Acclaimed Saugeen Shores Mayor says Council eager to get to work

Last night, November 15th (2022) was the Inaugural meeting of the new Saugeen Shores Council.

Each member was required to give the Declaration of Office, that began with acclaimed Mayor Luke Charbonneau.

“It is a tremendous honour to have been sworn in as Mayor for the 2022 to 2026 term of Saugeen Shores Council. Having the opportunity to continue in this job that I love, serving the community that I love, is a special privilege. I am keenly aware that the Mayor’s chair is the property of the people of Saugeen Shores and, with that in mind, I will do my best to fill it with honour, dignity, respect and humility.

I am pleased to congratulate my colleagues the Deputy Mayor, Vice-Deputy Mayor and Members of Council as you officially take office. Looking around the table, I can see that this will be a great team to lead our community for the coming four years.

I know that we will have our disagreements and that there will be vigorous debates around this table. But everyone should rest assured that the diversity of our views will be our strength. Experience tells me that the contest of ideas in this chamber will produce the best outcomes for our community.

The key to this, of course, will be the way in which we, the members of this council, comport ourselves in our interactions with each other, with our staff and with the public. In debate, we must act with decorum. When criticized, we must have humility. In our dealings with everyone, we must be respectful and kind.

We are leaders at a time when political discourse can tend to be nasty and when debate often descends into personal attack. I am very proud that Saugeen Shores Council has never gone down that path. By working together with passion for our community and compassion for one another, this Council will ensure that this chamber continues to be a safe and positive space for everyone, regardless of their ideas or opinions.

This is especially important as our community continues to grow and become more diverse. Every day new people move here bringing with them new energy, new ideas and new possibilities for our community. The strength of Saugeen Shores has always been the incredible people who live here. And, as we welcome ever more people, we have the opportunity to grow stronger than ever.

I know that, like me, all of the members of this Council are proud to represent the increasingly diverse people of Saugeen Shores. And I know that we are all eager to get to work and seize every opportunity to ensure that this is a place where anyone can find a place to live and where everyone enjoys the highest possible quality of life.

On a final note, as this new term begins, I want to offer special thanks to my family, without whom I would not be able to do this job. This is the beginning of my 5th term on Council and my long-standing commitment to this work requires special sacrifices from my family. In particular, I want to say thank you to my mother and father, Nora and Norm Charbonneau. And thank you to my wife Alison and to my sons Ben, Teddy and Marty.

Thanks to all of them and thanks to all of you.