Municipal politics: a balance of needs and wants
Published Friday, September 14, 2018 1:02PM EDT
Across the north, municipal candidates are busy announcing platforms, and ideas.
With just over a month to go before Election Day, is anybody listening to this campaigning yet?
In Sudbury, it's a crowded field, with 11 names on the ballot for the big chair of Mayor.
But it’s business as usual for the incumbent mayor Brian Bigger.
"Last election, there were 10 candidates, this time, 11. And so really it's not a lot different." said Bigger.
And while the campaign has been on for months, for the candidates, now’s the time to shine.
If you ask people who work in local politics, they'll tell you it's really only in the last month of the campaign that the average voter wakes up. And that's the time to reel them in.
But the business community, on the other hand, has been up for a while.
And it knows what it wants.
Like the 850 members of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce who employ more than 40,000 Sudburians.
"They want fiscal responsibility. They want a plan for infrastructure planning and spending. And they want a plan to try to improve on our workforce in the Greater Sudbury area." said Tracy Nutt, former chair of the Greater Sudbury Chamber Of Commerce.
10,000 people go to work each day in Sudbury’s downtown and businesses there want to see action on promises made.
"The art gallery has been on the books for a good 10 to 15 years. It's running behind the event centre. The library has been on the books for probably 20 years. Why this one project? Why is it getting special treatment?" said Jeff Macintyre of Downtown Sudbury’s business improvement association.
That one project he’s referring to is the half-billion dollar Kingsway Entertainment District.
For the developer, Dario Zulilch, this election has high stakes.
"A de facto referendum on the Kingsway Entertainment District, I think every candidate needs to be crystal clear on where they stand. It's too important to our future." said Zulich.
But for candidates now, it is a delicate balance between what average voters want and what the business community wants, two sides that don't always align.