Innovative Campaign in McIntyre Ward for Logan Ollivier
THUNDER BAY – – Logan Ollivier is running in the McIntyre Ward. It is Ollivier’s first attempt at political office but as a former broadcaster who has covered city hall, the self-employed business owner has been campaigning hard for the position of City Councillor.
Logan brings some innovative ideas to his campaign, and has been engaging voters for sometime now.
Ollivier also says it is time for politics to be done differently and for candidates to do more than just what they need to get elected.
Logan Ollivier – Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Survey
Logan sees What experience do you bring to your role on City Council and how will it help you make decisions?
First and foremost I am a small business owner. This gives me a very needed perspective on the business aspect of running a city. I know that if my business takes in less revenue than expenses, my doors won’t be open for very long. This fiscal responsibility and accountability is lost on our current leadership. There seems to be a mentality that, “if we make a mistake we can always raise taxes.” We also need a voice on council who will fight to help improve the business climate in Thunder Bay. I believe we have an opportunity to not only compete but beat many communities if we embrace our clear advantages and realize many of our disadvantages are self inflicted. For example many believe we are isolated, but with the worldwide web and our airport access to downtown Toronto we can easily argue we are less isolated than many congested communities in the GTA! We need leadership that thinks big and can deliver and I’ve proven that I fit that model!
If elected, will you support the completion of a core business review to identify and recommend areas for potential service changes (alternative service delivery, privatization or divestiture)? Why or why not?
To me this has to be one of the top priorities for the next council and it has to be taken very seriously. Currently there has been a trend where administration calls “spending deferrals”, savings. I think this misleading and isn’t helping us obtain maximum value for the tax payer dollars. A core business review will be scary for many within the corporate structure of the city but is greatly needed. I do believe millions in actual savings can be found and we need to find the best delivery systems for all services. On top of that, I believe we need to look at all city branches that compete with the private sector and decide if it’s financially responsible to continue delivering such services. Selling Municipal Golf Course was a good first step but much more can and should be done in that regard. Taking money out of the private sector doesn’t strengthen our community, it weakens it by making us more reliant on government funding.
What is your position on the Event Centre?
I am very firm on my support for looking at replacing the Fort William Gardens. That historic building has more than lived up to its usefulness and it’s time is over. The longer we wait to replace it the more expensive this will be and in my opinion it is very fiscally responsible to look into getting funding sooner rather than later. That being said, I do have deep concerns over the current business contract being worked out with Global Spectrum. This group is not local and seems to have very little desire to do much beyond managing the facility and collecting a pay cheque from tax payers. I feel we need someone with far more business acumen on this negotiating table to ensure that we don’t get put in a situation similar to Abbotsford BC where that community lost millions on a failed AHL team contract. I have little confidence in our current groups ability to navigate such a complex negotiation.
What should City Council do to support and encourage economic development?
We need to do a much better job of creating a highly competitive business climate. As I mentioned earlier, we are only limited by our own negative views of our community. If we continue to treat Thunder Bay as a small community in the middle of nowhere, that’s exactly what we’ll be. I think we have the opportunity to be one of the greatest and fastest growing communities in Canada. Our Research and health sector is in the top 5 in Canada and with the potential of resource development, we should be able to see a huge influx of private sector development. But to have that happen we need to remove barriers to growth. Eliminate red tape and needless oversight and come up with creative and innovate incentive programs to attract new business and keep existing businesses here!
In your opinion, are City operations delivered efficiently and providing good value to the taxpayer? Explain.
In short no. When an organization treats eliminating non essential spending as savings, efficiency is not a priority or strength. The current nearly 4 million dollar budget variance is a perfect example of how band things are getting in our operations. We need to take a very hard and honest look at what we are doing and how we are doing it. Providing top level services for the highest value to tax payers should be taken seriously. Instead of deferring non essential spending, we should look at all spending and find out what non essential spending we’ve taken on from top to bottom! There are likely many other synergies and delivery methods that could be employed to create maximum value and likely see a massive cut in spending.
Crime is a significant concern for our members. What should City Council do to support increased safety and reduced crime in our community?
Much of the crime in Thunder Bay stems from social issues. In many cases this falls under provincial or federal jurisdiction. Many of our leaders keep passing the buck to those levels of government and say police can do only so much. While they may not be wrong, I don’t think that is the right approach either. I believe as a community we all could employ a greater neighborhood mentality. My grandparents came from a time when if you needed help your neighbor was always there, and in turn you always helped your neighbor. I think we’ve lost that and that has lead to many people losing their compassion for their fellow man or woman. I think if we had leaders that showed a greater commitment to helping those in need simply by being good neighbors we’d see a shift in thinking across our community. We’d all be willing to help out a neighbor who falls down no matter what the situation.
What steps should City Council take to improve the competitiveness of our city’s business environment?
First and foremost we need to listen too and trust the business community. They are the ones who are making a living and contributing to our economy. Without our business community there is no Thunder Bay. We should work with the Chamber of Commerce to identify and remove barriers to growth and embrace a greater understanding and partnership with the business community. Once that happens we should develop creative and innovative incentive programs to attract a wide variety of new business.
From research and health to manufacturing and resource development. I truly believe with the proper approach the potential is almost limitless here!
What role do you see the City playing in enhancing aboriginal business partnerships, opportunities and relationships?
I feel the solution to this issue is similar to increasing business development in general. We need to trust the business community to identify barriers and work with them to remove them. I don’t see the need to distinguish between First Nations and non First Nations businesses. All business in Thunder Bay are part of the overall Thunder Bay business community. Removing barriers creates a climate where any business no matter what sector, race or classification.
In addition to mining, which sectors/opportunities would you support to advance the healthy diversified economy that is vital to our long term success?
I see the Health and Research and Innovation sectors as highly profitable for Thunder Bay. I’ve spoken at great length to man that this sector as more potential and better long term outlooks than the mining sector. Investment into research and innovation can also help boost other sectors like manufacturing. If we encourage and help develop this sector we could see business after business start up here and put us on the map as an innovation leader across the world!
What would you consider to be success at the end of this 4 year term?
I feel removing half of the current barriers to business and seeing a double digit growth in our Health and Research sector as a complete success. I believe to be big we have to think big. That comes from big goals!