Mayor Harvey Tizzard of Springdale is one of the most recent recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, thanks to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Tizzard, who is back to work after a short leave of absence due to sickness, says he was very surprised by the award, which he wasn’t expecting at all.
“This was the furthest thing from my mind,” he said. “It’s a wonderful honour, since there are only 60,000 of these given out across Canada, which isn’t a lot when you consider the population of the country.”
The mayor received the award thanks to a nomination from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which, according to its web site, “is actively advocating to have the needs of municipalities - and their citizens - reflected in federal policies and programs.”
While his name is on the certificate, though, Mayor Tizzard says the award is far from an individual effort.
“This is really a testament to the incredible teamwork from Council and Senior Staff of the town,” he explained. “They’re much of the reason why we’ve seen the success we have, and there’s no way I could function without all of them.”
Tizzard is currently in his third term on council, and has been mayor since Kevin Pollard’s election as MHA in 2008 when he stepped up from being a councilor at that time.
In October of last year, Mayor Tizzard was diagnosed with cancer, at which time he took a short leave from his council duties until the end of the year.
“I took some time off when I found out, (about the diagnosis)” he explained. “I stayed away until the end of December, but now I’m back doing what I can when I can, and feeling great about it.”
He’s currently undergoing treatment for his illness, but says he feels very well all things considered.
With that said though, he admits that his health will play a vital role in whether or not he considers re-election in September’s municipal elections.
“I’m still not sure what I’ll do,” he said. “It all depends on my health and whether I feel up to it when we get closer to the date. Right now I feel fine, and before this, I had full intentions of seeking another term – but for now, its still up in the air.”
Perhaps what’s playing on his mind most is what he considers somewhat unfinished business in his political life; that being the state of Health Care in Springdale, and all the things surrounding it.
“Healthcare is a big thing for me – if anything, I want to be there to see to that and to make sure what’s best for the people of Springdale happens,” he said. Tizzard alluded to the fact that Springdale is an aging population, and the presence of adequate health care is vital. Of course perhaps the cornerstone of the future of the health care environment of the town is the proposed new hospital.
“We’ve heard very little as of late regarding the new hospital,” he said. “They’ve got the land purchased, but other than that, we’re not sure where things are right now.”
It’s something that’s on the mayor’s mind, since the upcoming Provincial Budget is expected to contain huge cost cutting measures, as announced previously by the Premier and former Minister of Finance, Tom Marshall.
“It makes you wonder,” he said. “People in positions have changed since that announcement was made, and we know there has to be cuts to the provincial budget, so it makes you wonder where everything lies right now.”
For answers, the Mayor says he’s turning to his MHA, Kevin Pollard, to advocate on their behalf.
“We’re hoping to have a meeting with him before the budget comes down, so I’m sure we’ll talk about it then,” he concluded.