Posted: Mar 9, 2010, 7:03 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Wasn't sure where to put this really... didn't seem worthy of its own thread, but... I agree with his assessment on Kelly and the current council, if nothing else. He also seems to like stadiums...
‘Mayor’ Stoffer would do ‘more than talk about cats’
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa Bureau
Tue. Mar 9 - 4:53 AM
OTTAWA — Peter Stoffer is considering running for mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality in 2012.
"You never know," he said Monday. "I’ve learned in politics, you never say never."
Stoffer, the New Democrat MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore, said Monday that people keep mentioning the idea to him and he is giving it serious thought.
Stoffer, who is routinely voted most congenial and best constituency MP on Parliament Hill, has been the MP for his riding since 1997, when he won by 41 votes, on the coattails of then-NDP leader Alexa McDonough. Stoffer, a tireless door knocker, has since won a devoted following in the riding, and in 2008 won by more than 16,000 votes.
He has built his popularity by speaking out on bread and butter issues, speaking up for veterans and the military, and staying in touch with his constituents, even cold-calling strangers from the lobby of the House of Commons.
Stoffer says he likes federal politics and plans to run in the next federal election, which will almost certainly come before the next municipal election, but people do keep asking him about the mayoralty and he finds himself thinking about it. He has discussed the idea with experienced municipal politicians.
"As a mayor, you don’t have any real power in terms of, ‘I’m going to do this,’ " he said. "Your power is convincing others to take a different direction."
Stoffer, who is famously convivial with MPs from different parties, says his track record on the Hill is of co-operating across party lines.
"I’m able to work within my party and with people of different political stripes for the betterment of whatever," he said.
Mayor Peter Kelly easily won elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
In 2008, after Halifax gave up on a bid for the Commonwealth Games, Stoffer told The Chronicle Herald that Kelly lacked vision.
"Peter Kelly’s a nice guy," he said then. "He’s very good at parades. He’s very good at doing the political things, but the reality is, I don’t think he has the vision for the city."
On Monday, Stoffer said he thinks Moncton has done more to impress him than Halifax has in recent years.
"I just think our city could do so much more," he said. "I do give Mayor Kelly credit, though. I thought one of the greater things I ever read was the Africville apology."
But the city could do better on other issues, he said.
"I’ve always liked Mayor Kelly," he said. "I’ve always thought he was very decent, but I just think our council can do much more than talk about cats."