« There is good work that can be done at the local level, » said Riden during an interview.
The former federal Green Party candidate for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell noted that the May long weekend windstorm that raged across Eastern Ontario this year created many problems for municipalities through damaged power lines, fallen trees blocking local roads, and damaging both residential and some municipal buildings. Riden would like to see the next council work with township administration on developing a climate protection plan that would include investing in local infrastructure improvements that would strengthen municipal buildings and also provide greater protection for utilities against future extreme weather conditions.
He would also like the municipality to review the present forest cover situation for the township with the goal of increasing the amount of greenspace.
Riden also wants to make sure East Hawkesbury Township has an affordable housing plan. He noted that the municipality may not be feeling any pressure yet for affordable housing but it should start planning for the future.
« One of the biggest things I want to do, » said Riden, « is find out what (senior government) grants and programs exist that could help the township achieve its goals. »
One thing that pleases Riden about this year`s municipal election in East Hawkesbury is the number of candidates vying for one of the seats on township council.
« It`s a good sign to see, » he said, « and I hope to see a good voter turnout. »