Crystal Lavigne upset to be excluded

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As the municipal election gathers steam, the issue of who should and shouldn’t be treated seriously as a mayoral candidate is once again rearing its head.

Political rookie Crystal Lavigne makes no bones she’s upset to be excluded from an upcoming mayoral forum organized by Hamilton business groups.

Lavigne, who runs a small landscaping business, says a lot of people want to hear her viewpoints and shouldn’t be prevented.

“I think when you have a bit of a public outcry that they want to hear from one specific person, I think the public should be catered to that way.”

That’s exactly the kind of blowback Keanin Loomis is expecting over the decision to limit the Sept. 18 mayoral forum to the top three contenders out of 10 registered candidates.

But the president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce argues the decision to include only Brian McHattie, Fred Eisenberger and Brad Clark is entirely defensible.

“Our members don’t want a circus — they want a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the issues that impact the business community and they want to be able to get on with their workday.”

To which Lavigne responds, “I really wish they would take me just as seriously as they take these people with so-called ‘money’ behind them to do this.”

RELATED STORY:  Why Crystal Lavigne is running for mayor

According to Loomis, the decision was reached by consensus with the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington and the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, the other hosts.

Loomis says the 90-minute Q&A event at Michelangelo’s Banquet Centre, to be moderated by broadcaster Bill Kelly, is one of the few opportunities the business community will have to engage with the “serious” candidates and they want to use it to help members make an informed choice.

How do you measure ‘serious’? A number of factors went into the decision, Loomis says. It’s not whether a candidate has a legitimate chance of being the next mayor. It’s about their ability to meaningfully contribute to the debate and influence the outcome of the race.

Besides the Big Three, Loomis doesn’t see anyone else crossing that threshold. He may be right, with the caveat that in a very close race longshot and fringe candidates can be spoilers if they attract enough votes, dissenting or otherwise.

Besides the aforementioned, the other registered candidates are: Michael Baldasaro, Ejaz Butt, Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson and Ricky Tavares. None of them seem to be panting after the job.

Big Three aside, the only media releases I’ve received so far came from Lavigne and Brother Baldasaro. If memory serves, they’re also the only other candidates I’ve exchanged emails with.

True, Iamonico called the other day to ask why I don’t consider him a “frontrunner.” Based on our interview, it sounds like the only thing he’s done so far is spend $200 to register. Enough said.

In addition to Loomis’s metrics, the standards I use for gauging seriousness include a volunteer base, organizing, policy positions, fundraising, media releases, websites, canvassing, brochures and election signs. In other words, if you want the job, you have to work for it.

For her part, Lavigne says she intends to release a platform but won’t fundraise. They’ll be no signs or brochures for environmental reasons. She won’t have a campaign office. She’s hoping the news media will get out her messages for her.

She’s been invited to eight debates so far and will attend all of them. “Some subjects I’m very strong on and other subjects I’ll be very weak and I’m OK with that because I’m not expected to know everything. But I’m a very fast learner.’

Good luck to her and the rest of the longshots.

But there are more than 350,000 eligible voters in Hamilton across a wide area. If someone is running for mayor, surely they have a responsibility to proactively reach out to tell voters what they have to offer other than a name on a ballot.

Loomis is right: His position is entirely defensible.

* * * 905-526-3495 @AndrewDreschel

5 Responses to “Crystal Lavigne upset to be excluded”
  1. @thebaldasaro Good for you Sister Crystal and thank you for complaining on everyone’s behalf. EXPERIENCE? Mayor Copps never sat on Council. If experience mattered, the Top Contenders at all levels of government would not have a National Deficit of 20 Billion, Ontario equal to that and all the Provinces. It’s time we had an Chief Magistrate for Mayor, from the common folk. I came in 4th out of 12 last election. Why wouldn’t business leaders want to hear from the 4th contender? This election it could be you? If our leaders wanted everyone to vote, legislation could be passed so only those who vote can claim benefits. Footnote: Business Leaders, THERE’S NO $$$. It’s time for a different strategy. Give at least one of the Fringe Candidates a chance to be heard! Thank you.

  2. Crystal Lavigne says:

    Michael Baldasaro, your words are very correct. As for the experience aspect, I will admit, I have referenced former Mayor V. Copps myself. I’m very disappointed that I was not invited to join (as should yourself be, Michael!) as I am a current business owner within the city of Hamilton. I believe, once again, this goes to show that in politics, money = power. This is a shame really, as the power should be to the people, and it can only be given to the people when it is ran by the people.
    As for this statement in the article: How do you measure ‘serious’? A number of factors went into the decision, Loomis says. It’s not whether a candidate has a legitimate chance of being the next mayor. It’s about their ability to meaningfully contribute to the debate and influence the outcome of the race.
    Let me say this once again, out of the three invited guests, I am the only one (to the best of my knowledge) that CURRENTLY owns and operates my own business in the city of Hamilton.
    To clarify one aspect of the article, I’m not an “environmentalist” as portrayed above. I do care about the environment, but I am by no means an environmentalist (as in extremist). I do my part anyhow, but it’s hard to classify myself as an environmentalist when my F-250 is my vehicle of choice to drive.
    Good luck to you Michael, and I look forward to seeing you in the very near future at the grand :”debate” tables.

