Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Leadership his calling card

Newest hopeful in mayoral ring directs U of M's native programs

  • Print

Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a university administrator running as a city hall outsider, kicked off his mayoral campaign Friday.

SUPPLIED PHOTO Enlarge Image

Robert-Falcon Ouellette, a university administrator running as a city hall outsider, kicked off his mayoral campaign Friday.

The latest candidate for mayor of Winnipeg is a 37-year-old Cree, a married father of five, an ex-military officer and currently a university administrator who believes accountability and responsibility are missing from city hall.

Robert-Falcon Ouellette officially registered his mayoral campaign Friday morning and later said he believes council needs an attitude change.

"People sometimes don't have an adequate understanding of what leadership means -- making timely and sound decisions, communicating information between various levels, making sure people are informed and setting expectations," Ouellette said as he stood in the courtyard outside city hall.

Ouellette said he spent several years researching how city government inter-acted with the aboriginal community and other groups and then was recently pressured by friends and colleagues to put that knowledge to use by running for mayor.

"I just don't believe (civic) politicians are doing a real good job right now of delving into the really complex issues that we are facing," Ouellette said. "People said to me, 'Robert, get off your high horse... You have all this knowledge about the city -- just do something.' "

Ouellette is running as a city hall outsider. He boasts he has no political ties or connections to the community's powerful business and political elite. His campaign team consists of mostly fellow academics, he said, and some volunteers with previous political connections, such as disgruntled provincial Liberal Bob Axworthy.

Ouellette went to city hall alone Friday. There was no retinue such as the one that accompanied former St. Vital councillor Gord Steeves to his registration as a mayoral candidate. Ouellette didn't bring his family along for a photo op, as did mayoral candidates lawyer Brian Bowman and Charleswood Coun. Paula Havixbeck.

At an official campaign launch later in the day at the Caboto Centre, Ouellette told about a couple dozen supporters he grew up in poverty in a single-parent household and used his time in the military to develop leadership skills and a sense of "service and duty."

He said the Oct. 22 civic election is an opportunity for Winnipeggers of all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds to choose a new style of leadership.

"In the face of corruption, you continue to believe in honesty. In the face of exclusion, you continue to believe in the ideal of one city," Ouellette said.

He said he entered the military at 19 and, at the time, was the youngest person to hold the rank of sergeant at 22.

The military gave him an understanding of the importance of teamwork, proper planning, execution and responsibility for actions, he said.

Ouellette admitted to holding membership in the three main political parties but explained that was for academic research purposes.

In addition to Havixbeck, Steeves, Bowman and now Ouellette, other Winnipeg mayoral candidates are funeral home operator Mike Vogiatzakis, exotic-dancer booking agent Michel Fillion and unemployed Internet blogger Gordon Warren.

Former NDP MP and MLA Judy Wasylycia-Leis is expected to enter the race.

Mayor Sam Katz, whose popularity has reached record-low levels after 10 years in office, said he will announce in June whether he will run again.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2014 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Sanders gives other candidates a reality check

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young goose gobbles up grass at Fort Whyte Alive Monday morning- Young goslings are starting to show the markings of a adult geese-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 20– June 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

Ads by Google