Federal Election 2015: Our Mayor’s Perspective

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Federal Election 2015: Our Mayor’s Perspective
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Rob Burton

Rob Burton

Rob Burton is the mayor of Oakville, Ontario. He was elected as Mayor in 2006, and re-elected for a third term in 2014. Mr. Burton is best known in the business community as the creator of YTV. He has a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University.

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I have been working with other mayors and with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to get local issues on the national agenda. We have had increasing success in getting it understood that Canada cannot be stronger than our communities are. Governments in Ottawa have great capacity to help our communities. We therefore have been and must keep being vigilant and active to keep the importance of municipalities in front of the national government.

Mayors and councillors are closer to the people and we are the first whom the people turn to when they need help because we are the ones who deliver the government programs and services so important to daily living. We know how important our residents think their quality of life is. We know our residents tell us their five greatest priorities are:

(1) what they earn to sustain themselves and their families,
(2) what they get to sustain them in retirement,
(3) the environment,
(4) job security,
(5) job opportunities for their kids, in a shaky economy.

Mayors know that communities must be able to move goods and people efficiently without gridlock and require adequate transportation infrastructure to grow the economy the way we need to create the well-paying jobs everyone needs to share in Canada’s vast 21st Century potential as an economic powerhouse. We need this federal election to be about the actions federal party leaders will take to support Canada’s cities and towns so that the Canadian economy can get moving again.

Oakville’s priorities are the priorities of Canadians across Canada. Two members of parliament will be representing Oakville. I will keep faith with my mayoral colleagues and keep pressing candidates and those elected for dedicated national funding for public transit and municipal infrastructure; new efforts to create local economic development opportunities to attract job-creating investments; and increased support to build more affordable housing.

The mayors of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus and AMO’s Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus have called for each mayor to host a debate with local candidates in their community, and I will be asking our Town Council to host debates in each Oakville riding during the 2015 federal election with a specific focus on Oakville.

As a person who has participated in many electoral contests as a candidate and as a volunteer for others, I would like to acknowledge all candidates who have put their names forward to serve the people of Oakville in Ottawa. Seeking public office requires immense personal and professional sacrifices but it offers tremendous rewards in personal satisfaction from serving the public. I wish all candidates competing to represent our Town in Ottawa a constructive exchange of ideas to make Oakville an even more livable place to call home.


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Readers Comments (3)

  1. John McLaughlin says:

    Why not let the voters decide what issues are at stake in the federal election – not the Oakville Mayor.

  2. John McLaughlin says:

    This missive offers the Oakville “Mayors” perspective on federal election issues, or what he perceives should be federal election issues (e.g. jobs, infrastructure, transportation etc.) As such, I presume that is also the Town of Oakville perspective on the federal election.

    In my opinion, the Mayor and the Town of Oakville should also disclose any federal political party, or federal candidate they may directly, or indirectly support or assist in this federal election campaign – if any – to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

    In my opinion, the Town of Oakville should not be seen to be, nor should it be, involved in federal election campaigns or in “hosting” or organizing debates, through Town Council, who also represent the residents of Oakville.

    I would prefer it if the matter of federal election debates, is left to impartial 3rd party organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, also hosting a federal candidate’s debate.

  3. John McLaughlin says:

    Apparently, Mayor Burton is the most famous politician in the world today on both social and TV media – for some unfortunate comments he made – and apparently apologized for.

    This is why the Town of Oakville has to be careful about what its elected representatives say – and do publicly – as it may convey the impression that this also represents Oakville residents views – which it does not.

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