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Clark also warned against the perception of a slate of candidates, claiming former provincial cabinet minister Rob Norris has campaigned with some others who are running for council seats.
Norris campaign spokesman Dale Richardson denied Norris has campaigned with council candidates, but acknowledged he took part in a community walk in Caswell Hill in which Ward 2 challenger Rose Kasleder and incumbent Coun. Hilary Gough both took part.
Slate campaigning could lead to “gridlock” on council if an elected mayor has to work with councillors against whom he campaigned, Clark warned.
“We can’t afford to be distracted. That’s what we’re seeing in the United States … the political challenges and issues getting into the decision-making process.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for unity, he said.
Clark said if he is re-elected he will focus on keeping people working and safe and strengthen the quality of life in the city.
He also warned against promises from other mayoral candidates to reverse decisions already made by council. He noted Norris’s opposition to two-year budgets and his pledge to try to rescind the decision to approve $67.5 million in borrowing by the library board for a new downtown branch.
The library board manages the project, but needs approval from the city to add debt.
Clark warned of “potential lawsuits” and a “frayed” relationship with the library board should any decision on the downtown branch be reversed. It’s also a good time to proceed with a project like the library due to low interest rates and low construction costs, he said, adding that construction project will create jobs.