"St. Catharines is where I grew up, it’s where I chose to live, where I chose to work, where I chose to raise my family and I am honoured that you chose me to represent you once and I hope to be chosen again to advocate on behalf of the taxpayers. "
A life-long resident of St. Catharines Matt is the proud father of five active, energetic children and is engaged to fiancee Briar Krieger. Through his children, Matt has been very involved with many sports associations and clubs in the community.
Matt has represented the residents of Ward 2 St. Andrew's since 2010 and is currently serving as deputy mayor, chair of the St. Catharines Hydro Holding Company and St. Catharines Hydro Generating Inc, and is currently representing the city on the Alectra Utilities board. He has held numerous roles on council over the years, including serving on the budget committee, mayor's accessibility committee, student housing liaison committee, and more. He is proud of his track record at council, with highlights that include saving the park at Glenridge School, pushing for enhancements of West Park including a new splash pad and working to ensure the icepads at Seymour Hannah Arena was repaired and rebuilt in a timely and cost-efficient manner. He is proud to have been a member of both the construction and fundraising committees for the Meridian Centre during his previous term, helping ensure the facility was not only built on time and on budget, but that the capital campaign was successful in reaching its $5-million goal.
Matt has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. Currently the Major Gifts Officer for the Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation, Matt assists the foundation in raising funds to support enhancements to patient-care equipment, education, specialty clinics and improvements to treatment areas, all resulting in exemplary patient care at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre. Through his work with key community supporters, he plays a key role in helping attract ongoing investment to provide comfort, care and hope to everyone that comes through the doors.
His previous business experience includes time as general manager of one of Canada's leading providers of fully integrated HVAC service solutions to markets across Canada, assisting with business development, community initiatives, and overall day-to-day operations. With a background in social services, Matt has also worked and volunteered with various social service agencies throughout St. Catharines and the Niagara Region. He previously served on the Board of the Housing Help Centre, founded and co-chaired the Canadian Mental Health Association Golf Classic and served on committees with Ontario Homes for Special Care and Suicide Prevention Network.
Matt is a proud supporter of the St. Catharines community, donating both financially and countless volunteer hours to many local organizations, including the Niagara Health Foundation, where he was past chair of the foundation helping lead the $40-million campaign to rebuild the St. Catharines hospital site and the amalgamation of six local hospital foundations into one united organization; ProAction Cops & Kids Niagara; YWCA Niagara, which previously recognized him with a YWCA's Champion award; Community Care St. Catharines and Thorold; St. Catharines Minor Lacrosse; Niagara Penguins, and more.
Matt is excited and honoured to have the opportunity to seek re-election for City Council. If elected, Matt will continue his proactive work, helping St. Catharines grow, adapt and once again, become the jewel of the Niagara Region.
I have known Matt Harris for many years, both personally and professionally. Matt has always been extremely active in our community and looked for ways to influence and produce positive change. Whether it has been as a private business person or through charitable foundations and community initiatives, Matt is always a leader in making sure the job is done right and to the best of ever person's ability. He has found creative ways to bring out the best in everybody and serves as a great role model of the new generation of leadership in Niagara. There is no doubt that our city will be a better place to live, work, and play with Matt Harris representing our interests. It is without hesitation that I endorse his campaign for re-election as a City Counsellor.
Vice President, Client Services
Credit Bureau Services Canada
I worked with Matt for several years on the Niagara Health System Foundation board. In that setting, I saw him ask tough questions with productive, thoughtful delivery. Matt is comfortable delivering a difficult message respectfully and in a way that builds a relationship for the long term. In the end, Matt is not the loudest voice in a room, but he is one that people hear.
I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Matt Harris since he first sought a seat on City Council in 2010. Rural constituents are often ignored on the campaign trail as there are great empty spaces between doors. Not only did Matt take the time to beat on our doors, he took the time to listen to our concerns and when elected, brought those very issues up at city council.
Matt Harris has been instrumental in assisting our group PALZ, People Advocating Leash free Zones with the two city dog parks. He is always right on top of our needs, working with city staff and fellow councillors to help cut through the red tape.
I am proud of the work that Matt Harris has done as our St. Andrew's ward councillor and look forward to working with him over the next term.
