Russell Walker | City | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

2010 grade: B
2009 grade: B-
2008 grade: C-
2001 grade: D

Russell Walker is still riding the success of his anti-“tax reform” work. Readers will recall that last year Walker single-handedly derailed the move to place transit taxes under a “tax reform”-like fee for service system, as opposed to the traditional assessment-based system. Walker followed that up with continued leadership on the issue, and saw “tax reform” defeated this year.

But Walker’s right-of-centre politics are creeping back into prominence, as evidenced by his defence of keeping discussion of the proposed Halifax Police Department takeover of RCMP duties secret, his refusal (as police commissioner) to cut into the PD budget and a generally old-school paternalistic attitude toward governance.

He gets kudos for keeping “tax reform” at bay, but I don’t see him keeping these sort of grades into the future, unless he can embrace more forward-looking policies.

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