A picture is worth a thousand words in Ottawa's municipal election
I spent some time this morning going through the websites of both incumbents and non-incumbents running in this year's municipal election for Ottawa City Council. The initial task was to see how effective these website were in telling me about the candidates and their visions for the city if elected. However, I was struck very quickly by the sites that had pictures of staff, community members or the candidate's interaction with Ottawa residents, that there were very few that showed visible minorities. No people of colour, no physically challenged persons and no religious diversity. Why is that?
Ottawa is a very multi cultural world capital city on par with London, England in many respects. When one walks out of any restaurant or store, you can't not notice (if you look on purpose)of the many different people that make up this vibrant city. Any swath of the Ottawa public would result in a great mix of cultures, religions and races. No ward is void of Ottawa's multiplicity of visible population differences. Therefore, any person running for representative office should and must strive to show that they are inclusive of their input into views of the city priorities in order to work on a city that is for everyone.
Why is this so important and not just about political correctness?
Look no further that the difficult rebuilding and restructuring the Ottawa Police Service is undertaking in order to repair the damage caused a few years back where apprehended persons were mistreated so badly that it caused a vocal and deep rift in race relations. Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has worked hard on this problem but it ultimately does go back to City Council who oversee the OPS. What policies would be mandated by council to fix this problem?
And most wards have low income housing projects that are the gateway to Canada for many immigrants. What programs does the city need to have in place to ensure a positive reception of these new residents how will a councillor vote to support these communities if they have little to no knowledge of their needs?
Pictures say a lot to me about a candidate; just as much as what the candidate says and writes about their intentions as an elected official. Of course, pictures alone are not the only indication of a candidate's intentions but they are a powerful communication visual. So as more pictures get posted to candidate websites, I will be looking to see whom they surround themselves as this is very much an indication of who has their ear and for whom they will mostly represent around the table. you know the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."