John Henderson Runs for Mayor; Gil Brocanier to retire

Today, John Henderson formally announced that he’s running for Mayor and, at the Council meeting tonight, Gil Brocanier announced that he would not be running again.  John released a statement (see link below) and said he had been working on a detailed platform for some time but was not yet ready to release it.  His statement said that he has “first-hand experiences based on twenty-three years being engaged in various Town Advisory Committees, a member as well as the chair of the Cobourg Police Service Board along with two consecutive Council terms as Planning and Development Coordinator and most recently as Deputy Mayor.“  He emphasized the need to communicate well with the public and that “we have to get better at getting the message out”.

John Henderson
John Henderson

John filed his nomination papers last week and there was speculation that he must know that Gil was not running but there was no official announcement until late in the Council meeting when Gil made the announcement as part of his coordinator report.  Gil said that he had given the subject much thought and was proud of his accomplishments. Other Councillors told Gil that they enjoyed working with him and that generally he had done a good job.

At John’s announcement at 2:00 pm today in front of Victoria Hall, John said:

Igniting economic and growth opportunities needs be on the forefront of Council’s planning, yet we will need to be respectful of our heritage and cultural assets while adapting to enhanced sustainability standards. We will not only face challenges, but also experience many exciting opportunities similar to the recent grand opening of Venture 13 and the unveiling of the Downtown Marketing Partnership Strategy Campaign “Start Here,” presently Sarbys on King Street West.

Leadership must be aligned with enhanced communications to ensure a full understanding of the key issues that will face our community over the next four years with one being the Cobourg Waterfront and Headlands.

He then went on to say that as mayor he would be “committed to listen to Council colleagues, staff and our community while working towards a culture of collaboration, engagement and dialogue.”

John Henderson campaign team
John Henderson campaign team

And that:

My first step is to get better acquainted with our citizens and having an opportunity to listen to their ideas as to how we can collectively make Cobourg the best community possible. This process must incorporate both dignity and respect for all.

John introduced his campaign team – photo at right: Left to right: Roger Tessier (Campaign Manager), Don Morrison, Donna Henderson, John Henderson, John Lindsay.

Currently six candidates have announced their intentions to run.  As well as John Henderson running for Mayor, running for Council are: Adam Bureau, Randy Curtis, Johnny Percolides, Miriam Mutton and Aaron Burchat.  Forrest Rowden and Debra McCarthy have both said they will not be running; Suzanne Séguin and Brian Darling have not announced their intentions.  Now that there is an opening for Deputy Mayor, it will be interesting to see who files for that position.


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Wally Keeler
4 July 2018 1:47 pm


The people of Cobourg don’t want …
they want their politicians …
They want the people …
they want homeowners …
they want common …
they want a Council …
They no longer want to stand by …
Concerned citizens are fed up …
Everyone is tired …
everyone has had it …

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 July 2018 2:20 pm

Rather surprising from such an august campaigner for free speech.

4 July 2018 1:26 pm

Such a shame to see the old Sidbrook building deteriorate. Is the owner allowing it to rot enough to the point that it will be classified as a “demolition by neglect” situation? Hopefully the new mayor will also deal with this issue. I’m sure it’s not the only property that is owned by individuals who are guilty of this type of neglect. Such a shame.

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Susie-Q
4 July 2018 2:29 pm

I hope you are not suggesting that taxpayer money should be spent in purchasing the property or help in restoring it.
The CTA would go bonkers!

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
4 July 2018 4:58 pm

In my opinion, those who purchase HISTORICAL properties should not be aloud to let them rot until no return. Unfortunately, this problem occurs in many communities. Many are eventually torn down and sold to developers. Perhaps a newly elected mayor could help deal with this issue. I understand that if a heritage property is purchased in Cobourg, the owner must follow rules regarding upgrades, i.e windows, paint colour, etc. Why can’t there be rules in place to guard against what is happening to this property? Sidbrook was once a beautiful residence and eventual hospital. It’s a shame that it has been allowed to get to it’s present state.

john lee
Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
28 July 2018 4:06 pm

No Walter the owners should be made to keep it up through the property standards by-law

john lee
Reply to  Susie-Q
27 July 2018 1:34 pm

That’s exactly what is happening so then much of that land can be redeveloped. Originally this was the Degroot/Karras duo who bought Sidbrook and several properties with $5,000 down of 73 King St,the George St. residence and the rented stores on King st stores fame which I believe the Margeles family rented to them until they stopped paying rent. They must have watched some late night TV programme of how to get rich in real estate with no money down! They left Cobourg tradesmen and others some huge bills and scooted town some years ago. They were much applauded by the Mayor of the day but never really criticized and it was quite a story at the time. Don’t know where they are. Another 7 day wonder.


