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The Howe family — Marty, Cathy, Mark and Murray — share a moment after the interment of their father and mother’s ashes at the SaskTel Centre. For more photos and coverage go to pages 14, 15 and 20. (Photo by Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)
Catch the election coverage. Then please vote.

We like this paper to be a mix of stories and columns covering a wide range of topics.
We will try to maintain that balance as best we can during the next few weeks as we provide morsels of civic election coverage. We have joined
forces with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce for a weekly question-and-answer package with the candidates for mayor. The Chamber asked each of the candidates four questions. We will run their answers during the next three weeks. In this week’s edition, we have a short bio from each candidate, as well as the first response.
We also have an introduction from Chamber president Jason Yochim to kick off the Q and A feature.


Charlie Clark
Saskatoon can be the city that got it right

Charlie Clark says Saskatoon can be the city of the future, the city that really got it right.
However, we’re at a tipping point, where leaders have to manage growth properly, address crime co-operatively, focus on the basics and embrace diversity, the mayoral candidate said in an interview last week.
Clark described a meaningful encounter with a Saskatoon citizen that really stayed with him, and helped him illustrate his views and policy.
“Our opportunity is, we still have a sense of community in Saskatoon,” said Clark. “One example is that at a recent coffee event, I was talking to a gentleman who has been here for three years, from India.
“He visited a bunch of cities (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria among them) and he wanted to walk around these cities and get a feeling for what they were like. He spent four or five days in each city.

Men and women who care are giving back to Saskatoon

Saskatoon’s reputation as a caring community has suddenly received an amazing shot in the arm.
Using a model embraced at 350 chapters elsewhere in Canada and the United States, three groups —100 Men Who Give a Damn, 100 Women Who Care and 100 Kids Who Care — have taken shape and are already producing remarkable returns for charitable organizations in need.
For the two adult groups, the formula is simple. Members are signed up on the promise they’ll give $100 at each of four meetings during the year. When members assemble, they hear presentations from three charities and then choose the one they will support. The annual cost of $400 is relatively painless.
Barry Willick, his wife Shelley, and their children, Nathan and Courtney, lit the fire for the launching of the adult groups in Saskatoon.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s time to raise taxes

If you’re the type who likes to label these things, you could say I’m a fiscal conservative. I believe that people who work hard to accumulate wealth, and even those who inherit it, deserve to keep their money in the same proportion as everyone else. I certainly don’t believe in taking it away from them to redistribute to others, under the guise of fairness.
I believe in letting the market decide, and empowering people and businesses to drive the economy by letting them keep their own cash, which means, in part, keeping taxes low. Further, I am a huge fan of individuals who pour their wealth and earnings into charities, the Dubé family being a prime example, instead of assuming the government should provide supports and services for those less fortunate than they are.
So for me to say this out loud feels wrong on so many levels, but I don’t see any other option on the horizon: Premier Wall, you need to raise our taxes.

Petty gossip should not influence our votes

It is not uncommon for rumours to circulate about a candidate during an election campaign and it is certainly easy to promote unfounded allegations about a candidate in this era of social media.
Generally speaking, the personal slurs and rumour mill start when one candidate’s team feels it is losing support to another candidate and can’t discredit the opposing candidate on the issues alone.
I am not stumping for or endorsing any candidate for any position in this election. But I would like to see voter decisions made on each candidate’s attributes rather than “so and so said” or “I heard that” about a candidate. It is fair enough to ferret out factual information about candidates, but it is not fair to take gossip at face value.


My friends from Germany taught me many things

The first time I saw anyone buy water was when a group of visitors from Germany arrived on my door step.
Back then, my place was known as a safe house for international visitors. Of course none of these people knew the neighbourhood was Riversdale and it was known for non-stop police sirens at the time.
I moved into Riversdale when the neighbourhood was known for what doesn’t exist today. This past summer I went back to my old neighbourhood and it’s a totally different place. This is something people who lived in Riversdale always knew was possible.
I’ve lived in other cities and nowhere did I come across as many people willing to make a change than in that area of Saskatoon.