We’re known to be difficult to do business here. We’ve got 425 acres vacant prime land available for 13 years, for example. We’ve got to move to convert those kinds of assets into jobs
Ajax is a bustling, thriving, exciting town in Durham Region, and many residents actually believe it is a city, like its neighbours Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa. However, it’s a Town, albeit with tremendous ambition, upstart bravado, and a dynamic energy.
One of its famous sons, Shaun Collier, served on the Ajax Town Council since 2003, and feels he’s earned his stripes to now be Mayor of the Town of Ajax. He’s campaigning hard to win the October elections. He’s lived in Ajax since he was one year old, when his family moved there in 1969, and touts his “education, experience” and background as a professional accountant, and Chartered Director in Corporate Governance and experience as the Chair of Regional Finance, as credentials to be the best leader of this promising Canadian success story.
Collier feels bad that despite the average age of Ajax’s residents being a young 37 years old, 70% travel outside the Town for work, mostly to Toronto. Also, the current outgoing Mayor served the Town for 23 years in the post, with his Dad also having served as Mayor. “We need fresh new faces, new ideas,” Collier said, while brushing off observations that residents find him hard to engage with, noting that he is a friendly person. “I have helped organize quarterly public open houses since 2010 to engage the public, and I intend to continue this practice,” he said.
His main focus is business development. “We’re known to be difficult to do business here. We’ve got 425 acres vacant prime land available for 13 years, for example. We’ve got to move to convert those kinds of assets into jobs,” he said.
Collier works closely with business leaders like MD Tarekh Rana to transform several underdeveloped Ajax business locale. He said he is focused on growth and economic development, with a “solutions-based” planning approach. One of his priority projects is to convert a vacant 40,000 square feet building on Fairall Street next to the train station into a dynamic Durham Innovation Hub.
Collier is a native born and bred community leader, and as Mayor he wants to put Ajax firmly on the global map. Whether residents connect with him enough to vote for him en masse is his big challenge in overcoming the several other candidates who are challenging him to the Mayoral seat, including Arthur Augustine, who is campaigning against him to become the first black Mayor of a major city in Canada.