Welcome to the Whitby mayor ... from Canada

Michael Emm

Michael Emm

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Polar bears wandering the streets and 10ft snow drifts are all in a normal day for

the Mayor of Whitby – in Canada.

Coun Michael Emm swapped all this for cobbled streets and fish and chips when he visited our Whitby over the weekend.

He also met his local government counterpart, the Mayor of Whitby, Coun John Freeman.

Mr Emm is a centre ward councillor for the Town of Whitby in Ontario, Canada and visited North Yorkshire as part of a family trip to the UK with wife Louise, who is originally from Wales, and daughters Sydney and Rhiannon. He told the Gazette: “I had to come and visit. There are a lot of similarities - we are a tourist destination, we have winters but I heard Whitby fish and chips are the best so I am going to give it a try. We will be eating a lot as most of our stuff is imported because we live inland.

“It is the first time I have been here, it is a beautiful town. I love old Whitby, some of our oldest buildings are mid to late 1800s but to see some of the old headstones at St Mary’s, it is absolutely amazing.”

But he did find some similarities.

Both the town council and its Canadian counterparts spend most of their time dealing with dog dirt complaints, untreated roads in the snow and grass cutting.