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In the hot seat: Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney speaks exclusively to the Ottawa Citizen

In the hot seat: Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney speaks exclusively to the Ottawa Citizen

foreign welcome to the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen thanks for joining us today um as you know and as you were forewarned everything is on the record when you talk to the editorial board um the normal way we do this is we give.

You a minute or so to make an opening statement if you would like to and then we’ll just go sort of straight to our questions we’ll kind of go around until somebody’s exhausted and we’ll go from there okay well I’ll make a quick opening statement my name is Catherine McKinney I’m running for mayor for city of Ottawa I’m.

Running to build a city that we can all be proud of to invest reinvest in the services that that we need in this city we know it’s a city with a tremendous amount of potential and people are looking for a change in our city so my plan really is to invest in housing affordable housing homelessness.

Transportation Transit you know to give kids 17 and under free transit to start to rebuild our Transit ridership invest in the in the operations of of Transit certainly all of that ties into a strong climate action plan that that I’ve put forward we’re in a climate crisis and we have you know we have to take we have to.

Take action now so in a nutshell it’s uh you know that it’s a bold and ambitious plan but one that is also affordable that I’m always excited to talk about okay we will get to uh some various elements of uh the plan itself then I have a couple of political campaign related questions to start you off uh as we’re getting into the last couple of.

Weeks things are beginning a little more heated between the candidates shall we say so one of your Rivals has said that electing you would be a hard turn to the left or that you would be the candidate of the hard left that’s the kind of vocabulary that has been used are you the candidate of the.

Hard left what are you look this campaign has really uh unfolded into two very clear visions on the one hand uh you know my plan is to uh is is bold it’s uh you know it’s a vision to reinvest in our city our city services my opponent Mark Sutcliffe is proposing to cut up to 80 million dollars in in services that that people.

Rely on so in the end my plan will save you money will save individuals families Money In the City by delivering the public services that that we all rely on I have uh you know a record as a city councilor for asking tough questions for ensuring that that people are the priority in all of our our budgets and I will continue to do that.

I’m not sure that completely answers the um perhaps overly simplified label wow let me put it this way there’s you know our plans are both out today and there’s about a half Point uh difference in in the two plans uh but you know my plan clearly saves you money if you are a family with two kids for example 17 and under it can save you up to twenty.

Four hundred dollars a year in transit costs if you you know if if uh if we cut Public Services if you can’t afford to uh to take a bus if you have to hail a cab if you can’t uh don’t have Library services for example on Sunday to take your kids to if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go to a bookstore to purchase those books that’s there for.

You but it’s more expensive for you so I would I would suggest that you know the the the plans are are really you know very clear and there’s a very clear distinction between the two and mine will ultimately reinvest in those services that we need and will ultimately result in savings for people for for families and we’ll get you the.

Services that you that you rely on every day from busing to Recreation to housing to libraries okay thank you Bruce did you want to carry on this theme a bit sure so much has been made of council’s dysfunction particularly in the last term with the Watson Club on one side and the so-called Progressive or leftists.

Largely Urban councilors on the other mayor Watson has repeatedly declared his as just one vote on Council but he’s clearly shaped committees and boards to promote his platform the first part of my question is during your time on Council did you feel that you were outside looking in you know.

Mayor Watson came in at a time in 2010 when we had just been through four years of a very inexperienced mayor Larry O’Brien there was much dysfunction there was cleanup to be done and he came in and people were looking for that type of stability but you know over the last eight years I would suggest that you know what was missing from.

Um from the council table was that that healthy discussion that healthy debate into uh you know the the services that we need for I’ll give you a clear example the LRT procurement when we asked time and time again you know was did the snc level out meet the technical requirements for uh for you know LRT phase two and you know that that.

Question was never answered you know it takes away from our Democratic process when you can’t have debate when you can’t have that that discussion so you know in the end uh you know I will always stand up for residents that that I represent I will always stand up for the city that I believe that we can have and whether that put me on you know what.

You would from the outside um you know I think that for for me it’s uh you know it was about leadership it was about ensuring that I continue to ask those tough questions and I would I would always do that my second part of the question is um your Progressive agenda if you became.

Mayor is certainly likely to alienate a lot of counselors centers and right of Center so how do you include them and still accomplish the things you want to and does your platform not risk creating a McKinney Club you know you know people argue against better Transit people across the city.

Understand that our transit system is in crisis it doesn’t work it doesn’t function it can’t get you where you need to go it doesn’t function within people’s neighborhood certainly and that is something that everywhere whether it’s Orleans Stittsville Bar Haven people want transit to function within within their neighborhoods they want.

Better Recreation services they want to be able to easily put their kids into Recreation services and to swim less lessons um so I would suggest that you know across the city people are asking for for the same thing and people running for Council across the city are hearing the same thing so.

Um you know I I believe that we will come into a new term of Council of course we have uh almost half of council will be new so there will be new ideas new focuses but I’m confident that that candidates for Council today are hearing the same things that I’m hearing and that they want a reinvestment in their services in this city but you have.

Issues in your platform that many candidates or many counselors would likely not agree with the bicycles for example so how do you get them on board or do you just you have your vision for the city so do you just railroad ahead and do that again if you know people in Suburban.

Communities urban communities rural Villages all want the same thing they want better transportation network if you’re a driver you want to get yourself out of traffic my Transportation plan will help you get out of traffic by investing in cycle Lanes by investing in transit nobody whether you’re a driver a cyclist.

A pedestrian wants a neighborhood where it’s dangerous it’s dangerous for your kids to go cycle to visit their friends where you know if you’re a driver no driver wants to you know be in a situation where if a mistake is made they’re at risk of injuring or even worse killing a cyclist you know the the cycling plan that that.

I put forward is is cost neutral it will you know not cost any more year over year uh into the budget that then we’re already spending today but what it will do is it will uh you know we will be able to build that system that we need uh any modern city needs uh in a shorter amount of time and I’ll give you a clear example uh Stittsville just did its uh.

Public realm study for its Main Street and one of the things that identified residents identified as wanting was cycle Lanes on Main Street in Stittsville well right now there’s no budget for that that could take 5 10 15 years and I heard from residents that that’s disappointing so to bring that up uh into the next you know four years.

Will um you know we’ll address that to that you know what has been established by residents of Statesville is something that they want for themselves and for their families if I’m understanding you right the question I think from Bruce was a little bit more about political culture a little less about your program.

Yourself and but what you’re seeing in response to him is we won’t have problems on Council because people will see the reason of my platform but I guess what I’m saying is that you know I’m guessing that people how do you keep it from becoming polarized I’ll use a counselor for example um Matt.

