The Coast sent all 53 candidates running in HRM’s municipal election the same 15-question survey in order to help their residents and our readers know a little more about who’s running for council. Here’s what Scott Guthrie from Timberlea—Beechville—Clayton Park—Wedgewood sent back.
Why should residents of your district vote for you?
I understand that District 12 is a diverse district with lots of different priorities and yet many common concerns. I want to put a voice on council that recognizes that diversity and is willing to raise the issues that matter to all parts of the district to ensure that every voice is heard and receives equal representation.
What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?
As vice-chair for the Otter Lake Monitoring Committee, we can't talk enough about waste management. Let's stay a world leader in this area! Furthermore, looking closer at growing Halifax into a more inclusive and accessible municipality that is welcoming to everyone and encourages sustainable growth.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
Council minutes about the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove decision.
What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?
The fact that I don't currently live inside the District 12 boundaries as of the 2012 changes. That's absolutely accurate, but my connections with #HRM12 are lifelong and dedicated. I know the district, I was born and raised in BLT, my children feed into the Halifax West School system and I have been extremely involved for many years in groups and organizations across the entire district. It is not about where I go to sleep, it is about where my roots are and where I have proven myself as a leader for the betterment of all communities across #HRM12.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Triumph—Thunder 7 Tour, 1985 at the Halifax Metro Centre (ScotiaBank Centre).
What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
I've tried a couple of times to watch movies after a day on the campaign trail. Never get past the opening credits...
What pisses you off?
Anyone on the road (drivers, bikers, pedestrians) who don't obey the rules of the road as they pertain to them—especially around crosswalks.
What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?
A lot more conversation online! Lots of social media channels available where citizens have a direct line to their councillors and other government representatives. There's a Facebook group for every neighbourhood. It's challenging to keep up with all of the conversations but it provides great insight into what people feel is important, and keeps representatives accountable to their constituents.
What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?
I'm brand new to politics, so no regrets yet! Professionally, any mistakes I've made have been learning experiences, so there isn't much to regret about gaining a better understanding of the work you're entrusted to do.
What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?
My son and his friends goofing around in the backyard.
What’s your go-to meal when cooking?
Anything I can put on the barbecue. Well, unless it is a late night snack, then I love a warm bowl of soup—wonton soup being my all-time favourite.
What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?
Getting back to the basics, the core responsibilities of services that the municipality seems to have difficulty providing. Our road maintenance, crosswalks, snow removal, waste management, pedestrian safety, traffic calming measures, inclusion and accessibility, sports and recreation, affordable housing, active transportation, public transit and responsible development in line with sustainable growth that is in balance with surrounding communities.
How would you describe your opponents in this race?
I don't know many of them personally, but for the most part I can say our interactions have been respectful. I appreciate what it takes to run in an election, so I admire them for stepping forward to offer.
What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?
My wife is an incredible artist. Some day, when we're retired, maybe, she's going to teach me to paint something other than the walls and ceilings.
What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
I promise not to break, this, my one promise: If you choose to elect me as your representative, I promise to fully represent YOU and your concerns at the council table. I commit to giving you my dedicated support, to work hard for you and to echo your voice in council. I will fight for what is right, and what is needed. I promise that my leadership will be a partnership with the people I represent. I will work with you, beside you and when needed, lead you, all in an effort to better the communities of District 12 and that of the entire municipality.