THE COUNTIES, Ontario - Warden Tony Fraser has officially been installed as the new head of council for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
Warden Fraser's inauguration was held Friday, Dec. 2 in the council chambers at the County Administration Building in Cornwall.
The event was attended by members of County Council, local municipal councillors and staff, as well as regional dignitaries and supporters.
Below is a copy of Warden Fraser's inaugural address.
"When I was elected to be a member of the Township of North Dundas Council in 2010 my focus was on supporting all things North Dundas.
The experience and understanding that I gained as the years went on have been so valuable to me. I have a better awareness and firmly believe that, to quote our MP Eric Duncan, “High tides raise all ships.”
All of our residents, including the agricultural community, those that desire the quiet spaces and solitude, others that live in our small hamlets, villages, and in our towns benefit from the successes achieved by the efforts of SDG staff and County Council.
Members of County Council need to work hand-in-hand with each other to ensure that the challenges we face in Eastern Ontario are addressed with our local MPPs, MPs, and those members of both the federal and provincial parliaments – when the need arises.
We are all members of two councils, at both the local level and here at the County. Our goal should be to remember that both tiers are linked by the common goal of providing services and programming that make our region the envy of Ontario. We have opportunities to build upon SDG’s reputation as an incredible place to raise a family, operate a business and enjoy the incredible beauty of rural living.
Challenges we may face require voices that are united in the belief and understanding that any success in SDG is a success for all of SDG. Small successes give energy to achieve larger accomplishments. The next year will afford me the opportunity to address priorities set by the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus and together with my fellow members of Council we will have the opportunity to create solutions to the challenges we face in SDG.
While there are some familiar faces returning to the County Council Chambers, we are also looking forward to the fresh perspectives being created by new members of council, and administration. A new Chief Administrative Officer, Maureen Adams, will assume her duties in January, and this, coupled with new councillors, means SDG is embracing the transition from one council to another with vigor and an eye to the future.
I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to acknowledge the undying support I have received from my family, including my dear wife Amy as well as my daughter Emma. My journey never would have been undertaken without their love and support. Their patience and understanding has been incredible.
Thank you to Bill Smirle for agreeing to be here today to introduce me. Bill has been a mentor to me and for that I thank him as well.
To Councillor Jamie MacDonald and Councillor Frank Landry thank you for moving and seconding my nomination for this position. Thank you to MP Duncan for his support, guidance, leadership and friendship over the years.
Thank you to my friend, Al Armstrong for his unfettered belief that the right things are right and need to be defended. His commitment has been infectious. Thank you to my fellow Councillors and staff, both past and present, lower and upper for being who you are and allowing me to learn and grow from your efforts.
To Alastair Fraser for the invocation, thank you.
Thanks as well to CAO Tim Simpson for piping us in, Clerk Kimberly Casselman, Todd Lihou, and the other SDG staff members that were involved in preparing for this inauguration. I am overwhelmed by the presence of everyone here today, my sincere thanks to everyone for making the trip to this historic building and participating in this ceremony."