Dan Reynard is now two years and halfway into his term as the Mayor of Kenora, after being elected back in October of 2018.
As he looks back, Reynard cited a number of projects with community partners that have helped and are helping to grow the community, including additional housing and the All Nations Health Partnership, as his highlights of the past two years.
“The partnership with the All Nations Health partners, the City is sitting and a member at the table, and that’s something that’s so important for not only the citizens of Kenora, but all of our surrounding communities. That’s a big project.”
The All Nations Health Partnership aims to create a new healthcare system in the Kenora area, with 15 community partners including the Kenora Chiefs Advisory and the Kenora Metis Council. A new hospital or addition onto the existing district hospital is also expected in the near future, but a site hasn’t been selected yet.
“Housing was on everyone’s radar, and with all of the projects that are either almost finished or about to start, those are huge accomplishments for our community. We still have a long ways to go, but it’s such a positive thing and something we need in order to grow our community.”
Housing projects in the community include 54 supportive units for seniors at the Howard Property, 30 units of supportive housing in the Evergreen area and 28 supportive units off of Highway 17, in addition to private developments in Rideout Bay and Woods Drive.
“The acceleration of our capital plan. Now when we look at the end of the year, we’ll see that the majority of our projects, especially our road projects, are all complete. As a council we’re all very proud of those projects.”
Completed road projects in Kenora this summer include Park Street, Sixth Street North, Maple Street and Thistle Drive, with plans to continue work from the new roundabout down Park Street and onto Railway Street next summer.
Looking forward, Reynard says it’s hard to plan for the future with the threat of COVID-19 hanging over the country, as well its effects on municipal budgets, but social issues like housing, poverty, drug abuse and mental health, are a major priority.
“We’ve been very fortunate that staff took steps to reduce some of our costs. The governments have stepped up with funding. We won’t have financial hardships in 2020.”
“But the reality is, we cannot continue to expect money flowing from both the provincial and federal levels. COVID is having a huge financial impact. I think we’re going to have some financial hardships and tough decisions coming, that will be common right across Canada. That’s going to be a huge problem.”
“The social issues in the community as well, especially during my term on council with the shelter and how it pushed social issues onto the street, we still haven’t dealt with that. And by ‘we’ I mean all of our partners, but the Kenora District Services Board is huge in addressing those.”
“We will continue addressing those concerns, and again, these are issues that flow right across Canada. Everyone has housing issues, and those financial issues will push people to the brink. Those are big issues we’ll have to deal with in the next two years.”
Reynard is Kenora’s eighth Mayor, and was elected in 2018 after Dave Canfield’s retirement after 14 years of serving the community. Reynard served one term as a councillor prior to his election.
The lifelong Kenora resident and former KMTS Finance Manager and Municipal Treasurer has also been involved in minor hockey at both local and regional levels in a variety of roles for over 33 years, and has been recognized as an RBC Local Hockey Leader.
The next municipal election is set for October of 2022.
For more information:
‘I’m very proud,’ Reynard on community adapting to COVID-19
Reynard elected Mayor