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Cowan's expenses not focus of Woolwich mayor's forum

Those running for Mayor of Woolwich Township took part in the most recent forum hosted by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

And the investigation into current Mayor Todd Cowan’s expense claims did not get much play Wednesday afternoon.

Woolwich is known to be a rural township which provides support to local farmers and food processors.

Candidate Sandy Shantz says council needs to work with farmers to overcome the barriers since they are finding it difficult to expand their businesses.

“I do know that the provincial government is working with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. They are trying to remove some of these barriers so that our farms can become more viable and be able to produce more and make more money to keep these farms in business.”

Candidate Doug Hergott says we need to continue to work with tourism since the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market and the Maple Syrup Festival are great ways to showcase what they offer. He adds a big concern he’s heard from numerous dairy farmers is that the Elmira waste transfer station needs to be open more often.

Candidates expressed that the Mennonite families, the large community as well as the urban population is what makes Woolwich Township unique.

If elected mayor, Shantz says due to a community of their size, she would make sure Woolwich was included in all funding projects made by Regional Council.

Incumbent Todd Cowan says the arbitration issue is huge with the township and even more so with the region which impacts them directly. He also points out that council needs to keep an eye on the tax dollar.

Creating energy efficient incentives for the township was another topic that was discussed in yesterday’s debate.

Cowan says these programs usually come from the province or local distributors like Waterloo North Hydro.

“I guess what we can do as a township is ask the provincial government to offer more of these energy efficient
programs…”

Candidate Bonnie Bryant says at this point reaching out to higher levels of government for incentives is their only option.

“As a small community, we do not have the funding to offer our residents.”