After 30 years in politics Scugog mayor Bobbie Drew will not seek re-election


Published March 25, 2022 at 2:13 pm

After more than 30 years in the political arena, Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew will not seek another term in this fall’s municipal election, citing a promise to spend more time with her family.

Drew began her elected career in 1988 when she was elected to represent Scugog as their trustee on the Durham District School Board. She went on to serve in this capacity for 12 years retiring from the role as Vice-Chair.

She was elected to Scugog Council in 2004, moving up to Regional Council in 2010 and finally the mayor’s office in 2018. Throughout her career Drew has sat on a variety of committees such as the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority (17 years!) and the Durham Region Finance Committee.

Drew also currently sit as Chair of the Durham Regional Police Services Board, the civilian oversight body for DRPS. During her tenure, Durham Police have introduced their body-worn camera initiative and undertook a four-point plan to improve interactions with racial minority groups in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

While much of Drew’s mayoral term was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, she is proud of the municipal organization and the residents of Scugog for their handling of it. “Although events and activities were cancelled in the interest of public safety, I am very proud of our Council and our Staff for their resilience,” she said in her announcement.

“I am also very proud and grateful that the vast majority of the people in our community met the challenges of the pandemic with co-operation, grace and respect for others including our staff,” she continued.

Throughout the pandemic, Scugog has seen the lowest per capita infection rate in the Region. With a population of more than 21,600 the Township charted just over 1,000 COVID-19 cases, a rate of 4,625 per 100,00. Scugog has the second fewest active cases with 12, after Brock’s seven.

Also a point of pride for Drew is the success of the towns projects, 95 per cent of which are complete or in the works. These include initiatives like the Waterfront Action Plan, Active Transportation and Transportation Master Plan, Community Improvement Plans, and the IT Strategic Plan – all set to begin implementation shortly.

These projects are set to repair Scugog’s aging infrastructure of roads, bridges and local playgrounds over the coming years. The Waterfront Action plan will upgrade Birdseye Pool and expand amenities at Palmer Park this year.

Meanwhile, the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project will begin dredging and cleaning up the lake in the coming months, deepening the waters, supporting local wildlife and improving rainwater runoff.

“The lake is so important to our community and this environmental project includes dredging the Port Perry Bay to improve the health of Lake Scugog – a healthy lake means a healthy community,” said Drew.

“I attribute my successes to the many partnerships and relationships that we have cultivated in recent years.” Drew said, giving special mention to developing a “close, respectful relationship” between the Township and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

This partnership resulted in a 20-year agreement between the two for the township to provide municipal services to the nation. The MSIFN have also pitched in $1.5 million to the Lake Scugog Enhancement Projects.

“We are proud to have come up with a unique type of service agreement that is mutually beneficial and seeks to achieve a long-term goal for our communities,” said Chief Kelly LaRocca at the announcement of the deal, “Lake Scugog is a defining feature of MSIFN, and the Township of Scugog, and our community is proud to support LSEP and protect what matters most.”

Drew’s legacy will extend into local business as well with Port Perry-based Old Flame Brewing Co naming an IPA in her honor.

After these achievements, Drew’s retirement comes as the fulfillment of a promise to her family of three children and seven grandchildren.

“It is time to embrace life, explore the world and enjoy new activities. Most importantly, it is a promise I made a few years ago to my family and loved ones to spend more time together.” Drew said, “With the support they have given to me over the years, they now deserve to have more time devoted to them.”

Drew believes the Township will be in good hands after her retirement. “The wonderful thing about our small community is that the leaders of the community get involved for the right reasons – because they are committed to enhancing life for everyone in the Township of Scugog.”

Drew said she still plans to keep up the “same energy, enthusiasm and commitment” until the end of her term in October.

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