Halifax mayoral debate focuses on transparency
Posted: Oct 3, 2012 7:21 AM AT
Last Updated: Oct 3, 2012 10:19 AM AT
The six men who want to be the mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality are all promising to run a more open administration, but one refused to reveal his campaign donations before election day.
At a mayoral debate focused on city council secrecy Tuesday night, Fred Connors, Aaron Eisses, Steve Mackie, Tom Martin and Robert Wesley McCormack all said they would open their campaign books before online voting starts on Friday.
Only one mayoral candidate — Mike Savage — refused.
"I'm going to follow the rules that we all agreed to when we entered this race, which is that we would disclose our donors afterwards," he told the crowd.
Martin criticized Savage, saying his position contradicts a campaign promise to make city hall more transparent. He questioned why Savage was unwilling to do something the other candidates had all agreed to.
"If we're all going to carry this banner, this sign that says, 'I'm transparent. I'm for transparency, vote for me,' put your money where your mouth is," Martin said.
Transparency has been a dominant issue in the Halifax Regional Municipality in recent months as Mayor Peter Kelly and the current regional council were criticized for holding dozens of secret meetings.
Information was also withheld when members of the Occupy Nova Scotia movement were evicted from Victoria Park, when sponsorship money for the skating oval was being considered and during the concert cash scandal.
Tuesday's debate was hosted by the Right to Know Coalition, The Coast and the Metro Students Community Coalition.
"Contracting and that, that's all open. If our money is involved in a contract then we should know what the contract is," said Darce Fardy, a member of the Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia.
"We should, perhaps, even know what the competing contract said so that we know that the best applicant got the contract. All of that stuff should be open."
Fardy said the only thing that council should deal with behind closed doors is personnel issues.
"I'm all about transparency. I mean, I haven't raised a dime yet so," said Mackie.
Connors said he's keen to open his books.
"Sidney Crosby is a very good friend of mine so I am dying to let people know who has funded my campaign," he said, to laughter from the crowd.
The candidates also said they want more information placed online and the current website revamped so information is easier to find.
Latest Nova Scotia News Headlines
- Cape Breton fishermen pray as lobster season begins
- Nova Scotia lobster fishermen and their families gathered on their boats in Main-a-Dieu on Sunday for the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. more »
- N.S. tobacconist won’t appeal charter challenge ruling
- A tobacco store owner in Kentville will not appeal a court decision forcing him to hide its products. more »
- Man, 80, dies on fishing outing near Bridgewater
- An 80-year-old Nova Scotia man has died after he fell into the water on Wentzell's Lake near Bridgwater, say police. more »
- Man charged after throwing a bucket at an RCMP officer
- A 61-year-old man is facing charges of assaulting Halifax RCMP officers after an incident in the North Preston area Saturday night. more »
Top News Headlines
- Search continues for 2 missing New Brunswick fishermen
- A search effort has resumed for two missing fishermen off the coast of New Brunswick, after a distress call was issued from their boat early Saturday. more »
- Jeep driver apologizes after stunt kills Edmonton woman
- A man claiming to be the driver of a Jeep that struck and killed a spectator at a charity event in Edmonton says he is sorry for what happened. more »
- Senior Pakistani politician shot dead
- Voting in Karachi goes ahead a day after gunmen killed a senior member of Imran Khan's Movement for Justice (PTI) party outside her home in Karachi. more »
- Virginia parade crash driver likely had medical problem
- Authorities believe the driver who plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Virginia mountain town parade suffered from a medical condition and did not cause the crash intentionally, an emergency official said Sunday. more »
- Worker falls in ocean in Digby accident
- Blue Nose Youth Run draws thousands
- Roundup of Bluenose Marathon street closures
- Sydney `hackathon` challenges techies
- Sailor fighting cancer says AWOL charges dropped
- Luck changes for $3.2M lottery winners from Cape Breton
- UFO sightings in Canada in 2012 doubled previous record
- Rescue attempt over for New Brunswick fishermen
- Sailor with cancer charged for being AWOL over sick day