Election time is when residents from communities across the municipality spend a little extra time reflecting on the past 4 years and take into account the work their current Councillor has or has not completed. It is also a time to consider new candidates and think about what they are offering in terms of change. Of course, having the opportunity to chat with candidates at the door is helpful and offers a chance to ask those burning questions you may have, but in my experience one of the most effective ways to cover many topics and really dig into important issues is through public forums or debates.
Like many of you, I watched the first round of Presidential debates last night and was thrilled to see true colours and opinions of each candidate come out. This type of setting shows your potential leader’s capacity to think on the spot, verify their knowledge of important issues, get a clear understanding of their plans for development and see their true character and ability to handle stressful situations.
I sent an invitation to our current Councillor Kevin Saccary to participate in a public forum where, like the upcoming Mayoral Debate, candidates from District 8 would be asked questions produced by the audience. He was assured that all details were taken care of including the booking of a local venue, neutral moderator and volunteers to help with event management. He declined this opportunity citing, “My experience has been that residents freely share that with me at the door because they feel less intimidated when discussing issues on a one to one basis as opposed to speaking in a public forum”.
Not so according to research on voter behaviors in Canada. Allowing for this type of public forum where discussion deepens and residents are able to feed off of the questions and opinions posed by one another provides more accurate information to voters and is truly democratic. The only people that this type of situation may be intimidating for would be the candidates, and refusing to participate in an open, public forum shows one’s fear of answering the ‘hard’ question and facing the residents asking such questions.
Being accountable does not scare me, it is one of the main reasons I entered into this campaign for Councillor of District 8. I am available to answer any and all questions you have, in any manner you choose to ask them.
My contact information is: