In case you missed it, Shelia Fougere became the first official Kelly-opponent on Wednesday, formally announcing her intention to run for mayor.
Not a great shock—there has been much speculation that Fougere would make the call. In a press conference on the waterfront on Wednesday morning, Fourgere said, "I will bring forward a campaign platform that I hope will resonate with the public."
More specific platform details should be forthcoming—her formal campaign will kick off this spring, leading up to the October 18, 2008 election. Keep an eye on sheilafougere.ca for updates.
In the meantime, can we get a wider variety of candidates this time around? Someone exciting? Someone unexpected? Where are the left-field long shots? Where are the outsiders? Where are the 19-year olds, like Calgary student Jeremy Zhao, who came fourth this week in the Calgary mayoral election?
Fourth out of nine...not too shabby, dude. Surely we've got a teenaged Coast reader up to the task of being mayor. I'm looking at you, Citadel High.
And hey, speaking of mayoral candidate Fougere, some of her constituents got busy this week. Roughly 18 residents on Chebucto Road took their outrage over the proposed road widening to the street on Monday—or more, appropriately, to the front lawn.
The protest was simple in its design: Residents set up chairs and blankets, and hung out on their front lawn during morning rush hour, from 7 to 9am—like a sit-in, except, out.
"I would say it was successful," says Chebucto Neighbourhood Association prez Kevin Moynihan. Residents set out to illustrate the amount of property that will be lost if another lane is added to Chebucto.
Their other goal was to keep the issue in the public consciousness (it seemed to work—the protest received national attention in the Globe and Mail) as a city-imposed deadline looms. Residents have been asked to make a decision on how much property they will lose by no later than October 31. The Neighbourhood Association is fighting for a one-year moratorium on the project.
Chebucto residents also handed out pamphlets to morning commuters, outlining their concerns: The $2-million price tag, the lack of a pedestrian safety study, the potential damage to the community, the loss of private property and a skepticism that the project will actually improve commuter times in any significant way.
Most surprising, according to Moynihan: drivers were overwhelmingly supportive.
"We thought that we would probably be aggravating some people, but we were getting high-fives all morning," he says. "The odd person said, "We want wide streets,' or "You're standing in the way of progress,' but I would say 80 percent honked and waved. Bus drivers were waving, garbage trucks waved"—he laughs—"city trucks, even."
Working in tandem with Fougere, the Neighbourhood Association has now turned its attention to swaying individual councillors—cold-calling council members, to reverse opinion one person at a time.
The goal is to get a straight-up majority of the 23 municipal councillors to support the one-year delay—time enough to allow for a "sober second though," says Moynihan. "I'd say we're halfway there. We still have a lot of convincing to do. But, we're making a good case. Monday helped."