Ludloff he wrote us an op-ed at Center online and it says you know listen to business of council is just to look after real basic stuff that’s what we do we shouldn’t be doing all these other things whatever that might be so that would suggest that you may be facing at least some of the former supporters of Mayor Watson who were in a.

Kind of polarized situation with other members of of council whether it be a councilman or Council Kavanaugh or councilor Deans or yourself so I think what we’re looking for is to see which candidate if any kind of understands how to patch over that Gap or how to you know how to how to how to fix it how to make that work.

So it isn’t this nasty back and forth thing right yeah so so yeah absolutely so we do have half of council coming in that will be new and we do have existing counselors um you know in my term on Council I’ll I’ll say this I get along with my colleagues I get along with Scott moffatt and actually he’s one that I.

Probably am most friendly with Alan Hubley may not always agree but you know we we are we are friendly I think the the last term of counsel certainly with covid uh being online uh took away uh some of our ability to to work with each other to see each other face to face and I do think that that contributed to you know more divisive.

Stances on on issues but we have both an opportunity it’s both a challenge and an opportunity with that many new counselors coming in the opportunity is that they will come in with with their ideas and things that they will want to get done and absolutely we have to have those discussions and you know you you don’t need 24 counselors around the.

Table plus a mayor if everybody just votes the same way right like we’ve got to be able to have those discussions those debates it’s healthy for democracy do I think I’m going to win every vote I don’t believe that I will win every vote but I do have the leadership skills I have the experience with my existing colleagues.

Um to to you know to move forward on a Clear Vision for for the city but that also takes into consideration the needs of their awards that that no award that no area of our city is is left out of that and whether it’s a rural Village or a urban community or a suburban community that’s the role of a mayor and that’s what I will bring to the table.

All right thank you thanks Nicole um I want to Pivot a little and talk about City finances um so your financial plan relies on Revenue growth projections of 4.6 percent a year with the 0.5 percent of that growth projected to be so-called free balance from which you propose to fund a variety of priorities but many.

Economists are now projecting an economic contraction in the first quarter of 2023 and possibly through all of 2023 with the chief Economist at Macquarie group for example saying that the economy will actually contract by three percent with unemployment Rising about five percent so my question is what happens to your priorities if the.

Projected growth of in-city Revenue is in fact much smaller than what you’ve projected so we did when we were looking at how we were going to build the plan of course we had the information that we had at the time and we took into consideration uh growth at the time and and inflation and what was left over was that what we.

Call the the free balance um we were very careful not to go into that growth budget because that is that’s the funding that you need for meeting the needs of a growing population so if you know if we grow by uh you know 10 000 new residents you need that that money you need that funding for that many more paramedics.

That many more Librarians you know that’s that that’s what that that budget does so we were very careful that we left that in place we also were very conscious that things do change and you can only you know look at the markers that you have available for you.

You know in at that moment but we left what I believe to be a healthy contingency that would address um you know if in fact uh you know the economy contracts or you know inflation does stay a little bit higher or we do need some extra.

Uh funding into you know some of our infrastructure so that contingency fund was left there for that reason uh okay did you do any kind of stress testing of the financial plan using scenarios that involved a contraction in City revenues no at the time we built it on the information we had which was the growth projections and the inflation.

Projections uh from the inflation of course we from the Bank of Canada yeah right um I also have a question about debt um so your your plan to kind of build city this city cycling infrastructure involves the issuance of kind of uh you know about 350 million dollars in green green bonds with the cost of borrowing.

Kind of expected to rise with the Bank of Canada Titan against monetary policy how can you kind of justify increasing the city’s debt load um kind of at this time so that that green Bond um is is very different than say the um the 332 million uh that is a debt being set aside for lands now 2.0.

The the green Bond will um yield the investors less less interest so it does come in at a lower interest rate that’s you know if investors are looking for to invest in green infrastructure that’s what it does it provides that that opportunity we’ll likely issue that probably in year four or maybe later.

Um it’s so able to take advantage perhaps of lower interest rates at the time but also it is um you know when we look at our cycling infrastructure so we’re very careful to ensure that what we were paying back um you know over 25 years was the same.

Amount that we are paying today the 15 million dollars a year so we’re not we’re not increasing um our budget to to fund this but we also had to take into account um you know what today uh 15 million dollars for cycling infrastructure depending on what infrastructure You’re Building.

Gets you between 10 and 15 kilometers it’s not very much in a city that’s got you know 6 000 kilometers of roadways um but in 15 20 25 years from now you know 15 million might get you three to five kilometers so by you know investing in that today you get more uh for your money certainly for your.

Investment and then it’s just paid back at the same rate that or the same budget value that we would have anyway okay thank you can I can I just follow up with a couple of way more general questions sorry as a as a voter I’m I’m confused I hear candidate shirelli come out and say you leave me in charge of the city because.

Our debt is horrendous our finances are in terrible shape uh you know it’s just they showed me the books it’s awful it’s awful is it awful no when we talk about debt you know I think the the one of the most important things is to be transparent about where your debt is what it’s financing.

I’m going to go back to the 332 million for Lansdowne 2.0 um you know that was a decision that was supposed to be made after extensive consultation with the public we had an entire process laid out it never happened I’m not opposed to Lance and I just don’t know what people want I don’t.

Think people have ever been asked you know what do you want to see at Lansdowne what are you willing to invest as a as a city um you know so when we look at debt like uh the debt that uh you know to um smart debt that would um help us to um.

You know take all of our city buildings and retrofit our city buildings to um you know to realize Energy savings we know that in eight years we’re going to start it will have paid off and we will you know we will have that that funding actually freed up we will have less energy uh costs in our all of our city buildings so are there different.

Types of debt uh and I think that it’s a I think it’s really important that that you know our our budget and understanding that even for us to understand where our debt was and what it was was difficult it’s you know our budgets uh the information around our financing at the city even how much is in our cycling budget is very difficult.

To understand it’s been made very opaque I think on purpose so that you know people don’t don’t understand what we actually can do for them well I’d agree I’m certainly one of those but what you’re saying then is it’s less about whatever the number is and more about what that debt is going into if it’s going into something that.

We believe is going to get paid back whether it’s energy retrofits whether it’s people off the roads because of cycling whatever it might be that that is a more um acceptable sort of debt or a more rational kind of debt to be in then I believe it’s a smarter debt and I believe that if we are open about our.

