(Posted 8 a.m., Oct. 20)
candidates square off over east end issues
By Fred Sherwin
Mayor Bob Chiarelli looks on as his chief rival makes a point during an
all-candidates meeting in Orléans Wednesday night featuring five of the
seven candidates in the running for the mayor's job. Fred Sherwin/Photo
The top three
candidates running for mayor did their best to pick up crucial support in
the east end during an all candidates meeting at the Orléans Client Service
Centre Thursday night.
Alex Munter and Larry O'Brien did their best to lay out their respective
platforms while trashing each other's plans at every opportunity.
By far the biggest
bone of contention was the controversial light rail project. Chiarelli continued
to defend the project while arguing that the other two candidates would
either kill the project, or delay it by at least five years.
guy on my left would kill light rail altogether and the guy on my right
would delay it for five years," said the incumbent. "Both positions
are totally irresponsible from a fiscal point of view, from a transit point
of view and from an environmental point of view."
For his part,
Munter said that he wanted to freeze the current process and take a sober
second look at the project with input from the entire community.
has divided this city more than the current light rail project. It's pitted
community against community," said Munter. "We need to bring people
together so we can fix light rail rather than nix it."
During his opening
address, Chiarelli reeled off the long list of east end projects which have
come to fruition under his watch including the widening of Innes Road; the
expansion of the Ray Friel Complex; the Superdome indoor recreational facility
at the Hornet's Nest; the Petrie Island beach and park develop.m.ent; the
creation of Team Ottawa-Orléans which he helped co-found and the Orléans
Town Centre project which he says will be an economic develop.m.ent hub.
Chiarelli's record, especially on economic develop.m.ent, claiming that the
mayor has done nothing for the east end past nine years.
years of inaction, now you're making a blizzard of (campaign) promises,"
resist taking a shot at the mayor's record as well, especially on how he's
managed the city since amalgamation.
the amalgamation process has been a failure. The city needs to get back
to delivering basic services to every citizen in a cost effective and creative
manner," said O'Brien.
Although he didn't
get into specifics, the self-made milliionaire questioned the wisdom of
building an east end arts facility.
"Is it a
priority or an essential service? I think the city has lost its way in setting
priorities," said O'Brien who promised to freeze taxes if elected.
both Munter and Chiarelli promised to limit future tax increases to the
rate of inflation.
On the topic
of economic develop.m.ent, Chiarelli and Munter both said they planned to
make the east end a priority while O'Brien would only promise to make sure
that the east end was an "equal partner" in the economic develop.m.ent
of the entire city.
Anweiller used the all-candidates meeting to argue in favor of personal
rapid transit system to replace what's currently being proposed. A personal
rapid transit system would use pods suspended from a monorail. Each pod
would carry a maximum of four people.
Jane Scharf said the city needs to create an Inspector General's office
that would have full autonomy to investigate resident's complaints and controversial
city projects such as light rail. The two other candidates, Barkley Pollock
and Robert Larter, did not attend the meeting.
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