The last city-sponsored mayoral candidate forum turned personal on Thursday after Kerry Diotte went after his chief opponents, Karen Leibovici and Don Iveson.
After selling himself in his opening remarks as a the candidate of common sense and real change, Diotte slammed Leibovici for campaigning on her experience as an MLA and four-term city councillor.
“She’s been a professional politician and bureaucrat for about 20 years,” Diotte said.
“She’s promised to introduce more committees and bureaucracy into city hall. This former Liberal MLA wants to set up a red tape committee to — get this — eliminate red tape.”
Diotte had the harshest words for Iveson, who at 34 is the youngest of the leading candidates in the mayoral race.
”Don has done everything in his power to appear grown-up and experienced but clearly, that’s not so,” Diotte said.
“He flip-flopped and finally caved on the arena deal. He knew it was a bad financial deal and said taxpayers may wind up on the hook but he voted for it anyway.
“Chalk that up to youth and inexperience.”
Iveson talks about positive campaign
Diotte has promised not to force taxpayers to cover any cost overruns on the downtown arena and has painted himself as the most fiscally responsible candidate.
He said that if elected, Leibovici and Iveson would continue to “tax and spend” on “bike lanes, funicular in the river valley, a fake beach nowhere near the water and don’t get me even started on the Talus Balls.”
Iveson refused to go after Diotte, even when a questioner asked the candidates to point out each others flaws.
“I’m trying to run a positive campaign here, so this question is tough,” Iveson replied, looking exasperated.
“There is limited time in these campaigns so I want to use every second that I have trying to inspire Edmontonians with great ideas that can move our city forward rather than tearing others down.
“And the voters will decide which approach they prefer”
Leibovici, who sees Iveson as her main opponent in the race, called herself a "doer" with 20 years of public service.
“I don’t make empty promises,” she said. “I don’t put forward visions that can’t be fulfilled.”
Thursday’s forum was the last of the three city-sponsored forums of the election race. Edmonton Elections said that 510 people attended the event in person and another 352 watched the city’s livestream.
The election is on Oct. 21.