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Halifax mayoral candidates take part in first and perhaps only personal debate – Halifax



The three men vying to become the next mayor of Halifax engaged in the first debate, and perhaps only, for the mayor who would personally hold this election campaign because of COVID-19.

It was also the first chance for these mayoral candidates to share their campaign platforms and debate with other candidates on those issues.

Incumbent President Mike Savage is seeking his third term as mayor and says he has a proven track record and wants to build on those successes.

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I do not care if you vote for me: TikTok star throws grief in the race for mayor of HRM

“I think the experience I have and the maturity I have and the ability to do things and raise the profile of citizens is important,” Savage said.

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Matt Whitman served two terms as a District 13 councilor at Hammonds Plains and was the first candidate to throw his hat on the net, announcing his candidacy for mayor last October. During the debate, Whitman used most of the time to point out the differences between him and the incumbent chairman.

“Because of COVID we will need a leader to lead us through COVID and look at the dollars,” Whitman said. “We will not be able to spend $ 3.5 million on stadiums around $ 25 million.”

The live virtual forum was hosted by the Halifax Downtown Business Commission. Both Whitman and Savage said they had no plans for further personal debates.

Positioned on a podium between two political veterans was 22-year-old Max Taylor, a relative unknown to the political scene in Halifax. Taylor has a massive following on social media with more than 600,000 followers and over 20.6 million likes on TikTok.

Taylor was a last minute entry into the race, presenting his nomination letters on the day of the deadline.

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Debate moderator Norma Lee MacLeod asked Taylor if he was referred to as the “TikTok boy” was a fair guess.

Taylor said he was fine with it if he grabbed headlines and helped sell newspapers, but said he wanted to be seen as a legitimate candidate.

“I’ve never said it myself on social media,” Taylor said. “When it comes to him, we have this form of what a politician looks like, and the sooner we can break it, the sooner the better.”

Candidates went through the range of issues faced by Halifax Regional Municipality voters ranging from the removal of the Cornwallis statue to bike lanes, from COVID-19 to police retaliation, and the potential for a CFL stadium.

Read more:

Halifax council agrees to spend $ 20 million on CFL stadium

Both Taylor and Savage agreed that the key issue in this election is affordable housing.

“This is a great city and a great place to be,” Taylor said. “I love it, but people can not afford it.”

This is where Savage and Whitman collided.

Savage promised if re-elected, he would add a permanent job in someone’s municipality to manage the affordable housing dossier. Whitman opened fire saying it was not enough.

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“You’ve been on the council for eight years and I’ve never heard of raising affordable housing as an issue,” Savage said.

“Unfortunately, I spend most of my time talking about your office and the number of staff you have,” Whitman said. “There must be more than one person working in it. It has to be a whole team. “

The 2020 elections will be held on Saturday, October 17, with telephone and electronic voting taking place from October 6 to 14, and the advanced voting dates open from October 10 to 13.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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