Sharp divides on business issues

The four mayoral candidates at the chamber of commerce debate on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. © Arthur White-Crummey/Daily Herald

At Wednesday’s debate, the four mayoral candidates painted widely different pictures of Prince Albert’s economic past, present and future

Despite the frequent distractions, Wednesday’s mayoral forum gave residents their clearest look yet at the cast of characters competing to earn their votes, and the stark differences between their economic visions.

There’s the incumbent, Greg Dionne, running on his record as the city’s biggest repairman. He promised a steady hand and competent leadership. He’s the choice of continuity and step-by-step improvements.

At his polar opposite was Josh Morrow, who claimed his youthful vigour would shake up a “stagnant” city run by old men. His constant refrain was lower taxes, less waste and a Trumpian call to run the city like a business.

Voters looking for a little change, but not too much, could look to Martin Ring. Ring offered sound proposals, from a regional economic development authority to a gradual clawback of the city’s high commercial tax burden, but nothing revolutionary.

Conrad Burns was the eternal optimist, never playing dirty and full of inspiring visions of a city with good-paying jobs and an expanding tax base. Unfortunately, he didn’t show much willingness to delve into the complexities of how he’d make it happen.

For more on this story, please read the Prince Albert Daily Herald¹s subscription-based print or e-editions.