Meet Clare Latimer, our new co-chair
Mary Clare Latimer, who is the new Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative (PRC) steering
committee co-chair representing Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI), has always been a champion of the environment. So when the Chatham-Kent (C-K) municipal councillor was asked to step into the role, she was happy to say yes.
“Chatham-Kent is situated on a floodplain, surrounded by water, so we’re on the front line of Lake Erie water issues,” she says, pointing out that her area accounts for 20 per cent or 4,800 kilometres of the municipal drains in Ontario.
Latimer is also from an agricultural background and is concerned with sustainable farming practices. In fact, she’s a neighbour to Louis Roesch, who has been deeply involved in the Thames River PRC since its inception and has a demonstration project on his farm.
Elected in 2018, Latimer says she is excited to represent her municipality with the GLSLCI, an organization that includes more than 90 U.S. and Canadian communities. It is a “binational coalition of mayors and other local leaders that sees a future with a clean, healthy and vib
rant Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, a region with economic vitality, and a quality of life where people can enjoy all that the lakes and river have to offer.”
“I think it’s a great idea for all of us to be working together on concerns we share on both sides of the border, given the importance of the lakes,” she says.
A community occupational therapist with six grown children, Latimer and her husband have deep roots in their community. She’s on the Chatham-Kent Accessibility Advisory Committee, a member of the Southwest Regional Multiple Sclerosis Society, sits on the local Learning Disabilities board. She’s also the current Chatham-Kent Regional Catholic Woman’s League Chairperson, enjoys meeting regularly with her C-K Trefoil Guild Guiding sisters and is chairing this year’s Chatham-Kent Senior Expo and Achievement Awards.
“Paul and I both grew up on family farms and we chose to raise our family here in the farming community of North Harwich,” she says. The whole family has been actively involved over the past 35 years with the Boy Scouts’ of Canada Tree Planting and Nature Conservancy program, and the Girl Guides’ of Canada Nature and Living Things Conservation, and Particip-Action.
She says that the experience has given the whole family a lifelong appreciation of the importance of a caring community that supports its surrounding environment.
Latimer co-chairs the Thames River PRC steering committee along with Mark Reusser, Vice President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). The GLSLCI and OFA administer the collaborative.