With only days to go until the October 22 municipal election here in London, Ontario, Canada (I say Canada for my global readers so you don’t get us confused with London, England!) I thought that I would share with you some of the reasons why I have already advanced voted to support Kyle Thompson to become Ward 9 next Councillor….
Many eyebrows were raised, when Kyle’s signs started hitting the streets! This must be a joke! But then another sign appeared and then many more! Considering the costs of the signs and the amount of volunteers that are needed to put them up, many local residents began to take notice!!!
As an artist, I grew to appreciate Kyle’s unique, quirky and engaging signs! My son wanted to know what his signs were about (and I hear that many other young minds throughout Byron and Lambeth have also asked their parents what Kyle's signs are for) and I thought that this was great - it allowed many parents (myself included) to get our children involved in politics in a fun way!!!! I've never been able to say that about any candidate in any election before!!
As an artist, I grew to appreciate that Kyle’s imaginative campaign exhibits strength to say what he wants to say in his own way! Most people who show themselves in ways that are unique are usually very smart and insightful! Now, Kyle says he’s not the smartest guy you’ll ever meet… but it’s his passion for bringing residents’ voice to City Hall that shows how resourceful he is.
I was in attendance at this debate! The audience was a bit shocked that Anna Hopkins (Ward 9 incumbent) took a cheap shot at Kyle at the Bostwick debate in her first 2 minute intro!!!!! She feels threatened and tried to put him down! The audience didn't like that!!!! Throughout the event, Kyle got more and more claps for his insightful and thought out replies, while Anna's claps were polite...at best!
What most people find frustrating about our present Councillor is that Anna had a great opportunity to show everyone what she has accomplished over the last four years… and she didn’t!
In between question to the candidates, I could hear many from the audience saying, "Well - does she agree with BRT or not", "I'm not sure where she stands on this subject", etc etc. There were many in attendance that were wondering why Anna was not saying stuff like, "Over the last four years, I've accomplished this and that." Her answers were of the same quality as all other candidates, "If re-elected I will do this.... do that!" We were all quite surprised by the lack of examples forthcoming!!!!!
On one question about aboriginal inclusion Anna said, "There are many committees in City Hall that deal with many aspects of our city, and it might be a good idea to create a new committee for this purpose". And this is true - I am a volunteer voting member of the Tree & Forestry Committee and I do believe that more committees would be a good thing. What we all wondered about was why Anna had not attempted to make this new committee to deal with aboriginal issues if she was so passionate about this topic????? Again.... showing lack of examples of what she has accomplished!
And then there’s the whole BRT issue!!!!
It’s amazing how confused everyone is about this… including me!!
This is a comment that I recently post on the London Free Press report about the BRT….
It has been hard on the public to find faith in the present BRT proposal. It has changed 3 times in the last 1 year! Remember the plan to tunnel under Richmond St.???? Just one lousy idea!!!! Residents should not be subjected to plan after plan after plan.... we need definite leadership and that has been lacking!!! BRT is a much needed system...after all the population of the city will dramatically increase over the next few decades.... but much work needs to be done!!!! Candidates who oppose BRT are opposing the present ideas and if you talk to them, they all agree that a new transportation system is needed.... that's why the 'NO BRT' front is as equally confusing!!!! Look at what they want to do north on Richmond... 10 years to have the same amount of lanes as now - with an end result of only 2 lanes for cars. This fails miserably when crossing Oxford because a dedicated lane is impossible!! So, what's the point of creating a system that can't be structured to fulfil its mandate from start to finish! So frustrating! I've had many chats with candidates and I've shared my view on London transit.... 1) Get big yellow school buses off 4 lane roads... with pick ups at nearby 2 lane roads! Just a few phone calls and meetings with school boards. This policy can be in place within 6 months! No one is talking about this quick fix to allow traffic to move more efficiently! 2) bus 'cut-outs' to allow buses picking people up to move out of traffics' way! This would cost a few million to do city wide and would be completed within 2 years! These 2 ideas would be cost effective.... much needed and offer an immediate reprieve as better BRT plans are created!!! I'd like to see more people leaning in this direction as we plan for a better BRT!
Now… residents in Ward 9 see that Kyle does not support the BRT… and as I said in the comment above – this causes even more confusion for people! Kyle came to my house, last night, and we chatted about this issue and we engaged about the points I made, above…. and Kyle agreed! He doesn’t not support a better transportation system… he simply (like me) feels that the proposal before the city will not be successful as is! And I agree!
Anna Hopkins feels that the present plans will work… and they just can’t! They are so poorly planned!!!!
Kyle has returned all my email questions…with his answers! I like that!
Earlier this year, Anna and I exchanged over 20 emails over 2 ½ months and at the end I still didn’t have an answer! Not impressed!!!!
The most difficult decision that I’ve had to face during this campaign period will make you laugh! Kyle came to my house last night, and I knew I wanted to take a photo! Devon and I had to decide who would shrug and who got to hold the broom!!!! Devon got the broom!
So… there you go!
My opinion on Ward 9 election matters!
I hope all readers will be inspired to realize that I have taken a fair bit of time to engage with all the candidates and the result is simple…. An informed vote!
Please make your vote an informed one, too!!!!
If you’d like to meet Kyle Thompson in person, you will find him planting trees with me and Devon and a few other neighbours, this Tuesday, October 16 between 4-5pm at Somerset Woods Park! It’s on Boler Road…. South of Griffith on the east side of the road. You can park on the west side in the Byron Optimist Sports Fields! See you then…….