Our family first met Matt Harris in April of last year when he got involved in helping us raise a banner honouring our father, Warrant officer Dennis Brown. We had nominated our father for this banner a few years prior and just before it was scheduled to be hung up, we unfortunately ran into a few road blocks. It seemed his widow did not want to give consent and the people involved did not feel the voice and wishes of his three sons was enough to move forward. That is when we met Matt. Matt got involved and gave us that voice, he fought for our right to have the banner hung and honour our father. He did not back down even when faced with adversity and the negative opinion of some.
Matt persevered and ultimately the banner was hung. Matt reached out to us and made us feel respected, allowing us to feel that we had rights and gave us support. Sadly since our father’s death we have had to fight for the right to honor and remember our father. Matt was the first person to reach out and offer to help us achieve our wish. He went above and beyond what he needed to so, including us in the process every step of the way. For this, Matt will always have our respect and support.
Mack, Owen and Ben Brown
Matt has been a strong supporter of West St. Catharines. He addressed the parking situation on Van Sickle Road, and also spearheaded the completion of the sidewalks at the top end of Van Sickle. Matt listens to the people of his Ward. Matt also challenges inappropriate spending in all areas of the city. Matt Harris is a very effective councillor for the City of St. Catharines.
Bascary Crescent, St. Catharines
I have known Matt Harris for many years, as our sons were friends throughout their school careers here in St Catharines.
Matt is first and foremost a family man. He is very proud of his 5 children (as he will often tell you) and has a fabulous relationship with is wife Shawna, to whom he has been married to for over 20 years.
As a Councillor, I will say that Matt has returned my calls almost immediately, whenever I have had a the need to speak with him. He has helped me on numerous occasions when it has come to Civic matters. He has personally joined my family during spring clean up week to clean out ravines on Glendale and Glenridge Avenues.
Why is it important to re elect Matt?
Matt is a one term Councillor who brings new energy and fresh ideas to a Council which has, in my opinion, too many complacent, multi term Councillors. Matt asks questions at council instead of simply agreeing with the status quo
I believe that Integrity is paramount when it comes to our elected officials. That, in my opinion, is Matts strongest attribute and the reason that I will be casting my ballot for him in the 2014 municipal election.
Life-long resident, St Andrews Ward
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Matt on both a personal and professional level. Matt has been a supporter of the Niagara Golf Marathon since day one and continues to support with his time and resources. Matt’s passion for change and questioning the status quo makes him an asset to council in St. Catharines. He is committed to making Niagara a better community to work, live and play.
Vice President / Business Development
Brand Blvd Inc.
I have known Matt for many years and I wholeheartedly support him in his pursuit of another term as city counsellor.
Matt is a dedicated family man who understands the value of organized sport within our community. He was recently a key supporter of the eight Niagara boys selected to travel to Texas and play football for Team Ontario at the International Showcase Championships which was a once in a lifetime experience for the players and their families. Matt was a tremendous help in raising funds for the trip and generously offered a prize that both kids and parents were excited to promote!! It resulted in a very successful draw!!!
Matt is an incredibly energetic man, who embraces our community and truly cares for the people of St Catharines. He doesn’t hesitate to take action when it is required, I saw this firsthand when he led the fight to have the Warrant Officer Dennis Brown banner hung proudly in downtown St Catharines. He was inexorably determined to give Dennis’s boys a voice (along with the whole community) and never faltered in the fight with city council to have that banner proudly displayed.
He listens, he challenges and is proactive, which something St Catharines needs more of on our council!! My vote is for Matt Harris – please re-elected him as City Counsellor.
Niagara Generals Sponsorship Coordinator
I have known Matt Harris since 2006 and I strongly support his re-election as City Councillor for St Andrew’s ward.
I have admired Matt’s energy and drive and envy how he is able to balance his family life with his business activities, his sport involvements and his civic duties.
I have often used Matt as the exemplary politician. He has made a real effort to learn the various duties and functions within City Hall. He has set aside time each month to spend with the people doing the job so that he has an appreciation of what they contribute and what issues they are faced with. More importantly he becomes fully familiar with issues and with the people involved before voting on any proposal. I saw that firsthand when the issue of the new arena was before Council.
He is a strong community citizen. Last fall he spent 24 hours in his car in order to experience firsthand what it was like to be homeless. He has been a very strong supporter of the Brock Niagara Penguins, a swim & gym team for youth with a disability. The Penguins continue to publicly thank him.
Matt Harris walks the talk! He is a man of his convictions and a man fully committed to St Catharines.
