Volume 94, Issue 40

Thursday, November 9, 2000


NEWS

Mayoral candidates duke it out at Western

USC discusses stance on student code

Tories in hot water over MPP raise

Campus Briefs

Locust Mount gutted in fire

Hot Air

Operation "Back Rub" nets 36 arrests for LPD

Planet Me

Mayoral candidates duke it out at Western

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff



The race to be London's next mayor heated up yesterday, as five of the candidates for the Forest City's highest public position traded comments and debated the issues in the University Community Centre.

Present for the mayoral forum were current Deputy Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco, Christopher Ford, Ivan Kasiurak, W.J. McKinnon and Robert Pilling.

DeCicco began the discussion by highlighting the importance of involving students in the community. "We need to promote and market this community and create jobs. That's how we can keep students in the community," she said.

She later detailed the efforts City Council has made over the past four years to improve relations with the university. "The university is special in this community. [Council] has invested $10 million over the next 10 years in the university and the university and the City of London continue to strengthen their ties."

Fellow candidate Christopher Ford said his energy and youth would help him in the campaign. He also outlined plans to establish a botanical garden in downtown London which could be jointly sponsored by the City and Western and used by biology students at Western to further their studies.

Special interest groups should not control City Council, Ivan Kasiurak said. "I am not a mayor for any special interest groups. I'm a mayor for all of London."

W.J. McKinnon said he would like to change the schedule of the London Transit Commission's bus service. "I'd like to see, for you students, the LTC run late from Wednesday to Saturday," he said. "I know it's tough to get a cab. I've seen the lineups at the bars."

Robert Pilling said he appreciated the contribution students make to the community, but felt the City needs to hold the university to certain standards. "I'd like to support the university, but I'd also like to see a little more accountability," he said.

Candidates then took time to discuss other major issues facing the City of London. DeCicco said City Council must balance downtown revitalization with the needs of the poor and homeless.

Ford said soaring rent rates would contribute to the problem of little affordable housing and the City must work to set limits on how much can be charged for apartments.

Ivan Kasiurak and Robert Pilling said City Council's plans to build a new arena are faulty and worrisome. "The arena is the biggest white elephant. If we didn't have the arena we'd have the money to fund the homeless," Kasiurak said.

W.J. McKinnon said he and his wife had both been forced to look for jobs outside London and City Council must act to help citizens find employment within the city.


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