|Mayoralty Debate on Social and Environmental Issues, October 16, 2006|
This Article is By: Elaine Reid On Oct. - 16, 2006
Mayoralty Debate on Social and Environmental Issues
October 16, 2006
by Elaine Reid
On October 16, the Sisters of Providence organized a mayoralty debate to be televised on TVCOGECO.
The three panelists were: Professor Margaret Little of Political
Studies at Queen’s, Dr. Adam Newman of the Kingston Community Health
Centres and Eric Walton, local environmentalist and former Green Party
candidate, who posed the questions to the mayoralty candidates:
incumbent Harvey Rosen, Councillor Rick Downes and Councillor Kevin
questions covered were: women and poverty, cosmetic pesticides, decent
and affordable housing, wealth distribution, traffic congestion,
affordability of electricity for the poor in the winter months,
priority of this Council for LVEC, multiplex and the Grand Theatre.
incumbent, Harvey Rosen, articulated poverty and housing issues with
more depth than the other 2 candidates. He explained that each
community has its uniqueness: therefore, problems and solutions are
unique. It is not a question of money but a question of spending the
money more effectively. Municipalities need more latitude from the
Province to spend the money more creatively.
the environment question posed by Eric Walton on cosmetic pesticides,
Rick Downes proclaimed he was the only candidate to feature the
environment issues in his brochure and he is the only candidate who
takes the environmental issues seriously. He likened this issue to the
smoking ban bylaw that he initiated. Rather than waiting for another
level of government to move on the issue, Council should take action.
this discussion, there was a heated interchange between Mayor Rosen and
Councillor Downes on the ethics of taking credit as an individual or
give credit to a group who also was involved in the decision making.
The Mayor said he gives credit to all who participate.
Downes was aggressive in his attacks on Mayor Rosen. He particularly
repeated his message that Mayor Rosen’s priorities in the last three
years has been to the advantage of the business class rather than
address the social issues about clean water, poor kids and issues
Rosen responded by saying that the priorities were not “his” but rather
ones agreed upon by Council and acted upon. “There has been a lot
accomplished in the pasts 3 years”. LVEC will be one of the economic
engines, an investment in the community. Money spent on LVEC is not
money that would have been spent on housing and the social issues. They
are 2 separate issues.
George presented himself as a candidate who would consult the agencies
and the people of the community to make decisions. But, a leadership
quality, seemed to be lacking.
Reports on election events are
provided by Kingston Electors to help further discussions and debate on
municipal issues. The observations, comments or opinions expressed are
those of the reporter and do not necessarily reflect those of Kingston
-- Kingston Electors