We have an election correspondent!
It's a red-letter day for The Black Rod.

At the beginning of the mayoral election campaign we were contacted by Jacque Pierre who said he would be attending all the mayoral forums. He offered to share what he saw and heard with us.

As we feared, most of the events were dull affairs, although occasionally he would note some tidbit of interest we would file away for future reference.
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But yesterday he hit the motherlode. Mayoral candidates Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Brad Gross and Rav Gill appeared together at a get-out-the-vote forum the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. The event barely made the radar of the mainstream media, but Jacque Pierre was there and here is his blow-by-blow report of what happened and who said what. It turns out this was probably the feistiest debate yet and the MSM missed the action.

We initially thought we would edit his report, with periods at the end of thoughts, capital letters, commas, and whatnot. Then we thought "What the hell are you doing?"

So here it is, just as he posted it on his blog http://mayoralracebackstage.blogspot.com/ , raw, in the moment, point and counterpoint just the way we like it and want it, with just enough editorial spin to give it some spice and still let us make up our own minds:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
North End Votes - Judy - Rav - Brad

There was some really unique questions in this forum.

Highlights were:

- the moderator kept joking how there was a 2 minute time limit so judy shouldn't go over or she'd have to put a dollar in the cup every time.

- judy went over and she had to pay a dollar once.

- someone asked brad about his plan to expel career criminals from the city and he defended it for 2 minutes. rav was given 2 minutes to respond he said brad doesn't have the power so its not happening and that got a lot of laughs for being so short.

- there was some boos for rav whenever he'd mention something was provincial jurisdiction. brad promised to create daycare and housing and judy was in the middle and they got cheers.

- brad got lots of cheers when he said he'd build housing in the north end. rav said that's not happening and why the private sector isnt building, and judy got as much cheers as brad when she said housing is a human right.

- there was some boos when rav said privitizing garbage saved them money and the problem was bulk items. judy got lotsa cheers when she spoke out against privitizing and wanted garbage collection back.

- all 3 said theyd support an urban reserve. judy said it would be something to be proud of and gave a passionate speech. rav said they are building an economic one at polopark and didn't want an urban reserve at the kapyong barracks but somewhere else. brad said he'd seen urban reserves and how good the quality of life there is.

closing remarks got ugly,

rav said she had a lot of passion in judy's answers, but no substance. she could make all the promises she wants she's proven she's all talk and can't walk the walk.

then he said how he asked her what she did for her constituents in the North End at an earlier debate and all she could answer was something about a couple banks and flavored cigarollas. this drew boos from judy supporters.

he said he's already hired over 30 former gangmembers in the last year to fix up houses and he didn't need $100,000 per employee per year from tax payers to get it done and was booed again. he also badmouthed her crime platforms as being done already or infiltrated by gangs but i cant remember or read my notes on that.

he said people they should vote for who can actually deliver on their promises and isn't a career seat filler. things got kinda ugly there with yelling and a guy wanting to come on stage.
and to make matters worse, he quoted Judy about taking back city hall and said she's the one who is running as a puppet to let a political party take over the mayors office.
then talked about making jobs in the NorthEnd, building affordable housing, bringing in business and how judy did none of that.

there was also someone handing out a poster of Sam Katz who didn't come and their was a big X over his face. rav gill badmouthed it and said whoever was making those should fess up. then he said the sad reality is even sam did more for the north end then judy and judy asked rav if he was working for sam katz or what.
rav also said judy's 2% increase is really 10% (editor note: how is that possible?) and people in the crowd would have that added into the rent.

some of judy's die hard fans seemed mad but rav and judy were joking and laughing after that. judy also said the poster was no good after and the organizers said they didn't know about it or condone it.
judy was overwhelmingly the crowd favorite. there was two guys that would clap for her over and over and even yell and cheer for her.
Now compare that with how the MSM reported the event at CBC.
North End voters snubbed at forum

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | 9:19 AM CT Comments3Recommend3
CBC News

Some North End Winnipeg voters say they were insulted by most of the mayoral candidates at a debate Monday night.

About 200 people attended the event, dubbed North End Votes, aimed at increasing voter turnout in that ward.

The North End consistently produces the lowest vote totals in the city, recording a meager turnout in the 2006 municipal election of 28.26 per cent.

Organizers hoped to drive more interest this time around but it was the candidates who seemed to be apathetic.

Incumbent Mayor Sam Katz didn't show up and two other candidates, Rav Gill and Brad Gross, didn't move off their seats, said Kim Pickering, who attended the debate at the Indian and M├ętis Friendship Centre.

"Get out there and talk to [the voters], don't hide in the corner from them," she said. "You gotta get to know them; See what people's needs really are."

Candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis was lauded for taking the opportunity to mingle with the crowd.

Katz was not able to make it because he was speaking at an information night in the Exchange District.
Despite the apparent lack of interest by most of the candidates, the event was still deemed a success because of the interest shown by those who turned out.

One of those people, Hector Pierre, said he hopes those types of debates encourage his neighbors to stop complaining about issues and start talking with their ballots.

"When you vote you immediately are taking action for yourself and your family, saying, 'well yes, it matters to me who is our elected official,'" he said.

"The more aboriginals that come and vote then you'll see changes."
- Not a clue of the give-and-take between candidates.

- 200 people there and the story concentrates on "some" who felt insulted because two candidates didn't mingle.

- And what the hell does this mean: "Katz was not able to make it because he was speaking at an information night in the Exchange District?" What's an information night?

A reader would learn something about the candidates from blogger Jacque Pierre's account.

The CBC story told you nothing.
But, remember, they are professionals. They have editors. They have ethics.

They just don't have any news sense.