2009 grade: C
Tim Outhit is a reflection of the upper-income Bedford neighbourhoods that elected him, albeit maybe he believes more in the capacity of government to achieve positive results than is normal for that demographic. Two issues illustrate the point.
First is hockey, the preoccupation of all Canadian suburbanites. To provide for those hockey demands, Outhit has done battle with a cabal of Bedford Conservatives led by former MLA Len Goucher; it’s a long story involving the troubled bubble rink across town and the politicization of economic stimulus funds, but ultimately what we got was the four-pad arena on Hammonds Plains Road. The four-pad is a regional facility that will benefit people outside of Bedford, but Outhit takes pride in its Bedford placement all the same.
Then there’s the daily commute, an immediate concern for Bedfordites. Outhit is embracing a commuter rail proposal because he thinks he can get buy-in from other councillors up and down the line. Time will tell.
But while he’s in favour of government programs that help his wealthy constituents, he embraces the regressive “tax reform” proposal, which would cut most Bedford taxes and make up the lost revenue by increasing taxes on the less wealthy in places like Sackville. And he continues to support a smaller council, which also will give the less connected less voice.
How to improve: Remember the working man.