Barb Shaughnessy – Mayoral Candidate (Town of Caledon)
How long have you been a Caledon Resident?
50 years this year (family moved in May 1968 )
What would you change and/or improve in Caledon?
Caledon is like no other place to live – especially in the GTA. What we can do a better job of is sharing our stories and, yes, bragging – even just a little. I have not met a single resident who isn’t proud to call Caledon home – whether they have been here one month, one year, or their family traces back one hundred years.
What is the Caledon story? It’s about being blessed with unparalleled natural beauty. It’s about being innovative and cosmopolitan, while holding true to our hard-working roots. It’s about our ever-increasing diversity and our open-door, welcoming nature. I would work on sharing those stories that define Caledon.
If you were to receive a million dollar grant for the Town of Caledon, what would you do with it and why?
I wish I could have $100 million. Only then could we fix our roads, build recreational facilities, a centre for the arts, and make sure every Caledon resident has access to high speed internet.
But, we are talking one million dollars, so I need to scale down my wish list! But, that doesn’t mean I need to scale down the quality of what we can do.
Rather than deciding where to “spend” that million, let’s think about how to “invest” it.
Caledon is blessed with community organizations and their members who volunteer their time to make Caledon a better place to live. We all benefit from the work of our community. But, residents are frustrated, and their energy is being zapped when they try and work with the Town. There are – and were – rising stars at the Town. Dedicated staff who, quite simply, “got it”. They know community building, but, for some reason, their hands are tied.
The Town of Caledon needs to become a true partner with the community. With a million dollars, imagine what could get done. Imagine the partners we could attract. Imagine the quality of life we could build, together. Imagine the businesses we could attract. Imagine the amenities we could build and the activities we could launch. Let’s start with simple steps like providing access to Town facilities – that we all own. If you have residents willing to do the work and bring the energy, the Town needs to be able to provide the tools.
If we do it right, that million dollars will be leveraged time and again by our community volunteers. And that, to me, defines opportunity.
What is your favourite place in Caledon and why?
People come to Caledon to have a piece of Caledon … no matter how small. For me, my back deck looking over the Escarpment is my Shangri-La.
Barb has been a community builder long before she became a Regional Councillor in 2014.
She co-created the award-winning Family Day event SnowFest, expanding the festival to include the ever-popular Caledon Firefighters Challenge.
Barb was a spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She designed the concept layout for Bethel House during her volunteer time on the Bethel Building Committee, and she was a member of the Caledon West Rotary.
Barb, her husband of 28 years, Tim Forster, and their twin sons Patrick and Robert personify the hard-working ethic that runs deep in their family. Barb spent three decades as an architectural designer, including owning and operating her own firm specializing in both commercial and residential design. Tim has been a self-employed financial advisor for over 25 years. Patrick is a Junior Architect and Robert is a Paralegal.
Barb considers herself extremely fortunate to have spent some time living and working in the city – all the while keeping firmly rooted in Caledon and the exceptional quality of life country living offers.
Wife and mother. Entrepreneur and volunteer. Barb’s dedication, integrity and “community-first” conviction defines her and drives her.
Facebook: Barb for Caledon
For a list of all the registered candidates click HERE.