Monday, September 08, 2014

Judy ... blab blab blab blab ... Wasylycia - ... blab blab blab blab ... Leis ... blab blab blab blab ...

"The Ostrich Lady" lays a big egg!
Judy video is must-see TV

How video of disastrous scrum makes you wonder why Wasylycia-Leis is leading mayor race

Tom Brodbeck
Sunday, September 7, 2014

Judy Wasylycia-Leis doesn't know how she'll fund BRT.

From time to time, I walk away from a scrum with a politician and say to myself "I wish the public could see what I just saw."

Not just a few clips or quotes of the train wreck I witnessed. The whole enchilada, the full monty.

If they heard the same gibberish, the rambling, the shifty answers and the double-speak I just did, I know the public would have a much clearer picture of the individual in question.

These types of catastrophic scrums don't happen that often. But when they do, there really is no substitute for witnessing the event in person — or watching raw video of it — to appreciate the body language, the facial expressions, the foot shuffling and the deer-in-the-headlights gazes.

A scrum outside the administration building at city hall with mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis this past week was one of those interviews. It was caught on video. And I highly recommend that everyone voting in this election watch the raw footage.

The former NDP MP called a press conference to make her pledge that she would maintain and improve front-line city services, including doing a better job of thawing homeowners' frozen water pipes in the winter.

But because bus rapid transit was the hot topic of the day on the municipal campaign trail, she was also asked how she would finance the $20-million a year cost of building the second leg of BRT along Pembina Highway, a project she previously pledged to complete.

She couldn't answer the question. As a candidate, you've either done your homework on detailing the financing of your pledges, or you haven't. And clearly, Wasylycia-Leis had not done so. She had no idea how, if elected mayor, she would come up with an extra $20 million a year to finance BRT, an expenditure which on its own is worth about a 4% property tax increase. In fact, she thought the money was already on the table and that it was part of a cost-shared arrangement with the federal and provincial governments. She had to be corrected and she was asked if she would like to give another answer.

She made a fool of herself that day. She didn't do well.

That was all reported.

But if you really want to appreciate the full essence of the interview, you either had to be there, or you have to watch the raw footage of the event. You really do.

This scrum was a disaster for Wasylycia-Leis because it showed who she really is. She is a career politician who is long on slogans and cliches and very short on concrete proposals. When asked basic questions about her plan, she obfuscated, she showed contempt for the questions posed and she demonstrated that she has very little grasp of civic finances.

Wasylycia-Leis, who has no experience whatsoever in municipal politics, is not familiar with the financial challenges facing city hall right now. It's obvious she hasn't done her homework on it because the questions asked were simple, straightforward ones. And she didn't have a clue how to answer them.

The question voters have to ask themselves is if Wasylycia-Leis is this oblivious to the realities of city hall finances, how could she possibly be mayor of our city?

If she doesn't have the foggiest idea how to respond to an issue as important as this, how could she assume the role of chief officer of city hall?

The mayor of the city is the person who leads executive policy committee through the budget process, producing a fiscal blue print that ultimately goes before city council for deliberation and a vote. And Wasylycia-Leis is going to lead city hall through that process every year?

If you watch the raw video of last week's scrum, you might wonder how this person could even be a contender for the job, let alone the frontrunner in the race.


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