Debt what it means what the return on it is and you know allow it you know it any money that we spend is your money it’s your tax dollar and we haven’t done that so I I think it’s both I think you have to be careful about that obviously you know you have to pay it back um you know debt financing can be expensive but you also have to be honest.

About that and there is smart debt can I ask you one other thing I’m going to pass to Taylor right after this but um you’ve talked about getting more public input into obviously setting the budget I presume you can’t do that for 2023 you wouldn’t have time is that Fair 2023 budget will occur 2023 budget.

Will occur and the 2024 budget will both occur in 2023 we’re gonna have two budgets in the same year it will be it will be more difficult to get input it will happen quicker but we we still can it’s not going to you know we will have all of December and January but certainly going forward we have to find a much better way of Consulting the.

Public on our on our budget so is it current before the horse to say to the public I already know what the property tax increase is going to be what the ceiling is going to be before I’ve actually consulted you about any of this you know the the plan that I put forward I think that any um serious candidate would put forward.

Would have to um be costed and with that costing you know you would know what your um what your projected budget uh increase or tax rate would be mine comes in at three percent it’s quite clear how I you know arrived at the current uh tax approach of three percent uh but then there’s you know I.

Guess we can’t confuse that with the actual budget process and the budget process um is a time when you know uh you know we we look at uh the needs of each department um you know if there are savings to be had say in.

One Department that can be reinvested into other services that we know are in you know a pretty critical need of of Investments then then we’ll do that then but those again those are the discussions that we have to have prior to that budget landing on the council table and pretty much you finalize before there’s any real.

Input into it Taylor I want to go back to the cycling infrastructure just because it’s it’s a major part of your platform and a lot of you know you know questions have been brought up by competitors or others during the campaign so can you explain to voters you know.

How we get there’s there’s debt that’s going to be issued for this construction’s done how does it get paid for four years worth of construction to get this thing done where does the money for that come from because it hasn’t been laid out um in your financial plan and then are you confident that we have like sufficient capacity to actually.

Construct this we hear about Labor shortages or other challenges supply chain issues do you really think it’s possible to deliver on all of that in four years and then one last part of that question so this for this to be cost neutral that for 50 for 25 years you’re saying spend 15 million to service the the debt and.

The interest yes so to keep that cost neutral no additional spending on on even more cycling infrastructure we just pay this down and what we have is what we have three parts that’s okay so the you know the funding comes from the 250 million when we issue.

That debt right now we’ve got reserves that we can use up until the point that you issued that debt so you do have time to um you know between when you start and when you issue the debt uh where you can wait for lower interest rates where you can you know find the the best time for that type of of investment so it is it.

Is a green Bond it is a bond that we would issue we did that for our LRT I think we were the first city actually in Canada to issue a green bond for uh for you know Green transit so it was it’s the same type of funding mechanism um second part of that question you know other cities are doing it cities around.

The world cities in Canada they’re building the needed infrastructure they recognize that we’ve got to keep people you know you know give people a choice in how they travel people have a right to get around by bike you know no matter where they live you know kids are going to travel they’re going to hang out with their friends they’re going to go to.

School they’re going to take a bike they have a right we have an obligation to keep people to keep people safe it’s just about building the infrastructure really that that keeps people safe when they’re when they’re out on their bike it also is again an advantage to drivers no driver wants to be in a situation where you know a mistake made by a kid.

On a bike or anyone on a bike results in their death nobody comes out of that scenario unscathed whether it’s your fault or not when you’re a pedestrian or cyclist you have a right to make a mistake and not have it result in catastrophic injury or death so building the cycling infrastructure cities are doing it.

Everywhere um you know and they and they are doing it aggressively and we’ve seen that and we haven’t and I firmly believe that we can uh over over four years build the you know build out the the missing links and the networks that are already identified in our in our master plan our.

Transportation master plan the third part of that uh yes you know absolutely so you know and and this was something that I considered very carefully because you know we we built it it’s it’s it’s in our transportation master plan it’s part of our official plan it’s actually part of our climate plan it’s actually more money identified.

In our climate plan than 250 million but it is part of our climate plan that we endorse unanimously as a council and it had this type of cycling investment into cycling infrastructure in it um so you know when we when we pay that back 15 million dollars a year which is what we’re spending today are there going to be opportunities to do more I.

Trust that there probably will be I think that our federal Partners provincial governments uh in the past and today are investing in active transportation we can always you know take advantage of that but what we will have is a very secure uh and a very ambitious and a world-class cycling Network I think it it gives us the.

Opportunity for other cities to compare themselves to Ottawa we’ve heard your opponent Mark Sutcliffe he’s criticized your your spending plan as you know he talks about raiding the reserves and we’re hearing that even in just the short term you will be taking plan to take money out of there to pay for this that you’re going to pull down.

Another 90 million that’s not going to get repaid um you know he said we we don’t know what we could encounter you know extreme weather events other unexpected Financial situations just the general economic uncertainty of our time right now and it’s not responsible to be doing this what’s your response to that.

So first off this isn’t to raid the reserves this is you know being able to use those reserves until we have the the bond in place so the the reserves pretty much stay um you know aren’t aren’t taken out aren’t removed the 90 million dollars uh use of reserves is um exactly what we should be doing we.

Are you know families are feeling the pinch people you know are worried about their own finances and this is a time when cutting back on city services hurts people if you pull money out of services out of TR it comes out it has to come out of city services it will come out of.

Libraries it will come out of Recreation services it will come out of transit services I don’t know anybody who would argue today that we have sufficient investments in those services at the city of Ottawa so that 90 million dollars is you know a portion of the excess that we have in reserves there is a certain you know amount that you know.

Is agreed upon by Financial experts it’s like 8.5 to 9.6 I’m kind of pulling that out but I think it’s around there we have 15 percent in excess Reserve so so what we’re using is a portion of those excess that’s the 90 million to address inflation so that because without that then you have your choices are higher taxes.

Or less spending on services so it’s actually the right thing to do just to reduce any of our current spending as a city again your opponent has portrayed that as as giving up today we heard giving up on finding savings for Ottawa taxpayers do you not believe that there’s anywhere where spending is a city where where we shouldn’t be or.

Not to the extent we are today there’s always places to find excess spending the Porsche dealership is probably the the best example but there’s always places to find some excess certainly not up to 80 million dollars I’ve been around that table I understand the budget well enough to know that 80.

Million dollars is serious serious cuts to our service but when we’re budgeting you know if there’s savings to be found in one area of course we will look for those we’ll always look for some efficiencies but to suggest that today we wouldn’t just reinvest those in transit in paratranspo that never shows up for people in.

