Candidate Mathew Lund has withdrawn from the mayoral race, but not from the municipal election. The 42-year-old has instead opted to run for a Ward 1 council position this fall.
Lund, a former federal Green candidate, cited the pressures of family life and running his paralegal business as primary reasons for his decision to step back from the mayoral race.
“I’m running a business, I’m running for mayor, and still trying to maintain a family lifestyle as well,” Lund told OrilliaMatters.
“It’s been a lot of stress on both of my kids, having to cope with the amount of work that I’ve only just started to begin with. For that reason, I figure I’d like to wait until they’re a little bit older before I make a full-time commitment the way that a mayor would.”
Despite those pressures, Lund is still committed to serving at the council table.
“(As) a councillor, I can still be a contributing member and still be able to serve, but I don’t have to take as much time commitment away from my children,” he said. “It’s not to say that there isn’t a time commitment with running for council. Obviously, there is; it’s just the difference of talking to 30,000 people versus talking to maybe 5,000 people in a ward.”
Lund’s mayoral platform included addressing affordable housing, bolstering environmental protections for local lakes, and increasing participation in municipal politics.
“The key issues haven’t changed. The vote of every member of council, whether it be the mayor or any councillor throughout any ward, has the same voice to be able to make the same contributions,” he said.
“I think that housing is still a human right and needs to be addressed. Environmental sustainability is still one of my primary issues, and participatory democracy is the third core issue of my campaign ... I’m still very much in favour of trying to open up democracy for more people to be involved, and not have so much voter apathy.”