Windsor 2018 Mayoral Candidates Respond Pt 2

(WINDSOR, ON) – It is still early in the 2018 Windsor municipal election campaign, but there’s no time like the present to learn more about the people asking for the voters’ endorsement on October 22. Over the next few weeks leading up to election day, The Square will publish candidates’ responses to 20 questions so that electors can align themselves with those who will best represent them.

All candidates running in the 2018 Windsor municipal election were provided with the same 20 questions seeking responses to hot button issues facing the city over the next four years. There are four persons seeking the city’s top spot however, only one took the time to respond to the electorate’s needs.

Current mayor, Drew Dilkens, has drawn criticism in the past for being out of touch and aloof. His failure to supply answers to the most important topics facing the municipality adds credence to the public’s opinion that he’s too arrogant to be returned to council.

Newcomer Tom Hensel was the first to file his nomination papers to run for mayor. Hensel brings a lot of baggage with him from Toronto including impersonating a lawyer, failure to pay employees of his software company their wages, being non-compliant with a Ministry of Labour order, and pending collections by the Ministry of Finance. Hensel failed to respond to The Square.

Frank Dyck is a retired Leamington farmer who also failed to respond to The Square. When filing his nomination forms, Dyck told AM800 that he could do a better job as mayor as anyone else.

Perennial mayoral candidate Ernie Lamont is not a stranger to Windsor electors. Better known as Ernie the Baconman, Lamont doesn’t have an email address so did not have an opportunity to submit his responses.

Finally, the former President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce , Matt Marchand, has been endorsed by both the local labour council and business leaders alike. He was the only mayoral candidate who responded to The Square.

Of all the candidates, only Marchand has an election website.

Questions 1 through 10 were published in The Square on August 8.

Mayoral Candidates Responses To Questions 11-20

11. Should Windsor Police be pursuing policing in Amherstburg?

(Marchand) We have had extensive consultations on this matter and we do have a few concerns about the Amherstburg police agreement. There is an open OCPC investigation into the Windsor Police Service that has been reported in the media and I think we need to understand what that is about and what the findings are before moving ahead.

Secondly, we also have concerns about liability as Amherstburg and Windsor are not contiguous municipalities and is that appropriate?

And finally, we would like to see more transparency on this agreement as to how the savings are found.

12. Should city council consult with the public in all aspects of the new hospital proposal?

(Marchand) The Mega Hospital issue is something we are not taking lightly. We see the feedback from concerned citizens and there still needs to be more communication on this file.

13. What is your stand on the mega-hospital and the currently suggested location?

(Marchand) We are still consulting and there is a city council meeting on this matter in a few weeks.

14. Do you believe that transparency at City Hall can be improved or works in its current state?

(Marchand) Transparency and accountability at City Hall need to be improved. We will have more to say on that very soon.

15. Has the city’s response to storm related flooding been either timely and/or sufficient?

(Marchand) The City’s response to storm-related flooding has been slow. Almost a year after the second “100 year storm” in 11 months, the current administration has stepped in to announce it will have a 10 year plan in part contingent on grants.

Our campaign believes the city needs to be more aggressive in that regard and we will be talking about that as our platform rolls out.

16. Has the transference of post-secondary institutions to the downtown from other areas of the city been successful at reinvigorating the downtown?

(Marchand) The Downtown needs a lot of work so any attention it gets is welcome.

17. What is your plan to reduce the billion dollar infrastructure deficit in Windsor?

(Marchand) We will be talking about infrastructure later this month.

18. Has Windsor reached the point that it should be cooperating with the Ambassador Bridge Company instead of continuing litigation?

(Marchand) Collaboration and discussion is a far better approach than legal. Millions have been spent on legal fees.

The Ambassador Bridge Company recently did a big land deal with Ford on the Michigan Central Depot building to put a new office building in there along with up to 5,000 jobs. There may be more of a collaborative spirit that we should capitalize on.

19. Does there need to be more transparency at the Windsor Police Service and the WPS Board in light of the current investigation into the Board’s actions?

(Marchand) Yes. The Marchand for Mayor Campaign is all about transparency and accountability.

20. What are the five most important issues facing the city?

(Marchand) The five most important issues facing the city that we’ve identified as priorities as we consult with the community:

  1. Restore Transparency, Accountability, and Community Participation
  2. Cleaning Up the Downtown and Community Livability
  3. Bring in Higher Quality Jobs
  4. Fix Key Infrastructure Issues Such as Sewers and Roads
  5. Public Safety

Questions 1 through 10 were published in The Square on August 8.

Next week the responses from the Ward 1 candidates will be featured.

* An earlier version of this article featured responses erroneously attributed to Matt Marchand. The Square regrets the mistake and apologizes for any confusion which may have arose.

Click for the latest news

About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.