Orleans Ward Endorsement

Okay, I’ve only got like twenty minutes, so let’s whip through this.

If you’ve been following along at home, you know I’ve been slowly whittling down the list of candidates that I’d support in Orleans Ward. It started with 17 candidate, but then two unofficially dropped out. I went through all the information I could find online and reduced it a bit more. I watched the Rogers non-debate and, again, reduced my choices a bit more, still.

I’ve thought more on it, and I’ve reviewed more stuff online, and I got my choices down to the following four candidates (in no particular order): Catherine Kitts, Miranda Gray, Mireille Brownhill and Shannon Kramer. (Yes, all women. This both achieves the goal of greater representation on council and they’re the candidates I like best, regardless.)

This race went insane early on. At first, Bob Monette was running for re-election and only Gray was challenging him. Then he stepped back from politics and the candidate list exploded. What’s really interesting (to me, at least) is that this gave the chance to a lot of less-experienced candidates to give the race a shot, without being seen as too much of a neophyte.

Look at someone like Jarrod Goldsmith. It’d be a learning experience (as he admitted) to be councillor, but he does seem like he’d be up to the challenge.

Or then there’s the question of age or one’s profile in the ward. I’m thinking of Shannon Kramer here, as an example. She has a lot of knowledge about city-building, but she’s not as prominent in the ward. Her platform is well-thought out, though a little green–with many spending priorities, but also a desire to keep a cap on taxes.

These are just two examples of the people we’ve seen step forward, who we wouldn’t have, otherwise, and it’s actually pretty great, if a little overwhelming. (I’d speak more to this, but, twenty minutes…now ten.)

Let’s get to it.

Endorsement: Mireille Brownhill

She was one of the first candidates I’d had my eye on. There was a nice mix of community involvement, civic dedication and thoughtfulness. I wondered if she might be a little green on some issues..and, she probably is. If you’re not working at City Hall or some loser who watches every single municipal debate, you’re going to have a bit of a learning curve.

But here’s what I’ve seen: she’s working her way up that learning curve, quite quickly.

I’d lamented the fact that many candidates didn’t have much information online, or they didn’t have real platforms. Brownhill has come out with a six-age platform that is to-the-point, and really solid. Though I think Shannon Kramer is a little more dedicated to urbanism and city-building, I think Brownhill’s platform is a little more balanced and thoughtful.

(I’ve been using “thoughtful” a lot this election–I’ve come to believe it might be the most important quality in a councillor.)

Further, I think it’s clear where she may be a little behind in a dedication to city-building, she makes up for it in a dedication to community-building…and I think this dedication will help her adapt to and grow into the role of councillor.

With 15 active candidates, I wasn’t sure how certain I’d be able to be with this pick–I thought I might have to go with my gut or maybe just endorse a handful of people for the rest of y’all to choose from, but with her community experience, hard work on the campaign trail and a really solid platform, Mireille Brownhill wins out for me in Orleans.

No hedging. No caveats. No qualifications. No second choices. I’m choosing Brownhill with confidence and, in the end, without hesitation.

(19 minutes. Hell yeah!)

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Gloucester-South Nepean Endorsement

Coming into 2018, Michael Qaqish was one of those councillors who really deserved a strong challenge…hell, he’s one of the councillors who probably deserved to lose his seat at the council table. He’s work for his ward has been middling, at best; he’s provided no significant benefit to the city, as a whole; and then there was the whole embarrassing story about how he spent his ward budget (not to mention the time he had a novelty cheque created to celebrate not taking his car allowance).

Look, I’m not going to say this was an Anyone-But-Qaqish race, but it wasn’t completely not an Anyone-But-Qaqish race.

At first, it seemed like we might not have much of a race. No one stepped up and grabbed the challenger spotlight, right away, and I started to wonder if Qaqish might get let off the hook.

But then at the last minute, Carol Anne Meehan–a beloved media personality with more name-recognition than the incumbent–decided to throw in. Suddenly, the race got interesting.

