Darrin Canniff: CK Election & Sports Interview

Below is Darrin Canniff, a Mayoral Candidate in Chatham-Kent’s responses to our CK Election and sports interview questions. Remember to vote October 22.

Name: Darrin Canniff

Hometown and Ward: I was born and raised in Chatham and I am running for the office of Mayor for Chatham-Kent.

What’s your sports/recreation background?
I have been involved in sports most of his life as a participant and as a coach. As a youth, I participated in a variety of sports including track and field, soccer and football. Today, I am an avid volleyball player, enjoy playing golf and tennis and work out regularly to try to stay in reasonable physical shape. My involvement as a parent has included coaching travel and house league soccer, coaching Ballhawks volleyball and serving as an assistant coach with the Chatham Cougars house league football.I was one of the founders of the Timbits Volleyball Academy which promoted volleyball for kids from grades of 2 to 6.

What are your thoughts, or what value do you place in sports and recreation for the citizens of Chatham-Kent overall, and/or when showcasing Chatham-Kent to newcomers?

Having sports and recreation programs and their requisite facilities available for our citizens is a critical element in maintaining the overall health and well-being of our community. It is especially important they are available and accessible for children in order to start them on the path of participation in sports that enrich their lives, build character and help them maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Equally important is the impact that excellent recreational facilities or the lack thereof can have on two elements critical to Chatham-Kent – a catalyst in attracting jobs and the attraction and retention of youth. Companies and organizations looking to locate or relocate to a community look carefully at what recreational programs and facilities are available for their employees who may need to relocate to a new city. Prospective companies and individuals will compare what is available in Chatham-Kent with the quality of facilities and programs in other communities – it is part of their checklist. If we are lacking in this area, we make it easy for them to decide to go elsewhere. It is imperative that excellent recreational facilities be considered a key component of infrastructure expenditure in Chatham-Kent.

One of the hot topics leading up to the election, and over the past decade has been a new twin pad arena for Chatham-Kent. Where do you stand on this? What thoughts do you have?

A new twin-pad arena for Chatham-Kent is long overdue. We cannot be seen as an innovative and thriving
community if we continue to accept the fact that “past their due date” facilities are adequate for our citizens and acceptable to those scrutinizing our community for investment purposes. Council has much of the information needed to make an informed decision on whether to replace the aging Memorial and Erickson arenas with a state of the art facility. It is time to act.

Do you have any other ideas or plans that would impact health, wellness, sports, or recreation in Chatham-Kent, and specifically in your Ward?

Key to maintaining the dynamic of Chatham-Kent is the recognition of the importance of rural hubs to our identity. It is important that key facilities in our rural hubs like arenas are retained and maintained as they form an important infrastructure element that helps keep these communities vibrant. For years I have advocated for the establishment of a multi-use ut recognize the making this dream a reality will necessitate significant nuy-in by senior levels of government to make it happen.

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers and voters?

Chatham-Kent has significant untapped potential and, with the right leader, a bright and promising future. Like so many other residents of Chatham-Kent, I have a passion for our community and want to unlock our potential so that we can collectively continue to grow and thrive. As mayor, my mission would be to dedicate myself to building a better community, day by day, piece by piece, to be a cheerleader that represents Chatham Kent in the best possible light. I want every citizen to be as proud of their community as I am. I expect to set priorities and build consensus as part of a municipal team that reacts and responds to the needs of the community. I hope to lead a municipality that is both creative and constructive. I want to hear about things that aren't working and try to fix them. I want to lead a community that finds ways to make things work rather than making excuses for why they can’t. I believe my formal education background, career experience in a variety of senior positions and a lifetime dedicated to serving our community has prepared me for this role. I sense that I know Chatham-Kent intimately, what people want and what is needed. Not just from my time on council but through the leadership roles I have taken on over the past two decades, roles dedicated entirely to making Chatham Kent a more inviting and prosperous place. I want to be mayor because, along with my family, I have dedicated most of my adult life giving back to this community in a variety of ways, albeit on a part time basis. I am now committing myself to championing Chatham-Kent on a full-time basis.

For access to a more comprehensive profile of Darrin, visit www.darrincanniff.com.

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