Gloucester South-Nepean has no incumbent. It has seven candidates and four showed up for the Rogers TV debate, Jason Kelly, Scott Hodge, Susan Sherring and Michael Qaqish. It was not a great debate.
I went into the debate intrigued by Scott Hodge. He seemed to have an okay grasp of the issues and he didn’t exude any crude populism. He opened the debate talking about needing change the project management oversight framework of the city. Implementing Six Sigma principles will functionally ration externalities, allowing the deployment of methodological protocols that will maximize the holistic synergies of hardened enterprise-wide deliverables, allowing for a municipal systematic scheme of performance optimizing killer robots.
Okay, he didn’t really say that, but his focus was on managerial competence and performance reviews more than governance or growth. It was underwhelming.
Susan Sherring, the former Ottawa Sun reporter, was the biggest name. I was never impressed with her candidacy until the beginning of the debate, when she came off as the most thoughtful candidate. That is, until it came the question of the downtown library. She’s very much anti-library. Odd that a journalist would be so anti-reading. Worse still, the question of the downtown library devolved into a debate about who would get the best rec centre in Gloucester South.
Jason Kelly, who seems like an above-average run-of-the-mill challenger, was the instigator of the library debate madness. He was asked the question, and quickly talked about a P3 for the potential rec centre.
I get that a central library isn’t going to be super important to everyone in the suburbs, but the issue should be. Even if you don’t want a new location for the library, then you should probably want a representative who will vote against such projects. Not one who will simply ignore all other issues. That’s not leadership.
Michael Qaqish wasn’t a whole lot better, but he was, maybe, a little better. He has experience at city hall and seemed to have a reasonable grasp of the issues (even if he was unable to properly articulate the procurement process the city uses). He’s not ideal, but he looks like he might have the potential to be a decent councillor. If I was choosing right now, he’d probably be my choice.
So that’s what we’re looking at in Gloucester South-Nepean, the chance to elect someone who might make a decent councillor.