Hi, I’m Tom Harrison and I live in Athol on our farm outside Cherry Valley with my partner Andrea. After several years as a social worker and teacher, I went back to law school in 1998, later working as a policy lawyer for the Ontario government for over a decade.
We’ve holidayed in PEC for years but we first moved here to be closer to our family in 2005. We settled permanently in 2012, when I started working in Kingston in higher education. A history, education and law graduate of Queen’s University, I taught a law course there from 2010 to 2018. Since 2017 I’ve also taught part-time at Durham College.
I’m strongly committed to public service and community engagement. Over the years I’ve gained experience working with governments to address and resolve a range of public policy challenges, and have been active in our community. In the County, I support Prince Edward Libraries, volunteering at several events, including a series of interviews to help raise money for the main branch expansion. In 2022, I successfully defended my book choice in the ‘County Reads’ authors’ festival.
A volunteer Board member with the Recreation Outreach Centre (‘ROC’, 2017), I currently act as the interim Chair of the Youth Centre. I’m also a municipal appointee to the County’s Heritage Committee (2020), serving as Vice-Chair for the past year, as well as a member of the Prince Edward Historical Association.
On Council, I’m seeking to use my skills and experience to emphasize five priority areas.
- Youth:expand efforts to ensure young people in Athol and throughout the County are given the tools, opportunities and experiences they need to succeed;
- Heritage: protect our cultural and historical landscapes in Athol now, while at the same time embracing sustainable change for the future;
- Housing: collaborate locally, with our government partners, and with the private and non-profit sectors to build more affordable housing;
- Green initiatives: increase initiatives to give people, including farmers in Athol and right across the County, the support they need to continue to protect our environment;
- Good governance: provide better focus to our municipal government to streamline proceedings, to work together to improve services for Athol, and to deliver practical solutions that will benefit everybody.
On a personal note, I’m also an emerging artist, whose paintings have been featured recently in ‘Art in the County’ and the ‘Quinte Art Show’. In addition to professional publications, I’m currently writing a book about Richard Nixon’s historical 1957 visit to Picton. In my spare time I like getting out on the water, working on the farm with our animals, and playing guitar.
Thanks for your consideration. Please vote for me as the next Councilor for Athol Ward (5) in Prince Edward County.