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History made in The Blue Mountains on election night

The Blue Mountains voters elected a female majority to council
The Blue Mountains Mayor-elect Andrea Matrosovs celebrates the results of the election with her family.

Election night 2022 made history in the Town of The Blue Mountains.

Four women were elected to the council table for the first time in the town’s history.

Incumbent councillor Andrea Matrosovs easily won the mayor’s chair in a four-way race. Matrosovs will be joined at the council table by the incumbent deputy mayor, Peter Bordignon, who was acclaimed and councillors Paula Hope, Gail Ardiel, June Porter, Alex Maxwell and Shawn McKinlay.

Matrosovs was in the council chambers when the results were announced and celebrated with friends and family.

“I’m relieved. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to work with the new council,” she said. “Tonight we elected four women to council and that is something for all of us to celebrate.”

Matrosovs took time to praise the outgoing council and said everybody on council worked hard up to the end of the term.

“Everybody has been a solid and committed member of council, we’re going to have a great transition,” said Matrosovs.

Four years ago, Hope missed being elected by just 15 votes (she later joined council after the resignation of deputy mayor Odette Bartnicki). This time, she topped the polls with 2,947 votes.

“This is what I was hoping for and I’m delighted with my council colleagues. We have a very strong council,” said Hope. “It’s incredible we have gender parity on council. It’s a real achievement and it means a lot to me that we have done that.”

Incoming councillor Gail Ardiel has a long history of serving on The Blue Mountains council. She was the first woman ever elected in the town and she returns after a four-year absence.

“I’m very excited. This is wonderful to come back to the support I received. We’re going to charge ahead with our Official Plan and the big issues,” said Ardiel. “This is going to be very special, four women on council, this is a first. I think it’s great.”

June Porter will be joining council four years after narrowly missing being elected. Porter was not deterred by the results of the previous election and continued to be vocal on town issues.

“I’m feeling really pleased,” she said. “I got out there, I’ve been involved and I haven’t missed an opportunity,” said Porter. “I think I was rewarded for how I demonstrated my commitment to the community the last four years.”

Shawn McKinlay was elected to a council seat on Monday night, carrying on a family tradition. His uncle Duncan McKinlay was a long-time member of council and a Grey County warden.

“What a ride. What an experience,” McKinlay said of the campaign. “Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Election results for The Blue Mountains are still unofficial until certified by the clerk.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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