Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Friday, September 24, 2010
City Election and Charleswood Part 3
As I have indicated, I am trying to learn all about the seven candidates running for election for the Charleswood-Tuxedo riding. I sent a questionnaire out early so that I could inform myself and two of those running have replied and I have posted the results. I have heard back from a few others saying that replies are pending. So far only two or three flyers have arrived from candidates. They had basic information and contact numbers.
In the interest of learning more, I went to the City of Winnipeg's election page. In the past, I was able to see where the candidate lived which I considered important in determining whether the person running was actually a resident of the ward. The rule used to be that you had to a resident of the municipality for six months and this continues today.
Now I'm not basing my decision solely on whether a candidate lives in the ward but I am interested if they know the local issues well and live them. In other words, I am not fussed about someone who lives close by to a ward if they are well versed in what happens in the area they are running. Still, if someone is from right across town, it might prove an issue. With that in mind, I went to the city election site to see what the addresses of the candidates are. I was surprised at what I found.
There are no addresses listed.
Initially I thought this was a reflection of candidates being duly and publicly recorded only when they were officially in the race at the deadline. I found that this was not the case.
What has happened is that there is a change in policy. I spoke to City Clerk's office and they said they will not put up the addresses on their website ever. Never. As in not now and not in the future.
I asked if this was a privacy issue raised by the Privacy Commissioner. It is not. I asked if I could see the addresses of those running and was told that I could. I just had to come to the City Clerk's office and ask to see the addresses.
I was confused. I asked if the Privacy Commissioner did not have a problem with the information of where a candidate lived then why was this information being withheld? I asked if there had been a complaint about the information being on the website. I was told of no official complaint. I said that if it was a question of security that it made no sense since the information can still be accessed by going to City Hall.
I can think of no incident involving the security of a councillor as the result of their address being known.
I asked the official at the City Clerk's office that if I got the addresses for myself from their publicly available papers at City Hall and published them, would I be in trouble. I was told no.
I ask this because in the province of Ontario, The Toronto Star actually printed pictures of the mayoral candidates homes in the paper. The addresses of the candidates there are published for all to see.
In the interests of getting to know the candidates, I am publishing their addresses here and a map location.
I may include a picture of their houses like the Toronto Star did as well.