December 17, 2018

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Election Extra: No mayor Umar

Umar Hayat is not going to be elected mayor on October 24. 

That is not a knock against Hayat. As the mayoral campaign began, he came out of nowhere with very little profile on the local government political stage. He appears to have scarce resources available for his campaign. In short, he has had trouble commanding a lot of attention. 

Umar Hayat during the WinnipegREALTORS all-candidates forum last Thursday. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Umar Hayat during the WinnipegREALTORS all-candidates forum last Thursday.

But for those Winnipeggers lucky enough to  see him in action at any one of (what seemed like) 2,000 mayoral debates, Hayat definitely impressed. 

He rarely sits down when he has an opportunity to answer a question. In fact, he tends to bounce and lunge like a downed power line, crackling and snapping as he bounces back and forth across the stage.

He has trouble making sense some times. But he is no slouch when it comes to enthusiasm and energy. 

What impresses me most about Hayat is that he really seems honoured and thrilled to be involved in the mayoral race. 

In politics, cynics tend to hold the balance of power. Voters take great pleasure in debasing politicians, who in turn take pleasure in debasing each other. 

In this swamp of cynicism and caustic behaviour, Hayat is more than a breath of fresh air. He’s a role model for everyone who has trouble seeing the nobility in politics. 

Umar Hayat won’t win the mayoralty. But Winnipeg is a better place for his candidacy.

– Dan Lett
Free Press Columnist


More from the Winnipeg Free Press

  • The owners of the property just east of Portage and Main, are replacing the membrane that waterproofs the their side of the underground concourse.

    The owners of the property just east of Portage and Main, are replacing the membrane that waterproofs the their side of the underground concourse.

    Barriers coming down anyway?: The 39-year-old Portage and Main underground concourse may be in far worse condition than originally thought, and the added costs of removing and then reinstalling the concrete structures above ground have property owners in the area questioning whether a plebiscite attached to the civic election is even relevant, writes Dan Lett.
  • Taking aim at apathy: There are a variety of efforts underway to get more Winnipeggers – especially Indigenous people and newcomers – to participate in the upcoming civic election.
  • Motkaluk explains tax promise: Winnipeg mayoral candidate Jenny Motkaluk’s touted reform of the property tax system turns out to be a simple property tax rebate writes Aldo Santin.
  • Bowman betting he's better for business: Incumbent mayoral candidate Brian Bowman said he’s overseen a gradual reduction in the business tax each year in his first term, and his plan is to keep doing that for the next four years.

Elsewhere on the web...

  • Advance polling is up over the last civic election.

    Advance polling is up over the last civic election.

    Winnipeggers flocking to advance polls: Voting is up 32% over 2014 election during first 10 days of advance polls this year writes Bartley Kives for CBC.
  • Transparency, taxes and teachers: From budgets to substitute teachers and transparency, prospective school trustees pitched their thoughts on how best to serve the students and staff of the Brandon School Division during a candidates forum Thursday night.
  • Full house: Four reeve candidates for the RM of Ste. Anne showed up to a packed Richer Community Centre for an elections forum Tuesday night.
  • Altona turns out: Close to 200 people showed up for an all-candidates forum Tuesday night in Altona.

Ward profile: Charleswood-Tuxedo

  • Charleswood-Tuxedo, the renamed Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge that absorbed the St. Charles ward neighbourhoods of Assiniboia Downs, Glendale, Kirkfield, and Westwood, is up for grabs after councillor Marty Morantz decided to run federally.

    Kevin Klein, Kevin Nichols, Ken St. George and Grant Nordman are vying for the seat.

    Nordman served two terms as the councillor in the former St. Charles ward until he was defeated by Shawn Dobson. The St. Charles ward was eliminated with the redrawing of ward boundaries.

    Klein is a former Winnipeg Sun publisher who lives in the ward and called for voters who are thinking of making financial contributions to a candidate to give their money to the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters instead.

    Nichols is a Charleswood resident and business owner who coaches football, and St. George is a Charleswood resident and nurse.

    All four candidates filled out our candidate questionnaires, so read all about them and their proposed positions on city issues in our ward profile.

Looking back: 1940

On Friday, Nov. 23, 1940 Winnipeggers approved a referendum to allow adult men and women to vote regardless of properly qualification, which the Free Press deemed a "radical change." Votes "for" numbered just over 22,000, while 11,000 marked their ballots against the move. Next steps for suffrage involved courts approving the referendum, followed by the city asking the Manitoba legislature to amend the city charter.

The Free Press Election Extra lets you know about everything that matters in 2018’s civic election. Receive it in your inbox three times a week until Election Day.

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