When voters step into the polling booth, they’ll be choosing between Boyd Noel and Desmond McDonald as their new mayor.
Those running for council are: Eric Boyd (re-election), Paul Dunphy, Krista Lynn Howell (re-election), Brad Johannessen, Bruce Payne (re-election), Mark Pilgrim, and Darl Scott (re-election).
Mayor Ernest Simms and Ralph Hedderson won’t be running for re-election to council.
· 16 years as mayor of St. Anthony (1977-1985, 1993-1997, and 2005-2009)
· 12 years as northern director with Municipalities NL
· Four years as school board trustee
· 10 years representing the Nordic Economic Development Board
· 15 years as a St. Anthony Kinsman
· Chair and member of St. Anthony Port Authority
· Current chair of the Labrador-Grenfell Health board
Boyd Noel, 69, has served the community and region in various capacities throughout his life. Most notably, Noel previously served as mayor of St. Anthony for four different terms.
“I have a lot of experience with the way governments work, and the way municipalities work,” said Noel. “I’ve been there.”
Noel says he is entering another mayoral bid as he feels there are things that need to be done around town.
He cites infrastructure projects, economic development, and promoting St. Anthony as a tourist destination as priorities.
Noel feels tourism is going to become more important to the local economy with the recent downturn in the fishery.
He says removal of the Harbour Rock, currently underway in St. Anthony harbour, will help improve tourism and industry by allowing large cruise ships to enter the harbour, as well as container ships.
This was something Noel says he’s proud to have helped facilitate during his time on the Port Authority.
A new fire hall is also high on his agenda.
“We drastically need a new fire hall and I’m certainly going to be promoting that to government,” he said.
Noel believes himself to be a leader. He points out he has never run for a council seat, but always for mayor.
“I like the opportunity to lead,” he said.
Noel believes he has much more experience than his opponent, but adds he still feels he is able to adapt to a changing world.
He says he’s aware there’ll be challenges, particularly with the province’s finances, but feels he’s prepared to handle that and “bite the bullet.”
For his campaign, Noel intends on doing some door-to-door campaigning and making phone calls around town to build contacts and support, and to make people aware of his credentials.
He says his opponent has a right to run and says they’ll “let the chips fall where the may.”
“I’m looking forward to working with whoever is elected to council and government officials to move this town forward in a positive manner,” he said.
· St. Anthony councillor since February 2016
· Current president of St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce
· Former president of the Viking Trail Tourism Association
· Member of St. Anthony Port Authority
Desmond McDonald, 35, has served on St. Anthony council since February 2016 and is the current president of the St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce.
He’s worked for various boards and businesses for 10 years and says he enjoys the interactions and sense of accomplishment in his work.
He’s running to create a future for St. Anthony, including, he says, for his own children.
McDonald describes himself as an optimist and sees multiple opportunities for the town.
He believes in the possibility for growth in the cod fishery and hopes to see cod processing in the town.
However, he also stresses the need for more sustainability and stability in the shrimp and crab industries.
“Fishermen can’t be worrying every year if they’re going to have enough fish to catch to put enough food on the table to last them through the winter,” he said.
The tourism industry continues to be another priority for him. And he believes people aren’t going to continue coming to the area unless you change and develop what the town is offering.
The deterioration of health care services in St. Anthony is an issue McDonald feels needs to be addressed.
“Everyone has to travel for services now, when once they were available at our hospital,” he said. “I think there’s more our hospital can offer.”
One potential idea is turning it into a teaching hospital for rural medicine.
He believes this could increase the desire of physicians to stay in St. Anthony.
McDonald also believes attracting new businesses is important and he hopes to continue projects council has started over the past number of years, including housing complexes and Harbour Rock development.
McDonald notes he’s working daily but hopes to get out around visiting people and being in touch through social media throughout the campaign.
He says he has great respect for Boyd Noel and how he has served the town. McDonald wished him luck.
“I just think I have a different point of view on things and could be a refreshing change,” he added.
McDonald says he’s enjoyed working with council over the past year and a half and wishes the best of luck to everyone seeking election.
“If you got a good group of people to work with, most things work out for the best,” he said.