Now, to be fair, it’s not a two-person race. Zaff Ansari, Irene Mei and Harprett Singh are the other candidates vying for the job. Singh and Ansari–and Singh, especially–shouldn’t be automatically discarded. (I don’t think Irene Mei has much of a shot; she came off as earnest but not quite up to the challenge in the Rogers debate.)

So, although I wasn’t going to automatically dismiss the incumbent, with at least three strong challengers, it seemed like it shouldn’t be too difficult to select someone new…and it wasn’t; it was just a matter of who.

Endorsement: Zaff Ansari

Going into the debate, I was leaning towards Singh. He seemed like a worthy challenger, running a good race, and it seemed like he’d be a reliable councillor if chosen.

I haven’t been as much of a fan of Carol Anne Meehan during the campaign. Her stance on traffic congestion and pot shops is not great. Worse, I thought some of her positions demonstrated a lack of understanding of city issues, and an reticence to learn. Further, in her response to the Citizen’s survey, she didn’t answer the questions about safe injection sites, whereas Sing and Ansari both support them, and support funding them if our cruel and incompetent provincial government decides to cut funding.

That being said, she did reasonably well in the debate, and I would probably choose her over Michael Qaqish.

(As you may be guessing, this decision came about much by process of elimination.)

Singh has a lot of good ideas, and is clearly a smart, hardworking candidate. However, he’s a bit of a unicorn candidate, too. In his closing remarks of the debate, he spoke of the need to keep taxes in check…then he talked about the city building an employment hub and economic incubator, and then about the need for a new LRT loop in the area. And of course there’s always issues with pot holes, park and maintenance and the “need” for road widenings. I don’t care how many efficiencies you think you can find; you’re going to need a lot more money for your wishlist.

Zaff Ansari never stood out to me. He didn’t take control of the debate, and he doesn’t seem to have a Big Idea he was pushing. However, he was steady. He doesn’t seem to hold any egregiously bad positions. He seems reliable, and he seems like he’d be a decent decision-maker at City Hall.

And in this race, I didn’t need to be blown away. I just needed someone I felt I could trust as a decision-maker, and someone who possesses the thoughtfulness and a certain degree of wisdom for the role. For Gloucester-South Nepean, that’s Zaff Ansari.

 

College Ward Endorsement

About a month ago, I did a re-cap of the College Ward debate. You wouldn’t think this would be an interesting, with Chiarelli firmly entrenched as the incumbent, but with two smart and intriguing candidates–Ryan Kennery and Emilie Coyle–it was a much more interesting debate, and a much more interesting race, than I would have expected back in the winter.

Four years ago, I wrote that College Ward deserved better than Chiarelli, but there was no better choice running. This time around, College Ward still deserves better than Chiarelli, but now there are real, good options for voters.

Endorsement: Emilie Coyle

Okay, here it is: Emilie Coyle isn’t just the best candidate in College Ward; she’s one of the best candidates across the city.

I’m absolutely serious here. If I were to rank the candidates from all ward races and the mayoral race, Coyle might just break the top-ten. She’s smart. She’s dedicated. She works hard. And she has a worthwhile vision for College Ward and the city.

Coyle recognizes that College Ward is going to go through changes…it absolutely has to. There’s pressure from the core, as intensification spreads outwards, but, butting up against the greenbelt, there’s still a lot of pushback from residents wanting to maintain the traditional, inner suburban communities they’ve had and love.

And you know, I get that and, more importantly, Coyle gets that. A neighbourhood that isn’t growing is a neighbourhood that’s dying, so, no, College Ward cannot be frozen in amber and maintained in its current, pure form. In Coyle, College Ward would have a councillor who has the wisdom and understanding to guide ward forward. Managing growth, without arresting it; enhancing the ward without radically transforming it.

Now, at the debate, Coyle didn’t have the depth of knowledge of the details of city matters that the other two showed. But that’s to be expected–one is a long-time councillor and the other is a former mayor and city staffer.

Still, as I wrote after watching the debate, she was able to hold her own. Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated more and more understanding of city building and city governance. She has shown that she has the qualities necessary for a good councillor and that she has the capacity to learn more and really understand how the city–and how city council–works.

