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 Kingstonist.com 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.
Wendy Stephen is an elementary school teacher at Bayridge Public School. This is her first time running for City Council, though she has lived in Kingston since 2006, having moved to town to pursue an MSc program at Queen’s University.
In terms of community involvement, Stephen said she has played for Kingston Ultimate and in the local women’s league soccer, is a Root Radical CSA member, a member of the Kingston Health Coalition, a Not So Amateur Amateurs actor, a volunteer Clippers Soccer coach, and a co-lead for the Terry Fox Run at Bayridge Public. Stephen is also the lead teacher for Bayridge Public School’s community garden partnership with Loving Spoonful, and one of the active participants in the #Cheer4HealthWorkers video movement in 2020.
The married mother of three noted that her hobbies include listening to podcasts, gardening, painting, playing board games, reading, doing puzzles, walking, and taking classes at GoodLife.
When asked for a “fun fact,” Stephen said, “Recorded 134 Consecutive #Cheer4HealthWorkers videos with my family in 2020. We were interviewed by Reid and Ben [on the radio] somewhere around 100 cheers!”
How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?
What made you want to run in this municipal election?
I like helping people and want to see Kingston making choices that provide infrastructure and services that meet the needs of all of its citizens, with particular consideration given to the environment, Indigenous communities, and our most vulnerable people. Government policy from all levels has a significant impact on our lives and I think questioning the status quo is how we can move forward, perhaps finding new and creative ways of thinking.
With my daughters all in school, I have reflected on what I have been doing up to now, and what I want to do moving forward. I think that we need more women, parents, and young people representing us in our political systems. I also think that I’ve got what it takes to learn how to do this job and do it well.
What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?
- Having a voice — being heard and getting a response from their elected representative when they reach out.
- Affordability — housing, cost of living, and taxes.
- Road safety — driver speed, road conditions, the narrowing of Front Road and its impact on cyclist safety, and children’s safety around local elementary schools during drop-off and pick-up.
What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally, in your opinion?
- Environment/climate action must be at the forefront of everything we do, especially new development.
- Affordability — housing and food security.
- Infrastructure — road repairs, safe roads and sidewalks that prioritize active transit (i.e., protected bike lanes) and public transit.
What is the most pressing issue in your district?
Safety is coming up most often at the doors. People in Lakeside are concerned about road conditions, driver speed, street parking, and safe active transportation options (i.e., protected bike lanes). Additional safety issues that have come up include flooding concerns and property theft.
What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?
Everyone wants to be heard and feel their councillor not only listens, but appreciates and gets back to them when they reach out. I’m the candidate who is going to be available, approachable, and responsive.
With files from Cris Vilela.