Rose City Politics asked all of the candidates running in the 2022 Windsor Election: Do you support strong mayor legislation?
Below are the responses from all of the candidates who answered the question. If there is no answer, it is because the candidate did not respond to the survey.
The only candidates who did not reply whatsoever include (incumbents and former councillors bolded) Drew Dilkens, Ernie Lamont, Louis Vaupotic, Fred Francis, Helmi Charif, Angela Fitzpatrick, Cynthia Van Vrouwerff, Edy Haddad, Patrick Sutherland, Caitlyn Desmarais, Currie Soulliere, Jo-Anne Gignac, and Paul Borrelli
Each candidate with a photo and a link can be clicked on leading to the Rose City Politics 2022 Windsor Election Candidate Questionnaires.
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I do not support the strong mayor legislation. Despite what some people may think, running the city is not a 1 person job. These are Civil servant positions, not ruler positions. Councilors are suppose to represent the people of their ward. The one complaint I keep hearing across the board is the lack of ability to contact there councilors. We are getting to big for the councilors to properly represent their wards. We need to either make the jobs full time positions, or split up the wards and have a few more councilors. Lessening the councilors authority only takes away what little voice the people actually have.
I am neutral on the Strong mayor legislation since I feel either in the strong or weak system, I would be very receptive to the advice and input of city council, especially since inclusion is extremely important to our democracy. Working together on the issues is key and will take the efforts of all to be the most productive in our ventures to better the conditions of our city.
Drew Dilkens (did not respond)
I would only trust strong mayor powers if they were used to implement my platform. However, such powers negate the roles of councillors and the value of the democratic process. Because I believe in the protection of democracy, I do not support strong mayor powers.
I think the notion of strong mayor governance is an affront to democracy and diminishes the roles and responsibilities of city councillors. Residents value the voice of their ward councillor. A city is much more than a single person. Whether it be businesses, families, or your favourite walking trail, councillors are elected to champion local voices and work collaboratively to get things done. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve heard loud and clear that residents did not like the use of city resources for campaigning and using that office in a way that positioned him in a way above council. I think our residents know the perils of a strong mayor system already. The strongest powers available to any Mayor is respect and the ability to listen. Those are the powers I would use most.
Ernie Lamont (did not respond)
Louis Vaupotic (did not respond)
Fred Francis (did not respond)
I’m concerned about the effect of centralizing power on our democratic system.
As it is framed currently, no. I think our system works well actually and the idea that this is about housing is a guise. I can’t speak for other municipalities but if there are issues experienced in Toronto, for example, and this legislation addresses those issues, that doesn’t mean that it should be applied everywhere. What problem are we trying to solve in Windsor with this legislation?
This goes directly against the project I’m presenting. I want to see the exercise of power democratized, not centralized. This circles back to the accountability question: although expanded powers for the mayor could help fast-track some projects, if the candidate elected as a mayor had great promises but doesn’t follow-through, we have no mechanism to remove him/her/them. A lot can happen in 4 years and residents need to be able to have their say every step of the way. A “strong mayor” (which sounds really macho btw) would undermine that.
No! Let them keep that in Toronto and Ottawa. We don’t need that in smaller communities.
No, we do not have enough information on what provincial priorities means until detailed I cannot agree.
Helmi Charif (did not respond)
Angela Fitzpatrick (did not respond)
No. Dictatorships are not a favourable form of government.
No. In Windsor, we already have a “strong mayor” set-up and there’s no justification to further enhancing their powers. In Windsor, the mayor is full time and has strong administrative support while councillors are part time without much independent admin support. That is a large resource imbalance already.
Strong mayor legislation is anti-democratic, and should be vigorously opposed
Cynthia Van Vrouwerff (did not respond)
I vehemently oppose the strong mayors legislation. This power is undemocratic and will negatively impact how the city is run. Giving sole power to one individual to hire and fire a municipality’s CEO, for example, will drastically affect how the CEO performs their duties, giving an unreasonable bias to the mayor, instead of the city and its council.
