Cambridge must choose between honey and vinegar

By  | October 6, 2018 | 26 Comments | Filed under: TIME FOR A NEW MAYOR AND 90% of COUNCIL IN 2018

Opinion12:00 AMby Luisa D’Amato Waterloo Region Record

Which leader do we want, Cambridge?

Cranky Dad, who doesn’t sleep at night until he hears you sneaking into the house way past curfew?

Or clever Mom, who talks you into doing the right thing, while making you think it was your idea all along?

After attending a mayoral debate hosted by the Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunshine on Friday morning, I think that’s what it comes down to.

There’s incumbent Doug Craig, who started in Cambridge municipal politics back in 1976, and has been mayor for 18 years.

He has developed an ornery “Cambridge first” style that fits his plain-spoken persona perfectly.

Whether we’re talking amalgamation with Kitchener and Waterloo, or asking why Kitchener gets GO trains and Cambridge doesn’t, you can rest assured: Your mayor is getting fired up on your behalf.

“I stand up for this city,” he said, in a no-nonsense tone.

“I’ve been criticized for not getting along. That’s called standing up for people.”

Craig would normally have this election in the bag. The incumbent usually has the advantage, and Cambridge is loyal to its mayors. There have been only three mayors in the city’s 45-year history: Claudette Millar, Jane Brewer and Craig.

But he is facing a formidable opponent in Kathryn McGarry, former Liberal MPP for the riding, and a cabinet minister in the Kathleen Wynne government which was defeated this past June.

She’s the honey to Craig’s vinegar.

She talks about bringing “a different leadership style that builds consensus.”

After the meeting she told me it was a relief to be out of divisive party politics. She shared the story of how she won over a suspicious group of Northern Ontario fur trappers when she was Natural Resources minister, by telling them she owned two fur coats and that she viewed trapping as a “heritage” activity.

Craig and McGarry actually seem to agree on a lot of things. They’ve both said the Cambridge Memorial Hospital on Coronation Boulevard would be a better site for a supervised drug-consumption site than any place in Galt’s vulnerable downtown.

They both agree that more supportive housing is key to fighting back against the wave of opioid addiction the city is experiencing.

But they talk about it differently. “I’m going to find money for supportive transitional housing,” Craig said. “If we don’t do that immediately, and I mean immediately, we’re going to have tents in all of our parks.”

McGarry agreed housing was important, but used her time to suggest tools to make it happen, like inclusionary zoning and building relationships with all levels of government.

There are three other candidates for mayor:

•Ben Tucci, a former councillor who wants to take a look at the city’s assets and sell some of them off to rebuild infrastructure;

•Randy Carter, a roofer who rightly said “it took a lot of courage” for him to speak before the audience;

•Colin Tucker, who did not attend.

In the end, Craig and McGarry offer two interpretations of the same city.

If you want to keep Cambridge far away from amalgamation in case it is robbed and pillaged by Kitchener-Waterloo, Craig is your voice.

But if you think amalgamation is coming anyway, and you want a skilful negotiator in your corner, look for McGarry. (She’ll be the one in the dirndl.)

Twitter: @DamatoRecord

Twitter: @DamatoRecord



26 Responses to Cambridge must choose between honey and vinegar

    AVoter October 6, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Craig isn’t only “cranky” he is a “controller” – his way or no way & he has had about 8 of the Councillors under his thumb. They are not allowed to think for themselves. Only once did they – when they insisted on hearing Alexsander the Internet specialist – speak on fixed internet voting. It can happen. It has happened & it just might happen again on Oct. 22nd. BEWARE!! All Councillors that night VOTED to hear Alexsander. At a break – Craig went around to them all to have them change their mind. RREALLY None did – they wanted the facts.
    So this is your controlling Mayor. He never talks about family – hmmmmm wonder why. Whereas Kathryn McGarry is proud of her family & her husband. I would really like to see Cambridge under the care of a person with kindness – compassion – love for all – fairness – generosity – and someone who works with everyone for the betterment of the issue & allow her Councillors to have opinions & fresh ideas & not be afraid to express them!!
    Vote early Polls to make sure you get to vote – otherwise in past years Polls have been mis-addressed – closed up – even if you were in line on time – the doors shut . etc. etc.
    Vote at early Polls – vote only via paper ballots – but please vote.
    Exercise your right as long as you have it.

