Mayoral candidates hit campus
By Anton Vidgen
Eight candidates vying to be London's mayor descended upon
the University Community Centre's CentreSpot lounge to talk
to a large student audience about their platforms and plans
for the city.
Ivan W. Kasurak criticized current London Mayor Anne Marie
DeCicco's leadership, accusing her of financial mismanagement
related to the high costs of severance pay and buyouts. "We
keep voting for the same politicians over and over yet we expect
different results," he said.
Citing support from Canada's political and business leaders,
candidate Garry Moon said his campaign was determined to replace
the current council. "My campaign slogan is 'involving Londoners'
and that will be my first priority," he stated.
Linden Cassina said the federal and provincial governments
are forgetting the cities and weak leadership at the top of
London's council is not helping matters, adding he would bring
together Canada's mayors to discuss these issues.
Kenneth Venus said London has been plagued by financial downloading
from other levels of government but the city should also plan
20 to 30 years ahead when budgeting. He added voters needed
to be listened to and not glossed over as has been the case
in the past. "Your voice deserves to be heard," Venus said. "As
mayor, I will listen."
Raising the minimum wage, improving the city's bus system
and free breakfasts in schools are ideas which Mesbah Eldeeb
would implement if elected mayor. In doing so, Eldeeb said
London's standard of living would be raised and less individuals
and families would be dependent on welfare.
Current London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said she was proud
of Western's high calibre of learning and its facilities. If
re-elected, DeCicco said she would fight for jobs for students
and continue to nurture London as one of the fastest growing
economies in Canada.
"I believe that it is time for change," said Carl Harris,
adding he would restructure the city's budget and institute
full disclosure of revenue and expenses. "We should have no
tax increases next year."
To combat the city's financial problems, Vaughan Minor said
he would hold over costs at current levels - except for essential
services such as police and fire - and increase revenue through
economic growth. "Don't spend more than you get," he said.
The mayoral vote will take place on Nov. 10. All of-age Western
students are eligible to vote on campus in the UCC atrium by
providing a piece of identification; proof of London residency
-with files from Paolo Zinatelli