The longest-serving mayor in Chatham-Kent’s history, Mayor Randy Hope enters his second decade as top elected official as committed as ever to help his home town reach its economic and social potential.
Since his first election in 2006 and subsequent re-elections in 2010 and 2014, he has charted a course to provide the community with stability at home while at the same time making sure Chatham-Kent is recognized as a progressive, welcoming community on the provincial, national and international stage.
Mayor Hope serves on a variety of boards and committees:
- Co-Chair of the Chatham-Kent Community Leaders’ Cabinet since its inception in 2012
- Commissioner of Chatham-Kent Police Services Board, 2006 to Present
- Member of the Board of Directors of Entegrus Transmission Inc. and Entegrus Powerlines Inc., 2006 to Present
- Commissioner of Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission, 2006 to Present
- Chair of Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission, 2014 to Present
- Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Board of Directors, 2013 to Present
- President of the Chatham-Kent Workforce Planning Board since its inception in 2010
- President, 2351839 Ontario Limited (WDC Rail) Short Line Railway company, November 2012 to Present
- Vice Chair of the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) 2007 to 2010
- Chair of Mayor’s Committee on OLG IFRS resolution and Transition Panel on Horse Racing issue, 2012 to Present
- Member of Auto Mayors Roundtable, 2006 to Present
- Chair, Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus, January 2015 to January 2017
- Vice Chair, Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus, January 2017 to Present
- AMO, Member of Board of Directors, January 2015 to January 2017
- Member of Board of Directors, Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc., August 2016 to Present
- Member of the Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians, 2014 to Present
- Co-Chair, Steering Committee for the Thames Drainage Strategy, January 2017 to Present
Eyes on the economy
Born and raised in Chatham-Kent, Mayor Hope has made economic prosperity a key theme. A tireless advocate for economic growth, Mayor Hope has travelled the globe as an ambassador for the community, most recently bringing home a $15 million memorandum of understanding to establish a Canadian manufacturing base and research and development centre for a Chinese firm’s tire/plastic waste recycling system, creating 50 jobs.
Chatham-Kent’s unemployment rate continues its decline and is below the provincial average for the first time in several years.
During Mayor Hope’s tenure in office, Chatham-Kent’s debt has been reduced by more than $80 million dollars, or more than 45 percent.
Decades of community service
Mayor Hope understands the needs of a community based on a prosperous economy that includes the development and diversification of sustainable manufacturing and agriculture. He knows, too, that for a community to thrive it must provide a welcoming, healthy atmosphere in which to raise families.
He began his career in 1978 as autoworker and is an active retiree from Arvin Meritor in Tilbury. He was elected President of Canadian Auto Workers Local 1941 in 1985 and President of the Chatham and District Labour Council in 1988.
Turning his hand to politics at age 30, he became the first New Democrat from the community to be elected to the Ontario Legislature. He served as Member of Parliament from 1990-1995 and held the post of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services. He was also a member of the standing committees on Social Development, General Government, and Resources Development; and served on the Ontario Speaker Panel for Illiteracy.
He has used that experience to guide the municipality in its relations with senior levels of government.
Champion of green energy
Recognizing the need to combine economic growth with respect for the planet’s natural resources, Mayor Hope has become a nationally known supporter of green energy.
Today, Chatham-Kent is home to 450 turbines producing 916 MW and additional three projects currently at various stages which will increase capacity to 1.3 GW once commissioned.
The municipality receives $2.3 million in local taxes generated from green energy projects.
At a time when Chatham-Kent was suffering from the adverse effects of global economic uncertainty, the community was able to count on assessment, ongoing contributions to local initiatives and increased tax revenue.
Chatham-Kent produces approximately six per cent of the installed non-hydro renewable power in Canada and produces approximately eight per cent of the installed wind power produced in Canada.
Chatham-Kent produces approximately 25 per cent of the installed wind power produced in Ontario.
Chatham-Kent produces 281 per cent more green energy than locally consumed.
Leadership throughout the region
Knowing that for Chatham-Kent to prosper area municipalities must do likewise, Mayor Hope has become involved as Chair of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, a group which has successfully pushed forward with projects such as (the 281-million SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project to improve Internet connectivity to 350 communities across southwestern Ontario.
He has also supported efforts by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to close the multi-billion dollar gap in infrastructure funding between municipalities and the province.
Mayor Hope has been strident in his protection of the Great Lakes as a resource which must be used wisely. He has opposed plans by the Great lakes Compact to expand the area from which American communities can draw drinking water. He has rallied support from both Canadian and American mayors and is part of a coalition of 120 officials who are lobbying against the expansion.
Mayor Hope and council will continue to diligently work toward the municipality’s stated goals of building a healthy prosperous community from within and promoting Chatham-Kent as a welcoming place to call home.
Chatham-Kent’s formal federal designation as a welcoming community combined with its ranking as one of the most affordable places in which to do business means progress is being made on both social and economic fronts.