A few sparks in the second councillor candidates debate on Country 600 CKAT.

One listener wanted to know if the candidates would support an OPP costing for policing.

Don Rennick says the city police service has priced itself out of the market and wants an OPP costing.

Fellow candidate Marcus Tignanelli told Rennick that cheaper isn’t better.

Rennick then said it’s not a question about quality of service.

“Just let me finish, please… They’ll both be fine, the question is which one is cheaper, which one offers the best value for service and this discussion about losing 60 jobs..” said Rennick.
“It’s not one in the same,” interjected Tignanelli.
“The 60 jobs are jobs that North Bay taxpayers are paying for unnecessarily,” Rennick continued.
“You represent a small minority of North Bay Taxpayers when you speak,” says Tignanelli, who does not support OPP coming in and taking over policing.

Mac Bain says he will not support looking at an OPP costing in the next four years. He says the OPP may be less on a dollar-for-dollar basis, but…

“Other factors that you would have to take into consideration, there would be 60 jobs in office administration that may be impacted,” he says.

Peter Gregory wants to see city police remain in tact.

“I believe that the North Bay Police Force does a good job, but like everything else, being a man in business, I believe there’s efficiencies there that we have to look at, there’s ways to cut costs,” he says.

Chris Mayne believes city police do an excellent job, and also supported the motion this spring to look at an OPP costing.

“My point in supporting the motion was that as a council we’re responsible to get all the information and make an informed decision,” he says.

Other issues discussed included Rideshare services like UBER or Lyft, council divisiveness, Summer In The Park and economic development.

On that front, Gregory would like to see collaboration between employment services, the city and post-secondary schools.

“And discuss what needs are going to be there ten years from now and sit down with those students going in grade nine and move them towards that type of trade that’s going to be necessary,” he says.

Bain says the city and Invest North Bay are doing a good job, but the community needs to tell it’s story better.

He also says businesses are looking at social media and see the negative comments too.

“It’s interesting that the same people on those blogs criticizing that there’s no jobs, they’re also criticizing North Bay so it’s impacting job creation here,” he says.

Rennick says bringing taxes down and keeping them down is the real issue.

He also listed off job losses and layoffs in taking aim at the city’s economic development department.

“They’ve got a $750,000 budget, $500,000 of which is salaries, and I disagree with the comment that they’re going a good job,” he says.

Tignanelli says entrepreneurship, sustainability and environmental responsibility need to be highlighted, but that’s not all.

“Also need to attract people to North Bay using the natural north and near strategy that was in the Baylor Report. People create opportunity and employment will always, always follow,” he says.

Mayne says there are things the city can and has been doing to encourage growth.

“We can offer low tax rates, we have one of the lowest commercial tax rates in Ontario and that’s deliberate. We can offer service on available land,” he says.

The next debate, with five more councillor candidates, goes Tuesday October 2nd, right after the 8 am news on Country 600 CKAT.


CLICK HERE for the full audio of the second debate