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Fond Memories At Final Council Meeting

By Adam Riley Nov 15, 2022 | 1:30 PM

She holds a record as the longest woman to hold office in Thunder Bay, Rebecca Johnson has dedicated four decades of her life to public office, nearly half of that as a city councillor.

Johnson announced earlier this year that this term would be her last and at the stroke of midnight that came to pass. But before that could happen Johnson, along with Councillors Brian McKinnon, Aldo Ruberto, Cody Fraser, and Peng You attended their final council meeting.

“That’s a long time to give to the community, and I am really looking forward to not being a councillor anymore. I’m looking forward to it,” she said in a post-meeting interview, but she adds this might not be the last the community hears of her.

“I’m very involved in the community and I’ll continue that involvement, I’m just gonna do things differently and I’m not going to be sitting around this table.”

As he leaves office outgoing Red River Ward candidate Brian McKinnon says there will be five new faces join the table, and he imparted some advice to those entering local public office.

“Don’t be afraid to make a decision based on your intellect, what you want, because you have done the study, you’ve done your work. Work hard at the job, its a tough job.”

McKinnon wraps up 16 year on council, as does At-Large councillor Aldo Ruberto, who looks back on those four terms with pride. He specifically notes how when he was first elected in 2006, the city had the highest unemployment, it had lost five mills, it had the lowest housing prices in Canada.

“So we got together as a council back then we said ‘How are we gonna change this?’ and I look at the initiatives like the Waterfront Development, that spurred the downtown development. I look at the hospital, we contributed five million dollars, they now have 125 employees there. Just the projects we were involved with and how we changed the city and how people think.”

Ruberto says he is both humbled and thankful for the support he has received from residents over the years.

Members of the next term of council will gather for a special swearing in ceremony Wednesday evening.


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