Recreation services our recreation centers open later and later every every budget round you know we don’t have the swim lessons that we need uh francophone parents have a hard time getting their kids into you know the Recreation services in in the language of their choice you know any any savings that we find we will.

Reinvest in the services that save you money in the end by delivering good public services that that people count on you know providing transit for free for kids 17 and under you know it’s the it’s the probably the most significant way that we can make life more affordable for families if you’ve got two kids that’s you know 200 a month.

There’s not much more a city can do to make life more affordable for families than that how did you get here today I drove you drove because our bike paths are so yeah yeah I have to say I drive you know I drive not well more regularly than I used to certainly.

Um but you know I drive I take transit when I can I probably use all modes of transportation in one day I think most people do I think most people either walk and take a car or take transit and cycle or you know cycle and drive like it’s not one or the other it’s you know we really we really have to consider like the you know a day in the life of.

Anyone or a day in the life of any family and and how people you know move about that’s a fair answer can I just ask you um we didn’t even talk about asking this but I’ll ask you because the cities rental e-scooter program wraps up right right in November and I just wonder uh what you would be concluding about that program this is like the.

Second or third year it’s been kind of a pilot so-called pilot program yeah what what have you seen with that so when it first um entered Ottawa it came with much fanfare and I could understand why it’s kind of fun to go around on an electric scooter but they were left on sidewalks they people were riding them on.

Sidewalks it was I was hearing especially from Seniors like many many times every day you know about close calls scooters uh cnib was in touch with me several times about people who had visual impairment and the dangers of you know possibly tripping over scooters that were being left on the sidewalk so after the first.

Pilot I think I was the only one who said no it’s not that I didn’t want to see the micro Mobility is you know is is a good thing it’s a it’s a it’s a healthy way of getting people around the city but you know we have to hold these companies to to account and I was told there’s no way you can get them off the sidewalks we can’t geofence that closely.

Enough I disagreed year two there were more of us that said no because you know it was spreading out more and more people were hearing from residents and we took the the you know we took the feedback from uh you know cnib and other groups quite seriously um and you know this this summer I have.

To say there there were less of them uh and and you know the launch was um pushed back until they really were able to geofence uh off of uh off of sidewalks and it’s worked I you know I haven’t had many complaints about them they have more specific parking areas so they’re not just left on sidewalks and and you’re not seeing and we’re certain.

We’re not seeing the the people riding them on sidewalks so if you become mayor will you do you think back this program going forward based on what we saw this year absolutely I could see making it more permanent yes um Blair we’re still on Transit here yes yes uh LRT questions yeah yeah yeah but.

More more macro Transit but uh in your policy uh for for Transit I mean the the fear free rides for kids under 17 uh gets most of the press but you also said that you want to bring LRT maintenance under the city’s control away from RT TM and what makes you think the city would be able to do a better job at that than RTM and and do you think it’s feasible.

You can do that um so when you think about the you know the the history of of our uh transit system it’s not functioned well uh it’s not functioning nearly as well as uh as residents should expect it to uh we’re now you know we’ve had two serious derailments uh many you know many times.

That it’s it’s shut down Winters particularly difficult but so is the heat so right now the city is in court um you know arguing for that they that RTM is in default if that court case comes back where we have options and one of them is uh you know I call it a low-cost option to uh to bring that maintenance in-house I do believe that.

That we can do a better job than RTM has been doing you know we’ve had to bring in expertise you know that’s uh tra has had to come in to oversee what oh is almost you know the tightening of nuts and bolts on on a train that we paid 2.1 billion dollars for in the past um I mean I’m not comparing them uh.

Directly but in the past you know with our Trillium line even though it’s it’s heavy rail our original Trillium line um was not a P3 we had it was a bombardier train we had Bombardier you know engineers in but it was our city staff we had the expertise at the city to oversee the the maintenance and uh and it worked it was one of the highest.

Functioning trains anywhere so I do believe that we can bring it in-house if in fact we get that option and that we can hire the expertise for the you know same amount of money that we’re paying RTM and then you have uh you have more accountability over the over the maintenance in a somewhat related question you’re.

Advocating for e-buses to accelerate that and and use that more with OC Transfer but we saw with they’re kind of untested in our climate and we know the hazards of that from the Alstrom train and what happened to LRT so what makes you think that that’s a good idea to rush into ebuses when it was.

Problematic with LRT so with the e-bus is a couple of things they have been used in other cold climates so it’s not a it’s not a brand new type of bus the same as the Austin Spirit was and brand new train that had never been tested but we also have the auditor Generals Report I think that was really quite smart of council to ask for an AGS assessment of.

The purchase and how we move forward with that purchase so you know it slowed it down a little bit but I think it’s it you know given our experience with the LRT I think that it’s The Prudent way to to move forward but you know after after a year you know testing the the the electric buses to move forward with more is you know it is the the only way that.

We’re going to you know really reduce our greenhouse gases in our in our own Fleet of buses can I ask you one other thing about transition sure we’ve moved to other topics this isn’t really about Transit well it is it’s about people who’ve driven their cars like I do a bit too much.

Um there was a lot of confusion in the last few weeks about parking charges and what you would do in the core uh because of some of the things that had been said by other candidates why don’t you just clear that up for us right now tell us what you want to do with parking charges in Ottawa.

So parking charges are not part of my Transportation plan at all so um there was some confusion there are many who think that we are yeah um yes there was some confusion another candidate had suggested quite an increase in in um in parking in the downtown um that headline wasn’t attributed to.

Anyone so it was assumed that it was me I have absolutely no intention of uh of uh you know raising uh parking to nine dollars an hour or whatever it was that Mr Bay had suggested what I did go on to say was this so the question to us was you know would you support you know shutting down the downtown to cars and um you know my response to that was no.

You can’t you know cities who have been able to do that have got very robust very effective very affordable transit systems we don’t so you you can’t you you can’t give people no options to come into a downtown of course um and then I referred to a study that had been done that showed that you know.

Congestion charging um you know was was best addressed through uh you know increases in parking levels but that was just a reference to a study that is not in my Transportation plan and I have no intention of racing parking fees in the downtown I’m not going to raise Park no yeah that’s what we’re doing okay good yeah thank you.

Okay um Marco do you want to throw anything in here um uh the other week I moderated a debate in uh Finley Creek and one thing I thought was interesting was all four candidates um there were in a unanimous agreement that um the bike lane proposal the fair free.

