Municipal Politicians Leading by Example

December 11th, 2012 by Dan Allan

Last week we wrote about several Canadian mayors who had been in the news for the wrong reasons. These missteps include conflicts of interest, allegations of fraud, resignations, and the possibility of being removed from office.

Today’s blog provides several cases from the opposite end of the spectrum. Here are some instances of Canadian municipal politicians setting the right examples for their colleagues:

Kingston, ON

Mark Gerretson became the mayor of Kingston in 2010 after serving as a city councillor for four years. As part of Local Government Week in October, Gerretson “challenged” local grade 10 students to show what they would do to improve the city over the next 25 years through essays, videos, songs, or poems. Gerretson’s goal was to spark the students’ creativity while letting them learn some of the responsibilities he has as mayor.

North Dundas, ON

Eric Duncan became the mayor of North Dundas in 2010 at the age of 22. Previously, Duncan had been elected to city council at the age of 19 and served in that role while studying political science at Ottawa’s Carleton University. In addition, Duncan currently works as the Executive Assistant to Conservative MP Guy Lauzon. Duncan tries to actively involve youth in his township by visiting schools and engaging in social media.

Fredericton, NB

Dan Keenan has been a Fredericton city councillor since 2004. Despite winning his seat by acclamation in last May’s election, Keenan spoke out in an effort to increase voter turnout on Election Day. According to Keenan, “people should never assume a certain outcome will occur. It’s important to have your own say.”

Vancouver, BC

Gregor Robertson has been the mayor of Vancouver since 2008. Previously, he had served as an MLA in the BC Legislature from 2005 to 2008. Recently, Robertson joined the “Chinese Twitter” website Weibo to better communicate with his city’s large Chinese community. Robertson was already an active Twitter user in English.

Saskatoon, SK

Saskatoon mayor Don Atchison was first elected in 2003. During his 2012 re-election campaign, Atchison joined Twitter to engage voters in the October election. It worked, and Atchison was re-elected and is now serving his fourth term as mayor.

Montreal, QC

Michael Applebaum became the mayor of Montreal last month after the resignation of Gérard Tremblay. Last week, Applebaum announced that executive committee meetings would now be available live online for the general public to watch. Previously, these meeting had been private. This change could help restore trust in Quebec municipal politics after several resignations.


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