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Meet your council: James Leduc focuses on Bradford’s future with ‘grassroots leadership’

In this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, we start a series of profiles about Bradford West Gwillimbury councillors. First up: Deputy Mayor James Leduc
2019-07-10-james leduc grandkids
James Leduc with his three grandsons: Colin, and identical twins, Owen and Benjamin. Submitted photo

James Leduc wears many hats.

He has been a member of Bradford West Gwillimbury council since 2006, and this is his second term serving as the deputy mayor.

But like all the other council members, Leduc also has another job.

He wakes up early every morning and commutes to his full-time job in the operations department at the University of Toronto, where he has been working for the past 20 years.

After his work day is done, he makes the trek back up to Bradford where he puts on his political hat to participate in town meetings and events.

In his role as deputy mayor, he is one of nine council members and stands in for Mayor Rob Keffer when he is unavailable.

Leduc has two children: a daughter, Chelsea, who lives in Innisfil, and a son, Ryan, who is currently living in Australia. He also has three grandsons, Colin, Owen and Ben, “The COB Line” as he affectionately refers to them as, who he loves spending time with.

“They (his kids) know how much work it is (being on council) and I hope I’ve given them grassroots leadership skills,” he said.

In 1998, Leduc moved from Sudbury to Bradford. He said it was the perfect town for him to raise his family.

At the time, he did not know anyone else who lived in town, so he eagerly signed his son up for the local hockey club and joined the Santa Clause Parade committee as a way to immerse himself in the town’s culture.

It was during his time with his son’s hockey team that fellow parents took note of his leadership skills and encouraged him to join town council.

To this day, Leduc is still friends with many of those same people who supported his push for council, and they help him during election time by running his campaigns and kick-off parties.

Throughout his time living in BWG, he has been part of many clubs and associations volunteering his time whenever he can.

“You can’t just live in your community, you (have) to get involved in your community; you (have) to be part of your community,” he said.

Looking back on his time so far on council, he said he is most proud of being able to help bring in the new library and leisure centre in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

“They were two of the cornerstones that we needed in our community,” he said.

He said he still has a lot to offer the town once he retires from his job at the university and will be able to give more of his time to the town.

“We have a lot of things that are working for families but we need to bring jobs to Bradford,” he said, adding he hopes to make the downtown core a bit livelier over the next few years.

Leduc and the rest of the council would eventually like to bring in the mayor in a full-time capacity, and centralize council from seven offices into one at the Bradford and District Memorial Community Centre.

“There’s a lot to do and a lot of needs and wants. We have to focus on the future in Bradford,” he said.

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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