Tonight, Matthew Hayes presented an ideas-based vision for the future of the city during a public debate, while incumbent mayor Woodside was on the defensive. The debate at Fredericton High School was moderated by John Wishart, editor of The Daily Gleaner, who was joined by panel journalists Heather McLaughlin and Shawn Berry.
An audience of residents and media figures watched as the two candidates exchanged ideas and argued on their positions for transparent government, municipal growth and smart economic development.
Apart from highlighting each candidate’s ideas on improving the city, the evening’s debate demonstrated the need to introduce new leadership into City Hall. Mayor Woodside is “running on his record”, but that is not sufficient if the mayor’s job is to move the city forward. Other important topics included leadership and transparency.
“Leadership is about drawing on the expertise of the community and working with people to make Fredericton the best it can be,” says Hayes.
During the debate, Hayes pointed out several specific examples where City Council could have engaged the public in their decision-making process.
“Many of the city’s decisions have appeared to be made behind closed doors. I’m not saying that they’re purposely hiding their decisions; it’s about the process,” Hayes says. “It’s a question of priorities. In the last four years, we’ve made developments too quickly because there wasn’t enough public consultation. If we had had engagement with the public, the priorities might have been different.”
Essentially, the evening’s discussion was a showcase of how introducing new ideas into City Hall will revitalize Fredericton. “When it comes down to it, this election is about a chance for change, new vision, new leadership, and new ideas,” says Hayes.
For more information on Matthew Hayes and his campaign, visit: hayesformayor.ca