- Riley Smith
First elected as the representative in 1999, Streatch has sat in the council chambers longer than some of the constituents who could vote for him have been alive. “With the departure of several of our more senior members, I’ve gone in the last 20 years from being the youngest member elected now to being one of the elder statesmen,” he tells The Coast.
The councillor has a lot to show for it, with accomplishments like bringing a central water system to Fall River, modernizing rural fire services and recently approving a plan with Develop Nova Scotia for rural fibre op internet.
“That is a huge, huge factor, especially considering the pandemic and how many, how important connectivity is," Streatch says. "The fibre optic right to every home throughout my district and other rural communities is going to be a game-changer for rural HRM, I’m very proud of that.”
But the councillor is also proud to say his stances on issues have changed over the years.
“That whole discussion about the Cornwallis statue, I voted on several occasions not to touch that and to leave it in place. But over the years my approach has changed,” he says.
The councillor says the maturity that comes with age, combined with a cancer scare in 2011, have shown him how short life is and why he should vote for what’s right.
“I’ve reflected on a lot of my comments, a lot of my decisions and voting, and I’ve modified those as time has gone by,” he says. “And I believe I’ve matured, actually. I believe my perspective and the way I look at things has changed, and I feel good about that.”
Streatch isn’t opposed to having some new ideas in the currently virtual council chambers, and says he wants to keep listening and learning if he’s elected to another term.
“We have to find that balance, I know we’ll have new voices, I welcome that. I also welcome competitors in my own district, I’ve got three people running against me. A lot of good ideas, a lot of new ways of looking at things,” says Streatch. “At the same time, we have got to cast an eye not only to the future but also to the past.”