    Tom Vann October 6, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    I see Douggie signs blocking McGarry’s this morning in numerous places that weren’t there yesterday. Doug probably has no idea this kind of stuff is going on. (See photo opp. from bridge comments). Good points on Kathryn. I asked her about charity work, helping the less fortunate getting funds for the needy etc. and after about 30 minutes I asked her to stop. I never realized she was on so many committees, or involved at some point with so much stuff. After all these years of drug overdoses and needle problems I can’t name 1 thing Doug has solved. He seems to take credit for lots but I do I believe him. Sorry, Doug. Doesn’t he live in a gated community? We voted today and sure as shooting, we didn’t vote for him. I believe he has an attention issue and can only hear himself. He needs to go, to bring back some citizen friendly city hall values. I thought his treatment of Carter at the debate showed his true colors. I still like Ben as a person but not as mayor. He has a good family and funny….you never hear about Doug’s. The hit men are on the roads at night and I have set up my spots to drive and watch with my camera. Will the dark truck be out or the car? I as well believe another mayor candidate is helping attack another candidate. Too bad there are so many bad people out there.

    Maggie October 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Yes Tom you are right about Kathryn’s Charity involvement. Meta & all unpaid$$
    Cliff Vanclief is another young man who is & has been into so many charities & groups helping people & kids. Listened to him last night at his personal meet night & was amazed listening to him. Well done for such a young man.
    We voted today also & for Kathryn & Cliff – both excellent people we want running our City. Both family people! And are proud of them. Doug didn’t even get along with his mom – knew about that.
    Early voting today people – get out & use that paper ballot. But vote!

    Tom Vann October 6, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Ho, la, la. Listening to the boys at the coffee shop and not 1 person had a good thing to say about Ben, Doug, Donna, or Mann. I mean it was violent. The staff came over to tell our 2 tables to relax. One of the guys is going to steal a couple of Ben’s signs this weekend and use them for target practice. I don’t want to hear that I said. Another topped that saying he is going to make Doug’s signs pay. Another is going out with his paintball gun. I left so I could keep my respectable image there. The point is many are pissed with the same old crap. I will say Mann ain’t doing too good with the people I speak to in Preston. I say Tracy has the edge there. Well, dark is coming and after the hockey game I’m heading out with my hammer and gun.

  5. Debbie Duff Vitez October 7, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Careful Tommy, or Craigy boyo will send the cops to your house again..

  6. Debbie Duff Vitez October 7, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Wondering out loud here..

    Does Craig have the balls to cheat again? With so many eyes on him..

    Carrie Purcell October 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Of course he would. He has 2 mayor candidates helping him. l wonder how often he and Ben go to confession. I also wonder how much money it cost for the split. Even my husband gets it.

    TJT October 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Well I can prove that this is not a fair election with the online voting

    AVoter October 8, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Good for your husband Carrie – sure hope Cambridge wakes up to the fact that Craig wants to win – no matter how he gets it done.
    I hope other people get clued in real fast & vote for McGarry & a change in their Ward person. Need change in both areas.
    Vote early Poll – vote paper ballot – but then again who was manning the Hespeler Tabulator was a City employee – Dulillo. Why was this? Should be an impartial person. I would have done it voluntarily but did not see an ad in our local papers. Interesting!!
    Vote by paper ballot only – not internet – that will definitely be redirected!!

    Kathy Andrade October 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Even people in Kitchener know who to vote for. Craig is too long in the tooth to be of service as mayor. l would not want to see Colin Tucker as mayor the way he spews out garbage talk. l think he is a nasty person that feels he is entitled. Listen to him talk, he knows nothing about politics so why is he running at all. Simple answer really. All he talks about is drugs. I wonder why?

