Mayoral candidate Mike Maguire may not be well known to voters in Ottawa, but he is well known to many other candidates.

He’s been a behind-the-scenes guy for nearly 30 years, with experience creating strategies for more than 20 election campaigns at every level of government from school board to federal.

In fact, he wrote significant pieces of policy for Mayor Larry O’Brien’s last campaign, but he’s disappointed with the performance of city council and thinks he can do a better job.

Maguire said city council needs to be focusing on lowering taxes as a goal, by prioritizing and cutting services.

“Nobody has any more money to donate to any level of government,” he said. “If you ask anyone if they can afford to pay an extra 10 per cent, they’ll say it’s out of the question.”

He would also cancel the downtown transit tunnel and replace it with surface rail using existing rail line.

The real congestion problems in Ottawa are on arterial routes and the Queensway out to Kanata and Orleans, he said. The Tunneys-to-Blair line will not address that problem.

“This multibillion-dollar downtown Ottawa tunnel — it’s astonishing how out of touch with reality that plan is,” said Maguire.

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