Vote Notes: Monday, Sept. 17, 2018
A digest of what's going on in London's municipal election
BRT battles heat up
Last week, anti-bus rapid transit sidewalk signs went up, telling Londoner's "there are options" (though not spelling out what those options are).
We've put together a story about mayoral front-runner candidates' alternatives to BRT.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LdnVotes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LdnVotes</a> is coming. <a href="https://twitter.com/LdnBRT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LdnBRT</a> was given a green light by city council to move our city forward and now your investment is under threat. On Oct 22 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LdnOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LdnOnt</a> needs your vote to ensure that BRT moves forward. Please pledge your vote today. <a href="https://t.co/oDlV3rsUzV">https://t.co/oDlV3rsUzV</a> <a href="https://t.co/AJtdik7TxZ">pic.twitter.com/AJtdik7TxZ</a>—@late2game
"We need supporters like you to show up at the advance polls and on election day, October 22, to ensure this project stays on course," the website states, asking people to pledge to vote for candidates who support BRT.
Adamsson calls it a "get out the vote" push for BRT supporters.
"Support verbally is not terribly useful, we need people to show up on election day. One of the ways that you can increase turnout is to get people to commit to showing up at the polls," Adamsson tells CBC News.
He says he thinks there's more support for the transit project than most people suspect.
"It's always easier to be against something than to be fore something. It's always easier to tear down work than to build it up. I've spoken to candidates who have gone door-to-door who are surprised at how much support (for BRT) they're hearing."
Buses looking for a jolt?
If the bus rapid transit project goes ahead — and it's a big if, given the number of municipal council and mayoral candidates who are opposed to it — some are pushing for the buses to be electric.
"We have an amazing opportunity to make London's bus rapid transit system the best possible BRT. We can become the first city in North America to electrify a bus rapid transit network from the very first day of operation," writes Ward 4 council candidate Jesse Helmer.
He's asking people to sign a petition to get city council to "electrify BRT."
Council's Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee will hear today from Josipa Petrunic, executive director of the Candian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, about the idea. According to Petrunic's estimates, having electric buses would save the city about $860,000 a year in energy costs.
The plan would require up-front costs to put in charging stations in the four corners of the BRT routes.
Londoners react to death threat against councillor
Ward 10 Coun. Virginia Ridley, who is running for re-election, said publicly today that she received a death threat in May after she supported removing taxi license permit limits.
"I swear to God I will make sure the bullet goes between your eyes," read one line in the letter, sent to Ridley's home and city hall office.
Condemnation of the threat was swift on social media.
Threatening violence is a way to silence women politicians’ voices. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LdnOnt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LdnOnt</a> condemns this hatred & stands with you <a href="https://twitter.com/virginia_ridley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@virginia_ridley</a>. No woman should have to feel that running for office puts her own or her family’s safety at risk <a href="https://t.co/pk8zMENA7Q">https://t.co/pk8zMENA7Q</a>—@PeggySattlerNDP
London police wouldn't comment on the matter but Ridley said she contacted officers when she first got the letter.