Giovanni “John” Abati
NEVER, no matter who the mayor is or who the premier is. This is just a way for the Provincial Conservatives to push thru their agenda without scrutiny or sober second thought. It silences critics, ignores environmental legislation and may lead to irreversible damage. Why are we electing Councillors?
Cynically: We already have a strong mayor (with some Council Minions supporting all of Dilkens’ ideas).
Realistically: Stephen Harper did the same trick Federally. He did it under the guise of ‘Economic Stimulus’. Ford is using the guise of increasing housing supply.
Edy Haddad (did not respond)
No, the Mayor effectively wields power through his full time employment and close association with Administration. ‘Strong Mayor’ reform is not necessary smaller cities like Windsor.
I have 12 years of experience in the mayor’s office to back that up. The give and take, negotiation, and compromise is how local councils are designed to function. It is difficult work, but it is supposed to be. A strong mayor system would largely eliminate that key democratic function and also limit council oversight.
Rarely in history has concentrating more and more power into one office led to better public policy outcomes. I would like to see the government provide evidence that more concentration of power in one office leads to better outcomes.
I would not be in favour of strong mayor powers in Windsor – I believe the size, scope and needs of our community, council, and administration make the legislation unnecessary. I would need to study the issue in greater depth specific to Toronto and Ottawa – which were the original intended users of that legislation – to determine an opinion on the policy in those much more complex municipalities.
I’m wary of legislation that bypasses proper process. Strong mayor legislation that cuts out public discourse is concerning.
Patrick Sutherland (did not respond)
I do not support the strong mayor legislation. As part of democracy, our responsibility as citizens and leaders is to ensure the majority’s will. Only through an open and transparent process which includes a discussion, debate and a vote, can our voices be heard.
Caitlyn Desmarais (did not respond)
Alessandro Didone (Alex)
There are some benefits to be sure. However, time will reveal as to what pitfalls need to be addressed and what transitions need to be made to optimize its use for all residents of Ontario.
Currie Soulliere (did not respond)
Richard St. Denis
Do not support Strong Mayor legislation. If things need to happen quickly, Council meets at least twice a month. We elect 11 people at the table, not just one.
Jo-Anne Gignac (did not respond)
Yes. The people elect a mayor to get an agenda passed. Dosnt mean you have to like the decision, but they were the one givin the power to make that choice.
Brian D-H McCurdy
NO. I believe in government for the people by the people. Not a dictatorship or a closed-door government like we have that invites insider trading and corruption that dictates what people want and not listening to the needs of the people.
Beth St. Denis
No, I do not support Strong Mayor legislation.
Sydney Brouillard-Coyle (Ney/Nem/Nir)
I do not. I believe that strong mayor legislation flies in the face of our democracy. Municipal council is made up of representatives from across the city – to essentially give veto powers to one person means that the voices of all city councillors (and the people who elected them) do not matter. One person cannot and should not make all of the decisions – it should be a collective. A strong democracy and strong city is built on collaboration and teamwork.
No, I do not support strong mayor legislation, as it will have long-term damaging impacts on local democracy.
No, I feel it’s anti democratic in the Windsor scenario.
No, I do not. The strong mayor / strong cities platform is designed to surrender independence / autonomy to organizations outside of Canada. Other such initiatives exist all over Canada, it is the reason why our elected representatives answer less, and less to the people of Canada.
No, I do not support strong mayor legislation. It removes the ability of council to prepare and table the city’s budget.
I do not.
No. I am not in support of this. The mayor should not be able to make decisions on his own. It should always be an collective effort and the whole City Council should have the Right to Say on all issues and topics.
Absolutely not, this is atrocious legislation being imposed upon the people of Ontario and I commit to fighting its implementation at every opportunity.
No. The mayor should not be able to make decisions on his own, the City Council should absolutely be able to vote on all issues and topics.
Paul Borrelli (did not respond)
Walid (Wally) Chafchak
In certain specific situations it can be advantageous but, generally speaking, the fully elected council gives a better representation of a community’s interests and goals than one individual.
Firstly, I don’t have any say on this, but at this point, my thinking is that it is not needed as long as council works together to make Windsor a better place. Maybe things are different in Toronto and Ottawa.