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UPDATE: Voters re-elect Minerva McCourt in Cornwall

Minerva McCourt, left, was re-elected as Cornwall’s mayor on Monday night while first-time candidate Cory Stevenson was elected to council.
Minerva McCourt, left, was re-elected as Cornwall’s mayor on Monday night while first-time candidate Cory Stevenson was elected to council. - Terrence McEachern

CORNWALL, P.E.I. - Cornwall will have a familiar face at the helm for the next four years as Minerva McCourt was re-elected as mayor in Monday night’s municipal election.

“It’s very humbling to see that this number (of voters) has the confidence in my leadership again for the next four years,” she said at Town Hall during an election night gathering.

But, council will also be losing a familiar face. Long-time councillor Irene Dawson finished with 754 votes, placing her ninth out of 11 council candidates.

McCourt, who has served on council for 12 years, including the last four as mayor, reflected on Dawson’s contribution to the Town of Cornwall.

“She has served the town well for a number of years. She always put the residents in the forefront. She was very well spoken and always took to the cause,” said McCourt.

With all eight polls reporting, McCourt received 1,357 votes, nearly three times more than the 458 votes mayoral candidate Graham Hicken received.

Incumbents Elaine Barnes (860 votes), Peter Meggs (840 votes), Shane McGuigan (880 votes) and Jill MacIsaac (1,097 votes) were re-elected. Also joining the six-person council was former councillor Corey Frizzell (861 votes) and first-time candidate Cory Stevenson, who came in second place with 1,017 votes.

Besides Dawson, candidate Judy Herlihy, incumbent Gary Ramsay and former councillors Parker Beer and Marlene Hunt were not elected.

Stevenson, 31, said he was humbled to be elected to council. His campaign slogan was “a fresh perspective.”

“We worked hard. And, there was a recurring theme at the door that, although council was doing a good job, it could do better. The feeling that came with that was that there needed to be, maybe, a few fresh faces. I heard that constantly.”

He said he was “a bit nervous” on election day and night.

“The first poll that reported, I was down. I was in ninth place. So, I got nervous and questioned how the rest of the night would unfold,” he said.

A main issue in the election was redesigning Main Street in light of the Cornwall Bypass Project that will reroute highway traffic from travelling through the town. Other issues included public and traffic safety, increasing police presence, developing the existing trail system, rental fees for minor sports organizations on town fields and affordable housing.

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