As part of our ongoing coverage of the 2020 Saskatoon municipal election, CTV News at Five anchor Jeremy Dodge is sitting down with each of the city's six mayoral candidates to discuss why they are running for office and what they plan to do if elected. Here is Jeremy's conversation with Zubair Sheikh. You can also watch their conversation using the player above.
Your campaign says zero per cent tax increases. The question with that is, with no new tax revenue coming in how do we pay for things?
I say that because we need to look and reevaluate mega-projects and the projects we haven’t started and trying to get the funding for. First I want to tell you these property taxes are collected from the people who are living on the streets and infrastructure needs to be addressed first. That property tax should not be spent on something like libraries, building art galleries, building other kinds of things. First of all, they should be spent on providing residents better roads, sidewalks, water main and sewer systems, those kinds of things. Because if we look after those things then we don’t need that much money.
You’ve talked about projects including an indoor theme park, and you’re looking to bring people from outside to come in and build some of these things?
Our city is lacking this thing very much. We don’t have year-round tourism and Saskatoon alone has 280,000 so we have to think about the surrounding areas where 60 to 70,000 people come to Saskatoon to fulfill their needs. If we want to attract them to do their tourism in this city also, tourism is a very good industry and can generate big revenue. A theme park would come from PPP, public-private-partnership, so the city can play a very big role in that one, they can lease out land to the companies that come, and the city can initially offer a tax break, plus the theme-park I want to have a First Nations theme so that it will represent the amusement park and the theme park where we can have a museum as well.
What is your view on the future of the Lighthouse?
The downtown Lighthouse is something that gives our downtown an ugly face. We have to chop it down and split it into different areas. In my opinion it should not be in a neighbourhood where we don’t want it, it should be in a better location so they are safe and the people of the downtown and the businesses will be safe from.
Crime and safety: What are your thoughts on handling this issue?
This is really one of the important issues that’s why I have mentioned I’m totally against defunding the police. The police should be given all of these resources to fight gangs, drugs. I think we should be putting more CCTV cameras in the downtown area so that we can monitor what’s going on. There should be a control room in the back of the police station where they can monitor and respond to people who are damaging businesses. I will give full support to the police who deal with them.
In your campaign platform you talk about development of multi-faith lots and tell us about that idea?
I have seen a lot of subdivisions coming in the city. They never put any designated lot, as a worship lot. This is a unique idea which I have in mind, that there should be a lot in which people can build a place of worship, like a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or anything and they will be standalone facilities, but they can share the parking lot because there are different days of worship. This can help bring down racism and different ethnic groups will unite and show their unity and it will be a good thing for our city.
On election day, why should people vote for you?
The ideas in my platform are the first time these ideas have been introduced in the history of Saskatoon. Nobody has ever thought about this. Everybody before me focused on luxurious projects, mega-projects, spending city money, collected from taxpayers, unwisely. This is a burden we’re dealing with right now that’s why you better have me as your mayor. I have the knowledge, I have the capability as a professional leader, I can deal with this.