Message from Donna Hilsinger

October 11, 2022

Sault Ste. Marie mayoral candidate Donna Hilsinger has released the following statement ahead of the October 24 civic election.

With just two weeks to go until election day, I want to urge voters in Sault Ste. Marie to think carefully about the kind of experience and leadership abilities they need to see in their next Mayor. 

Every candidate has a platform. Mine is readily available on my website. 

But the Mayor’s mandate is never to simply implement their own platform or impose their personal vision. Municipal government just doesn’t work that way. Bylaws are passed and motions are adopted not because the Mayor says “make it so,” but because the eleven members of City Council come to a decision through discussion, informed debate, and a democratic process in which the Mayor, like every other Councillor, has just one vote. 

The city is governed by a Council, not by an individual, and we should be wary of anyone who attempts to take full credit for decisions made by that Council, or who implies that becoming Mayor will give them a mandate to implement a specific agenda. 

Sault Ste. Marie needs a Mayor who understands this. A Mayor with vision, to be sure, but one who also knows how to bring people together, including stakeholders from the business community, from organized labour, and from all levels of government. 

Sault Ste. Marie needs a Mayor who knows how to create consensus, and facilitate decisions rooted in the needs and desires of the entire community, as voiced by the Councillors elected to represent that community. 

This process – bringing people together to drive results – is exactly the kind of work I’ve been doing in this community throughout my entire adult life, since long before I ever even considered entering municipal government. 

I have been immersed in the hospitality industry since I was very young, where I’ve gained real-world experience in managing finances, keeping costs down and achieving tangible efficiencies. But I have been doing much more than that over the years. 

I have volunteered literally thousands of hours with the Sault Area Hospital, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, the Welcome Friend Association and Rainbow Camp, and the Children’s Aid Society. I’ve chaired the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board, and I’ve helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Algoma University’s John Rhodes Scholarship, for Cancer Care in Sault Ste. Marie, and many other worthy causes. And I worked tirelessly with the Sault Trails Advocacy Committee as Chair to create the John Rowswell Hub Trail, a signature amenity in this city utilized by thousands of people throughout the year. 

I believe I am the one candidate who can lay claim to this level of experience or this history of community leadership. I urge voters to consider all of this when choosing your next Mayor. 

Contact:  Donna Hilsinger