Uwe J Natho
Proud supporter of Matt Harris
After being involved in the boxing business for the better part of 30 years, I have come to know how to spot genuine and honest individuals. Matt Harris is one such person.
His willingness to listen and take action are unparalleled in civic politics. I have watched Matt first hand react to a crisis with immediacy and effective action. St.Catharines City Council is made more legitimate with his brand of frankness and willingness to engage in debate for those of us who do not have the voice to do so. His commitment to his family and community groups is unmatched and I hope to work with Matt on doing more for the citizens of St.Catharines.
My door, my phone and my ring are always open to Matt.
Matt Harris is a community person. He gets involved in everything…fundraisers, awareness programs and is on top of all what is happening around town. He is a family man, has energy to accomplish a lot for our community and is an all around good person. He is an advocate of Brock University and as a resident of St. Catharines most of my life, I believe Matt does us proud.
Associate Athletic Director
I have known Matt and his family for many years. We have participated in numerous charitable events together and most recently sat together on the Niagara Health System Foundation Board. Matt is always available to the community and throws all his energy behind worthwhile causes. From Boxing for MS, golfing 100 Holes, and various other charitable endeavours, he and his family help make St. Catharines a better place. Recently as the NHS Board Chair, Matt helped facilitate the merger of the Niagara Hospital Foundations into one entity, that being the new "One Foundation". I am pleased Matt is representing St. Catharines and helping make our city a better place for myself and my family.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara Falls
We first called on Matt Harris when we needed help to organize a public awareness event. My son in Grade 10 had obtained funding from Niagara Health Department to raise awareness about healthy lifestyles and had some ideas but needed guidance to take them to reality and ensure successful outcomes. After we contacted Matt, he came and met us at our place and listened patiently to our ideas and offered his suggestions. As we were to find, it was only a start. After that Matt made himself available several times and connected well with all of us. He sat through all our planning sessions and also helped us finalize venue etc. We ended up hosting a Basketball Tournament along with a Public Open House on awareness related to importance of healthy life styles. On the day of the event, Matt and his family volunteered their time and worked tirelessly to make the event successful. Matt also arranged for the Mayor to address the gathering and distribute prizes. In the end, we had a highly successful event due to Matt's guidance, assistance and active participation. We found Matt to be very friendly and highly responsive. Matt is a great communicator and facilitator as he helped us arrive at consensus on a number of issues with grace and ease. Matt has since kept in regular touch with us and continually monitored our son’s progress through to university.
We feel that Matt is a great asset to our community and we wish him the very best in all his undertakings.
Arun P Jain, P.Eng.
St. Catharines, Ontario
I moved to St Catharines almost five years ago.
I was bewildered at the time at how such a wonderful City had become stagnant over such a long period of time. Doing things the way they "always have been done" offer predictable results. Matt has shown that he is fiscally responsible and can think outside of the box. He puts his heart and soul into making connections with people and rolls up his sleeves for the City and its residence. I have witnessed how hard he works. He is not afraid to ask the tough questions and to work hard at making progress. He expects things to work and works with people to accomplish his goals. I feel comfortable that Matt will continue to try to move the City forward in a responsible manour…looking at all options to do so.
Matt is a good man. A family man. A man that juggles looking after family and his business with the business of the City. He has done so with determination and dignity.
I endorse Matt Harris.
Alex Digenis, Dealer, Henley Honda
St. Catharines, Ontario
“How can I help?” These were among the first words out of Matt’s mouth when we met. Once I told him what I was looking for he was quick to respond with”Yeah I can do that and, if I can’t, I know someone who can help.” I think this is Matt in a nutshell. He is involved in his community because he cares about it and because he cares about the people who live in it. I’ve seen Matt go out of his way to help a constituent, several non –profits, the community at large and I can trust him to be there whenever I need him.
Working at the YWCA Niagara Region, there have been many times when we have given him a quick call to see if there is a way he can help us with one thing or another. Matt is there in a heartbeat. He has been involved in our signature fundraiser No Fixed Address since its first year; last year bringing his entire family to camp out with us for 24 hrs in a parking lot. He is someone we can count on.
I’ve watched him on city council and find that he isn’t afraid to ask hard questions and take a stance that may not be popular just to make sure that all sides are considered when making a decision. Matt is able to see the “bigger picture” when casting his vote on an issue at hand.
I wholeheartedly support Matt for re-election.
Fund Development Manager
YWCA Niagara Region