By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Regional council held their first meeting of the new term while former Oshawa Mayor John Henry was sworn in as Regional Chair and CEO.
Alongside Henry, the new members of regional council were sworn in to their new positions, and were also assigned to their respective committees.
Henry will preside over all meetings of regional council, as well as be an active member of all standing committees. He will also represent the region on a number of boards, committees and organizations.
In his inaugural address, Henry gave a message of hope as he said that he and members of council “have taken an oath to truly, faithfully, impartially exercise our offices to the best of our knowledge and abilities. In taking this oath, we have made a promise to Durham’s residents to work on their behalf, and to do what is best for our communities, our people and our businesses and organizations.”
After being sworn in, each of Oshawa’s five regional councillors and its mayor were appointed to their respective committees.
Brian Nicholson, who is returning to council after an eight year absence, has been appointed to the Finance and Administration Committee, which will hold its first meeting on Dec. 12
Bob Chapman, who is also returning after a brief hiatus from council, will be the chair of the Health and Social Services committee, which will meet for the first time on Dec. 11.
Chapman says he favoured this committee because “that stuff interests me, and when I was asked about Health and Social Services, I said ‘Yeah, I’d like to continue working in that vein, I think that’s interesting.’”
Chapman is also keen to work towards a solution for the opioid crisis that has been seen in Oshawa.
“ [Mayor Dan Carter] and I, were the ones pushing in the first instance to work on the opioid crisis,” says Chapman. “We have a team out now, which consists of a social worker and a paramedic. They’ve been out for a few months trying to build trust.”
Carter, Oshawa’s newly elected mayor, is also set to take up a spot on the Health and Social Services Committee.
Rick Kerr, who has been on council for the past four years, will take part in the Planning and Economic Development Committee. Their first meeting will be on Dec. 11 as well.
Finally, Tito-Dante Marimpietri and John Neal will both be on the Works Committee. Marimpietri and Neal will have their first meeting on Dec. 12.
The next Committee of the Whole meeting will be on Dec. 19.