Katherine Reid, Queenston resident, member of the Queenston Residents Association and winemaker at Joseph’s Estate Winery, is hoping for one of the eight seats at the town’s council table.
She’s running on the slogan ‘Kat for council, caring for community,’” she says, focusing on smart growth, agriculture preservation, and keeping communities safe.
Her main priority, she says, “is helping the little guy,” whether it’s the small grower trying to keep agricultural land in production, or the small business owner trying to keep a business viable in difficult times. Both, she says, face tough supply-chain issues, including labour shortages, that have an impact down the line, driving prices up.
“I’m not sure the general population understands the hurdles we’re facing,” she says. At Joseph’s she is dealing with a shortage of bottles, and glue for labels, as the cost of shipping goes up — similar to issues other businesses are facing.
“We have to be supportive of business in any way we can,” she says, “helping them through a difficult time.”
It is also a time to take a different perspective on municipal spending, she says. While NOTL residents “are considered for the most part to be well-off,” seniors on fixed incomes and working people who aren’t receiving wage increases are suffering, unable to keep up with inflation.
Reid considers herself a “bit of a different demographic,” still working at 63, as she has since she graduated from university, “and still trying to make ends meet.”
Reid received a Bachelor degree from McMaster University in geography and statistics, and started her career in the wine industry 37 years ago at Chateau des Charmes Estate Winery. She has also worked at Sunnybrook Farms, Marynissen Estate Winery, and in recent years has been the winemaker at Joseph’s Estate Wines.
In 2015 Reid received the town’s volunteer award for working with youth. She has been a member of the Lions Club of Niagara for almost 20 years, and helps out regularly at the St. Davids Lions Club, she says.
She has received the Lions’ Melvin Jones Award and the International Presidents Award for her work with youth across the province.
Reid says she has been fortunate in being able to use her leadership abilities through Lions, having trained in Chicago at the Senior Lions Leadership Institute and also the Faculty Development Institute in Salt Lake City — only 30 Lions across North America are selected annually, she says.
She was also included in the Millennium Edition of the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, for being one of the few women winemakers in Canada in 1999.
Reid has served on the town’s agriculture committee and safety committee, enjoying both, and is now a member of the Queenston Residents Association — she says she enjoys spending her time helping her community. “I like living in Queenston, helping the Lions of Niagara and St. Davids, serving as president of my own club and living in the most beautiful wine region of the world,” she says.
She is also the current chair for Sight Preservation in Lions, with the main goal of recycling old eyeglasses.
Reid says she is concerned about local healthcare, and is anxious to see the town successful in the effort to have another nurse practitioner. “Healthcare is an issue, and it becomes even more important as people get older,” she says.
Living in Queenston, and as a member of the QRA, she is looking at the lack of secondary plans to guide development, but not just in Queenston — St. Davids has the same issue, and residents of both communities are concerned, nervous about development and she believes feeling underrepresented on council.
“I really want to be the voice of this community, especially the voice for the little guy,” she says, “and the voice for agriculture and the villages, which people believe aren’t treated as if they are part of NOTL. I hear that at Lions meetings for both clubs.”