    Maggie Smith October 9, 2018 at 10:33 am

    It would really be great if Randy Carter, who has had no political experience, and Colin Tucker, would kindly back off & let the other 3 fight it out.
    All these 2 are taking votes away.
    We pretty well know Craig got Tucci involved at the last minute when Kathryn told Craig she was running. Guess she should have been sneaky like Tucci and only signed up at the last minute & not been honest & informed Craig she was running. She was too honest & did it the right way.
    With all Craig’s & Tucci’s shenanigans – with imposed photo & the photo on Lowes fridge – gee how desperate are these 2 that they can’t run a nice decent campaign???
    Vote at early Polls – vote only paper ballot – internet can be fixed.
    (but then again who was monitoring the paper ballots in Hespeler – Mike DiLullo!! Is this proper? There was no public ad for volunteers. Nothing in any of the papers – so Dulillo – please do not claim no volunteers. I wasn’t doing anything on Sat. – just sounds like another Craig tactic to me.
    Vote – but only paper ballots!!

    Brad German October 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Tucker is a yes man in this election with no chance to win. He has shown poor taste with his teenage comments. Carter had no chance and is hoping for the Newfie voters. Ben lives in Toronto and people don’t like it. Craig is nearly 100 years old so l am voting McGarry for Mayor.

    Beenthere October 10, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Smart man Brad. Spread the word – we need Kathryn McGarry for Mayor for change.
    Just seeing the couple on t.v. that have been living in a car for years – this is Canada – this is Cambridge – what on earth is going on. It is time to help the people that aren’t living on Teacher’s pensions, firemen’s pays, etc. etc. – some of us just have ordinary low-paying jobs but have to buy food just like the overpaid – over-penhioned. Illegal immigrant are treated better than our own!
    Vote mcGarry for change.
    Vote paper ballots – vote early polls before yours is closed or shut early!!

    l'm A Crook Nixon October 11, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    l’m going in for mayor next election three hours before they close. l will fix all the problems by selling off all city assets. l have never volunteered in Cambridge but will tell people l’m involved. l love Cambridge but live in Woodstock. l will lie in debates just to win. Please, no polygraph.

    Reg P. October 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    BEN TUCCI has a large sign in front of the Preston graveyard! Can you believe it? How low can one go. The funeral precession goes into bury someone and they see Tucci’s sign before they enter. This is low, real low. Way to go Ben. No respect.

    Really October 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Yes no respect – no common sense – he is all about money – but I would also take from where he has placed his sign is – he is saying – he doesn’t expect anyone alive to vote for him. He is a dead issue!! A banker who only talks money not what needs to be done for Cambridge to make it a good city again.

    Just remember – Vote – but only vote paper ballot – & early poll – before they shut your poll down.

  17. Debbie Duff Vitez October 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I just received an email from the Record, DEMANDING I REMOVE THIS POST..

    I suspect Dougie contacted them whining.. I know I can share their posts as long as I add their contact information.. ( as per my lawyers instruction)…

    I have been running this site for the past 10 years plus years and no one has said a word in years, until now during this election…and this post..funny his friend from London was allowed to post that horrible post about Kathryn McGarry with no evidence to back up their claim..

    He is such a whinny little bitch.. He cheats like no ones business and yet when someone takes a poke at him, he cries foul..


    Everyone I talk too questions his insistence on internet voting and I don’t waste a second in reminding them of past elections.. and the fact that he has city staff manning the advance polls..

    HE IS NOTHING MORE THAN A DESPERATE POWER HUNGRY/LITTLE WEASEL.. What’s the matter Doug, afraid someone is going to find out your dirty little secrets ???..

    Terry Klein October 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Look at the people Tucci and Craig have helping them. A fridge writing chick, a turncoat that hated them now likes them, a guy from London that doesn’t make sense, a broad from Toronto that howls at the moon, and idiots that put signs at a graveyard. Who in their right mind does this. l have the picture of Tucci and Reid posters in front of the graveyard. Any more destruction or trouble and l put them on Face book the Advocate and the Citizen.

    Beenthere October 13, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I was sent out also to take photos of the distasteful placements of signs re Tucci & Reid. Just no class or decency these two. Anything goes.
    So yes Terry – if you need any more copies – we will be in touch. Pretty nasty placement for sure.
    Gee this tasteless placement of signs by disrespectful candidates.
    And Craig removing Kathryn from his Bridge to “nowhere” pose – unbelievable.
    Well said Debbie – we can see present Mayor is getting nervous. Not sure why – he has Advance Polls being manned by City Staff – including michael Dulillo.
    And why would the Record worry about this Post? Very interesting!! Very!!
    Internet voting can be redirected or people can double vote if cards miss-sent!!
    Please voters – vote – but vote paper ballots – they can be recounted!!