Transit warrant proposals that would be a would be effective in Finland Creek now you mentioned earlier that you know you spoke to or you saw that and it said spilled that bike Lanes or something that were wanted by residents so I’m just thinking though considering some of the rhetoric we’re hearing and maybe it’s perception versus reality what.

Would you say to you know critics who say that this plan that you’re putting forward these are things that are helpful or beneficial mostly to Urban residents and don’t speak to the experiences of people living this in the suburbs or in rural communities well certainly the uh the money that families will save for Fair free transit.

For kids 17 and under will benefit people living in across the city and probably more so in Suburban communities with many many families that move out to our suburban community so you know that will that will save families money anytime I talk to any family you know about that you know they understand that it is a.

Significant savings for them yearly monthly savings for them in terms of uh you know the investment into into safe cycling again it’s it is part of our official plan it’s part of our climate plan it was unanimously approved by by Council that that we have to invest in in safe cycling infrastructure if we want to give people options to you know.

Move about the city in a different way and you know if we want to get people out of traffic there’s also a lot of discussion about traffic I got here with only two minutes to spare because of traffic and the the only way to do that the only way to get drivers out of traffic is to have more people take transit have more people walk have more.

People cycle win and you know when they can nobody is at all is suggesting that there should only be one mode of transportation but you have to give people choices so you’re not declaring war on cars it’s just not my way Marco did you have.

A follow-up there yeah I just I just elaborate on that a bit I think more generally if we can kind of frame this out in a way you know how would you address people who maybe are concerned that you won’t represent their interest because you’re you’re a counselor who represents an urban Ward on Council yeah um well I’ve lived in Canada I live in.

Canada for years and uh I actually worked for the counselor in Canada addressing people’s needs in Canada I was very good at it and so I do understand the needs of suburban communities I’ve lived through that I’ve I’ve addressed those needs through my work in you know in a suburban community and you know whether.

You’re looking at you know at needs of you know Canada glencarron stitzville you know parts of Orleans downtown community or a rural Village really the you know the the needs are you know there are some differences but they’re pretty much all the same people want a sense of community people want to live in a neighborhood that they’re.

Proud of people want to be able to to meet their neighbors people want to be able to to walk to a corner store or to be able to cycle to a library you know that that is that is a shared kind of vision across the city and uh yeah I just I always subscribe to the fact that you know we really are much more similar than we are different.

Okay um Bruce Will Spring back to you here one thing I hadn’t heard you talk much about is policing I know you wrote a letter recently about choosing a new police chief but uh I think it’s a the shape size and budget of Ottawa Police Services is a significant issue especially with what happened in January.

And February so what is the direction you’d like to see the force take and how are you going to get there I know in the past you’ve talked about that defunding the police so oh I’ve never talked about defunding wow you’ve talked about taking money for like mental health issues and out of the increase that was being sought yeah to go elsewhere yes but not.

I’ve certainly never seen that explosion well I’ve just never said it okay um so I I’m just how how do you propose what do you want in in Ops how do you propose to get there and I know that another candidate has said that uh he will sit on the board are you planning on doing that yeah I’ve stated that uh weeks ago that I would I would sit on.

The the Police Services Board look nobody understands the need for Effective policing like I do after what the community I represent lived through in in February we called for Effective policing and we were left without effective policing for for weeks you know the the the issue around policing has got to be done.

Openly and honestly you know first off you know I’ve asked for the hiring of the police chief to be put off until we have a new Council um I think that is is key that we you know we have our our former police chief that who identified at the uh Commission in you know the inquiry into the emergency side.

That you know he he resigned because he felt that there was a loss of trust in policing in his ability to lead the force you know going forward we need a mayor who will take their place at at the board I have stated that a couple months ago and and and and and more recently but also one who will.

Um you know work with the chief work with police to understand you know what is the to understand what the the needs are uh in terms of uh evidence-based policing if you if you’re asking for another 30 million 35 million we’ve got to ask you know how does that lead to safer communities you know we know that.

Ottawa Police when they’re tasers reached the end of their warranty they give them to other police services last time they gave them for free to Peterborough Police Service we just took them and used them because they were perfectly good you know we’ve got police who are expected to do things like you know.

Fingerprinting booking standing around you know traffic sites you know are there efficiencies to be found are there ways that we can you know take some of that increase that that police are asking for and reinvest it into Social Services into Upstream Services into uh Mental Health Services.

You know we see it every day you know people are suffering in this city you know we’ve got a raging opioid crisis we’ve got a homelessness crisis we’ve got people who are precariously housed people who are hanging out you know you know Rito King Edward and and really we’ve come to a place where the only option often is calling.

Police if somebody is having uh you know mental health breakdown and that’s it’s not fair to police either you know as we’ve decreased our funding into Social Services over the last two decades we’ve turned to police to fill that Gap and and we can’t continue to do that we’ve got to you know we’ve got to ask the tough questions.

When any Department including police come to us and ask for a three percent increase and we’ve got to ensure that the Investments we’re making will actually reduce crime and what reduces crime it’s been it’s been shown is investing in Upstream services in Recreation services for youth good Youth Services victim services.

That is where we need the Investments to actually reduce crime you know police respond to Crime well always going to need police to respond to Crime but they don’t they don’t prevent crime and that’s what we have to be um thoughtful and intentional about whenever we set our budgets and invest.

In our city services so are you inclined to sorry are you inclined me too are you inclined to then hold the line on increases to police budget I’m not uh inclined to holding the line what I am inclined to doing is you know as we um as we move forward with our budgets you know if three percent is is large uh.

You know amount of money going into a budget that is 380 million dollars what I’m trying to do is to invest that into real Community safety and well-being so to reapportion a part of that increase into uh into the types of services that we need that will reduce crime.

So how would any of the things you’re saying investing in these Upstream services how would that have helped us in a situation like last January in February I mean I think you know you know better than we do how raw that still is with people and then on the one hand you know everyone is talking about the police did.

Not did not clamp down and do what we think is traditional police work during that period on the other hand you’re talking and many people are talking experts about but we need the Upstream Mental Health Services and all these other things I don’t understand how those two things go together to help us prevent a recurrence.

Of a nightmare um do they what we needed in in January February was a significant increase in police presence in this city so we’re not going to you know we needed turned out we needed you know 2 000 police officers in this city to shut down what was happening so you don’t you don’t.

You know higher 2 000 extra police officers just in case you have another Convoy um you know what happened in January February a couple of things one is you know uh it was it was a national protest it was a result of a convoy that came in um you know that was they wanted to overthrow our federal government they.

