Mayoral front-runner Judy Wasylycia-Leis brushed off an attack Tuesday from one rival candidate and an attempt by another to steal one of her signature issues.
Moments before Wasylycia-Leis’ press conference, rival Gord Steeves hosted a similar gathering outside her campaign office to call out her plan to raise taxes.
"I thought maybe he experienced a conversion through the Labour Day weekend," and was preparing to endorse her, joked Wasylycia-Leis.
She said she’s being open about the need for predictable and sustainable revenue growth.
"I was upfront with you in the last election and I’m upfront with you now," she said.
Also Tuesday, mayoral hopeful Brian Bowman pledged to complete all legs of rapid transit by 2030, seizing an issue dear to many of Wasylycia-Leis’ supporters.
Wasylycia-Leis repeated a long-standing promise to complete the Southwest leg of rapid transit, but would offer no specific pledges on the rest, saying subsequent legs must be done with methodical planning.
"I’m not sure Brian Bowman can do everything he’s doing within his overall fiscal parameters without cutting deeply into service," said Wasylycia-Leis. "I’m not making sweeping promises that can’t be met and can’t be funded."
Amid a large crowd outside her Portage Avenue headquarters, Wasylycia-Leis also unveiled her four key pledges, at least one of which was announced earlier in the race.
The former NDP MP promised to rebuild the city’s infrastructure, avoid cuts to frontline services such as police, fire and garbage collection and create opportunities. Asked for more detail on those, she demurred, saying she would unveil more information as the race to Oct. 22 wears on.
Wasylycia-Leis also said she would clean up city hall by creating an accountability watchdog, a pledge she made in June.