Municipal Politics Shine At King's University College
2018 City of London Mayoral DebateJohn Urban
On Wednesday evening the King’s University College Student Council did a magnificent job of hosting one of the City of London Mayoral Debates. A healthy mixture of politically inspired students and concerned citizens of the area filled the Kenny Theatre located at the school’s Student Life Centre to get educated before making their vote count on October 22nd. 10 of the 14 candidates attended: Tanya Park, Paul Paolatto, Sean O’Connell, Carlos Murray, David Millie, Nina McCutcheon, Dan Lenhart, Ed Holder, Paul Cheng and Vahide Bahramporian all taking advantage of a platform directed at the up to 84,000 student’s the city contains who can vote.
The evening which started shortly after 7pm was broken down into four sections: candidates had a chance at a brief introduction, fielded prewritten questions from students and preauthorized questions from the audience, before making closing remarks. The student led initiative bridged a connection to municipal politics to the student body at large. With 50% of the London Transit Commissions ridership being students, the Bus Rapid Transit plans were certainly one of the main subjects of conversation. However, the evening spread light to a variety of important subjects the city’s future faces such as: safe injection sites, sexual violence, low income housing, green bin programs, economic development and pedestrian safety.
After the intense debate was over, everyone was invited for tea and coffee in a reception that allowed members of the community to talk to the 10 candidates in person.
A member of the City of London Council, she appears to be the only candidate with ground level experience in municipal politics. She stated that she would be flexible to plans surrounding the BRT and wants to start working with local unions to develop to local economy. She avoided dancing in the political spotlight and gave more direct plans, rather than ideas.
Current CEO of the ADEISS Centre and Executive Director at Western Research Parks, believes that serious challenges creates great opportunities, that it is time for a London Mayor to “raise the game”. He stated he would release his Action Plan on all his social media platforms this week.
While in between employment, he has been spending time at City Hall observing the current state of politics downtown. He threw out the question to the audience whether Londoners should “challenge problems or ignore them” and sees plenty of opportunity for growth in the city.
The lone candidate with a physical disability wants to see everything that City Hall does, be placed in an online format, allowing the citizens of London to vote on every issues. He also stated that in four years he would step down as Mayor and take his online government Provincially.
An IT Analyst, he explained London’s growth has to be mindful of leaving a legacy to future Londoners. One of the few candidates who supports the BRT as it is, as well as what the City of London Council has been already putting in place. He would continue to work with the Council if it’s “Millie Time” on October 22nd.
Numerous times throughout the evening she addressed that “priority if lacking at City Hall.” That someone needs to bring stability back to office through action and not excuses. Safe Injection Sites and community health was of top priority, she also said she would be a Mayor who would be in the community looking for needs.
With experience in overnight of various Social Service Agencies, community safety and housing were of great importance. He believes that better cooperation with students, might not only improve situations such as FOCO, but potentially help keep post-graduate students in the city after school and start their new life in town.
President of multiple family-run business, with a successful track record in business, politics and the community, he hopes to be able to bring that experience to the position of Mayor. Not in favour of the BRT, rather believing in a “transportation policy for all Londoners” and working to bring our City Council closer together.
A retired International Management Consultant with 30 years of experience in the oil industry, he believes that the future mayor will have to break through a lot of red tape in order to make London the "world class" city he envisions. Putting a stop to the BRT is of top priority, along with ending the city’s homelessness.
A man who studied at Western University and worked at the University Library, he warned citizens about doing proper research on all the candidates, to not be manipulated by media into voting someone in with political influences. One of the lone candidates to not put up any signs during his campaign run, he is anti-BRT, pro-sky train.
Students in the city will be able to vote as early as next Thursday when advance polls open. Western students can vote by going to https://westernvotes.uwo.ca, sign in with their Western username & password, make sure to read instructions to find out eligibility, print off PDF for proof of residency, bring that & ID to voting station in the UCC Building and vote!
It is important to note that London will become the first city in North American to have a ranked ballot decide their future Mayor. Voters will rank their top three candidates on the ballot. The candidate with the most 1st choice votes will be counted and if one candidate has 51% of the popular vote, then they will become the next Mayor. However, if there is no clear winner, the lowest voted candidate is eliminated, ballots are recounted and would include the second-choice votes. The candidate with the most votes would win the position.