Letter from the Editor: September 2022

Godwin Ifedi Editor Photo by Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo.

Good morning folks

Ottawa Municipal elections: Please go out and cast your vote Please mark your calendars: Monday 24 October 2022 is municipal election day in Ottawa, as it is in other municipalities in the province of Ontario. This is an opportunity for our community to participate in the civic process of choosing our next mayor and councillors, to guide the city’s operations over the next four years. Black Ottawa Scene has always made a case for an increase in the number of Black elected officials at all levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. Likewise, we are and have always championed the need for us to participate in the civic process by voting during elections. Sadly, our community’s voter participation has always been marginal at best. We therefore wish to remind all that every vote counts; we need the very best people managing the millions of dollars in the city’s annual operating budget. Your vote determines how your tax dollars will be spent!

Here then is the dilemma: should we cast our votes for the Black candidates or the best candidates? While this newspaper has a tradition of featuring the profiles of all Black candidates at every election, we leave it up to each voter to decide on who to cast their vote for, based on their understanding of the electoral process and the important role elected officials in shaping our daily lives. Our message is clear. Your vote counts. If you want to make a difference in what happens to your overall health and well being, use your vote to make your voice heard. Ask questions of every candidate that shows up at your door asking for your support; then use their answers to make an informed choice. Not voting is not an option in this situation. Be mindful that you can’t come back to complain, if you do not participate in choosing your next mayor and councillors. And just as important, after each election, make a point of going back to the successful candidates to check on what they are doing about the election promises they make to you. Hold them accountable. Far too often voters practically give a free pass to our elected officials by ignoring them once the election is over, but complaining privately about decisions about how they manage our hard-earned tax dollars. If you want change, get involved!

In other news

In this edition, we bring you a report on JAM Day, Jamaica’s independence day celebrations; Tembeka and Olasunkanmi’s traditional marriage; the retirement of veteran community leader and activist, Carl Nicholson from the Catholic Centre for Immigrants; and Richard Sharpe’s insightful piece on Canada’s first Emancipation Day.

Here is the result of the August 2022 poll: Is your workplace doing enough to keep you healthy? Yes 75% No 25% Thank you to all who voted. Do remember to vote in the September 2022 poll: Will you be voting in the October 2022 municipal elections?

All these and more in the September 2022 edition of your favorite community newspaper.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Godwin Ifedi Editor

1 comment

  1. Hi brother Godwin,
    Thanks for this important message and your continued service to our community. This election is one of the most important in our communities’ histories as almost half the sitting councillors aren’t running – and many inexperienced candidates are. We have attended and/or watched many debates and not one candidate – including the Black ones – has specifically mentioned doing anything to help Black communities. What many of them have mentioned is increasing the police budget. If you support this, get out and vote for it. As we support reimagining community safety to shift funds to things that are proven to keep us ALL safer – like mental health services and affordable housing – we’ll be pushing for people to vote for candidates who support shifting money from the police budget to those things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *