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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Mayor of Windsor stands by the promotional insert sent with the tax bill. Nation World News

The mayor of Windsor, Ont., is defending a promotional entry included with the tax bills, which critics say looks like a campaign ad.

“I don’t apologize for communicating with the residents of my city and telling them about all the great things that are happening here,” Drew Dilkens said on Monday.

Dilkens has not registered as a candidate in the fall vote. This insert is similar to those included in the tax bills of the last few years, he said.

A double-sided slip of paper features the mayor’s photographs on a podium. One side says it “acquired a $5 billion automobility investment” in the context of the upcoming Stellantis-LG Energy Solutions electric vehicle battery plant and highlights the creation of an estimated 3,000 jobs in the sector.

A Slip Of Paper With A Title &Quot;Acquired $5 Billion In Automobility Investments,&Quot; After That A Checklist.
The insert above was included in the same envelope as the City of Windsor’s final tax bill for 2022. (CBC)

The other side has the title of “delivering results” and refers to the city’s $1.7 billion, 10-year capital plan, improvements to new playgrounds and parks, and investments in roads, trails and bike lanes.

It was one of the few pieces of promotional material found in an envelope that was sent last week with the year’s final tax bills.

A Slip Of Paper That Reads &Quot;Delivering Results,&Quot; After That A Checklist.
The City of Windsor’s final tax bills for 2022 include an insert that critics say looks like a campaign ad. (CBC)

Insert ‘Raises questions about ethics’

Lydia Miljan, a professor of political science at the University of Windsor, said she questions the ethics behind the move.

“I think it’s extremely unusual to have campaign ads with your tax bill and it raises questions about ethics, do you know whether it’s a fair use of taxpayer money to give the mayor essentially free advertising. “

Don Merrifield, co-host of the Rose City Politics podcast, called it “an obvious piece of campaign literature” and said its inclusion was inappropriate.

As a Realtor, he is familiar with the cost of mass mailings and said it would be a huge expense for a candidate to send something like this on his own.

“It just gives the mayor an unfair advantage over other candidates, from a financial aspect,” he said.

Asked about the cost, Dilkens said the city paid for sending the tax envelopes and their contents, but he does not believe there are any additional expenses.

“Where the tax bills come in, you can put up to three inserts or four inserts, so it’s not like it’s an incremental cost to residents.”

Dilkens said he had not yet decided whether he would vote on October 24.

“Clearly, everyone should be sensitive to what they are doing when they are a candidate in the election,” he said. “I am not the candidate; I am the mayor. I worry about governing and I will continue to do so until the last minute when I have to make a decision.”

The last date for declaration of candidature is August 19.

There are two people in the running for mayor so far, Ernie Lamont and Benjamin Daniluk.

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