Meet the Candidate: Jim Bertram

 It’s election season and the municipal campaign is in full swing!  I am pleased to present my Q&A series with our local candidates, and I hope it gives you a sense of who they are and what they stand for.  New profiles will go up every Tuesday and Thursday!

Election Day is October 27, and you can vote online or by telephone any time between October 20 at 10:00am and October 27 at 8:00pm.  Check the North Grenville website for more details!

Mark your calendars – the NG Times All-Candidates Event is taking place on October 16th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm at the North Grenville Municipal Centre {285 County Road #44, Kemptville, ON}

Full disclosure: Today’s candidate, Jim Bertram, is my father.

Sweater

Jim Bertram

52WeeksNG: What do you love about North Grenville?

Jim Bertram: I love North Grenville’s country atmosphere.  I love the people of this place, both town and country.  I love the trust, the generosity and the basic goodness of the people I meet.  I’m not a shy fellow, so I meet many people, even more now that I am campaigning.  North Grenville’s people are people who deserve to be heard and served with respect and attention.  I plan on making that happen.

52WeeksNG: Can you share a hidden treasure in your corner of NG?

Jim Bertram: On our property there is a stand of spruces which open up in a kind of archway high enough to stand in. I love to go into this little natural temple, meditate, enjoy the sight and smell of nature. I am especially happy to stand in there with Matteo, my wonderful little grandson. When he is in there, this little natural space is the greatest treasure in the world.

52WeeksNG: What are 3 – 5 issues that you would tackle if you were elected?

Jim Bertram:

  1. Council must communicate successfully with its electorate. I will work towards that important goal. If residents don’t know what is happening, they can’t form an opinion on how issues impact their interests.
  2. Council must revamp its methods of listening to the ideas and wishes of the community, both rural and urban. If it doesn’t, it can’t develop effective and representative policies. I’ll make sure Council’s “ears” are attuned to the people.
  3. A coordinated and focused policy must be further developed in close conjunction with local businesses in order to enhance the rate of business success and growth in ALL of North Grenville, rural and urban.  The status quo isn’t good enough .

    Photo submitted by Jim Bertram: Jim Bertram with Steve Clark

    Photo submitted by Jim Bertram: Presenting a petition to M.P.P. Steve Clark

  4. I would remove the development charges by-law and leave the responsibility for all infrastructure in the hands of the developer developing an area, subject to close and regular inspection to ensure conformity to standards of quality. This will ensure taxpayers are NOT on the hook for subsidizing development.
  5. I believe North Grenville needs to act seriously to protect residents from environmental and industrial hazards presented by provincially sanctioned projects such as aggregate pits, windmill farms, solar farms and pipelines. The health of our people and their financial well-being are at stake.  Leaving people in our rural area in the lurch with respect to such projects will no longer be an option if I have anything to say about it.

52WeeksNG: Why is it important to vote in municipal elections?

Jim Bertram: Voting is a central part of democratic life. Canadians can’t honestly say they are proud of living in a democratic country unless they inform themselves and vote. To do less is to let yourself down and to let your community down.
It has been said that, if you can read but choose not to, you are no better off than an illiterate. In the same way, if you live in a democracy and don’t vote, you may as well be living in a totalitarian dictatorship.

In addition, you should check to see if those you elect are doing a good job of representing YOU. Don’t be shy.  Stand up for yourself and others and be counted at all times.
So, my message is VOTE and PARTICIPATE.  If you are a taxpayer, you owe that to yourself as well as your neighbours.

52WeeksNG: How do you like to spend your spare time?

Jim Bertram:  I love to read and talk with my wife . If I could find anyone to play with, I’d play chess.  I like water activities and I love activities with my family.  I’m plodding through “War and Peace” in the original Russian which I enjoy greatly.

Jim Bertram 3

Photo submitted by Jim Bertram: At home in South Gower

52WeeksNG: What is one thing the people of NG might be surprised to learn about you?

Jim Bertram: They’d probably be surprised to learn that I speak fluent French and German since I have no accent in English.  They might also be surprised to learn that I am nervous before I give a speech , but most who know me WOULDN’T be surprised to know that I love to talk, especially about history, politics and economics.  Oh, and they wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I have the occasional strong opinion or two.

52WeeksNG: What would you like to say to the people of NG?

Jim Bertram: I would like to say, fellow citizens, that it would be an honour to serve the people of North Grenville at Council.  I wish to do my best to make sure that the local government offers clear and timely explanations of issues confronting North Grenville. I wish to do my best to ensure that the ideas, opinions and interests of NG residents are not only heard, but listened to and implemented in policies and By-Laws.

If we can have such government, no matter what the issue will be, it will be dealt with democratically and, ultimately, fairly.  That is not an empty ideal of interest only to philosophers. It is an ideal which thousands of our ancestors have worked and fought to give us. Let us not falter in this.  Help me hold the torch of freedom and democracy high in North Grenville.

For more information, you can visit Jim’s blog or find him on Facebook!

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This entry was posted in Meet the Candidates 2014 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Meet the Candidate: Jim Bertram

  1. Bonnie & Romeo says:

    You have our support. Good luck.

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