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Candidates in Canora byelection speak out

Council candidates share their thoughts on important issues for Canora voters.

CANORA - The byelection for Canora to choose a replacement for Councillor Matt Thompson is set for December 1, with the advance poll slated for November 27. Candidates have been given the opportunity to speak out on numerous topics and issues.


Denise Leslie is running for council and owns a business in Canora with her husband.

“I am running again because I made a promise to the town of Canora residents,” said Leslie.

“I am at a time in my life where I want to give back to the community. I want to see Canora grow and be economically viable.”

She said Canora has the advantage of providing most of the amenities of living in the city, but with a small town atmosphere.

“It is a safe, attractive and friendly community in which to raise a family or to retire. Canora has great facilities including a curling rink, skating rink, swimming pool, splash park, golf course, and ball diamonds.

“But I believe that Canora needs an indoor facility or recreation centre, with an indoor walking track, fitness centre, squash and racquetball court, and a sauna room. This would be a place that all ages would use, that would improve both mental and physical health. Of course, this would be a future project, because the outdoor swimming pool needs to be completed first.

“There need to be more programs for the youth and seniors. Other priorities included health care and the hospital.

“We need to attract more small business to the community. We also need to move forward with economic development, and ensure that Canora continues to be a safe and affordable place to raise a family and retire in.

“An ideal council candidate should possess the qualities of honesty, integrity, an outgoing personality and hard work, as well as the ability to work cooperatively with other members of council toward a common goal.

“Owning a business has taught me how to spend wisely and work hard. Through the years I have also been involved as a volunteer in different organizations and service groups. Without volunteers, there would not be groups and organizations which make up our community.

“If elected for town council I am passionate about Canora and will work hard for the community. I believe in fairness and equality. I am entering this race to listen to the people and be their voice on town council. I hope to bring good teamwork and leadership to the table.

“I want to be part of a positive council to help build a strong community. I am proud to be from Canora,” concluded Leslie.


Gina Rakochy is running for town council and previously served as mayor of Canora and as a councillor.

“The Town of Canora has always been a great place to grow up, raise a family and retire in. In other words, to live and play,” said Rakochy.

“My previous time on Council was spent maintaining that goal and striving to improve on it. Our community has become a showcase of clean inviting streets and family orientated activities. “COVID 19 provided challenges that I believe were met with informed decisions keeping these goals in mind. Business improvements, as well as small and home based businesses alike, provide a variety of choices for residents and visitors. The swimming pool project is an exciting asset that is a prime example of conscientious tax dollar allocation combined with generous community sponsorship working together.

“Canora has always been home to me. The quality of life here is something I want to continue improving on through collaborative decision making and informed spending. I am prepared, as in the past, to ask the frank questions and face the tough decisions.

We are a community of young and young at heart, all with wants and needs. My promise is to continue supporting this life by listening and doing. I am asking for your support and the privilege to be your ears, eyes and heart at the council table,” concluded Rakochy.