  20. Debbie Duff Vitez October 14, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    A bit of good news..

    Apparently a local group is going to contact “Dominion Voting Systems Corp” the company overseeing our election and are going to ask them to verify in writing that no questionable activity took place during our Election.

    Why didn’t we think of this back in 2014?

    Maggie Smith October 14, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    This sounds good. Looks like maybe more people aware of just what is going on or what could be going on or wrong with Internet voting in 2018.
    Good – will be looking forward to seeing this in writing.
    As has been proven many times, Internet voting is not safe or trustable. Just read all the Internet items on this Advocate. Just proves a point.
    And we had a speaker, Alexsander, proved this to all Council members & Mayor.
    Well done to this local group that are concerned with an honest election in 2018.

    But still vote paper ballots when posibble.

    Alice in Wonderland October 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    What the hell happened to free speech??? Having to take down an article that was written in The Record and could be read by everyone interested in the Cambridge Election…Sounds to me like Mr. Craig needs to quit trying to push his weight around…
    Then we have CemeteryGate..That is worse than low..Why would you three candidates put signs in front of a Cemetery. What a disgrace..I think you three ought to apologize for being so callous ..
    That has made up my mind for sure..Neither one of you will get my Vote…

    Rick Muise October 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    McGarry blew Craig’s doors off. I know he wasn’t liked but this was special. Taxes kept going to his projects and not spread across the city. I voted McGarry for change. I was sick of Craig and his games.

    Happy October 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Well Rick there were a few thousand more people that were tired of Craig spending money where it wasn’t needed & ignoring the places where it was NEEDED.
    All his projects – or legacies were WANTS never NEEDS.
    He is a very selfish overpaid – over-pensioned school teacher that think we all live on the wages & pensions he gets (plus his wife). They just do not understand that people live on limited income and cannot keep up to his spending.
    We are sure happy for a change and looking forward to what Mayor McGarry can do for our City & hopefully bring it all back to life.
    And of course before Craig got booted out – he made sure Galt gets another do-over. How many times is this?? And Preston gets nothing & Hespeler also.
    I think he was likely voted out in 2010 – but he made sure election issues happened & a big fat screwup. And wow – did he get beat – looks good on him.

    Happy November 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Well the people chose the honey. Vinegar has to go. Hope he doesn’t hang around in another capacity – he needs to butt out & get a life. It was nice to see him in his last Council meeting last night but it was SICKENING to hear all the Councillors praise him – should have walked out – was nauseating. Kind of a joke when you knew what had gone on with all of them in the past few years. So last night was really a joke. Was nice to see some of the McGarry supporters there with her t-shirt on. Good luck to McGarry with all the mess that Craig has left – high taxes – homeless – drug situation – infrastructure – the Preston Dam – Preston Springs decay – the homeless camping in parks & private areas – it just goes on & on – what was Craig thinking??? Spend $ Spend $ on his WANTS not Cambridge’s NEEDS. So hope McGarry can bring Cambridge back to Cambridge – Craig talks about the divisiveness of Cambridge – he did that – he made sure Galt got everything – including this next redo of downtown Galt AGAIN. How many times are they going to do this???
    Just glad he is gone – maybe now he can spend time with his family – that no one knows he has – even his wife – never see her with him – hmmmm – but guess his money is good – well enough of him – goodbye!!!

    Suspicious November 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Cambridge chose the Honey candidate – but see the Vinegar candidate is going to going to try & mess up the PC Party in 2019.
    We knew he wouldn’t be finished ruining a party like he did the City of Cambridge. Gee he really doesn’t have a life – could he not retire to Fla. like other Seniors & just get lost. He is a pain – an expensive pain – blew Cambridge’s money and now wants to do the same with Party funds.
    Yes Vinegar he is. Sour grapes for sure.
    And will watch how he tries to be-little the new Mayor. He has a plan and people beware of it – it won’t be nice.

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