The 2018 election campaign was different from previous election campaigns I’ve run for two reasons:
- Campaigning for municipal elections usually starts – or at least really ramps up – around Labour Day; and
- The focus of the campaign was much more on being good, honest, ethical people than it was on issues handled by municipal or regional government.
I filed my nomination papers on May 7 and, given the news that was coming out of the media on an almost daily basis, I started campaigning heavily immediately.
At the door, I was rarely asked where I stood on issues related to infrastructure, programs, or services delivered by the Region and, instead, was routinely asked what I thought about specific (now past) politicians and their actions and behaviours. Even my counterparts who were running for various cities and towns in Niagara were being asked questions about the goings-on at the Region, rather than being asked about the issues they would be dealing with if and when they won their respective elections.
One only need read past blog entries on this site or to have been following me on social media to know how vocally opposed I’ve always been to the actions and behaviour of the last term of Council. So, whilst I sincerely wish we had never been put in this position, last night’s votes on how to address what Ontario’s Ombudsman Paul Dubé calls “unreasonable, unjust, and wrong” in his report Inside Job were historic..sadly.
As frustrated as I know many citizens feel about our need to keep much of this confidential, I ask you to please understand that there are a whole host of very good reasons as to why no one on Council should be discussing these matters to any great extent and why it is imperative and appropriate that much of the discussion regarding these matters happens in closed session.
If you’re looking for all the background, here is the St. Catharines Standard’s entire list of coverage on All the Chair’s Men