Skip to content

Honk if you see this man on your way to work today

Matthew Shoemaker is our mayor-elect, but only 38 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots, compared to 40 per cent in 2018, 42 per cent in 2014 and 48 per cent in 2010
Matthew Shoemaker talks up supporters at Sportscenter Bar and Grill prior to winning the mayoral race during the 2022 municipal election Monday night

After his shoe-in mayoral victory on Monday night, Matthew Shoemaker is starting Tuesday with some rather less glamorous duties.

Our mayor-elect is rounding up his father's truck and a couple of loyal campaign volunteers, and setting out to collect his campaign signs from intersections across the city.  

"We'll be loading and offloading the signs as quickly as we can," Shoemaker tells SooToday.

"They have to be down within 72 hours, but we hope to have them down within 24."

Some candidates were trying to do even better than that, with sign crews working in the dark into the wee hours.

Mayor-elect Shoe (he's fine with being called 'Shoe' and once looked at registering the domain for campaign purposes) stomped all opponents.

He collected 44 per cent of votes, compared to 25 per cent for Ozzie Grandinetti, 19 per cent for Donna Hilsinger, nine per cent for Robert Peace and three per cent for Tobin Kern.

Turnout was uninspiring.

Just 38 per cent of the city's 57,659 eligible voters cast ballots this year, compared to 40 per cent in 2018, 42 per cent in 2014 and 48 per cent in 2010.

It was the first municipal election in the Sault to use vote tabulators to count ballots.

The tabulators were purchased from Dominion Voting Systems, whose technology has been a target of MyPillow chief executive officer Mike Lindell and supporters of President Donald J. Trump including Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, Fox News Networks, Newsmax and One America News Network.

But Tessa Vecchio, the city's corporate communications officer, described the local count as going "smoothly."

The transition of mayoral powers to Shoemaker also appears to be proceeding smoothly.

Shoemaker talked last night to two-term Mayor Christian Provenzano, who decided not to run again this year.

Although his term of office technically doesn't end until Nov. 15, Provenzano spent the weekend clearing most of his personal belongings out of the Ronald A. Irwin Civic Centre, allowing Shoemaker to start working there immediately. 

"He's offered me to use as much of the space for the next three weeks as I want or need to," the mayor-elect told SooToday.

Shoemaker said he'll be at the mayor's office when Provenzano arrives there on Wednesday.

"What I hope to do is be there, learning the ropes from him in terms of the day-to-day stuff throughout this three-week transition period."

"I think it's important to pass off that knowledge of the office from one holder to the next."

"This will be a smooth, seamless transition between him and I and I'm appreciative of his offer to facilitate that."

"I plan to come in and be in the office while he's there, so we can actually transition the work, so it's not me coming in on Day One with files that need my attention that I'm unaware of." 

Shoemaker described this year's election as "pretty clean."

"I mean, you reported on some of the sharper points of it," he told SooToday.

"For the most part, I think the main challengers, Ozzie [Grandinetti]  and Donna [Hilsinger], kept it respectful."

The mayor-elect spoke last night to challenger Hilsinger.

"She ran a very respectful campaign. I would be happy to have her continued involvement in however she thinks she can best contribute."

"If she has a desire to stay involved, whether it's in tourism or economic development or in environmental initiatives, I would be more than happy to have her continue her civic involvement as she has over the course of her career."

Ozzie Grandinetti ran a "spirited campaign," Shoemaker said.

"He pushed a message that he thought the community would respond to, and so did I."

"I'm obviously happy that we ended up ahead in the polls and so that's what I'll be pushing."

"What I put forward during the campaign is what I'll be putting forward over the next term," Shoemaker said.

He was the frontrunner in the race from the very beginning, according to polling by SooToday and others, but Shoemaker still felt a degree of anxiety.

"You just never know until the votes are counted."

"I was cautiously optimistic, but emphasis on the cautiousness."

Also last night, Shoemaker committed to participating in regular monthly interviews in SooToday's studio.

The following were elected to city council:

Ward 1: Sandra Hollingsworth, Sonny Spina 

Ward 2: Luke Dufour. Lisa Vezeau-Allen

Ward 3: Angela Caputo, Ron Zagordo

Ward 4: Marchy Bruni, Stephan Kinach

Ward 5: Corey Gardi, Matthew Scott

What's next?

If you would like to apply to become a Verified reader Verified Commenter, please fill out this form.


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
Read more