  3. Jim Jaszewski says:

    Money-interest control — i.e. ‘ownership’ — of public events CANNOT, a priori and by design, be the deciding factor in who may or may not benefit from participating in such events: and most especially where it concerns **the allocation of public office**. Such practice is *ANTI-DEMOCRATIC* to-the-core — as those who make these decisions WELL know: because their intent INDEED is to clearly favor some particular, ‘business-friendly’ candidates over others in these ‘high-profile’ public spectacles. And such intent is not even in the least doubt, either: since these particular ‘business interests’ simply boast outright of their power to do this all the time — and to get away with it, yet one more time.

    OTOH: if these business interests would intend to, say, hold private, ‘in-camera sessions’ with their favorite politicos (corruption concerns aside); then by all means: have them mark it in their collective calendars and day planners… However ** they CANNOT extend such logic — and such unfair, duplicitous comparative advantage — into the public sphere**. IT DOES NOT BELONG. THEIR NARROW PERSONAL INTERESTS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO INTERFERE WITH OUR PUBLIC, DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE. That these ‘business interests’ CAN do this, can get away with this, openly, in the face of what I have written here, simply demonstrates the rather LIMITED nature of what their side keeps blaring at us about the likes of Canada being ‘the best democracy in the entire World’, etc. (or whatever you say to that effect).

    Such practice should be frankly ILLEGAL and PUNISHABLE BY LAW; but won’t be any time soon of course, in THIS corrupt system. The Hamilton Spectator, as well, plays ITS part in this criminal farce, let’s not forget or overlook: by its systematic maintenance of the ‘normalcy’ of all this rotten practice, in the public sphere where they hold sway — and where they thus hold the most influence: influence to be COUNTED upon for sure, by such narrow ‘business interests’.


    And THAT is democratic practice. Which many of you clearly know very little about. Nor care about either, AFAIK.

  4. Bonjour and hello to all city of Hamilton members, citizens, residences and visitors. My name is Ricky Tavares and I will be your mayor of Hamilton Ontario Canada in the near future. I was born here in city of Hamilton at St.Josephs hospital. I am here to announce now and to make this statement very public now that I will be the first mayor in Canada willing and proud to work for a minimum wage salary. I love Hamilton and I must protect our city. My colleagues, financial advisors and I have a 5 year plan to implement and generate 1 trillion dollars into the Hamilton city hall building within the next 5 years. I am sorry to announce now that I will only be your mayor for 1 term because this city is too small for me to lead and guide into a productive population. I will be moving to Ottawa to be your Prime Minister of Canada after 1 term here in the city of Hamilton as your mayor. Thank you for voting me Ricky Tavares as mayor of Hamilton on Oct 27.

    Regards,;” Ricky Tavares 905-515-4307

  5. The reason why I am avoiding verbal physical communication with you and the other media outlets is because I do not want to give away my secret “5 year plan” on how I will and am very capable of generating 1 trillion dollars into Hamilton cityhall building. If I am not elected this year then all the idiots, unproductive, dumbasses that did not vote for me will have to wait another 4 years for next election before I start turning Hamilton into NEW YORK city. I want to make Hamilton the richest city in the world but these stupid, selfish, whitehaired, dinosaur, cavemen mayor candidates and the media are trying to stop me and getting in my way. Why will you wait until next election to vote me as mayor of Hamilton when you can vote me as mayor of Hamilton NOW so that Hamilton gives me the platform and exposure to be able to spread my wings and aggressively generate 1 trillion dollars of foreign currency into cityhall as fast as I can before other cities start to notice and copy my 5 year business plan.

    Right now my hands are tied because I am not mayor of Hamilton. I am not able to make Hamilton the richest city in the world and if I am not mayor then I will not share my secret plan with you or my competitors. Nicole, can you please ask all my mayoral candidate competitors to pullout of this election so that I am guaranteed to win ? If so, then I will appoint and hire some of my current mayoral competitors to work in my office right beside me because I can use their experience and their protection.

    I am serious. This is an emergency for city of Hamilton. You must vote Ricky Tavares for mayor of Hamilton because I will “put Hamilton on the world map” and “run with the big boys”.

    BTW, I do not smoke cigarettes, I do not drink alcohol and I do not smoke marijuana.
    Nicole, are you single ?

    Ricky Tavares

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