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Wooley-Berry seeking seat on Sackville town council

Elections NB
Elections NB - Contributed

24-year-old wants to play a role in making community a better place to live

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Dylan Wooley-Berry wants to step forward and contribute to his community.

That’s what has prompted the 24-year-old to throw his hat in the ring for a seat on Sackville town council in the upcoming byelection.

Wooley-Berry recently returned to his hometown after working with the federal government in Ottawa for more than a year and feels he could bring a much-needed youthful presence to town council.

Dylan Wooley-Berry
Dylan Wooley-Berry

He said he recognizes a majority of young New Brunswickers are regularly heading out of the province for other opportunities; but for those who do choose to stay or return to their home communities, the door needs to be open for them to become involved in the civic process.

“I think if we want to make Sackville a more inviting place for the people who grew up here who choose to stay and for people who choose to come back, we’re going to have to elect young people and have young people making some of the decisions.”

Wooley-Berry, born and raised in Sackville, has been an active and engaged participant in the community most of his life. In his younger years, he played minor hockey, swam for the Sackville Swim Club, served on the student council at Tantramar, and volunteered with a few local organizations.

Following high school, Wooley-Berry attended Mount Allison University where, during his second year, he was elected student union president. He said he learned a lot serving in that role, attributes he could bring to the council table.

“I think my experience taught me how to work well with people within our own community, taught me the value of collaborating and listening to everyone before deciding how to move forward.”

After earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science, Wooley-Berry moved to Ottawa for an internship in the office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and was offered a full-time position at the end of the internship. After working for more than a year in the minister’s office, he decided to move back to Sackville.

“I just love it here,” said Wooley-Berry, adding he also hopes to pursue further education and earn his teaching degree in New Brunswick.

He talks about how much he enjoyed his time at Mount Allison, acknowledging the supportive and tight-knit community he benefited from that helped him grow and thrive as an individual.

“Now I’d like to have the opportunity to give back to the community and I saw running for town council as a positive way to do that.”

He said if elected, he would like to be a part of developing a positive and forward-looking vision for the town.

“I think when we make decisions, we have to think about not just how that decision is going to affect us in the next year or four years, but look to what we want to make Sackville in the next decade or two decades, and start planning and laying the groundwork for that.”

For example, New Brunswick will be facing demographic challenges in the near future, he stated, and Sackville will need to be ready.

“We have to take that into account and put forward public policy that’s going to make Sackville resilient to those changes.”

He also proposes to bring free public wifi to the downtown core, a move that he says has been a long time coming. The town has the technological capability to do so and it should capitalize on that, he said.

“I think it’s an innovative way of supporting local business and drawing people into the heart of Sackville.”

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