Didn’t make much of a secret about that so our entire police force was focused on Wellington Street was focused on Parliament and as a result what happened was the a budding residential areas were left without any security without any of our our local police our local police could not respond once the the trucks.

Came in and and occupied our city the way they did our local police force was not capable of responding to that we needed the RCMP we needed the opp it’s what I called for I called for it for three weeks you know as soon as they didn’t leave on that that first Monday it wasn’t uh you know we we needed that that that quick coordination that that.

We just weren’t getting so if anything it was you know it was our local police you know having to you know respond to the hill which is why we’ve called for and I’ve asked for and it’s happening at least it’s being studied that Wellington Street and um maybe Sparks and met Catherine O’Connor will become part of the Parliamentary.

Precinct so that any you know large demonstrations uh that are focused on you know our our Parliament uh will be addressed through uh other police services I might we’ve asked a few of these questions before as you can tell what about Wellington Street can you envision it.

Ever reopening as a either to traffic or in any other capacity I mean do you have in your own head any kind of a vision for what that should be or are we just going to sit there with bollards at both ends of it forever I don’t Envision it ever opening again to vehicular traffic I could see a light rail a trolley running down it.

Certainly to move people you know over from you know Gatineau into into Ottawa and you know up and down Wellington Street we have an opera you know it will likely get turned over to the Parliamentary Precinct it will likely become a federal roadway but definitely we can’t just leave it with.

Bollards in a few annuals out there there’s so much that you can do with an area in front of your Parliament to animate it to you know bring people down to that area to make it an exciting place I wonder what you’re saying the city wouldn’t be the one making that decision if it’s not ours it wouldn’t be the city be making the decision but I.

Would say I could see that the you know the federal government that it’s just that it’s a perfect opportunity to invest in that public realm in front of in front of parliament to make it a much more exciting place and a place that will draw people into the area a reader asked me this question you’ve sort of answered it but I’ll just put it to the.

Way it came into me was if you were mayor what would you have done differently during the Convoy I would have stood up and demanded action I would have been very um I would have been um you know out on the street I would have you know visited residents who were suffering you know I would have.

Certainly been been there when people people needed me you know it was a very difficult time not to have others speak out as well it’s what we needed we needed uh yeah we needed other leaders to to come out and to demand that you know the federal government step in that the.

Province declare a state of emergency so that we got the the resources that we needed you know from the opp and eventually the RCMP I certainly would have never made any type of deal with you know Tamara Leach or any of the other organizers in the in the Convoy I’m sorry you just I just missed that.

Last sorry I would have never made any type of deal with organizers of the Convoy and that certainly was yeah okay just want to make sure yeah thank you very different topic but a quick question about the urban boundary so you have come you’ve said you’ve committed to maintaining our current Urban boundary but you know very well.

Obviously that Council has already made that decision to expand our boundary and the only way that we’re reversing that is if the province allows us to do which you know there there’s essentially no way they’re going to as I see it um you may feel differently but you know how like how is it not misleading voters to include that in your platform.

Well I’ve always been clear that I don’t agree with any expansion of of the urban boundary um you know I I do believe that the province has not uh endorsed has not approved our official plan I do feel strongly that they are going to you know reject the Taiwan Taggart lands that will be.

Exceptionally expensive for you know residents today and and in the future tens of millions of dollars every year is what it would cost us to to have people you know a whole new community built out in in that part of the part of our city so it’s uh you know I yeah I I would commit if you know obviously this the province has the.

Final say you know whether it’s now after the decisions been made or any decision that we do make that falls under the planning act the province always has the uh the you know the ability to overrule that and to but still I maintain that as a mayor I would commit to maintaining the current boundary.

If if I’m able to obviously yeah so how how is that how is that Democratic in Psycho philosophically for you to say on the one hand Council made a decision I didn’t like it but Council made a decision but now I desperately really really would like the Ontario government to overturn that decision and probably.

You may be asking them to for all I know or through through various channels at Queen’s Park I don’t understand um someone who I think would would like to have or project the idea of accountability and transparency and openness and democracy you know the last.

Council made a decision you don’t like it so now you want it overturned by dad you know it is up to the province in the end to uh to approve our official plan it is my sincere hope that they don’t that they remove the tawan Taggart lands it will result in a significant uh Financial pressure on residents of this city if we expand with a community that.

Large that far away from our existing services so you know it’s I’ve always been clear that I don’t support it and I you know I am yeah I’m hopeful that that the province doesn’t doesn’t support it either can I just ask you along the same lines of what one might want to do democratically and what one might not I.

Think you’re on record saying that the strong mayor Powers don’t interest you I think the other candidates are too is there any circumstance under which you can think that you might try to make use of those Powers particularly because the province has you know suggested that their appropriate uses around things like housing and obviously housing is a.

Big priority for you as it is for many I think but any circumstances where you can conceive of that or are you absolutely ruling about taking it off the table saying no way voters I will never use that power yeah I’ve been very clear that I find that that legislation to be truly undemocratic and that I would not use.

Those powers thanks and um sorry Taylor no go ahead just say one more vote yeah um obviously housing a big part of your plan especially chronic homelessness keeping people struggling uh to afford their housing housed moving them out of homelessness but you know anyone that not anyone but many many people that are.

Trying to get into the housing market as buyers um obviously really struggling in a lot of cases or thinking down the road and just how could I possibly be able to afford a home you know you said you’re going to to pursue ottawa’s fair share of the um the housing the federal housing accelerator fund obviously you.

Know no guarantees about what we’ll get from that but but I don’t see any other kind of funded commitments related to affordability for buyers um why is that the city doesn’t have um you know any.

Input into home purchases we don’t you know we have no control over interest rates over inflation we can you know Assist in you know the development of more housing stock certainly whether it’s ten thousand a year or twelve thousand a year that is the city’s role again I go back to that.

Is exactly why when I was considering my Transportation plan my Transit plan that I decided to make Transit free for kids 17 and under because that is a very direct way that we can help families with affordability you know two kids two hundred dollars a month that you know that that adds up to.

Almost you know depending on on your property taxes it could be almost 50 of your property tax bill uh you know the the city doesn’t uh you know doesn’t have um you know any um uh input into uh home buyership it is you know we can we can do what we you know we can accelerate the process to.

Build more housing uh to you know cut down on some red tape but you know that uh there’s no funding requirement beyond that and we have seen well both um about Shirley and Mark sock Cliff talk about you know development Church relief um application fee relief trying to incentivize and you know there are lots of people.

