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Kingston, Ont. municipal election candidates have ties to federal, provincial parties

Click to play video: 'Party politics play a role in Kingston, Ont. municipal election'
Party politics play a role in Kingston, Ont. municipal election
WATCH: Many candidates running for council have strong ties to federal and provincial parties – Oct 20, 2022

Municipal politics in Ontario are supposed to be free of party politics.

But many Kingston, Ont., council candidates have strong ties to provincial and federal parties.

According to some experts, there is a grey area where party politics can play a factor in municipal races.

“Inevitably, party influences will seep in at the municipal level,” says Tim Abray, a political studies PhD candidate at Queen’s University.

“So while we don’t have formal partisan political structures at the municipal level, a lot of the people involved in municipal politics will belong to parties at other levels.”

One council candidate, Zachary Typhair, has strong ties to the Green Party.

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He ran for the Greens in the last provincial election, and he has been endorsed by both the interim federal leader and provincial leader of the Green Party.

But he believes that party politics shouldn’t play a role at the municipal level.

“In municipal governments, it’s even more important to not be backed by anybody but yourself, so that you can represent your community first,” says Typhair.

“That’s why I haven’t accepted any donations from big developers, or anybody that would have a conflict of interest into how city governments operate.”

Also running in Portsmouth district is Oren Nimelman, who has strong ties with the NDP.

“I bleed orange,” says Nimelman.

He has been endorsed by multiple former NDP candidates, and sits on the NDP riding association.

He has also been endorsed by former federal Green Party candidate Candice Christmas.

Nimelman says city politics require cooperation, no matter your political stripe.

“My values are my values, they happen to strongly align with the NDP,” he says.

“But pragmatism is important in municipal government.”

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Party politics have been involved municipally for quite some time, to the dismay of some who prefer a more ‘pure’ structure.

So it seems that, even at the local level, there is no escaping the party system.

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