I’ve spoken about this debate with a handful of people, and without fail, everyone has been impressed by Coyle (and maybe a little disappointed in Kennery). Everyone I’ve spoken with has recognized her intelligence, her leadership and her potential. She has the temperament and the demeanour to be a valuable representative, and the wherewithall to be a strong voice at the council table.

Personally, I’m surprised that I’m so strongly endorsing Coyle. At the start of the campaign, she was intriguing, but I wasn’t sure how strong a candidate she’d be, but from her diligence out on the campaign trail to her thoughtfulness when speaking to city issues, she’s the absolute best choice in College Ward that I can see.

Barrhaven Endorsement and the Wess Mess

A few weeks back, a story appeared in the Barrhaven Independent claiming that candidate Hadi Wess was acting inappropriately and aggressively at the door while canvassing. Allegedly, he stuck his foot in a woman’s door to prevent her from closing it and then argued with her about her support for Jan Harder and his right to knock on her door (I’m not really explaining this well).

It was a pretty bad allegation, and one that, if true, would make someone unfit to be councillor.

Now, I have no reason to think the Barrhaven Independent made this story up. Yes, they have a particular editorial view and the headline of the story was pretty slanted against Wess, but it’d be pretty shocking if they’d made this up.

It is possible, too, that their reporting (headline aside) was true, but that the alleged victim was making it all up.

Last week, Wess came out with a statement saying that the police confirmed that there was no complaint or no investigation or something. The Barrhaven Independent released their own statement, and, well…it was a big mess. I didn’t want to take any one party’s word as gospel, so I felt it behooved me to do my own digging.

You see, Wess had been a very intriguing candidate. On social media, he seemed to be saying the right things. He seemed to be working hard. Four years ago, Harder had no real competition and was clearly the only reasonable candidate in the race (which is saying something). This year, Wess seemed to be a much more worthy opponent.

I have no love for Jan Harder’s politics and I don’t think she’s been a good councillor for this city, so, naturally, I was very intrigued by Wess’s candidacy…but I couldn’t in good conscience endorse him with these allegations hanging over his head (compare this to Tierney…I think voter intimidation is far worse and Michaeld Schurter is an abysmal candidate).

That is, in part, why I’d been holding off on doing this. I don’t have a lot of time to do my own investigation of the Wess situation, and I don’t even know if I’d be able to find out any additional information.

So tonight, I watched the debate, figuring I was going to have to do it sometime, and I didn’t want to watch the mayoral debate, yet. Well, here’s what I learned.

Wess is a terrible candidate.

This is such a goddamned relief. I was sort of hoping he wouldn’t be my preferred candidate, but I’d felt really strongly that he would be, and then I’d be forced to try to figure this whole mess out. But his performance at the debate ended all that.

Look, Jan Harder is going to win, anyway, and I’m not going to endorse Wess, so I feel absolutely no duty to try to dig out the truth.

Endorsement: Franklin Epape

Ha ha! Didn’t see that one coming, did you!?

This was the ugliest, most childish debate in the last two cycles. Early on, Mark Sutcliffe actually had to scold Jan Harder for her behaviour and unwillingness to stop talking over him, and it only got worse from there. All of them spoke over each other. All of them complained about the time other people were getting. All of them were petty and snide.

But Harder and Wess were clearly the worst. Neither one has the temperament or, hell, the manners to be a civic leader. They were bickering and talking over each other. At times, it seemed Wess was making things up, but at other times he was telling the truth and Harder claimed he was lying. Children. Spoiled little children.

It’s an absolute shame that this seems to be the best that Barrhaven can wretch out this year.

So this one’s a process-of-elimination endorsement.

Epape doesn’t quite have the handle on things that Harder does (this is one thing to giver her credit for: she knows how the city works and doesn’t make too many baseless claims about what can be done at council), but he seems quite committed to his community. He was easily the most positive and the most calm of the four.

