This was supposed to be the most boring race this election season. At first, it looked like incumbent Tim Tierney was sailing to acclamation. At the last moment, Michael Schurter–a former Parliament Hill staffer who lives in the neighbouring ward–registered.
Still, it seemed like no challenge for a popular incumbent.
Then came the Labour Day weekend and the whole race blew up. It was announced the OPP was investigating Tierney about a call he made to Schurter as Schurter was registering. The concern/allegation was that Tierney tried to induce Schurter into dropping out (I’m not going pass judgement on the allegation, one way or the other). Suddenly, Schurter was getting noticed. He got an uncritical profile in the Citizen. Tierney had to back out of the Rogers debate because of a scheduling conflict it was said (the debate was re-scheduled and is now online).
Things were getting exciting (in a bad way)!
This is still one of the most boring races in the election. I watched the debate. It was kind of a race-to-the-pettiest, with Tierney winning in both the snide comments and on actual substance.
Endorsement: Tim Tierney
This is not a fun endorsement to write. There’s an investigation hanging over his head (and I have no idea when we’ll learn anything), but there’s really no alternative. During the Rogers debate, Tierney’s abject disdain for Schurter was evident and unsavoury, but it was only exceeded in such regards by Schurter’s tenuous grasp on important municipal issues.
I imagine Tierney will still sail to victory in this race, though it’ll certainly be closer than it would have been (and turnout might be depressed, which is also sad). And if he did nothing egregiously wrong (whether illegal or not), then I guess that’s how it should be.
However, if Tierney did do something sufficiently bad as to be disqualifying for a majority of Beacon Hill-Cyrville voters, then it’ll be a shame. They don’t have that information in time to make an informed vote, and they don’t actually have a serious option. You can bet that in such a scenario, there would have been a number of qualified and competent residents of the ward who would have stepped up and run. Tim Tierney isn’t irreplaceable, but Michael Schurter definitely isn’t a desirable alternative.
So there you have it. For better or worse (and I dearly hope it’s for better), Tim Tierney is the only reasonable choice in Beacon Hill-Cyrville.