Jeff Lehman launches campaign office ahead of provincial election

Long-time Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman officially launched his campaign office on Saturday ahead of the upcoming provincial election on June 2.

Lehman is running as the Liberal candidate for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. He has served as Barrie's mayor since 2010 – the city's 46th.

"It was not an easy decision because I love my job as mayor of Barrie, but I do believe I have a contribution to make now at Queen's Park," Lehman said.

"There is really never a good time to go, but I do feel like we have accomplished a lot over the last 10-12 years."

Throughout his years in the mayor's chair, Lehman helped the city navigate several changes, including an expanded hospital, a new GO station, an expanded waterfront, and a pandemic stretched over two years.

"How we grow will be very important, and that is another reason I am running provincially. Decisions around how we grow in this part of the province will be critically important," Lehman said.

"Growth belongs where there are proper services, where people can take transit, where there is water, roads and all the critical infrastructure you need to properly grow."

As for any regrets during his time as mayor, Lehman said he doesn't have any.

"Being out now over the last month and talking to people, hearing what matters to them and what they think of the last 10 or 12 years … like I said, there are few things that you would want to get done that you can't, but I don't regret any of my time as mayor," Lehman said.

"It's been a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the city."

Lehman's office is located on Blake Street in the city's north end.