Cataraqui Region Conservation Board of Directors, and value the work this board does to protect and provide for our green spaces. 
  3. Housing: I serve in the Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation and have learned so much about housing and the great need that we have in our area. Housing and the lack of it remains one our most important tasks in the coming term.

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

In my district, I am excited about the new economic development strategies we are undertaking, as well as the continuing high-speed [internet] expansion and road upgrades, which is so important to our residents and businesses. Whatever board I sit on, I try to be as involved and engaged as I can.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

It is an important value to me to be able to make myself as available to all my constituents as much as is possible. I am fortunate that my work and business is structured so that I am able to focus so intently on my work for my district and all of Kingston.

Gary Oosterhof did not provide contact information to Kingstonist as part of his responses to our questions, however, he can be reached via email at [email protected]. He also has a profile on the City of Kingston website, which includes contact information.

With files from Cris Vilela.

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