On Thursday, Aug. 28, OBJ issued an open invitation to all candidates in the upcoming municipal election to answer one simple question: Why should the business community vote for you?
As the responses come in, one will be published online each day, and be included in our daily email newsletter. Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today's response is from Trevor Robinson, Bay Ward.
Even though businesses drive the City of Ottawa, they technically don't get to vote.
While yes the managers, owners and employees of a business get to vote, they may not be able to vote for the councillor representing the ward where the business itself resides.
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to chat with many owners, managers and employees who would be happy to vote, however as many do not live in Bay Ward, the name Trevor Robinson won't appear on their ballot.
If you live in Ottawa's Bay Ward (Ward 7), why should you vote for Trevor Robinson?
OR, if you live outside of Ottawa's Bay Ward, why should you support Trevor Robinson?
I hope that this article will address that and other questions that you may have and in turn earn me the honour of your support. If you still have questions unanswered, e-mail me: email@example.com
Or just want to keep an eye on things on facebook.com/Trevor.Robinson.Politics or @TWPRobinson on twitter, or www.voterobinson.ca
I have lived in Ottawa's Bay Ward all of my life, this is my home, this is my priority. I want to help make my community better, for residents, for business and for visitors.
Most specifically to businesses, I am an alumni of Algonquin College's Small & Medium Enterprise Management program, which is similar to Business Administration, except that it is geared towards small & medium sized businesses or for opening your own business.
I was honoured to have learned from two individuals at Algonquin College, who have unfortunately since left us, Ron Knowles & Wayne McIntyre.
Both gentlemen taught students to think outside the box and then some. They broke down stereotypes and forged ahead in ways that cannot be adequately described in this article.
I learned a great deal from both gentlemen both in and out of the classroom.
Speaking of Wayne specifically, I was honoured to have had a chance to know him, to know his community efforts, which was why I nominated him for CTV's Amazing People.
Over the years we have seen a fair share of businesses in the ward close shop, change hands, change names, etc. Unfortunately, we have not seen a substantial amount of growth, that needs to change.
I have a vested interest in seeing businesses thrive, we all do. When local businesses thrive, that means more tax revenue, more money being spentelsewhere in the community, more jobs, etc. When businesses fail, the opposite becomes the reality.
My wife, our neighbours and many of our friends have their own small business - it would be counterproductive for me to hinder the growth of businesses.
When most people think of a "Small Business," they think of the "Mom & Pop Corner Store," or the local "greasy spoon" that has been passed down from one generation to the next.
Few people stop to realize that a "Small" or "Medium" sized business is much more prevalent or much more influential in their daily lives, in their neighbourhood.
When you take a look at franchises, or specific locations, you see a very different picture of those small or medium sized businesses.
Yes, the local gas station, or coffee shop or restaurant may be part of a chain, but in many cases it is a franchise, in many cases the employeesfeel like they are a part of a small team before they feel like they are part of a nationwide corporation.
A small or medium sized business is often referred to as a business with 500 employees or less. When you look at Ottawa's Bay Ward, the vast majority of businesses or business locations have less than 500 employees.
The mix of businesses is diverse, from small photography or white water rafting businesses, to coffee shop franchises, to restaurants, to malls like Carlingwood, Lincoln Fields & Bayshore and the so called "anchor stores"in those malls.
Why should you vote for and/or support me, why support #VoteRobinsonT? Because I'm DRIVEN, DOWN TO EARTH and FORWARD THINKING. Campaign catch phrases and hash tags aside, what does a businessperson or business owner deserve in a municipal councillor?
Someone who has worked in both unionized and non-unionized environments, ironically as a union steward and manager respectively.
Someone who understands profitability, ROI and customer service, among many other things.
Someone who won't spend his four year term campaigning for the next election, but instead who will be working to make Bay Ward a better place for the current generation and generations to follow.
Someone who wants to see businesses in Bay Ward so residents can live and work in the same area, while also making the commute quicker, easier and safer for those who choose to work elsewhere in the city.
Who/what am I not? I'm not the councillor that's trying to keep his job, or the former councillor who is trying to get his job back.
I'm not a candidate looking to ban bears, nor do I believe Ghostbusters is an election issue.
I'm not the candidate who compares council office budgets to the budget for Buckingham Palace.
And while I'm not the candidate with a shiny head, I do have less hair now than I did when I was in high school.
Like many people, I'm not a fan of attack style politics, or political ads. I'm not going to make "campaign promises," truthful ones or otherwise, just to get some votes.
Who am I? I'm that 32 year old guy who lives down the street from you.
I'm that guy that went to Woodroffe High School with you, your child, your neighbour's child, or someone else you might know.
I'm that guy who handed you water or gatorade during that race you ran.
I'm that guy who coordinated that volunteer that kept that road closed for the race you ran in, or your friend ran in, or someone you know ran in.
I'm that guy that coordinated the volunteers that closed all of those roads for that race that sells out hotel rooms across the city and made your weekend drive more of a headache, SORRY!
I'm that guy that's dabbled in photography, in hotels/hospitality, in sales, in politics, in special events, in retail, in audio-visual.
I'm that guy that was the Student Trustee that argued to keep that school or education centre open, that argued to put our kids first.
I'm that guy who drank milk & sugar with coffee in high school (not coffee with milk & sugar).
I'm that guy in that TV debate that remained fairly calm, collected and professional, who made his points known and otherwise let the circus run away on his left.
WHO AM I? I'm just a guy who lives in Bay Ward who simply wants to make it better, to make bettering his community his full time job.
Candidate for Councillor, Bay Ward (Ward 7)
Aug. 29 - Katherine Hobbs, incumbent, Kitchissippi
Sept. 2 - Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi
Sept. 3 - Marc Aubin, Rideau-Vanier
Sept. 4 - Thomas McVeigh, Somerset
Sept. 5 - Cam Holmstrom, Rideau-Rockcliffe
Sept. 8 - Catherine McKenney, Somerset
Sept. 9 - Mathieu Fleury, incumbent, Rideau-Vanier
Sept. 11 - Jeff Morrison, Somerset
Sept. 23 - Marianne Wilkinson, incumbent, Kanata North
Sept. 24 - Jason Kelly, Gloucester-South Nepean
Oct. 6 - Susan Sherring, Gloucester-South Nepean
Oct. 7 - Tobi Nussbaum, Rideau-Rockcliffe
Oct. 8 - Meladul Haq Ahmadzai, Gloucester-Southgate
Oct. 10 - Catherine Fortin LeFaivre, Rideau-Vanier
Oct. 14 - Conor Meade, Somerset
Oct. 15 - Martin Canning, Somerset
Oct. 20 - Edward Conway, Somerset