BONAVISTA, NL — Bonavista mayoral candidate John Norman held a public question and answer session at the local Lions Club Sept. 6.
While the night started as a light-hearted way to dispel any rumours associated with his campaign — Norman laughed off the idea of banning clotheslines and woodpiles — he soon hinted at some lofty plans for the town in the coming months and years.
The event was well attended with over 75 people turning out to hear what Norman had to say. The crowd included residents, business owners and a fellow council candidate for the upcoming municipal election.
One of the first questions addressed was the future of the College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Bonavista campus.
In the last several months, the cook and baker programs were eliminated from the campus.
Norman says he’s fought to ensure the future of the campus, as he believes CNA is a vital component for the community, and while it was discouraging to see the cook program go, he plans to work to ensure a more established program will take its place.
Norman said he hopes to help bring a full culinary school to Bonavista, as the kitchen and infrastructure is still in the building. According to Norman, there are no secondary, advanced-level culinary programs in the province.
When it comes to health care, Norman cited his contributions to the dialysis committee, which successfully secured a dialysis unit at the Bonavista Peninsula Health Care Centre.
Now, while working with Eastern Health, he says there are plans to provide the hospital with a new multi-million dollar emergency department, which is already in the works.
He also detailed how he would further develop the community’s infrastructure and built heritage — to “grow and enhance the community for everybody.”
One of the foremost ways to do this is to lobby government, he added. Norman says he already has extensive experience through his work on committees with securing funds for the community. He also referenced the idea of using pilot projects to help with concerns like wastewater management — a project that could be extremely costly for Bonavista.
“I’ve never been satisfied with crumbs,” said Norman.
Finally, one of the last things Norman mentioned was the idea of a public swimming pool for Bonavista.
When it was brought up by a resident, Norman said he believes there is no reason why a town the size of Bonavista shouldn’t have a swimming pool.
If you’d like to see the majority of the session, and to take in more of what Norman said, go to the Packet Community Newspaper Facebook page for video of the Q & A.
The Packet will speak with Beverly Dyke, the other Bonavista mayoral candidate, this week. Readers can see her plans for Bonavista in the Sept. 21 edition of The Packet.