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Innisfil council candidate wants to be 'voice of the residents'

Megan Varga wants to champion environment, help create 'sense of community'
Innisfil resident Megan Varga will be running for Ward 6 councillor this fall.

After working in the municipal sector for nearly a decade in Barrie, Innisfil resident Megan Varga is hoping to represent Ward 6 as a councillor.

As a resident, she’s long had her ear to the ground with local issues and now wants to take the next step and have a seat at the table.

“I’ve been working with council for years on different matters here and there,” she said. “I felt like the residents’ wishes weren’t being met. I’ve always been a firm believer that councils are elected by their constituents to be their voice. If the residents overwhelmingly say, ‘We don’t want this,’ then maybe we shouldn’t be doing it.

“There were a few instances where there was an overwhelming ‘we don’t want this,’ and the town still went through with it. There’s the old adage, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you’re probably on the menu,’ and I thought maybe I can do good from the inside as opposed to fighting from the outside all the time.”

Varga’s passion for the environment and the natural beauty of Ward 6, and Innisfil as a whole, has long driven her to step up to ensure the area is protected, and that’s something she wants to continue to do as a municipal representative.

“I’m passionate about Lake Simcoe,” she said. “I’m passionate about trees, protection, and the environment. I worked with Claire Malcolmson of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition about the Natural Heritage System (NHS) down here on Big Bay Point. They wanted to remove a bunch of the forested area because there was a registered subdivision on it. I ended up talking to planning (staff) and, eventually, the town had their consultants amend their proposal to Simcoe County and they recommended to keep in the NHS.”

Along with championing of the environment, Varga wants to make pedestrian and traffic safety a priority in Ward 6 if elected.

“I had a constituent speak to me the other day and she was very concerned about the intersection at Big Bay Point and the 20th Sideroad,” she explained. “I drive past it every day and nothing’s been done. There’s always reasons not to put money into it, but if enough people are upset about it and there’s enough accidents, I don’t see why we can’t move something forward.”

With Ward 6 including Big Bay Point and the entire shoreline up to Barrie and the properties toward Sandy Cove and Friday Harbour, Varga wants to do a better job uniting the different communities in the ward.

“It’s always us against them,” she said. “The areas aren’t working together, and people are always asking me why there’s always such a fight between the communities. I want to unite everybody. I want this ward to have a sense of community.”

Though the election isn’t until October, Varga has been on the campaign trail listening to residents.

“I’ve had lots of people ask why they should vote for me, who’s running against me, and what I’m going to do about the issues that concern them,” she said. “I’m only one person and council can only do so much so quickly. There’s a lot of red tape and protocols. I’m very aware of how things run. I want to be that conduit between the residents and council and try to get what we all want.”

Varga says nothing is more important to her than being the voice of the people for Ward 6, and she’s excited about the possibility of helping to shape the ward in their vision.

“I want to listen. I want to be the voice of the residents,” she said. “I want to hear from them and learn what they love about our ward. I want to be able to carry their issues forward. I want to represent what the majority want.”

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Rob Paul

About the Author: Rob Paul

Rob Paul is a journalist with BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. He has a passion for sports and community feature stories.
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