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MEET YOUR CANDIDATE: The retiree who wants to be Thorold's voice

Daryl Wilkinson hopes to bring a fresh perspective to regional politics; 'I don’t think we’re being represented at the regional level to get the stuff that we need'
Daryl Wilkinson

ThoroldToday will be profiling every candidate in the upcoming municipal and school board elections on Oct. 24. Today: Daryl Wilkinson.

Daryl Wilkinson, 55, hopes to become a regional councillor so he can make a difference for Thorold.

“I don’t think we’re being represented at the regional level to get the stuff that we need,” Wilkinson tells ThoroldToday. “I think we need somebody yelling a bit more.”

Wilkinson felt inspired to run because he didn’t want to see Thorold’s current regional councillor Tim Whalen run unopposed.

“I was going to run for city council but when nobody was going after him I said I’m going to go for that,” says Wilkinson. “I think I have the experience and plus, being retired, I can do this as a full-time gig where Tim is still working at the bank as a manager.”

Wilkinson worked for 32 years at the Thorold Water and Sewer Services Department. He says the job put him in contact with local residents every day and it helped him learn the wants and needs of the people in Thorold.

If elected, one of the first points on his agenda is getting water lines to the more rural areas of Thorold.

“We should at least have a regional main going through,” Wilkinson says. “We need more infrastructure for businesses and everything else out there. If you don’t have the stuff that they want you’re never going to get anybody in.”

Wilkinson points to Thorold's booming development that can only happen if the right infrastructure is in place.

“We’re getting so much more houses going in and we can only do it in so many areas because we don’t have the infrastructure to put them anywhere else,” he says. “What are you going to do and where are you going to put the businesses? There isn’t anything out there for them. We have to get the pipes in from the region first so we can get the city hopefully building an infrastructure through.”

Another issue Wilkinson would like to see improved is public transit.

“We need busses going through so that [people] don’t need to spend three hours going anywhere,” says Wilkinson. “We have to get a better route, a better system going for us, so people can actually take advantage of something that is already running.”

Wilkinson used to volunteer for 16 years on the Thorold Municipal Non-Profit Housing Board, of which he was the president at one point, and affordable housing is high up on his list as well.

“Housing we need desperately for everybody,” Wilkinson says. “Not even just the seniors, but even for families and kids just to get in the market and out of their parents’ house. I have two daughters that can’t leave because they can’t afford anywhere.”

Born and raised in Thorold, Wilkinson wants to make his community a better place.

“Ever since I was a kid it was just a beautiful place to live and I want to get it back to where it was,” he says. “Sometimes you have to get back to get better. I think this is part of the community stuff where you know your neighbours, you know everything else and hopefully we can get it so that people can actually live here, work here, and do stuff.”

Wilkinson thinks he can offer new and fresh ideas.

“Tim [Whalen] is a great guy but he still has some of the old ideas,” Wilkinson says. “I think we need different eyes to see it. I’m hoping that that’s what I can bring, some different ideas and views for Thorold to get just a little bit better stuff from the region.”

To campaign, Wilkinson will mostly be going door-to-door to convince as many voters as possible to join him in his regional vision for Thorold.

“I’ll try to do the best for what’s good for Thorold or what I believe is good for Thorold,” Wilkinson says. “I’m not going to be worried too much about hurting some people’s feelings if it means the greater good for Thorold. I just want to try to make Thorold the best it can be with most of the people happy, which is going to be very hard but that’s what I’m going to do.”

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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