Out there that will argue that Supply is a is a part or a big part depending on who you ask of addressing you know housing affordability challenges and that municipalities do have a lot of power in that regard and then we are seeing these promises from from your competitors um.

I don’t think any of those are in your platform um why not so development charges are required uh whenever we build new communities to build the amenities that we need to go with those communities if we remove development charges from housing it means that existing residents end up paying for those new recreation.

Centers end up paying for the new fire stations and new paramedics and housing just becomes less affordable for everyone you know your taxes have to go up somebody has to pay uh development charges pay for growth growth doesn’t really pay for growth today but it it needs to pay for most of the the growth the the expense of growth once you start.

Removing development charges Things become much more uh much more unaffordable for everybody in the city can you say at this point how many terms you would serve as mayor if elected oh I can’t imagine if I was if I’m elected and if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected.

Um I would not serve more than two terms hard commitment on that yeah why why you know it’s um being mayor is a tough job I think mayor is a tough job um you know I would come in with a very what I feel is a very bold vision and a.

Very specific uh you know vision for the city I think that it would take four to eight years to start to see that Vision unfold and see the the city you know change into the type of city that people want to see it change into but after eight years not for a counselor I think at the.

Council level it’s it’s different I think that you know being a counselor for longer than two terms um you know you you still have a lot of energy but being mayor is a big job and I mean for myself I would I would turn it over to someone else after eight years yeah of course.

Um I know some things on your platform to me seem a little aspirational without details and one that struck me was of you promised to go on an international trade mission to find one or two as yet unspecified major employers of Highly skilled workers to relocate to Ottawa how does that work what do you have in mind I mean do we just pack a bag and.

Drive you to the airport and then wait um whether it would be me going on the train Mission or someone else but you know I think that when we look at our economic development in in the city um we haven’t attracted a lot of um large employers that pay a good living wage certainly and you know to be.

Able to do that we need you know we need a city that’s got world-class Transit we need a city that you know has addressed its homelessness emergency we need a city that has you know address its its climate emergency we need you know a city with good public services to attract and retain any type of uh you know Talent.

But we also need to go out and and attract those companies to our city that can bring in good paying jobs that can bring in you know Green jobs that can bring in different types of expertise and and we haven’t done that over the last you know decade and I would suggest that that cities that get those types of employers go out and do that certainly.

Mayor Watson has tried to do that he has done International Trade missions pre-covered back in those days yeah I don’t know how successful we’ve been in fact we’ve lost their Shopify basically here yeah um so why are you the why are you the the the potential mayor who can bring these.

People in it goes back to the type of city that we would be able to offer people and if you can offer people a world-class City you know when you talk to young people in this city when you talk to new employers you know to get to get you know good talent in our city if we’re going to try and.

Attract somebody from Montreal if we’re going to try and attract somebody from Vancouver we’ve got to we’ve got to provide this you know uh you know the amenities that that that that bring them here and it is it is much better cycling infrastructure it is a better nightlife it is better housing it is uh you know better Transit so that people can move.

Around by by bus no I whenever people go to visit Vancouver they always come back and tell you how easy it was to get around everywhere whether it’s by SkyTrain and Transit you know when they go to Montreal they you know they come back they talk about how they can get around by Bike by Dixie those are the types of things that you know attract.

People to our city so is your trade Mission going to happen hahaha not necessarily it can happen in the first term I think that once we start making those Investments I think that it is uh uh you know it is uh you know very likely that we’d be able to attract uh you know one or two good employers.

Larger employers that pay a good living wage could I ask you I know we’re getting a little bit to the end of time and you’ve been very generous with it but there are a couple things in your platform that’s kind of look like they’re meant to grab the headlines without necessarily being obvious how they’re going to help us why.

Do we need a chief climate officer why do we need a Chief Architect those just seem like big bureaucratic titles they’re meant to impress really do we really need these people so I’ll give you an answer for both because it’s both different yes yes so Chief climate officer what we’ve what we’ve have at the city today is we have.

A lot of very smart people working on different parts of our climate plan but they don’t always intersect when you need them to you know our our climate plan is you know has got cycling infrastructure in it it’s got Transit it’s got electrified buses it’s got you know.

investments into retrofitting you know energy retrofitting our our city buildings but you know when we start talking about you know uh you know development Planning and Development where we’re building our recreation centers how we’re doing that you know to have a chief climate officer that would.

Oversee and and and have responsibility to ensure that we are moving forward on that climate plan we haven’t we haven’t invested in it and we’ve had very little investment in the climate plan we don’t get you know serious reporting back and it’s all done in in Silo so a chief climate officer would would work to ensure that all those pieces are moving.

Together it’s it’s critical we have got to we’ve got to meet our our climate goals our you know on the Chief Architect so I’ll give you an example of how a Chief Architect Works in Edmonton they hired a Chief Architect and within a few years they won and it.

Would be an architect a Chief Architect who’s responsible for public buildings right within a few years they won an award for one of their new public buildings and people take pride in that right I remember I spoke to the Chief Architect and he said within another year or two people were looking for another award.

People take pride in you know in their City uh winning awards for uh for you know for their uh for their architecture for their for their public buildings they’re now you know he’s now responsible for uh public park so you know what is the best way to build our public parks and the way it works is you know it intersects with procurement.

So when we for example build a new Central Library or any large building we know what it’s going to cause but today what we do is we go out and we uh you know in our procurement process we give highest marks to the lowest bidder so we’re not incentivizing great architecture so what they do in Edmonton.

Is they they know what a central library for example will cost and they go out and they say here’s what it’s going to cost you come back and tell us what you can build for this and if you come in a little bit above or a little bit below you might lose a few points so if you’re you know if you can you know it incentivizes architect.

Architects everywhere to come in at that at that price but it’s not the lowest price you don’t get bonus points for for decreasing the cost of of your building and it it ends you know it the result is better architecture a better procurement process better value for your money we know that the least expense the you know the cheapest rather is not always the.

Least expensive we’ve been through that with our LRT and uh you know it I believe that having a Chief Architect would do both things it would provide us pride in our public buildings our public spaces and it would also lead to a much better procurement process that would eventually yeah save us money okay do you learn anything else from you yeah.

Marco no Blair I’m debating whether to ask you the other 55 questions that are here or not to where would you put the sixth Bridge ah yeah you know that’s I don’t know that I would yeah that’s a that’s a tough one there.

Is no easy answer to uh Transportation I could large trucks in our in our downtown but they’re rolling through a part of our downtown that is probably one of the lowest income parts of our of our downtown two reasons why you have trucks coming into the downtown one is just.

