When P.E.I.’s municipal elections officially get underway Oct. 19, there will be a familiar face knocking on doors in Summerside.
Basil Stewart has announced his intention to once again seek Summerside’s mayor’s chair.
Stewart visited the Journal Pioneer Office Friday to announce his candidacy. He will soon be on the campaign trail.
“I got a lot of requests, by email, by phone, to consider it. They started coming in over the last few months. So I decided, yes, I’ll let my name stand,” explained Stewart.
“I think I can be a strong voice for our community.”
Stewart is no stranger to Summerside municipal politics. He served as a police officer with Summerside Police Services for 13 years before running for mayor in 1985 – a job he held for next 29 years.
Stewart was defeated in the 2014 election by current mayor, Bill Martin, who is not seeking re-election. The only other candidate who has announced for the mayoralty is current Ward 4 Coun. Brent Gallant.
It’s been an eventful four years for Stewart. Since the last election he was appointed to and still sits on the National Capital Commission, was inducted into the Order of Canada, opened a Dixie Lee restaurant franchise in the downtown with his son, Major, and also suffered a heart attack.
Stewart said since his health scare he’s lost nearly 100 pounds and feels in tip-top shape.
In addition to being encouraged to run again, he also feels he still has more to contribute to a city that has been good to him for many years, he said.
“I commend the present Mayor and council for their work – but I’m a bit of workhorse and there are things I’d like to work on. I can do the job,” he said.
If elected Stewart has a number of priorities, including: having lower power rates for city customers than those of Maritime Electric-served households, freezing pay for mayor and council for the four-year-term, attracting more senior and affordable housing options, making a new fire hall a top priority and continuing to attract economic development.
Islanders go to the polls in the municipal election on Nov. 5.