There’s a new candidate for Rideau-Rockcliffe ward, Tobi Nussbaum, who has offered intriguing view into his outlook regarding municipal affairs. A former diplomat, Nussbaum recently published an op-ed at iPolitics about democracy and the continued trend of urbanization:
Here in Canada, however, cities have not taken sufficient advantage of their growing clout and capacity to collectively solve problems. Although the mayors of the two dozen or so largest Canadian cities meet regularly under the umbrella of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus, their stated objective — “to discuss shared issues and to reinforce Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ policy and advocacy agenda set by the National Board of Directors” — does not inspire.
The Big City Mayors’ Caucus should initiate a pan-Canada municipal challenge to establish and meet goals to solve shared urban problems. The choice of problems could be crowd-sourced by Canada’s city dwellers. The challenge should engage the public and result in friendly competition to achieve the objectives. The goals should be clear and easily communicated — bold but realistic.
I’m not prepared to endorse Nussbaum, necessarily, but it is interesting to hear his voice enter the municipal debate. Whether or not his particular policy proposals would benefit the city, his arguments can certainly help us set a beneficial course. He does not seem to be your run-of-the-mill candidate.