Soldier to run for councillor in Caledon

Never tell Kevin Junor he can’t do something because chances are you will be proven wrong.

The Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) will file his papers tomorrow to run for councilor in the Town of Caledon’s Ward Five in this October’s municipal elections.

Ward Five comprises Bolton village where Junor has resided for the past six years.

“I relish challenges and I see this as yet another opportunity to go out and try to make a difference in the community,” said Junor who last year became the first Black officer from the Toronto Scottish Regiment to receive the Order of Military Merit for meritorious service and devotion to the Canadian Forces. “I believe that my strong leadership skills and experience in interacting with various communities are strengths that can have a positive impact in making this ward a more vibrant community.

“I am proud to be a resident of Bolton, one of the safest communities in Canada and one of the most beautiful. By working with other municipal leaders and engaging with local residents, I am confident that we can address every challenge as we continue to ensure that Caledon reflects the best of Ontario in every way possible.”

Junor is a senior parishioner at North Peel Community Church in Caledon and has been the chair of the Policing Advisory Council of Caledon for the past four years.

“Being the chair of that council opened my eyes as to what this community is all about and the type of leadership that is required to make the ward run effectively,” he said. “Also, I have been able to build key partnerships with the town council, Ontario Provincial Police and other community groups.”

Junor distinguished himself in Canada’s military prior to making the decision to engage in politics. Born in England, he spent nearly a decade in Jamaica before coming to Canada in 1973. It was while he was at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute that he was introduced to the military after a recruiter visited the school in 1980.

Starting out as an infantry soldier in the Toronto Scottish Regiment, Junor was promoted to the rank of CWO in 1998 and later Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), making him one of the youngest soldiers to achieve the two ranks by age 35. He was also the first Black to be appointed RSM for the Land Force Central Area infantry training exercise conducted in Kentucky 11 years ago.

One of the highlights in his military career was the six months he spent in Sierra Leone three years ago as part of Operation Sculpture which was Canada’s contribution to the British-led international military training team in the West African country. Their mission was to help the government rebuild its army following the country’s brutal civil war in which government troops committed nearly as many atrocities as the rebels.

As a reward for his contribution, Sierra Leone soldiers carved Junor’s image into a walking stick they presented him and conferred an African name – Konkor Marah – on him.

“Kevin is a blessed leader in every sense of the word,” said former Canadian Forces Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier.

For the past four years, Junor has been employed as a Diversity Manager with the Ontario Public Service. In that role, he identifies systemic barriers visible minorities face and advises on policies, directives and actions to eliminate these barriers.

Next month, Junor will be bestowed with a Seneca College Distinguished Alumni award. He graduated in 1984 as a civil engineering technician and joined the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a laboratory technician prior to enlisting in the military.

“Seneca set the academic baseline for me to use as a template to be the person that I am now,” said Junor. “That’s why this award means so much to me.”

The 10th annual Distinguished Alumni awards take place on May 12.

Previous recipients include former Ontario House Speaker, diplomat and MPP Alvin Curling, York Regional Police Chief Armand LaBarge, senator Vivienne Poy, author and motivational speaker Chuck “Spider” Jones and Seneca’s Faculty of Business (Arts & Commerce) dean Jennifer Singh.

The Distinguished Alumni award, established by the Seneca College Alumni Association, honours Seneca graduates who are recognized leaders in their profession and who demonstrate exemplary community and public service.

 

 

 

 

 

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