Bill Thompson
4 July 2018 9:31 am

Roll on 2019 and hopefully it’ll be a hat-trick for change !

Walter L. Luedtke
4 July 2018 8:44 am

Thank you Your Worship Mayor Gil Brocanier for your many, many years of dedicated service to our community.

Congratulations also to Carol Finlay recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal to be awarded at the Citadel, Quebec by the Governor General.
Carol Finlay founded Book Clubs for Inmates, an organization that comprises 29 clubs and a post-secondary education scholarship program in men’s and women’s correctional facilities across the country. In addition to improving their literacy skills, the participants develop their abilities to listen, converse, be self-aware and empathize with others, which contribute to their rehabilitation and eventual reintegration into society.
Both making Cobourg a great place to live.

4 July 2018 8:24 am

In my opinion ( 1 vote ) I think John Henderson is a good candidate for mayor , smart enough to listen and hopefully put some brakes on this needless policy of obtaining outside interests ( consultants ) of directing policy that often runs contrary to citizens desires

4 July 2018 2:25 am

John Henderson’s pronouncement, “we have to get better at getting the message out” is a decidedly inauspicious beginning for a mayoral campaign. The people of Cobourg don’t want to hear the same old message presented more effectively; they want their politicians to hear them for a change. They want the people who live in Cobourg to take precedence over visitors; they want homeowners to take precedence over developers; they want common sense to reign; and, above all else, they want a Council that religiously protects their interests. They no longer want to stand by, month after month, and watch their money being wasted on consultants, grants and interest-free loans for greedy landlords, more ersatz quaintness or foolish signs indicating the way to the beach while we have no traffic lights near Gummow School. Concerned citizens are fed up with presenting cogent arguments to Council only to be ignored and instantly voted against. Everyone is tired of watching our downtown rot and new condominiums spring up like mushrooms while there is a shortage of affordable housing in town. Yes, Mr. Henderson, everyone has had it with the old familiar message so, if that’s all you’ve got to offer, save yourself the trouble and don’t bother gift-wrapping it for us.

Reply to  Tim
4 July 2018 5:28 am

I didn’t know you spoke for “everyone”, Tim.

Reply to  Durka
4 July 2018 6:43 am

I would never presume to speak for anyone who likes to watch our downtown rot while we have a shortage of affordable housing or who would prefer to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a consultant for a cultural plan rather than erect traffic lights at a crossing near a school. Read “Sane people are” instead of “Everyone is”.

Reply to  Tim
4 July 2018 9:45 am

Your whole post took on that tone.

Reply to  Durka
4 July 2018 10:13 am

Durka – you’re getting lost in the weeds. I think Tim’s point was a good one – John Henderson potentially represents more of the same – the same group think, old boys club that has failed in many ways to represent Cobourgians. Perhaps more concerned about creating their own individual legacy than that of the people they were elected to represent. This is such a common theme in politics today…

Fact Checker
Reply to  Ewok
4 July 2018 10:57 am

Ewok, You have indicated in several prior comments that you will be running for Mayor. When can we expect to hear your announcement.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Tim
4 July 2018 11:25 am

“We have to get better at getting the message out ”
…(.and getting the public message in ?)
A Question and Answer period at meetings would be a good start !

Walter L. Luedtke
Reply to  Tim
4 July 2018 12:26 pm

Go for it Mikey!
‘Everyone’ wants someone like you on Council.
“Let Mikey try it! He hates everything.”

Reply to  Walter L. Luedtke
4 July 2018 3:01 pm

My dear Lawrence, do I detect sarcasm in your comment? You’re comments are becoming almost as venomous as those of your buddy and free speech crusador , Wally. But, in your case, I suspect you have a heart of gold, at least you’ve made me smile occasionally. I’ve told you before that those pom poms are obscuring your vision and affecting your capacity for critical thought. I don’t like to be the one to prick anyone’s balloon but you live in a wonderland where everything quaint and pretty and everyone attached to Victoria Hall is “Wunnerful, Wunnerful”. I realize now that it’s impossible for you to stop shaking those pom poms entirely but perhaps — just occasionally — when you are lowering them you could make an effort to pause and peek over them for a couple of seconds to allow the world to come into focus. If nothing else it will rest your eyes from that constant blur of colour.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Tim
4 July 2018 3:25 pm

You’re comments are becoming almost as venomous as those of your buddy and free speech crusador , Wally.

I use 45 calibre metaphors, surface to sentence similes, poetency and textually transmitted unease, but venom? that’s not needed when the targets are commonly bloated with mediocrity.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 July 2018 5:20 pm

I rest my case.