Pickering Councillor Kevin Ashe statement and resignations

One wonders how an adult is thinking when they hold an elected office, a position of responsibility to the people who elected them, yet choose to follow rules which smack of entitlement and elitism. Councillor Kevin Ashe makes a statement whereby he promises to work hard, use judgement and commitment to fulfill his duties as a city council member from this day forward. 

Would that kind of promise not be one which was made when he was first sworn in as councillor? It is puzzling to understand how the elected official can walk both sides of the street or talk from both sides of his mouth and expect the electorate to believe his current words. 

Here are his words for your consideration.

Pickering, ON, January 28, 2021

Today, I am announcing that I am stepping down in my role as Deputy Mayor of Pickering.

I wish to thank the people of Pickering for all of their support and understanding for my family over the last two and a half years following the loss of our incredible son Alex to suicide.  It is a profound pain that will never go away for me, my wife Karen, and our daughter Keara.

It is well known that over the Christmas break, Karen and I went overseas to visit Alex’s ashes and deal with our ongoing grief. In making this decision, I believed it was a necessary one for the mental well-being of our family.  But I am also aware of how this appears, recognizing that we have all been urged to stay home in an effort to contain COVID-19.

Last week I chose not to continue as Chair of the Police Services Board for Durham Region, because I did not want to be a distraction to the great and necessary work of the Board.  Today, my motivation is the same.  There is much we need to achieve as a Council and a City as we look to strengthen our battered economy and create much-needed jobs for our residents.  I do not want questions about my trip to detract from this vital work. To the Mayor and my fellow Councillors, you have my apology as well as my gratitude for your steadfast support of both my family and me.

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, which brings the issue of mental health to the forefront. I know all too well the need for people to be able to speak up about their own challenges.  I am open about mine and Karen’s, because I think people need to see it’s ok to be vulnerable; it’s ok to grieve; and it’s ok to need help. We certainly have, and do.

I also recognize that the pandemic and resulting social isolation have negatively impacted the mental health of many in our community.  And as such, I fully accept the criticism of myself and my efforts to heal abroad, because your struggles over the past year, as well as your efforts to stay safe at home are not lost on me. I have heard you.  I acknowledge your feelings of frustration and anger; and I am truly sorry for my actions.

I intend to continue to serve the people of Ward 1 as Regional Councillor.  I will work hard to prove that my judgement and commitment to the betterment of Pickering and Durham Region remains strong and focused on the right things. I will work hard to regain and maintain your trust. Thank you to all those who have and continue to support my family and me.  I will not let you down.

Kevin Ashe,
Regional Councillor


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