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Flin Flon Mayor Huntley opts to not run for reelection in October

After 20 years on Flin Flon's city council, including two terms as mayor, Cal Huntley has announced he will not run again this fall.
Flin Flon Mayor Cal Huntley.

After 20 years on Flin Flon's city council, including two terms as mayor, Cal Huntley has announced he will not run again this fall.

The mayor announced his plans at the Sept. 6 meeting of Flin Flon's city council, taking a moment and later answering questions about his future. Huntley's final meeting as mayor will take place Oct. 18, just over a week before election day on Oct. 26.

"After giving things an awful lot of thought, I've come to a very, very difficult decision. Twenty years in municipal politics is, I think, a lot of seniority, but there's still lots to do and I'm going to turn it over to a different group of people to do it going forward," Huntley said.

"I'm going to announce at this meeting that I will not be running for mayor in the upcoming election. I'm going to take a break for a while."

A born-and-raised Flin Flonner, Huntley was first elected to city council back in 1998. After losing his seat in 2010, Huntley ran for the mayorship in 2014 and won it, defeating incumbent mayor George Fontaine by just four votes - Huntley gained his second term by acclamation in 2018, when no other candidates ran.

Huntley's initial statement specifically announced that he would be stepping down, but did leave open the possibility of him running again for a seat later. When asked, Huntley said he wouldn't likely run again for council without at least taking a break.

"Believe me, it was not an easy decision. I love this community, I really do, and I've always tried to do what I thought was best for the community. That was my commitment, to do that. It was not always the most popular thing to do at times, but that was the way I operated and the voters told the tale," Huntley said.

"They kicked me off of council once - they don't get a chance to kick me out of being mayor. Twenty years is long enough and I'm going to take a little bit of a break."

When asked about what accomplishments he would look back on, Huntley said he was most proud of developing the Flintoba Shopping Centre - which was overseen by the City during Huntley's stint as a councillor - as well as the ongoing replacement plans for the Flin Flon Aqua Centre, water and sewage treatment projects and the creation of the Regional Economic Development Commission between local leadership in Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach.

"I'm really proud of the people that I work with as mayor. We've done a lot of good things and you don't always see the indicators as clearly as you probably could," he said.

"This is a wonderful community. We've sold ourselves very well to the rest of the province. I think if there's one challenge going forward with the new council, it'll be to maintain the relationships that we've built, through the AMM [Association of Manitoba Municipalities] and with the provincial government and the minister we've become familiar with."