James Bay All-Candidates-Forum

November 5, 2008 at 1:39 am 1 comment

I attended the November 4th All Candidates Forum at the James Bay Community School.

All things considered tonight’s James Bay Community School ACF went pretty well. There was good attendance by candidates and a good turnout of 150-200 people (the public, not the candidates).

The candidates all sat behind tables lined up along the long side of a gym with the Mayoral candidates in the middle of the long line.

There were no introductory statements which was a relief to me because we’ve heard them all already several times and there’s nothing said that isn’t already on the brochures so get on with it, already. Each candidate got to answer two questions over the course of the evening which was a luxury compared to other meetings. The mayoral candidates got more questions and a little more time. Strangely, hardly anyone went over the time limit. The guy only had to ring the bell two or three times.

The audience submitted questions to the moderator who read them out. That sped things up incredibly because as I mentioned before when the audience asks questions they ramble on for five minutes venting and wasting time and never do get around to asking an actual question.

I think the questions were more or less random. My first question was if I was pleased about the massing of the latest condos in Downtown. The second was is the City getting good value for the amenities it asks from developers. Those were pretty good questions, relevant to what I’m working on with the DRA so I think I lucked out, or maybe the questions were tailored to me, I don’t know. Twice during the forum the moderator mistakenly called Dean “Mayor Fortin”.

A few candidates started acting out and one had a full on raging tantrum. He managed to stop the meeting and things were chaotic for a few minutes. I didn’t get the sense that this man was truly angry. I think causing a commotion and getting attention is something he’s been doing for many years and it’s as natural to him as making toast is to us. Just when I think I’ve seen the most arrogant, disrespectful instance of public bullying I get treated to a new one. They protest their perceived lack of democracy by infringing on the rights of others.

Several times during the forum the moderator asked for a show of hands in answer to a question. One question was “do you support the construction of a hotel on the Belleville Terminal land”. I was puzzled at this question and didn’t know how to answer it and I was glad to see the other candidates were too. What kind of question is that? It depends, of course. A two storey hotel? 25 storeys? Just a hotel or what else is on the site? The panel unanimously and voiciferously refused to display a show of hands. The moderator was forced to move on to the next question.

It took about 2 1/2 hours but it was interesting and the time passed quickly. It was good to finally hear a few development questions–something the City has influence on instead of constant homelessness all the time. It’s our biggest issue for sure, but there’s not much to say about it: implement the Task Force recommendations and get regional assistance, the end.

Half-way through the moderator interrupted with news of Obama’s victory. A huge sustained cheer broke out.

To sum up, the questions were intelligent and the audience well behaved. Well done.

Entry filed under: architecture, Election 2008, media, needle exhange, safe injection sites, social issues, urban design.

Times Colonist: Break into a car, you owe it to the economy Globe: Free heroin: harm reduction or enabling?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Graham Davis  |  November 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Great post thanks! I would be interested to hear what your answers were (to your 2 questions from the forum). Any chance you can summarize those in another post, or comment?

    Reply

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