As of 2pm this afternoon, there is only ONE WEEK left until nominations close for the 2022 Municipal Elections.
We're excited to report that, since we launched our "If You Don't Run, Who Wins?" campaign last week, seven new candidates have put their names forward, and we know of two more who were inspired to put their nomination papers together, but have not yet registered.
Yay for democracy in action!
With only ONE WEEK to go before nominations close, though, we are still looking at two Wards (5 & 7) in which only the incumbents have registered, and are set to be acclaimed – and there are two Wards (3 & 8) where the race is only between two candidates. Two of the six School Boards still have only one candidate (Catholic Ward 2/South and French), and only SCDSB 3 has more than two candidates running.
And still, only one-quarter of registered candidates are women.
If you, or someone you know, is thinking of running, now is the time to act! It takes time to collect those 25 signatures required (and we recommend collecting more than that, just in case anyone is found to be an ineligible signatory). It's going to be a gorgeous weekend – why not use the great weather to knock on your neighbours' doors and ask them to endorse your nomination?
Still need help deciding?
Take a look at our "If you don't run, who wins?" campaign page– to help break through some of the myths that keep people from running for office, and give a little more encouragement to those who are interested but wary.
We've also got tons of helpful information for candidates and their supporters over at our "Candidate Info" page, and will be adding more over the next little while.
You can't win a race if you don't enter it. But even more importantly, even if you don't win the race, our community wins by having your perspective and ideas and passions brought to the table.
The rest of this post is a repeat from our original "If You Don't Run, WHO WINS?" campaign launch):
In order to achieve a healthy democracy, the people of Barrie need to have more candidates to choose from, and a more diverse slate of candidates bringing their ideas to the table.
So what's the problem if representatives are acclaimed?
With no challengers, those set to be acclaimed don't have to defend their positions – or even state their positions – or try hard at all to show us they'd be good at the job.
If only one candidate runs they have a 100% chance of winning.
But the public has a 0% chance of having their voices heard as part of the election process!
If you've been unhappy or frustrated with the choices our current and previous Councils have been making, it's even more important to encourage more people – and more diverse people – to run for Council, so that all residents' voices can be properly represented.
While there are certainly valid barriers to some individuals tossing their hat in the ring this time out, many of the reasons we've heard people give for not running are not the giant obstacles you may think they are. We've put together a few of the most common ones we hear at https://www.engagebarrie.org/run-for-council – check them out, and if you can think of any more, please contact us, and our Elections Committee will get to work on finding the answers for you.
Can't run this time, but still want to get involved?
Encourage and support someone who you think would be a great candidate
Take a look at the registered candidates, and offer your assistance to one whose platform most speaks to you – whether it's handing out flyers, keeping them organized, or just bringing them a meal on a busy day, they'd all appreciate whatever you have to contribute
Contact the candidates in your area about the issues most important to you
Attend or volunteer at all-candidates meetings (we'll be needing some volunteers in the fall, hint, hint...)
Did we convince you to run?
Nomination forms are available 24/7 at https://www.barrie.ca/City%20Hall/election/Pages/Information-for-Candidates.aspx – don't leave it to the last minute to collect your 25+ nomination signatures!
We've got lots of information and resources for candidates and their supporters at https://www.engagebarrie.org/candidate-info – with more added weekly.