Manitoba

Gord Steeves flyer accuses Wasylycia-Leis of pitching 12% tax hike

A campaign flyer promoting Gord Steeves, and attacking rival Judy Wasylycia-Leis, is turning up the heat in the race for the mayor's job in Winnipeg.

Going on the attack a smart strategic move for Steeves, says marketing expert

A campaign flyer promoting Gord Steeves, and attacking rival Judy Wasylycia-Leis, is turning up the heat in the race for the mayor's job in Winnipeg. 1:37

A campaign flyer promoting Gord Steeves, and attacking rival Judy Wasylycia-Leis, is turning up the heat in the race for the mayor's job in Winnipeg.

The flyer, which is being delivered to homes across the city, touts the former city councillor as someone who would not raise property taxes if he's elected mayor in the Oct. 22 civic election.

On the other side is a large graphic connecting Wasylycia-Leis to a 12 per cent tax hike.

"I see Judy as my closest competitor, and my position is one of freezing taxes," Steeves told CBC News on Thursday.

Wasylycia-Leis said Steeves's tactic doesn't surprise her.

"It's so much like what I endured in the last election with Sam Katz. It's fear-mongering," she said.

The flyer touts Steeves, a former city councillor, as a candidate who would not raise property taxes if he's elected mayor in the Oct. 22 civic election. (Donna Lee/CBC)
​Steeves said Wasylycia-Leis has proposed an annual property tax increase of three per cent to fund infrastructure and services.

Three per cent over a four-year term adds up to 12 per cent, Steeves said.

Wasylycia-Leis said she doesn't believe Steeves can follow through with a tax freeze.

Steeves's decision to go on the attack is a smart strategic move, says Fang Wan, a marketing professor at the Asper School of Business.

"I think in this regard, it's a very powerful diffrentiation tool for people to understand the difference in terms of the two candidates. Of course, in this case, it works to his benefit," she said.

Wan added that the flyer will boost Steeves's profile.

Candidates asked about negativity

But going on the negative did not appeal to some potential voters who grilled the mayoral candidates at an inner-city forum Thursday night at Rossbrook House.
This flyer from Gord Steeves's campaign team is being delivered to homes across Winnipeg. It connects rival candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis with a 12 per cent property tax increase. (Donna Lee/CBC)

The five candidates who came to the forum — Steeves was not present — were asked about the negativity towards one another on the campaign trail.

Wasylycia-Leis mentioned Steeves's flyer as an example, while Paula Havixbeck talked about the candidates versus their platforms.

"You know, I have tremendous respect for all of these candidates," Havixbeck said.

"I think you should know that for me personally, I don't come to it with an attack on an individual. It's a challenge to the policy that they put forward."