Former CAW National President Considering a Run for City Council


The former Canadian Auto Workers union national president believes he'll make a decision by the end of the week if he'll run for a seat on Windsor city council.

Local union leaders including Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy have been lobbying Ken Lewenza for the past few weeks to run in the Ward 7 byelection.

Union officials met with Lewenza on Monday for exploratory discussions.

"This is a decision I have to make," he says. "I'm so grateful that the leadership is asking me to consider this within Unifor but this is bigger, I want to talk to some of the constituents in ward 7, people I know and people I don't know and ask for their advice in terms of what I should do."      

Lewenza points out that he does not live in the ward.

"The reality is when I'm asked that question, I'm going to tell people that I spend seven hours over a 24 hour day in my ward when I'm sleeping," he says. "The other hours are in the community of Windsor-Essex.  You can see me just about anywhere in Windsor-Essex outside of my sleep time and I think I can represent the ward without living in the ward."

Lewenza was the president of CAW Local 444 before becoming the union's national president in 2008, serving in that role until 2013. 

He says he has been approached in the past to run in municipal, provincial and federal elections.

"I never really, contrary to what people say, I never seriously considered it," says Lewenza.  "This one I'm seriously considering it because number one I've got the time and number two I have as much compassion and love for the community as I did when I was serving our members and serving the community."

A byelection for the Ward 7 council seat will be held April 27th. The seat was vacated when Irek Kusmierczyk was elected the Liberal MP for Windsor-Tecumseh in the October federal election.

Greg Lemay, Barbara Holland, Igor Dzaic and Michael Malott have already entered the race.