So, yeah, we’ll be getting four more years of Harder, and all the pettiness that seems to come along with that.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I’d probably vote for Harder over Wess, if it was a two-person race.

Alta Vista Endorsement (for real, this time)

[If you started reading this the other day, you’ll want to just scroll down to the endorsement.]

I’m starting to write this, and I’m still not sure who I’m going to pick, so let’s just get to the basics first.

This is a race Jean Cloutier deserves to lose. He hasn’t been a great candidate for the ward and he’s been a pretty terrible candidate for the city. Going into election season, I’d assumed that he had little chance of winning, but as three or four quality candidates announced, I started to wonder if he’d squeak by with the others splitting the anti-Cloutier vote. I still think Cloutier will lose, but I think he now has a chance.

(Now watch him garner over 50% of the vote just to prove me an idiot.)

Raylene Lang-Dion was the first challenger to go public–or, at least, to get a lot of attention (whether or not she was the first to actually declare her intentions to run). She came out strong against the situation at Heron Gate and really upped her public profile. Back in March, I figured this was her race for the taking, impressive as she was.

Later, Kevin Kit and John Redins emerged in the race (again, don’t know he declared first). Kit is an established community activist having founded (I think) and led a local community association, helping to shape a problematic development in the community. Redins ran four years ago, and is an active…uh…activist on a number of issues. He’s strong on affordable housing and transit, and has led the public outcry against deficiencies in Para Transpo service.

Mike McHarg rounds out our field. He’s running on a soda beverage tax (which he failed to mention at the Rogers debate when speaking about tax levels), and wants to fight obesity. He’s earnest and all, but he’s not really in contention.

Finally, there’s Clinton Cowan. He entered the race right at the end, and that would seem to put him at a disadvantage, but with an established record of community service, a strong vision for the ward and city, and the experience of running four years ago, he immediately became a worthy challenger.

Right, so Cloutier should be out the door. From his ineffectiveness to the Cloutier tax and finally to having a swanky developer fundraiser planned (and then cancelled) on his behalf, he’s just not the councillor we should want.

For me, Cowan, Lang-Dion and Kit have all put out solid platforms and run good campaigns, and I think any of them would be a fine addition to city council. There’s a lot of overlap between them (as you might expect), but there are a few differences here and there. It’s never anything tremendously substantial, just little answers here and there in the debate, in surveys or on the podcast.

Four years ago, I thought Cowan was easily the best choice (and I bet a few people in Alta Vista are having some buyers remorse). When he entered this year, I figured I’d probably gravitate towards him…and I sort of have. But my worry was that I would be inclined to choose him because he would have been my choice last time.

(Also, full disclosure, I knew Cowan in passing in high school. We had some mutual friends and our bands played in some of the same talent shows. But this isn’t really going to sway me, one way or the other.)

You know what, I still don’t know. Stay tuned…

…aaaaaannnnnnnd, we’re back.

I’ve been thinking about this race a lot…really too much considering it’s not even my ward. And I’ve been thinking about this post I wrote earlier in the year, in which I declared that if two (or more) candidates were equally (or nearly equally) good, I’d support the woman. This isn’t about voting for someone because they’re a woman (though representation is important!); it’s really about acknowledging that women tend to be judged harsher, and so if I think two candidates are equal, there’s a decent chance that the woman is actually the stronger candidate.

Now, I don’t think I’m discounting Lang-Dion’s candidacy, but I would think that, wouldn’t I?

The one sticking point I have is the issue of street design and street safety. This is a weak spot for Lang-Dion. She wasn’t great on the issue of bike lane on Kilborn, and there’s been a lot of “yes, but…” answers when it comes to Complete Streets and active transportation. And that’s not an issue of bias. It’s stuff she’s clearly stated.

How could I ask the residents of Alta Vista to support a candidate who doesn’t full-throatedly support livability–an issue I demand of my own councillor.

Basically, either way, I’m a hypocrite. The question seems to come down to, which candidate would I most regret not endorsing?

Endorsement: Raylene Lang-Dion

The person I first thought would get my support, way back before the election officially began, dimmed a bit in my eye, but has come back around to be my choice.

