About Me

I have lived in the area we now call Mississippi Mills since 1990—24 years. Currently, Amelia and I live in the Cedar Hill area of Pakenham Ward on a 125-acre hobby farm. We have a vegetable garden and keep a few chickens in a great century barn. We rent out pasture to a "real" farmer. I harvest dead or damaged trees from our 90 acres of bush and heat our house almost entirely with firewood.

I work part time as a contract technical writer. My "semi-retirement" status provides plenty of time to represent Ramsay Ward in a Councillor’s role. If I become mayor, I will treat it as a full-time job.

Public Participation

I believe in community involvement and volunteering.

I was the Vice Chair of the Five Arches Non-profit Housing Corporation in Pakenham. I previously sat on the board of the Clayton Seniors Housing Corporation. During the drafting of the Mississippi Mills official plan, I was a founding member and chair of the Rural Advisory Committee, one of the groups that participated in the official plan consultations. When Ramsay was independent, I chaired a volunteer committee in the early 1990s that helped gather citizen input into Ramsay's last official plan. I am a member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Lanark Landowners Association.

I support many of the annual events and organizations that define this community, such as Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month, Puppets Up and the Chamber of Commerce.

Political Philosophy

University of Chicago legal scholar, Martha Nussbaum, said this in a Globe and Mail interview in June 2010: "And that's what democracy has always required, ever since the time of Socrates – not just accepting what's passed down from some kind of authority, but thinking critically about it, examining yourself and figuring out what you really want to stand for. And then having debates in that spirit of respectful critical inquiry with other people…"

I believe in listening to diverse opinions and a wide range of topics. Left, right, and centre have something to contribute.

Thank you for visiting this blog.

Shaun McLaughlin