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Mayor taking leave of absence for provincial election

'This has been an incredible experience for me as an individual,' says Pirie
2022-05-03 Mayor after meeting MH
George Pirie shakes hands with councillors following May 3's meeting. The mayor is on an unpaid leave of absence for the Ontario election campaign because he's the Progressive Conservative candidate in Timmins.

With the election writ dropping tomorrow, George Pirie is stepping away from the mayor's seat.

As the Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario election, Pirie is taking an unpaid leave of absence for the campaign. Tonight was his last meeting in the mayor's chair before the official campaign period starts. So far, the other candidate running in Timmins is incumbent NDP Gilles Bisson.

"This has been an incredible experience for me as an individual," Pirie said at the end of the meeting.

He also talked about the exceptional council he's worked with and how they've collectively accomplished remarkable things.

“If I am successful in my quest, it will be my pleasure to work with this council and administration to accept these challenges to ensure that we seize all the opportunities that we have available in front of us in the City of Timmins and northeastern Ontario so that, in fact, never again will Timmins be forgotten on anybody’s agenda,” he said.

While the mayor is away from the table, Coun. Michelle Boileau is the deputy mayor for May and will chair meetings. 

The Ontario election is June 2. If Pirie is successful, the city is working on how to fill the seat until the municipal election in October. If he's not successful, he'll return to the mayor's seat for the remainder of the term. 

Today, Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell accepted Premier Doug Fords request to dissolve parliament.

The writ for the election drops May 4, which marks the start of the official campaigning period.