07/13/2010 – By JORDAN MAXWELL
One question: What ever happened to consulting the community before decisions were made that affected its members?
Ward 18 candidate Ken Wood has asked himself that question for a few years now and says that it is one of the driving forces for his political run to City Hall as Ward 18 councillor.
“I must say I’m disappointed by the system and the complete lack of consultation,” Wood said.
Wood, who graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in political science, also admitted that politics has changed from the good “old school” days.
“It’s become more about staying in power than integrity,” he said. “The people need to stand up.”
Apparently Wood is quite the paradox.
“I’m fascinated by human interaction and human law and order.”
Although he describes himself as left-leaning, this evil change in politics is one of the reasons that Wood is running as an independent, supporting no other party but himself, with “no allegiances or machines.”
So what’s so good about Wood’s ideas? What makes him any different?
Well, “you must communicate properly and rise up to meet diversity.”
According to Wood, 40 per cent of the people in Ward 18 do not speak “our mother tongue.” He added that city communicates with members of communities in nine different languages and said there should be more.
This lack of communication and social interaction had caused voter apathy and is something that Wood needs to be righted.
“You can put everyone in the same box,” he said. “Diversity is under uniformity and that’s just not right.”
Another key platform idea is to combat poverty and hunger in Davenport.
“There are areas of hard working people; some with a lack of education, some who’ve been marginalized, even crime and prostitution,” said Wood. “We have to get the city to focus on the neighbourhoods.”
In doing this, Wood says that he would try to attain development dollars for more green spaces properties and low-income housing.
“You start by asking yourself: What do you value?” said Wood. “Everyone is my neighbour whether you’re rich or poor.”
If elected, Wood is even so generous as to say he’d give up some what he calls a “generally overpaid” councillors salary to invest in the development.
And transit? Don’t even get him started on public transit.
“Most of our budget goes into funding the TTC and there are a whole slew of inefficiencies because of bad management,” said Wood.
He added that he wants to make the TTC an essential service because it is one of the best transit services in the country. With that, he said, must come provincial and federal funding for capital and operating costs.
“I believe that transit should be free within 25 years,” he said.
“The people need to stand up.”