On last week’s Winnipeg Internet Pundits radio show on UMFM, one of our guests was former M.L.A., M.P. and mayoral candidate, Judy Wasylycia-Leis. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the 2010 Winnipeg mayoral race, her take on the state of the city today, whether we need parties at the municipal level and why the number of women in municipal politics is so pathetically low.
As for her loss to incumbent Sam Katz in 2010, Wasylycia-Leis said, “I should have beat Sam Katz and I could have,” and was candid about which campaign decisions likely cost her the race.
The issue that got the most media attention was, of course, her call for a phased-in property tax increase of 2 per-cent per year for four years. She said that she simply “wasn’t prepared to counter the kind of attacks that Sam Katz made” against that pledge, including a robo-call campaign in which the mayor warned that seniors and “homeowners on the poverty bubble” would lose their homes because of the increase. (Since the election, Winnipeggers have seen new or increased frontage levies, garbage / recycling fees, sewer / water fees PLUS a 3.5% property tax increase.)
Wasylycia-Leis said that she would like to run again and continues to “keep abreast of the issues and keep visible in the community” but didn’t rule out choosing to work behind the scenes to get someone else elected to the mayor’s chair.
You can listen to the show, which also included as a guest, city councillor Jeff Browaty, at WIPS’ Tumblr site (October 24 episode.)