Mayoral front-runners take parting shots


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Mayoral candidates Brian Bowman and Jenny Motkaluk used part of the last day of the 2018 civic election campaign to lob criticism at each other.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/10/2018 (1384 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mayoral candidates Brian Bowman and Jenny Motkaluk used part of the last day of the 2018 civic election campaign to lob criticism at each other.

While Bowman spent Tuesday on a hectic meet-and-greet schedule (accompanied by his wife, Tracy), Motkaluk was relaxing with her team in her St. James-area headquarters.

However, when questioned by reporters, each pulled their campaign knives out one last time.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Candidate Jenny Motkaluk holds a campaign wrap-up press conference at her headquarters Tuesday afternoon.

“I like Brian Bowman. He’s a nice guy. I’ve never questioned his character. I have however questioned his leadership — and that is why I’m here right now,” Motkaluk said, as she criticized the incumbent’s political tactics at city hall, saying it focused his attention only on those councillors willing to support his initiatives and labelling anyone who questioned him an a threat to the public good.

“Brian Bowman has demonstrated and said on multiple occasions that he will not engage in what he calls special-interest groups, but in doing so he’s alienated hundreds of thousands of Winnipeggers and really eliminated their voices from our civic government,” the challenger said.

“All members of council are duly-elected representatives of tens of thousands of people, and they are deserving of everyone’s respect including, and most especially, the mayor of Winnipeg. It’s absolutely unconscionable to think that someone who has been elected to represent tens of thousands of citizens could have their voice silenced at city hall. And when I am mayor of Winnipeg, those days will be over.”

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Incumbent Brian Bowman talks to the media outside of Sugar Blooms and Cakes on McPhillips Street during a stop on his a city-wide blitz Tuesday.

Winnipeggers go to the polls Wednesday.

The media caught up to Bowman at a Filipino bakery on McPhillips Street, where he used his understated manner to criticize Motkaluk’s angry tone throughout the campaign.

“Her campaign has been marked with everything from trolling me on social media with pictures of chickens, referring to Winnipeg as ‘Turdsville,’ even recently liking a social media post that criticized social diversity,” Bowman said. “This is not the actions of somebody who is going to be positioned well to bring the community together and to lead in a positive way.”

Bowman last week released his campaign book: a glossy, 37-page document detailing campaign commitments he said reflected costed positions on road renewal, community safety, community centres, inclusion, and human rights — and asked voters to give him four more years as mayor.

In contrast, Motkaluk’s campaign commitments were outlined in a plain, photocopied three-page document she said offered “a way forward in a practical manner, something we can do right now.”

Motkaluk took time during her Tuesday news conference to confront a recent election survey finding that showed most Winnipeggers found Bowman to be a more likable candidate.

The polling by Forum Research, on behalf of the Canadian Municipal Election Study, which is looking at municipal elections in Winnipeg and seven other cities, found Winnipeggers gave Bowman a “likability” rating of 58.2 out of 100, compared to Motkaluk’s score of 43.5.

Motkaluk told reporters being “likeable” is not easy when you’re finding fault with someone whose style and manner you totally oppose.

“Recently, some Winnipeggers have felt that I’m not very likable. I can appreciate why they might think that because it’s tough to be likable when you spend all your time talking about raw sewage in the river, and taxes, and smoke-and-mirror games and all the serious issues that are facing Winnipeggers,” Motkaluk said.

“Going forward, I sincerely hope people will get more of a chance to get to know me and to come to realize I’m really likable, too.”

Bowman said he tried to be positive throughout the campaign, but added it is the voters who will decide the type of person they want to lead them as mayor.

“While we’ve been mapping out a positive vision for building this city for the future, her campaign has been one that has been very negative and angry. She’s been pretty clear with her remarks that she is angry,” Bowman said.

“How you run a campaign is indicative of how you would govern if given the chance to serve.”

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