Constable who wants to be mayor says he wouldn't be a police puppet
'You can ask them if I'm anybody's puppet,' Tim Diack said after registering Winnipeg mayoral run
Const. Tim Diack registered his campaign for mayor on Tuesday, pledging he won't place the needs of the Winnipeg Police Service over those of the city at large.
The 52-year-old 30-year veteran of the police service became the sixth person to enter the Winnipeg mayoral race after he visited the City Clerk's office with an entourage of several dozen supporters.
He said he isn't running just to serve the needs of police.
"You can ask them if I'm anybody's puppet," Diack told reporters after he exited the clerk's office. "That's not what I would be."
Nonetheless, Diack said police are "a little overwhelmed" by the demands on the service created by methamphetamine use.
"It's a meth crisis right now and we need to be able to develop an increase in our capacity to do our jobs, and we don't have the political will to make the necessary changes," he said.
Diack also said he's OK with reopening the Portage and Main intersection to pedestrians but says the city has more important issues, such as safety, to deal with first.
He also said he would like to see more development downtown, as well as a continued commitment to studying the idea of moving railyards outside the city.
With the entrance of Diack, who sought the Progressive Conservative nomination in the 2017 Point Douglas byelection, the mayoral race is getting crowded on the centre-right. Fellow candidates Brian Bowman, the incumbent mayor, and business development consultant Jenny Motkaluk also have Progressive Conservative ties.
Entrepreneur Umar Hayat, former Morden, Man., mayor Doug Wilson and former Winnipeg Transit driver Don Woodstock have also registered to run for mayor.
Diack describes himself as a Red Tory. He said Tuesday he only sought the Progressive Conservative nomination for the provincial Point Douglas constituency at the behest of party members.
He also said he does not share the political beliefs of Max Querel, who described himself as Diack's campaign manager on a LinkedIn account — as well a Donald Trump presidential campaign volunteer on several social media accounts.
Diack said Querel is merely a volunteer and pledged to have Querel amend the information on his LinkedIn account.
Diack said his volunteers include people with a wide variety of political orientations.