Letters to the Editor

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Hayes launches bid for Fredericton mayoralty

Matthew Hayes


Mayoral Campaign Launch

Friday, March 30th, 7pm
The Cedar Tree Cafe
418 Queen Street


St. Thomas University professor and sociologist Matthew Hayes has thrown his name into the race to become Fredericton's next mayor in the May 14th municipal election.


His campaign will be officially launched with the Alex Bailey Band at the Cedar Tree Cafe on Queen Street next Friday.


“I am running for mayor because we need new ideas to shape the direction of our city.  Fredericton has grown significantly in recent years, but we need to pay greater attention to the communities we are building, and the values they express,” says Hayes.

Hayes is running for mayor on an ideas-based platform, highlighting the need to build livable, walkable neighbourhoods, which are both smart and sustainable, and which reduce costs and tax bills for citizens.

“We need to make our communities more resilient by taking steps to reduce residents' exposure to rapidly rising fuel prices, and rising costs associated with climate change.  Failure to adapt presents a huge tax liability for the city's residents,” says Hayes.  “Saint John and Moncton have already begun this process, but Fredericton lags behind.  It is time for a change,” he adds.

Capital projects, like the Grant-Harvey Centre are a case in point.  The recreation centre is well under construction and will serve much of the city well, but it will have longer term costs for the city and users beyond the $522 per citizen it cost to build it.  Situated at the city’s edge, the sports and leisure complex is accessible only by car, which cost citizens several thousand dollars a year to insure and maintain, at a time when gas and insurance costs are pushing ever higher.

“How many parents have to rush all around town to run simple errands and drop the kids off at soccer or baseball at facilities far away from where they live?  The purpose of city administration is to reduce our costs, not to increase them” says Hayes.

Hayes grew up in Dalhousie, but his roots in Fredericton run deep.  Both his parents are from the Fredericton area, and his childhood was filled with regular trips to visit his grandparents, Fred and Eileen Hayes of Forest Hill Road, and John and Marian Hughes of Lorne St.  His last surviving grandparent, Marian, now lives in Saint John, with Matthew's parents, Paul and Noreen Hayes.