Service vs. circus

Dear Editor:

It seems that a week of headlines can’t go by without one of our local elected councils reminding us they lack the interest or skills to work together. This collective inability to support our economic, social and environmental sustainability is maddening.

I am convinced that we have this embarrassing governance because of the missing diversity in the voices, experiences and background of those sitting on local councils. We need different and collaborative leaders in these decision-making roles to have the courage and resources to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. To that end, a group of volunteer citizens are planning a campaign school for candidates. Specifically, we are organizing to encourage and support women, Indigenous, Black, racialized and youth members of Wellington County to run for elections in 2022.

To be clear (and with no apologies) this school will not be supporting white, middle aged or older men who want to run for office. They have lots of systemic opportunities and supports already in place. This program will be for those who don’t.

While still in the planning stages, we will be hosting three virtual “Are You Election Curious?” sessions this fall. They will be followed by two full-day classes (hopefully in-person in early 2022) where experienced and progressive elected leaders and campaign leads will share their practical know-how with candidates and their teams.

We will measure our success by the number of new voices willing to run for educational boards, municipal councils or in the provincial and federal election in 2022.

Anyone interested in learning more is welcome to drop us a note at We will be happy to share our launch plans and more details when they are ready.

We get the governments we deserve. I hope our next set of elections will give citizens of Wellington County a wider range of candidates more interested in service rather than a circus.

Curt Hammond,