So far, I am less than impressed with the two candidates who have announced their intentions to run for the position of lord mayor in the 2022 municipal election.
Our current Lord Mayor, Betty Disero, is pictured maskless, surrounded by a group of supporters who almost without exception are wearing masks, in photos that accompanied articles in both NOTL papers last week.
She opted not to don a face mask despite the advice of Niagara’s acting chief medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, who continues to advise all residents of Niagara to wear face masks voluntarily in indoor spaces around others.
While I recognize Ontario has lifted nearly all its mask mandates and the decision of whether to wear a mask indoors is now a personal choice for the mayor and most other Ontarians, I question whether the mayor is setting a good example by opting not to wear one.
Premier Doug Ford may be done with the pandemic, but as Dr. Hirji has made clear, it is not done with us.
People in Niagara continue to die of COVID, our hospitals are struggling to treat an overcapacity of patients and there is still a significant backlog of people waiting for critical surgeries.
Yet our lord mayor feels neither the need, nor the responsibility, to follow the advice of Niagara’s acting chief medical officer of health and wear a mask in public indoor settings.
Plus, much of what she has put forward as her priorities for the next term of council has not changed from four years ago.
We still do not have an approved official plan, St. Davids is no closer to having a new swimming pool, the future of the Rand Estate is still in question and critical changes to the zoning bylaw have yet to be made.
What happened to the community planning permit approach that was put forward in the last election as an innovative way to control development, and where it occurs, in our community?
And Disero's only opponent so far, regional Coun. Gary Zalepa, stated he won’t back down from his decision to support the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of York Road and Four Mile Creek in St. Davids, despite strong opposition to the proposal by residents of the community.
This tells me he does not understand the principles of democratic government, which are based on the public electing politicians to represent them in the council chambers, legislatures and Parliament of our nation.
The role of those politicians is to make sure the voices of their constituents are heard and get a fair hearing when legislation, regulations and major infrastructure projects are being considered by government.
It isn’t to block their ears and push for projects that are unnecessary and unwanted.