By Andrew Monro
OTTAWA - Having won the 2014 mayoral race by a landslide, the new mayor of Ottawa, Justin Kidding, credits his overwhelming success to a grass-roots campaign supporting one of the most politically disadvantaged, and often invisible demographics in the city: condominium owners.
“I was looking over the platforms of the other candidates and thought, "Where is the support for this clearly under-represented group?” Sitting across the table, sipping a glass of Merlot at a high-end restaurant in the ByWard Market, Mr. Kidding is dressed in a tailored Italian suit, with gold cuff-links that flashed in the soft glow of the establishment’s chandelier.
“I mean, often they don’t even have time to speak to anyone. Between working hard just to make six-figure salaries, going to get their favourite specialty coffee from Starbucks, and going out to their cottages in Muskoka on the weekends, they were often too busy or weren’t even home when I would come to speak to them during my campaign,” Kidding says.
“These people need to be heard. Sadly, the poorer people in this city often drown them out. Many of them don’t have jobs and parasitize social services. They have LOTS of time on their hands and spend day after day picketing city hall demanding ridiculous things like affordable housing,” Kidding sighs.
Kidding, through more sips of wine, exclaims, “Then there are the students. They all think they are educated and complain that taxes in this city unfairly discriminate against renters and that the mass-transit system in Ottawa has all kinds of skewed priorities. They are the worst, but the good news is that once they leave school many of them start making money and shut up about their outdated leftist ideals.”
Mayor Kidding ran on a platform that promised condo owners a break from the stresses that plague their hectic, solidly middle-class lives. He promised to try to reduce the number of public transit buses and would curb the number of bike lanes to those that would allow people to travel leisurely from their condos to the parks and river area. “No more bike lanes disrupting travel in the downtown core,” he announced. He also promised to eliminate the city bylaw that requires there be “lower-cost housing” in many apartment and condominium complexes in the city, so that condo owners wouldn’t suffer the indignity of having to live in proximity to those he refers to as “the rabble.”