Canora’s new mayor will be chosen in a byelection to be held on August 28 in town council chambers, with advance polling on August 24.
The four candidates in the running for the position are: Michael Kwas, Bill Reaume, Kerry Trask and Jim Vewchar.
Michael Kwas was born and raised in Saskatoon and moved to Canora in 2008 after meeting his wife, Jessica Kowalyshyn. He is presently a customer account rep for Viterra.
Kwas said he feels fortunate to live in a community surrounded by natural beauty where there are so many recreational activities available.
“We have many great local businesses, schools which provide education for our children and a hospital that has recently received new renovations,” said Kwas. “I think it’s very important to foresee that these amenities stay maintained and up-to-date so that they continue to progress.”
Kwas is grateful for all Canora has given to him and his family, and would like to give back as mayor.
“I want to make sure that Canora is the best place for us to raise our kids, the best place for us to grow old and to make sure that the future of our town is moving in the right direction. I want to take care of our senior community because without our seniors we would not have such a beautiful town we all call home. I will commit myself to serving the community to the best of my ability with energy, pride, commitment and integrity,” Kwas concluded.
Bill Reaume worked in the bakery business for 53 years before retiring, including 30 years at Safeway in Saskatoon and five years at Gateway Co-op in Canora. He spent a year on Canora’s Economic Development Commission, and is now a property manager in Canora.
He said he sees himself as an outsider who can utilize his perspective to enhance Canora and make it more efficient. He believes his baking experience would be beneficial as mayor.
“As a baker I met lots of new people,” said Reaume. “I listened carefully to them and was willing to try ideas to make them happy, which made me happy. I would approach being mayor in the same way.”
He would make it a priority to attract new businesses to Canora, taking advantage of its location on a major railroad with access to good highways. He believes an increase in local businesses would attract new residents.
“Homes are priced very reasonably here compared to larger centres. I would strive to make Canora a clean and quiet community that can be a great place to raise children,” Reaume concluded.
Kerry Trask said he would like to be mayor because Canora has a lot of good things going for it.
“I don’t want to demand things, but I want to steer our council in a positive way and make sure we don’t go backwards.”
Trask is employed at Nutrien as a wholesale chemical rep, and is currently a member of Canora Town Council.
“Since coming on council I have been a strong supporter of improving our town’s appearance,” said Trask. “This includes paving our streets that had fallen into disrepair and supporting most projects that were going to benefit our town while sorting out the projects that were not going to be beneficial.”
“I have said before at the council table, “Canora looks like it’s closed,” he said. “Since that time, I feel everyone has come together and made changes. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids anywhere else but Canora.”
Trask was a baseball coach in 2019, and said he made it a priority that every player had fun.
“The kids on the team had a blast. I have my kids entered in every sport except hockey so far. In Canora we can do this because it’s still affordable and I want to keep it that way,” Trask concluded.
Jim Vewchar said the position of mayor appeals to him because he wants to provide leadership for Canora constituents and be the voice of the people, “Let’s make Canora great again.”
Since he is retired from SaskTel after a 31-year career, Vewchar plans to be a full-time mayor if elected.
“I am treasurer of the Canora Curling Club,” he said. “I am a former firefighter, former board member of the Canora Golf Club and former treasurer of Trakkers Snow Club.
“I served two terms as Councillor for the RM of Buchanan, during which I was involved in building a new shop, acquiring new equipment, building three access roads and influencing a program to collect tax arrears.”
Vewchar said he has an open mind and is not afraid to implement change.
“I want the youth of Canora to come forward and be heard. I want their input in how the town can assist in providing tools to create youth activities.
“If elected as mayor I will hear every citizen’s voice and respond to issues. I vow to be available to meet in person with any concerned citizen, and to promote the community, encourage new businesses and new development. I want to make Canora a safe and accessible community for all residents, including the possible return of citizens on patrol,” Vewchar concluded.