EMBRUN – “I am a retired Canadian Armed Forces engineer officer with more than 37 years service, and I have time to serve my township as I did Canada,” township of Russell resident Charles Armstrong said. “I have always been interested in municipal politics, as this is the political level that most affects the day-to-day lives of each citizen. I am one of the few citizens who regularly attend council meetings, having attended more than 90 per cent of the meetings since I retired more than 10 years ago.”
Armstrong filed nomination papers for councillor in the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 24. Armstrong moved to the area with his family more than 30 years ago. He said he’d like to see his children return to the municipality to raise their children, as well, because of its safe and livable communities.
“I have a vision of a livable community that includes safe walking infrastructure, abundant cycling paths, and outdoor recreation facilities. We must build on the immensely popular New York Central biking and walking trail. My goal is to guide the township down a road that provides these to the citizens. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly proven the value of outdoor recreation,” Armstrong said. “As a retired military engineer officer, I have significant experience in the management of municipal infrastructure and major capital projects. This is directly applicable to the situation we find ourselves in with the upcoming $100-million recreation complex project and numerous other challenging municipal development projects.”
Armstrong said he’s an environmentalist. He’s a past president for the Citizen’s Environmental Stewardship Association.
“The township has significant challenges ahead and we need good leadership at the council level. I will balance the rapid residential and commercial development of our township with the need for a livable and sustainably developed community,” he said. “Council needs knowledgeable and experienced members to effectively guide us through these exciting times. With my knowledge of township affairs, I know my military experience can be effectively applied to the local challenges. I will put my skills to good use for the benefit of the township and its citizens.”
Armstrong said the township of Russell was once ranked the third best place to live in Canada. Since then, he said it’s dropped to 246th according to Maclean’s 2021 ranking of “Canada’s Best Communities.”
“We have fallen dramatically to the bottom half of best places to live in Canada and council needs to work hard to bring us back up to where we should be,” Armstrong said. “I will work hard to do just that.”