So we have our first (pseudo) official candidate for Capital Ward. Emilie Taman, who ran for the NDP last year, has announced that she’s gunning for a seat at council:
Taman said her platform will be about “public accountability, increased public engagement in planning and development, evidenced-based decision-making in public health and strengthening environmental sustainability across city projects.”
Assuming David Chernushenko runs for re-election, Taman should pose a serious challenge that was sorely lacking last time (Chernushenko got over 77% of the vote). That’s not a shot at his main rival from 2014, but Scott Blurton didn’t have the public profile that Taman does.
Here are some quick thoughts on the announcement:
- Taman’s description of her platform sounds good, but it’s also rather vague (which is fine, for now). I can see how those principles could form a quality platform, but we shall see.
- Her description speaks to what she sees for the city–which is good! Too many councillors lack such vision–but I’d still need to know what she sees for the ward.
- Taman ran for the NDP, but that doesn’t necessarily tell us anything. Provincial and federal partisanship doesn’t track well to municipal issues, even though many people try to do just that. People assume that the NDP/left wing politics and urbanism go hand-in-hand, but various NDP parties have been against road tolls and have supported subsidizing hydro use in recent years. I’m not going to assume much from that part of her background.
- She was involved with Bookmark the Core, fighting to keep the main library downtown. I didn’t agree with everything they did (I think that the city could provide library services to downtown/Centretown/Golden Triangle without having the “main” branch in the core), but it did display a desire to have city services align with city/urban living. So that’s, generally speaking, a positive.
- Swapping a woman for a man would be a good thing, ceteris paribus.
The campaign doesn’t officially start until May, and we don’t know who else will step up to challenge Chernushenko, or if Chernushenko will even run again (he hasn’t said either way, yet). But more ideas, more candidates and more women running will be a good for the ward and the city.