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Freshly sworn in Bracebridge mayor says “inclusivity, diversity, and equality” will guide new council

Bracebridge Mayor Rick Maloney said everyone should be able to call Bracebridge a place to live, work, and play during council’s inauguration ceremony at the Rene M. Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge Wednesday night.

Among the crowd attending were Gravenhurst Mayor Heidi Lorenz, Huntsville Mayor Nancy Alcock, and Lake of Bays Mayor Terry Glover. Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison didn’t attend but did send a letter wishing council well.

“I look forward to working with all of you over this next term of council,” said Maloney.

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP and Minister for Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith was also on-hand for the ceremony to present Maloney with the chain of office. This marked the second time the former mayor has done this. He presented Maloney the ceremonial chain in July shortly after he became MPP and was forced to step down as mayor. Maloney was chosen by his council colleagues to fill the vacant mayoral chair. 

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“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the confidence you have in me to serve as your mayor,” said Maloney. With your trust, my council colleagues and I are ready to guide our town through the next four years to the best of our abilities.”

He made a point during his speech to thank out-going councillors Steven Clement, Mark Quemby, and Chris Wilson. 

“We began our respective election campaigns as nine individuals each with our own names on our signs and our own ideas and perspectives,” Maloney went on to say. “But now, formed and organized as a council, we become one team. As a team, we must be committed to listening to one another, learning from one another, and harnessing the best ideas to move this great town of Bracebridge forward together.”

First-time councillor Brenda Rhodes was appointed as deputy mayor. She has served as the executive director for the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce since 2015 and has run in federal and provincial elections representing the Liberals in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Maloney said over the next four years council will need to focus on building more flexible and affordable housing, specifically for families and seniors. He added they will “double down” on efforts to address the shortage of healthcare workers and will expand on public and active transportation. 

“We will be a council for all residents,” said Maloney.

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