The first mayoral debate heated up yesterday as nine of the 10 candidates came together to discuss affordable housing.
Of the candidates, Craig Burrows, who was hosting a campaign event of his own, wasn’t able to attend the Avenue Magazine Big Idea 2010 event, which at times became confrontational.
“My nine years on council, I’m happy to say I’ve had the opportunity to do some of the work on homelessness,” said Ald. Ric McIver during the panel discussion, adding that he recently pushed for the policy on secondary suites.
However, fellow candidate Naheed Nenshi was quick to shoot down McIver.
“Alderman McIver’s proposal is not to create a policy — it’s for administration to create a report to start thinking about what a policy might look like and to report back next January long after the election,” said Nenshi. “We’ve got to move much faster on this.”
After the panel, McIver said he wasn’t bothered by the criticism.
“If people want to build the mousetrap different, that’s OK but I have a plan that will work and will provide many, many more affordable housing units,” he said.
Candidate Jon Lord, a former alderman, said that some of his fellow candidates have changed their views on affordable housing.
“Of course it’s a bandwagon thing now there’s an election on, suddenly everybody’s a proponent,” he said. “I have a very simple rule, look at track record. Where were these guys 10 years ago?”