As we move through the “dog days of summer” and what an absolutely beautiful summer it has been, we are starting to prepare for our municipal and school board elections in October.  The candidates across the district have been nominated, acclaimed in some cases, but the balances of those running are preparing for the countdown to Election Day.  Signs are beginning to appear, blogs are active and we are now seeing the first of commercial/ads in most of the local media outlets.

At the Chamber, we have just recently forwarded to our members, a comprehensive survey asking our business community, to identify issues that are of concern to their businesses, as it pertains to their local municipal councils. From the replies that we receive, we will look for common issues and questions of concerns, from our members.  With the information provided by the survey, we will use it to compile a list of questions, which will be provided to the candidate’s through-out our district.  The responses from the candidates will then be made available through our website @nbdcc.ca and it is our sincere hope that all voters, will access those responses when available.

The Chamber, together with YourTV will host a live, televised Mayoral Debate in the lead up to the Election.   YourTV will re-run the debate a number of times over the following weeks, to provide the communities information on the candidates and their opinions.  The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce will also host an “All Candidates Evening” where the public will have a chance to meet with as many of the candidates as they wish to.  Date, time and location, will be announced shortly.

Many of the questions that will be asked of both the Mayoral and Council candidates in the various forums will no doubt focus on business concerns and or questions that relate to their specific sectors.  In a conversation last week with one of our Chamber Member’s and founder of “Ignite North Bay”, Mike Campigotto, he provided a unique perspective on his view of the election issues and probably one of the most important questions, that rarely ever gets asked.  The question that he posed can be asked to any and all candidates, in any and all elections.  He would like to know “How each individual, if elected, will work together as part of a team, to improve our City?”  This is a very basic question and one that rarely ever gets asked, but should be.

It is going to take a team effort to move our City forward and although individual opinions will always exist, a cohesive unit with a shared vision will be required.   In North Bay, eleven individuals paddling together will reach their goals/objectives much quicker than eleven individuals, apart.  Thanks for the question and perspective Mike and to all candidates that have put their names forward, you may want to start thinking about how you might respond.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.