Gary Gardiner

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Mayoral Candidate Gary Gardiner Responds to Al McDonald Attacks

I have vision and it’s 20/20.  Sharp and focused.  You can read my “Ten Ways to Make Our Community Better” on my website  I have released these planks in a very professional and positive manner.

I am running for Mayor because I believe in this community and I believe in the people.  After eight years I want to see North Bay do better.

There are times when it is necessary to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, just as I would stand up for the City of North Bay.  Now is such a time.  It’s time to set the record straight.

First of all, I think full disclosure of all my assets and interests is paramount for transparency.  For the record, I own a single-family rental home on McIntyre Street and an adjacent vacant lot, and my own home on Henry Street. I do not have any interest in any numbered company nor land development company and my own construction business has ceased to operate.  I think it important to disclose this information so that voters can have confidence that with me, the decisions that any future Council and its Mayor make are in the best interest of the community.

Secondly, I want to be clear on my position on the standpipe, which was raised in yesterday’s article by Al McDonald.  I was opposed to the use of the Federal and Provincial grants from the Clean Water Wastewater Fund for this project.  The Fund was designed to assist municipalities with the rehabilitation of existing water and sewer infrastructure in order to be better prepared for Climate Change. For reasons unclear to me, the Cedar Heights standpipe project, which has nothing to do with Climate Change and was, originally on the books for 2019, was fast tracked to 2016 /17. Initially I reported that the city’s contribution was $1.67M but I was incorrect.  It is actually $2.5M. Upper tier governments contributed the balance at $3.5M for a total approved budget of $6M.  These are the facts and there is nothing fake about that.

Fact!   The Mayor never did apologize for the $4M cost overrun at Memorial Gardens.  In my release I made a subsequent statement that I believed to be correct at the time, but issued an immediate correction when I realize I had it wrong.  You see, honesty, integrity and accountability require that you take responsibility for your words and actions and above all, true leaders do not place blame on others.

The truth in terms of water bills and a Water Rate Stabilization Fund underscore the problem with this administration.  Contrary to the current Mayor’s rant weeks ago that a Rate Stabilization Fund had already been established, the fact is that there is no policy, procedures or bylaw that ever mentions the terms “Rate Stabilization Fund.”  I had this verified.  I challenge the Mayor to provide evidence to the contrary.  A rate stabilization fund can only be used for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to moderate the water rates.

I am on record, as I stated publicly at the Chamber of Commerce debate that I am not in favour of OPP costing at this time.  I value the North Bay Police Service and realize the vital service that
they play in keeping our citizens safe.

I am also on record as stating the true value of full time fire fighting services (Plank 6).   I realize that if elected as Mayor I will be responsible for the safety of everyone in the community. We have multi-storied senior homes, the hospital, the university and college, industry, and the list goes on.  In the case of an emergency, I want to ensure a response from full time trained
professionals.  Lives depend on it.  I wouldn’t have it any other way and I have never advocated for anything to the contrary.

In conclusion, from 2012 to 2016, property values in North Bay actually dropped by 2.2% under McDonald’s term.  This is an undeniable fact.  

Let’s go for positive results and reverse this trend.

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Everyone I meet is congratulating me for running for Mayor.  They stop me on the street and tell me they want a change.  They all say it’s time for a new leader and a new direction.

They also ask me why I decided to run, and I tell them it was the hardest decision of my life.  If elected, it will impact on my family in untold ways.  But I believe strongly in this city.  I believe in the people and I know the future can be bright.  For that I am willing to put my life on hold.

Leadership is hard to define.  Why is it that one coach can take a rag-tag team and turn them into champions?  Take the ordinary and make them extraordinary.  Yet another coach, with an all-star lineup finishes out of the playoffs? 

In simple terms, it’s leadership. 

The first coach sees the potential in each and every athlete.  He challenges them to be better.  He makes the most of their strengths and works with them to improve on their weaknesses.  Day after day, bit-by-bit, the rag tag team gains in skill and confidence.  When they lose he has their back and takes responsibility.  They learn to be successful and by the end of the season they expect to be successful.

When the other team loses the coach blames the athletes for underperforming and by the end of the season they do just that. This coach can’t wait until next season and a batch of new recruits, because it wasn’t his fault that the team underperformed.  If only he had had better athletes and the league had better rules then things would have been different.

The citizens of North Bay will soon elect a new council.  It will be their all-star team selected from 26 candidates.
If given the opportunity and the privilege, I will lead this new council so that it can be the best that it can be. And when that happens I know that North Bay will become extraordinary.

Former MP Wood backs Gardiner

Former Liberal MP Bob Wood is backing Gary Gardiner in his bid to become  North Bay’s mayor. 

Wood, who represented Nipissing in Ottawa from 1988 to 2004, has been endorsing Gardiner in campaign ads airing recently on local radio.  In the ads, Wood backs Gardiner as a strong leader and encourages residents to vote for him, asking if they’re tired of seeing local school closures and people leaving the city.

Gardiner, who’s thankful for Wood’s support, says the two have a shared belief the city is in need of significant change.

“He’s a well-respected member of the community and he has a ton of experience,” says Gardiner. “And, like everyone, he wants to see our city do better.”