An eight-year city councillor has announced his plans to retire ahead of the 2022 municipal election.

“I just felt that after 8 years on council, it was time for me to step back and let other folks with different thoughts come forward,” confirmed City Councillor Chris Van Walleghem, in a statement to Q104 and KenoraOnline.

Born and raised in Kenora, Van Walleghem was a paper mill worker for over 35 years while volunteering and coaching a variety of hockey and baseball teams, before beginning his political career by serving his first term as a city councillor between 2010 and 2014.

“I am proud of what has gone forward on my time as council, such as the first phase of downtown revitalization, the roundabouts, the Whitecap Pavilion, the Discovery Centre, the sale of KMTS and the new fire hall, which paved the way for the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company,” he says.

While he opted not to run for re-election in 2014, Van Walleghem returned to City Hall four years ago when he was elected in the 2018 municipal election by a difference of two votes. While serving his most recent term, he was the city’s representative on the boards of Heritage Kenora, the Muse, Handi-Transit and the Kenora District Municipal Association.

“While I have enjoyed being on city council, it is something I would recommend for others that are wanting to keep moving the city forward. I will now have more time for other interests,” he adds.

Chris says coming up, he plans to spend time with his wife of 45 years, Jane, their three sons and their four grandchildren, as well as fishing, curling, golfing, playing baseball and being a part of Kenora’s Corvette Car Club.

The news of Van Walleghem’s upcoming retirement follows councillor Rory McMillan’s retirement announcement in late June. The councillor of over 28 years also plans to spend more time with his family, as well his own Corvette.

As it stands, there are 11 Kenora residents running for six seats on council – with only one returning face.

Graham Chaze, who was appointed to council in 2021 after Kirsi Ralko’s departure and was the runner-up to Van Walleghem in 2018, is the lone incumbent councillor to have announced a re-election campaign with only 8 days left to do so.

New councillor nominees as of August 11 include Bob Bernie, Joel McGrath, Barbara Manson, Logan Haney, Louis Roussin, Chris Poate, Cecile Marcino, Mark LaBelle, Kelsie Van Belleghem and Lindsay Koch.

Current councillor Andrew Poirier is running for Mayor, as are Andy Scribilo and David Byers-Kitt. Mayor Dan Reynard had previously confirmed re-election plans with Q104 in 2021, but has not announced a re-election campaign as of yet.

The deadline for residents to file their nomination papers is Friday, August 19. The 2022 Municipal Election is set for October 24, 2022, with in-person, online and by-phone voting.

Eligible voters are encouraged to make sure they are on the Municipal and School Board Elections voters’ list by visiting, which is separate from the provincial election’s voter list.