Who is Where on the WSE? Part Two: Mayoral Candidates

Well, here we are at the end of the campaign, and the people running for mayor have not changed their positions on the WSE:

In favour: PATERSON

Undecided: HECTOR

Against: DOWNES, SLOMKA, FOSTER, OWEN-CLARK

We asked Hector whether, having hedged on the issue earlier in the campaign, she would take a firmer position now; she declined to answer.

The Wellington Street Extension may seem like a small thing: a short road through a small park and an isolated industrial area. However, candidates’ positions on it connect to their broader priorities and values. One candidate wants to spend millions of dollars and eat up waterfront without explaining why or exploring alternatives. Another wants to sit on the fence — which could be either political strategy, lack of clarity in values and priorities, or insufficient interest or time so far for research. The rest, it would appear, value fiscal constraint, greenspace, neighbourhood consultation, evidence-based decision-making, and/or city planning best practices.

While this blog will not endorse a particular candidate, we can say without hesitation that Bryan Paterson must be defeated.

  • He has reiterated his claim that the park will be lovely even after being told that the right of way consumes almost all of it.
  • He has reiterated his claim that the extension is necessary to “unlock the potential” of the inner harbour without considering alternatives.
  • He has reiterated his claim that development charges have already been collected to pay for the extension in the face of information that development charges are NOT earmarked for particular projects.
  • In other words, he does not listen to facts, but simply sticks to his script even when it is has no foundation.
  • As city councillor, Paterson has consistently voted on the side of developers, no matter what the project. For example, he voted in favour of continuing the RFP process with Jay Patry for development of the tannery lands, when Patry is facing charges about the Williamsville fire and when the proposal was highly problematic. We need development in the inner harbour, but we need smart and diverse development by developers with good track records.
  • As chair of the Planning Committee Paterson went out of his way to bypass rules in favour of developers, with what turned out in Williamsville to be disastrous results.
  • Paterson’s insistence that the sustainability pillars guide him is in direct contradiction with his voting record and positions on the issues.

Keep this all in mind as you vote!

— the WellingtonX team

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