Who wants to be the next Ottawa mayor?

Who wants to be the next Ottawa mayor?

Well, actually, I also sat down with Catherine McKenney and will run a piece about them next week. I’ve reached out twice to Bob Chiarelli’s team but so far nothing. I would love to speak with him, too.

Here’s the piece I wrote about Mark Sutcliffe. I expect half of you will hate it. I mean, feelings are running high in this election. Which I like, soit dit en passant. J’aime beaucoup, en fait. 

What I can’t stand is cops who tweet that we must behave when debating or else. As I said on the same platform, the standard for public discourse cannot be “civil” because that’s way too subjective and restrictive. Don’t threaten people, obviously. Or defame them. And keep the hatred in check. But other than that, it’s perfectly fine to be uncivil. I personally enjoy not pulling any punches, and I swear all the fucking time. 

I interviewed Mark a few days before he made that statement about police budgets and opening up a station in the Market. We obviously didn’t talk about that. But when we discussed his focus on safety he was clear that he didn’t just mean it in the sense of being protected from crime. Vulnerable road users should also feel safe, and everyone generally — not just in the policing sense of the word but in the general sense of being comfortable and safe in our communities. That part doesn’t tend to get picked up on social media or in debates and I wish it did. 

As usual in this kind of interview there are things that wind up on the floor of the editing suite. Among those, for lack of space in the newspaper, was Mark’s “one-ish-sentence sales pitch” because — you guessed it — it wasn’t short enough. I’m reproducing it below. 

I’m the only non-partisan non-ideological candidate who can bring a fresh outside perspective to City Hall and bring people together from across the community from the rural, suburban and urban parts of the city, without pitting one part of the city against each other against another and without pitting one group of people on the political spectrum against another group of people on the political spectrum, to tackle the challenges we’re facing and truly build a better city working together. 

You know, one of the big reasons I decided to run was originally one of the big reasons I was not going to run, which is the state of politics today and the polarization that actually, frankly, scared me a little and turned me off. And I was concerned about what it would be like to step into an arena that’s really polarized. And I decided that instead of that being a reason not to run, that it was a reason to run that we needed. We need more people who can bring the community together, bring people together, work together in a non ideological way, listen to each other and solve problems. And that’s what I want to do.