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 Warren Wesson from Dartmouth Centre sent back.
Why should residents of your district vote for you?
I've been self employed for for 25 years. I'm not in the boat. Much of the workforce in Nova Scotia is working for the government. I'm a small business entrepreneur. I understand intimately how small business matters to our community and things we can do to make the experience better. I am a father to three, two nieces and two granddaughters. I'm not even 50. I know what our kids need. Our families need. If voters are looking for big changes to expensive bureaucracy, they should consider me. If people want to see our HRM shift focus from design and architecture to neighborhood planning they should vote for me. We need some housing. Not luxury. No Class A. We need moderate- to low-income housing and need it badly. We need another soup kitchen in the district's south end as well as a safe clean night shelter for all genders and ages. Affordable, accessible and in my back yard.
What’s something you wish people were talking about more this election?
Hungry people. Building more soup kitchens. Building more night shelters. Safe ones.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
Let me check. “Reuters business news.”
What’s the most accurate criticism someone’s made about you?
To my face? “Listen when someone is trying to help you.”
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Brian Adams opening up for Loverboy.
What was the last movie you didn’t finish?
What pisses you off?
What’s changed the most in your district since 2012?
Not much good. Really. We were inundated with this stupid Halifax logo all over our Dartmouth parks and buildings. That's pretty goddamn annoying. No one likes it. If smoothing over amalgamation was the plan well whoops. Bad plan. We have a bad problem with traffic—needs calming. Getting very busy in District 5. Sewer pipes smell when the rain dries up in many areas. The whole area seems to be on hold for the Centre Plan. Let me say though after six long years we did get some affordable housing in on Wyse to be finished with a few years and we are very very happy about that.
What’s a specific moment in politics or your professional life that you really regret?
I had an amazing professional life. I have done very well as an entrepreneur but I regret not starting politics sooner. I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me and the community my children and grandchildren call home.
What’s the last thing that made you really laugh?
When we go campaigning my campaign manager, Barb Hawke and I laugh for hours on end.
What’s your go-to meal when cooking?
Whatever is in the fridge, hey? Fishcakes and burritos tonight. If I have money who knows.
What worries you the most about the Halifax Regional Municipality and the issues it's facing?
Gentrification man. That is what it's all about. Gentrification. Reno-victions. Kick out the low-income and working poor from the Urban Core. That's the plan, man. That's the brand. That is what it is all about. Halifax has a long tradition of destroying neighbourhoods and destroying communities. How this brand ever got any love is beyond me. “Looks at the name sit with their hands under their ass while a cast tract of housing gets torn down on West Street.” People don't make the connection. This isn't about aesthetics. The Urban Centre and the brand and the culture at HRM—a looming housing catastrophe if we don't get serious about neighbourhood planning. The good new is we are working on the housing aspect. We are not giving up. We can't.
How would you describe your opponents in this race?
Incredibly wonderful people whose company I am honored to have. Everyone gets my energy. Everyone's taught me something. Over the years at community council the heavies in my District understand I am on a mission, elected or not.
What’s something you don’t know, but want to learn?
That is far too specific for me. Just one thing? OK. I would like to learn how to bake a deadly pastry.
What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
I know what the job of municipal councillor is. I won't promise to do anything outside my ability to do it even if I wanted to.