Moncton re-elects George LeBlanc as mayor
Wins by landslide
George LeBlanc easily secured a second term as the mayor of Moncton, the province's second largest city, in Monday's election.
LeBlanc received 14,424 votes on Monday night, while his only challenger, Carl Bainbridge, a former candidate for the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick, had 2,153 votes.
LeBlanc is believed to have won by the biggest margin of any candidates in the province, but still commended Bainbridge on running a good campaign.
He is grateful for the victory, he said, and is looking forward to his next term.
'I'm very excited about the future and I think Moncton will achieve great things over the next four years.'—Mayor elect George LeBlanc
"You know, this is a fantastic night. I'm so pleased and have so many people to thank — the people of Moncton who have allowed me another opportunity to have the best job in the entire world," LeBlanc said.
"I'm very excited about the future and I think Moncton will achieve great things over the next four years."
LeBlanc said he is concerned about the possibility of job losses, will continue to work to improve the economic well-being of the city, and hopes to revitalize the downtown, he said.
Dawn Arnold could be at his side as the city's new deputy mayor.
Arnold, the chair of the Northrop Frye Literary Festival, finished the night with 9,519 votes. Pierre Boudreau, her closest competitor, had 7,304 votes.
Moncton has two at-large council spots. Cathy Rogers was in third position with 7,069 votes.
In Ward 1, Shawn Crossman was elected and Paulette Theriault was re-elected.
In Ward 2, Merrill Henderson was re-elected and Charles Leger was elected.
In Ward 3, Brian Hicks and Daniel Bourgeois were both re-elected.
And in Ward 4, Rene (Pepsi) Landry and Paul Pellerin were both re-elected.
LeBlanc has faced recent criticism by the union representing bus drivers at Codiac Transpo.
Talks between the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1290 and city have broken off with no new talks scheduled.
Last week, some routes in the greater Moncton area were interrupted and more may be required due to staffing constraints caused by the dispute, according to the city.
Union local president George Turple accused the city of playing games and pushed to make the dispute an election issue.
The union wants $55,000 a year for its drivers.
The city’s latest offer, which was rejected by the union, would've brought a bus driver’s annual salary to $51,000 in 2015.
Another contentious issue for the city has been the location of the new high school.
The province plans to build in the Royal Oaks subdivision on the outskirts of the city, but many residents are fighting to keep it in the downtown area.
The city has also been trying for a year to get the province to find another location closer to downtown.
There have also been several recent positive developments.
The city has unveiled designs for a new downtown entertainment and sports complex. Although the city still doesn't have any funding in place for the multi-million dollar project, LeBlanc has said he is optimistic and is counting on the project to revitalize the downtown.
It’s expected to include a 10,000-seat arena and convention centre, as well as a shopping centre, restaurants, condos and an outdoor space.
LeBlanc was elected mayor in 2008 when former mayor Lorne Mitton decided to retire and not re-offer.
During that election, LeBlanc had been criticized for his limited ability to speak French in a city that is widely bilingual.
There were 21 candidates seeking a position on the council.