Cross-border and um and for cross-border traffic we’ve got to find a way of getting them out of the downtown just not allowing them to come into the downtown they’ve got to bypass they’ve got to bypass the city if they want to get over to um uh you know our over to Quebec.

But the other piece is you know trucks coming in to deliver Goods in our city and you know for for that you know we’ve got to look at you know how we would establish Depots on the you know outer edges of the city and then sending in smaller Vehicles you know smaller electric vehicles into into different neighborhoods into the.

Businesses that require those those goods but we just can’t continue to let big trucks Rumble through our downtown so on the bridge the answer is I don’t know well it’s certainly yeah it certainly I’m not a proponent of building another Bridge um you know do I think we’ll ever get.

The funding to build a multi-billion dollar tunnel no um you know I think that would be my easier answer but you know it’s not going to be an easy solution but we do have to find a solution for both of those reasons why large trucks enter our city yeah.

Um was this a follow-up no well I’m just going to ask one another non-related question but coming back too you talked about the table lands and uh um the urban boundary and so on do you have uh I don’t see in your platform it may be there but do you have a strategy or an approach you want to take toward reconciliation in the city.

As mayor this is one thing that I think mayor Watson was attempting to do uh it was you know with success here and maybe not in other places but there was what looked like a visible attempt to further reconciliation at the urban level absolutely um you know when we talk about reconciliation at a municipal level we.

Cannot talk about land use we cannot talk about our waterways without considering um you know the uh the impact that that has had on Aboriginal uh people in in this entire area you know we have moved forward with some small gestures of reconciliation at the city recognizing certain landmarks for.

Example on Spark Street you know where you know some of that history unfolds you know opening council with you know um you know with uh you know indigenous Elders uh being involved but you know if we’re going to I think as a city the most impactful thing we can do to reconcile for our history with indigenous people is to end chronic.

Homelessness you know 35 probably 40 percent of people who live in shelters are indigenous and we’ve left them there for often years and it they are grossly overrepresented either you know I think we make up five percent of the population in Ottawa and.

You know at least 35 percent of our shelter population so I think you know from my perspective the most impactful thing we can do is to prioritize and commit to ending chronic homelessness in the city um you and I spoke recently about the return to downtown of workers or the non-return of.

Um and uh one of the one of the ideas was to turn Office Buildings into residential retail and office um which makes sense I guess and and if you talk to building owners maybe it makes sense but it’s also really expensive proposition and so how do how does what’s the city’s role in in that with in terms of privately owned.

Buildings right um so it is exceptionally expensive to convert uh commercial space so when we talk about affordable housing sometimes you know it’s easy to think well let’s just convert all of this commercial space into into affordable housing and and that’s um that’s much less likely but at the same time we do need to turn.

The our commercial sector into a more mixed use center with you know retail commercial it won’t necessarily maybe convert an entire building but you can convert three or four floors and I think there too maybe to your question uh Taylor earlier is that you know.

If if uh if we can provide you know things like um you know building permits quicker or uh you know for free you know you know eliminate the the charge for building permits or you know that’s how that’s how the city can be you know involved we have examples you know there’s one on Slater near Bronson that’s been.

Converted it’s taken years but it has been converted but there are Lessons Learned From that um but yeah absolutely we’ve got also the federal government part of their National Housing strategy is money for for conversions for affordability so you know that is much more likely where any funding will come that will make it.

Affordable for Developers you probably answered this question from Bruce when you talked about these kinds of issues or the future of the downtown would you uh be ordering um civil servants for the city back into their offices at any point here or is work from home just because that’s what the feds are doing now that’s also what.

Ottawa would be doing uh the majority of our Workforce is front-facing right so it’s uh so they’re back I guess something specific about City Hall itself right right yeah but for people who have have um the you know ability to work from home I believe that we will always have some form of a hybrid system I think.

That it does have advantages it has some you know for example um you know today you could hire somebody who’s got a specific expertise who doesn’t live in the city but they’re if they’re able to do the job remotely we can tap into that that that type of talent you know we are going to see more and more people coming back into the.

Office organically but it will never go back to pre-covered times and we can’t uh we can’t plan on that because people now you know have you know they’ve seen that there there is some work-life balance even if it’s you know one day a week where they’re able to work from home and you know be at home with their kids rather than putting their kids to.

Daycare and being able to work from home they’ve seen those advantages and I think that you have to consider it from the perspective also of people who work and to keep them happy and to keep a Workforce that’s well engaged and and wants to work for you do you think that city services have fallen off at all because of people not being working from.

Their offices you know the feds are saying treasury board’s saying right two days a week roughly is the guideline every Department can decide what it wants to do that all seems nice because people can be at home take care blah blah blah and yet Federal Services have fallen into the pit so something is not working there from what you have.

Observed with city services do you think the same level and quality has been maintained with people working not in the office with people working remotely well we you know I’d have to parse that out a bit right like certainly in the midst of coven I don’t think that you know certainly it was much more difficult everybody was.

Working from home we weren’t nearly as effective nobody was you know no level no level of government was uh today as you know we kind of work into that hybrid model I don’t see that there’s a real negative effect on on Services most of again most of what we do is is in person um just by the nature of it being a.

Municipal government um so yeah I don’t I don’t see Services suffering as a result of hybrid I see Services suffering as a result of you know the lack of investment in services but okay last word to anyone here quickly you’ve made dozens of promises um over the course of the campaign so.

Far can you say at this point do you have any specific plans for how you’re going to hold yourself accountable to delivering on on all of these well that’s what you know four years later does you know it’s uh we residents don’t feel that you’ve been held accountable um you know you don’t get reelected but.

In the in the in the the entire uh four years of my term I have been you know you’ve seen it through the through this campaign I’m committed to being transparent accountable I’ve put out my list of donors people who have donated to my campaign I’m the only mayoral candidate that has done so I’ll redo that again on the on the 20th I’ve put.

Out an entire costed plan four years of costing not just two and I have put out a you know an entire plan on how that will you know how we will achieve that and going forward absolutely I think that you know my budget processes will be much more transparent much more accountable I know I was City staff that those budgets are.

Developed in July and by the time they hit the council table in the Public’s eyes in October it’s you know it’s everything is pretty well uh you know established that won’t happen under uh you know my term as a mayor we will you know go out we will consult we will ensure that there is debate and discussion around.

What people are looking for and uh and the the needs of the entire city okay everyone’s done anything you want to uh clarify correct can I really take this much you can take thank you very much we really appreciate you thank you I did too as well thank you.

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