Jim Neill, Rob Matheson, Vicki Schmolka, Rob Hutchison, Brian Evoy – some of the candidates endorsed by the Labour Council.
A committee assembled by the Kingston and District Labour Council (KDLC) met and drafted questions for candidates for the municipal elections and digested the returned surveys. The KDLC represents the majority of unionized workers in the Kingston area from private and public sector unions including the United Steelworkers Union, Canadian Auto Workers, Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
The ten questions on the survey were designed to allow the candidates to explain in as much detail as necessary their views and ideas they would bring to our city on a variety of issues considered important for our municipal voters in Kingston.
KDLC’s Political Action Committee (PAC)was able to identify one mayoralty candidate and ten candidates for City Council who met the Labour Council’s criteria for endorsement. The list of endorsed candidates is found below.
The Labour Council has always recognized that municipal elections are vital to the economic prosperity and social stability of our community – the city where we work and live.
Early in September, Council gave a mandate to its PAC, which includes the executive of the Labour Council as well as community and union members, to develop a questionnaire and distribute it to all of the mayoralty and Council candidates that have declared for the October 25, 2010 municipal election.
The purpose of the questionnaire was twofold.
The first objective was to assess candidates’ positions on a variety of issues of importance to working people with the intention of endorsing candidates who demonstrated an understanding of, and appreciation for, working families’ concerns.
The second purpose of the questionnaire was to create a record of candidates’ positions for future reference, especially for those candidates who are successful at the polls.
The PAC prepared a survey with 9 open-ended questions inviting candidates to comment on fiscal, political and social issues pertinent to Kingston. On most questions candidates’ responses were not measured against a set of preconceived correct answers, In general the PAC looked for thoroughness and a demonstrated understanding of complex issues. In some areas, such as privatization, however, the Labour Council is on record as being opposed to selling publicly funded and publicly delivered services to the “for-profit” sector. On these questions, the PAC was prepared to endorse those candidates who share the Labour Council’s position.
Our endorsed candidates did not have identical answers to questions, but they have all demonstrated through their responses to the survey, and through their previous community involvement, that they have a social conscience, are environmentally aware, will support sustainable economic development, and above all, will represent the interests of working women and men and their families in Kingston.
The Labour Council will be encouraging members to vote in the upcoming election and to look closely at the candidates the Kingston Labour Community has noted as worthy for the support of all working people as elected representatives of our community. The council will work with candidates to further help the further connect with our community and workplaces.