If she wins, she'll be the longest serving councillor on Guelph City Council, but that's unlikely to make her any less a divisive a figure. Today, Maggie Laidlaw submitted her papers to make her campaign for a fifth term around the horseshoe official, and joining the already very busy Ward 3 race. Laidlaw is the fifth candidate to be nominated for Ward 3, and is the first incumbent of Ward 3 to make official her desire to run again. But in an already tight race, can Laidlaw make her mark, and a case for her re-election?
That's an excellent question. Certainly her first official campaign comment in the Guelph Tribune today sparred no expense:
“The notion that we need to address the economy before we can pay attention to the environment is asinine. The two are completely intertwined; as we move to a post-fossil-fuel economy, we will create many more jobs than we have under a fossil-fuel-based economy.”
Still, Laidlaw doesn't come without baggage. Not only is she well known as one of council's most outspoken members, but last year she told media that she didn't intend on running for office again, before reversing the decision in November saying, "There are very exciting new initiatives coming 'down the ‘pike' [with regards to] downtown (particularly Baker Street, the library, and other sites), and staff will need some champions around the horseshoe to help bring these initiatives to fruition over the next few years."
Will Ward 3 see Laidlaw as their champion again? We'll find out October 27.
Also on the ballot in Ward 3 right now is Phil Allt, Craig Chamberlain, Jason Dodge, and Bob Moore. Laidlaw's fellow Ward 3 incumbent June Hofland has yet to declare her intentions to run again or not.