The mayoral race for the upcoming municipal election is heating up.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Councillor Allan Vinni announced he’s running for Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Vinni says his concerns are land tenure, fly in fly out, helping those who lost their homes without insurance, and helping rural businesses with their higher taxes.
He tells Mix News the main reason for his bid is “time.”
“I know most councillors in cities this size are expected to work 40, 50, 60 hours a week but it’s always been different here, it’s more complicated.”
Last year, Vinni filed for bankruptcy.
His main reason for this was the Penhorwood Condo mandatory evacuation, a place where he owned four units. The place had multiple safety code violations leading Vinni to walk away from his mortgage after paying around $10,000 a month over the past five years.
He currently owes around $1 million, losing his business in the process.
“It’s not like I’m going to sign the checks but I’ve been there for seven years, seven budgets. Bankruptcy in this country is made out to be a failure, a loser, they’re one of life’s losers, let’s cast them into the ditch, it’s incorrect.”
He adds, his only competitor, Lawyer Don Scott was almost in the same situation as him.
“When I got financing in January 2016, that also prevented Mr. Scott from going bankrupt. He was sitting in my office five times through December and January because he owed the money to, we we’re refinancing so the bank refinanced with just me basically took his name off.”
Scott announced his mayoral bid in March. Vinni, who notes he has a good relationship with Scott, says he isn’t running to beat him.
“I’m running to be the mayor of this region, I’m not running against him, I’m running because I’ve been there for seven years, I think I have a good understanding of what we need to do and I have a good understanding of how it needs to be done.”
Vinni adds his campaign is about solutions while Scott’s highlights problems, with Bill 21 being highlighted. He adds the impact of a 5 – 1 ratio is less than some people believe.
“It’s not like we need to get that 18 down to five while keeping us at one, we can go to three and they could go to 15. Significant, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like it’s 10 times as much.”
Nominations close on September 18.
Residents head to the polls on October 16th.