I emailed both my City Councilor candidates yesterday (Blake Batson and Maria McRae) and asked them a couple of questons.
1) Where do you stand on a pesticide ban?
2) Where do you stand on the Safe Streets Act?
3) What is your preferred approach to dealing with crime in the city?
Blake Batson got back to me right away and said:
1) he would support a pesticide ban
2) didn’t respond to the question about the Safe Streets Act
3) “Along with the hiring of more police, as is currently underway, I would re-implement community based offices and locating them in community centres. This is so the police would constantly interact with the community on a day-to-day basis as opposed to only when something bad happens. Secondly, I would work to have “more eyes on the street” such as engaging bus drivers and taxis to report more unnatural behaviour or sightings so we can prevent more incidents before they happen. In summary, we have to less reactive.”
He also gave me his phone number and invited me to call to discuss my concerns further.
Maria McRae got back to me this morning and said:
1) She would not support a pesticide ban
2) She supports the Safe Streets Act
3) “I believe in zero tolerance for crime. I also support ensuring that appropriate programs are in place for youth activities, for people with addictions, etc. I beleive in balance but I also beleive in protecting our residents and their property. I have grown Neighbourhood Watch under my tenure and I beleive that residents have a strong role to play in letting the police and by-law know about issues of concern in their communities.”
She also urged me to follow up if I had more questions.
My skin crawls whenever any politician says “zero tolerance.” I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance. Maria loses a point.
Given all the linkages between pesticide use and cancer, particularly among children, I think it’s irresponsible not to implement a pesticide ban. Maria loses another point here.
I think both candidates were weak on the crime question, so they both lose a point here.
Maria also loses another point for using the word “believe” four times and spelling it wrong three of those times. (I’m the daughter of an English teacher: I can’t help it.)
I am impressed that both candidates got back to me, especially when I asked my questions at the last minute, so they both gain a point for that.
I’ve decided to vote for Blake Batson.
For mayor? Still thinking…
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!
Okay, I’ve decided. After conducting extensive last-minute research into Who Is This Larry O’Brien Guy Anyway, I found this O’Brien quote from a debate on Aboriginal issues:
“My forefathers came to Canada 150 years ago. As a man with an Irish background, I know what it is like to feel alienated,” the hi-tech millionaire said.
That’s all I needed to realize my first instincts were right: I’m ready to vote now.