Let’s talk about her strengths. She understands the issues that are facing the city. She has worked diligently in this campaign and, seemingly, throughout her career, so I expect she’d work hard for residents. She’s smart and personable. She seems to have both the strength and the empathy to be the type of councillor we want.

Where she’s lacking–livability, bike lanes, Complete Streets–I think she can improve, and I think she will. I don’t think she’s that far from the ideal position on the issue, so I imagine she will generally be a reliable advocate for such things. I mean, I’m kind of banking on it, otherwise I couldn’t make this endorsement.

Honourable Mention: Clinton Cowan

This one really was a coin-flip decision. I thought Cowan was the best choice last time, by a wide margin, and I think he might be the best choice this time… but we’re getting right down to the finest of margins between him and Lang-Dion. If you read this post and decide to vote Cowan, hey, I get that, I couldn’t fault you for it. If he were to win, I’d be quite happy. Hell, it’s possible when push comes to shove on election night, I’ll change my mind and root for him.

But for now, my choice is Lang-Dion.

Bay Ward Endorsement

With councillor Mark Taylor adhering to his two-term pledge, Bay Ward is wide-open. Though it’s a five-person race, this is really a competition between candidates, Don Dransfield and Theresa Kavanagh–but in terms of their likelihood of getting elected and because they’re the two strongest candidates (with a nod to Erica Dath, who’d be my third choice in this ward).

Dransfield isn’t a newcomer to politics. He’s run for the Liberals at other levels of government and is married to Anita Vandenbold, the local Liberal MP (who may have broken some ethics rules when she used her position as part of campaigning for her husband).

Interestingly, Kavanagh also has a noteworthy spouse–Alex Cullen, a former MPP and city councillor, who lost to Taylor four years ago. But Kavanagh shouldn’t be defined by her spouse. She’s active in her community and has been serving as School Board Trustee up until this election (okay, I think she’s technically still the trustee, but that’ll change). Kavanagh has also run federally for the NDP.

So it’s sort of an interesting proxy war between the Liberals and the NDP, as well as some casual observers (Mayor Watson–who has an ongoing feud with Alex Cullen–briefly used his social media presence to boost Dransfield’s profile.)

But screw all of that. These are two good candidates running two good campaigns. Keep your petty sniping to yourself.

Endorsement: Theresa Kavanagh

As I said, these are two quality candidates, Kavanagh and Dransfield, but Kavanagh comes out slightly ahead. She has a platform that addresses both the ward and city issues better than Dransfield’s. She has a history of working on social issues to better her community, and she seems to have a very strong handle on city governance.

Just as importantly, she seems to have the temperament that we could use at the council table. At one point in the Rogers debate, Dransfield stumbled. He seemed to lose his train of thought, attempted to speak again, but couldn’t. It was kind of odd, and it was very awkward, to say the least. Once it became absolutely clear that Dransfield wasn’t able to get back on track, Kavanagh jumped in.

Now, I don’t bring this up as a shot at Dransfield; these things can happen, but the way Kavanagh interjected was noteworthy. She picked up on Dransfield’s thought, agreed that it was worthwhile and then expanded a bit. She didn’t pounce. She didn’t ignore him. She actually kind of threw him a lifejacket.

I’ve seen this on social media, too. Where other politicians (or just jerks like me on Twitter) might get testy or might try to jump on some perceived error by an opponent, she’s gracious and she’s thoughtful.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t her playing into a stereotypical female role that some chauvinist would have her adopt. She’s not a pushover, and she’s not timid. She’s an activist and she seems willing to fight for her community and her city…she’s just not going to lose sight of her or “an opponent’s” humanity.

Your councillor needs to fight for you, but they also need to get along with their fellow councillors. They need to want the best for their ward, but they also need to show understanding and empathy for residents in other wards who have different concerns. This is the sort of disposition I’ve gleaned from what I’ve seen of Kavanagh, and it just reinforces that she’s the right candidate for Bay Ward.

