Mike Maguire is back on the ballot in a very different mayoral race

This time, his candidacy could be a wildcard in the most competitive race Ottawa municipal voters have seen in 12 years.

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Mike Maguire is back on the mayoral ballot, but this time his candidacy could be a wildcard in the most competitive race Ottawa municipal voters have seen in 12 years.

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Maguire, a 61-year-old management consultant who lives in Kars, said a “sense of obligation” fuels his latest interest in the mayoral job.

“When you think something is broken, if you think you can help (fix it), you should,” Maguire said in an interview on Tuesday.

Stacked against the most recognized candidates – former mayor and MPP Bob Chiarelli, councilwoman Catherine McKenney and businessman Mark Sutcliffe – Maguire agreed that his politics were probably to the right of where others are on the spectrum.

That alone could set him apart when voters cast their ballots on Oct. 24. It could also hurt other candidates trying to win center and right-wing votes.

But the municipal election campaign is notoriously long, and candidates must keep voters interested and engaged. There is still a full month until the deadline for people to file their election documents or withdraw their candidacy from the race.

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Maguire has experience having stood in two previous mayoral elections, but he attracted the most attention in 2014.

He became Jim Watson’s main opponent on a thin ballot in the 2014 mayoral election. Maguire received 46,341 votes, or 18.6% of the total votes cast. Watson easily won re-election that year with 76.2% of the vote.

In the 2010 mayoral election, Maguire won 2.45% of the vote, far behind Watson’s 48.7%. There were 20 mayoral candidates that year and Maguire placed fifth behind Watson, Larry O’Brien, Clive Doucet and Andrew Haydon.

File photo: Tuesday September 23, 2014. Mayoral candidate Mike Maguire, left, speaks during an all-candidates mayoral debate at the Carleton University Residence Commons while candidates Anwar Syed, center, and incumbent Jim Watson, right, look on.  Darren Brown/Postmedia
File photo: Tuesday September 23, 2014. Mayoral candidate Mike Maguire, left, speaks during an all-candidates mayoral debate at the Carleton University Residence Commons while candidates Anwar Syed, center, and incumbent Jim Watson, right, look on. Darren Brown/Postmedia Photo by Darren Brown /Citizen of Ottawa
File photo: October 7, 2010. Ottawa mayoral candidates Clive Doucet, Charlie Taylor, Mike Maguire and Jim Watson before a debate in Ottawa Thursday night.  Tony Caldwell/Postmedia
File photo: October 7, 2010. Ottawa mayoral candidates Clive Doucet, Charlie Taylor, Mike Maguire and Jim Watson before a debate in Ottawa Thursday night. Tony Caldwell/Postmedia Photo by Tony Caldwell /Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun

After gaining prominence, Maguire’s chances of winning a council seat might be better if he ran in the Rideau-Jock Ward (currently called Rideau-Goulbourn). Com. Scott Moffatt is not seeking re-election, opening the door to new representation for rural communities in southwest Ottawa.

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However, Maguire is not interested in being a ward councilor.

“I have a vision that really requires the position of mayor. This cannot be done at the board level. It has to be a leadership position,” Maguire said. “In many ways, it’s an opportunity to create a new narrative and see that narrative spread in Ottawa and seek support.

Maguire is dusting off its 2014 campaign transit proposal and launching commuter rail service using existing rail corridors. In 2014, the idea went against the city’s priority, favored by Watson, to build and expand the LRT system. Maguire’s idea of ​​using CN and Via Rail tracks to move suburban commuters lost ground.

But a recent city decision could give Maguire’s idea more credence, even as the city makes LRT expansion its top infrastructure priority.

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Last year, the city announced it was acquiring part of the former CN line of the Beachburg Subdivision between east Kanata and rural west Ottawa. The city has also considered other sections as part of a policy that calls for municipal acquisition of obsolete railroads if financially feasible.

” I don’t understand. Why don’t we use the existing rail? It’s not a total solution, but it’s an additional option to use,” Maguire said, pointing to existing rail corridors that run from Kanata to Orleans, with an intersection at the Trillium Line, as potential routes.

Maguire said he was working on costs. “I can say it’s millions, not billions,” he said.

As for the change in the LRT schedule, Maguire believes the train has left the station.

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“It’s out of our hands,” he said. “I hope, I am optimistic, this will be resolved in our favor. I hope they sort things out and it works great, but I don’t have much to say about it as we have no control. These contracts are signed. It will be what it will be. »

Public transit is second on Maguire’s list of priorities behind housing affordability. He said he had a “clever idea” to help first-time home buyers, but he wasn’t ready to reveal his proposal on Tuesday.

He said he does not accept campaign contributions from developers.

Maguire was also talking about the opioid crisis at the start of his campaign. He said the city shouldn’t criminalize drug addicts, but should “aggressively” go after drug dealers.

He described himself as fiscally conservative, but Maguire had little to say about the state of Ottawa’s property taxes other than predicting there would be further increases due to soaring inflation.

Maguire said residents just want the council to take care of the day-to-day responsibilities of the town.

“I constantly hear people say that whenever there’s a problem in town (that they) ‘don’t want to hear another lecture,'” Maguire said.

“Sometimes a pothole is just a pothole. Fix that fucking road.

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