A ward by any other name…

I made a comment on Twitter while I was watching the Gloucester-South Nepean debate yesterday; it would be lovely if we had more differentiation between ward names. I mean, I get why it’s Kanata North and Kanata South…we can keep that straight, sort of. But why do we have Gloucester-South Nepean and Gloucester-Southgate; and Rideau-Vanier, Rideau-Rockliffe and Rideau-Goulbourn?

Come on!

That brought my mind back to a similar…well, complaint is too strong a word…quandary: why is it called Capital Ward? Yes, yes, we’re the capital city, but why use it as the moniker for our ward? Really, if anything should be called “Capital”, it should be Somerset Ward; they’ve got both Parliament and City Hall. They’re closer to being the capital ward of the capital city.

Every other ward seems to be named after either the community, a prominent feature of the ward or a prominent street (which is also the name of a community). “Capital” is none of those things, I’d say.

So I wondered to what it could be changed. You couldn’t name it after one of the neighbourhoods, and Glebe-Old Ottawa South-Old Ottawa East-Heron Park-Glebe Annex-Carleton University is pretty cumbersome. Maybe just go with Old Ottawa Ward? No, that’s pretty weird.

The new footbridge had been called by some the “Midtown Bridge” prior to its official naming, so Midtown Ward? That would actually make a lot of sense if anyone in the city ever called the general area “Midtown”.

We could go with “University Ward”. We have two! It’d be a nice pairing with College, but we don’t have the city’s oldest university, which is just beside our ward, so it might be a bit odd.

Bank is the most prominent street, but it stretches so far beyond Capital that it doesn’t really fit. Maybe an east-west street? Sunnyside Ward? That’s got a good ring to it, but I’m not sure it’s a sufficiently prominent street to warrant such a re-naming. Let’s put it in the maybes.

Riverdale Ward? Hey, I love Archie, too…

Okay, none of this is really doing it for me. What’s a key feature in our ward? The Lansdowne Ward? Might as well call it the OSEG Ward. It’ll be good up until another football team fails.

(I’M KIDDING.)

What about the canal? Could we go with “Canal Ward”? It’s definitely a defining feature in the ward, and certainly has a bunch more meaning to people than “Capital”.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, the Canal isn’t restricted to Capital Ward, and that’s fair…but Somerset Street stretches over into Rideau-Vanier, the old city of Gloucester included (parts of?) Beacon Hill-Cyrville, a number of wards have bays (or Bay Street) and River Ward isn’t the only ward with a river…hell, it doesn’t even have the Ottawa River in it.

Much of the most prominent areas of the canal are in Capital, including Dow’s Lake (no, we’re not calling it “Dow Ward”). Further, the canal goes through this ward, splitting the Glebe and Old Ottawa East, the Glebe and Old Ottawa South, and the Glebe Annex and Carleton University. It also serves as borders with River and Somerset, so those sections are sort of half in Capital.

So, yeah, that’s what we should do. “Capital Ward” is a dumb name that is both aggrandizing and diminishing, at the same time. Let’s change it.

Welcome to Canal Ward.

Kanata North Endorsement

So I finally got around to watching the Kanata North debate, last night. I hadn’t been avoiding it, far from it. It’s an interesting race with multiple strong candidates vying for the seat left open with the departure of Marianne Wilkinson. I wanted to make sure I was in the mood to pay close attention to really assess the candidates.

Of course, I’d already done some background work on this. They were on the podcast a while back, and I’ve gone through their websites and checked out their social media postings. Still, I didn’t feel I had a full grasp on who each one was as a candidate, so I was looking forward to the debate.

And it didn’t disappoint…or, well, maybe it did.

All four candidates who attended came off strong. They’d done their homework (for the most part), and I wouldn’t say there was any petty bickering. There’s a lot of overlap among their positions, but there’s enough of a difference to pick and choose. So a good debate, but no real fireworks.

The highlight of the debate was the discussion pertaining to safe injection sites. Each candidate treated the issue thoughtfully and acknowledged that overdoses and drug addiction are serious issues…and that SIS is a key way we have to address these issues (even Matt Muirhead–who started to veer into Reefer Madness territory talking about pot shops–was really strong on this topic.

Endorsement: Jenna Sudds

Going into the debate, I was leaning towards Sudds, but I was a little wary. I like her background and a lot of the community work she has done. Further, I think her platform and her thought process when approaching city issues is a little stronger than her main rival, David Gourlay.

(An interesting difference came up during the discussion of allowing pot shops–Sudds was for it, but Gourlay was hesitant, suggesting that we wait and see how it works for other municipalities first, rather than rushing in. Okay, I get the desire to be cautious, but maintaining the status quo isn’t really the right balance to strike. It’s not a question of pot shops or no one selling weed in the city; it’s a question of pot shops or people dealing illegally or pseudo-legally. This is a needle that can’t really be threaded.)

The biggest drawback to Sudds is that she doesn’t live in the ward. This is something that Gourlay tried to make hay out of earlier in the campaign, but has seemed to back off from when his attacks were rather ugly and ham-fisted. He still made comments about living in and raising a family in the ward but he took no petty shots at Sudds (unlike what we’ve seen in other debates).

Personally, I don’t think living outside the ward should be disqualifying for voters…but I think you better have a damned good reason for running outside your ward. And to me, the question often comes down to living, not just residing. Do you live your life in the ward? Do you, maybe, have a business in the ward? Or your kids go to school in the ward? Maybe you live a block or two outside the ward, but it’s where you do your shopping and volunteering; or maybe it’s where you go to church or play in a rec softball league. If you can demonstrate a reason for you to be running in the ward (aside from well, there’s a strong incumbent where I live), I’m willing to give you a pass.

I believe this is the case for Sudds. She’s been part of the Kanata North BIA and other community groups, and my understanding is that her kids go to school in the ward. I think her commitment to the community is established, so if I were there, I’d be comfortable voting for her even though she lives outside the ward. (But I understand if others would prefer a resident of the ward.)

This is a strong field, but I found that each of the other three candidates had sufficiently significant flaws, that Sudds is definitely the strongest candidate.

A little more on my Capital Ward endorsement

A few weeks ago, I went on a bit of a binge on Capital Ward, leading up to my endorsement (hey, it’s where I live, so I pay a bit more attention). I wrote that endorsement after a long debate, and I was pretty tired, so not only do I think it’s not as well written as it could be, I also left something out by mistake. (And I don’t just want to tack it on to the bottom of that post, which is now buried.)

My endorsement of Shawn Menard doesn’t change, nor do the reasons I listed. I still think he’s the strongest candidate, with the clearest and superior vision, the best platform, and the best understanding of city-building and what is needed for the ward and the city.

…but I also wanted to give an honourable mention–a second choice or runner up, if you will…so here we go:

Honourable Mention: Christine McAllister

I think this is likely a two-person race between Menard and McAllister, and, moreover, I think it should be a two-person race between Menard and McAllister.

It’s easy to see a lot of the qualities that would make McAllister a worthwhile councillor. She’s hard-working, intelligent, thoughtful, friendly and I don’t get the sense she would take a lot of crap from other councillors. She has a long track record of working for the community, so the dedication seems to be there.

Her platform is decent. While it might be lacking in specific policy proposals, she appears to have a good way of looking at the issues in the ward and the city. She has a nuanced take on taxation and spending, to her credit. And, hell, she’s spoken of a bike corridor along Bank Street.

I disagree on a few of her policy stances, but, all in all, it’s a decent platform that should make you think she’d be a decent councillor.

So why am I not going with her? Well, as I said, I have some quibbles on policy, and on some specific issues that I think are important to the ward. I’m also not sure she has the overall vision I’d want in a councillor. And I don’t think she has as deep a grasp on city-building issues as Menard (which, I imagine, has something to do with Menard’s career, as well as his interests)…but if Menard weren’t in the race, I would be 100% behind McAllister.

So, no, I’m not changing my endorsement, but I am saying that I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed to have McAllister ruling over Capital Ward for the next four years.