Mayoral candidates talk money

Dan Curtis wants to set the record straight: he's not a Yukon Party stooge. "I heard today there was another candidate knocking at the door and he said to this person that, 'Dan Curtis is being funded by the Yukon Party,'" he said.

Dan Curtis wants to set the record straight: he’s not a Yukon Party stooge.

“I heard today there was another candidate knocking at the door and he said to this person that, ‘Dan Curtis is being funded by the Yukon Party,’” he said. “That is a blatant lie and it offends me that he would say such a thing because it’s not true.”

That’s not to say that he doesn’t have supporters that are members of the Yukon Party. He does, but he’s won the backing of people of all political stripes. And that’s something to be proud of, said Curtis.

“The attribute that I bring as a mayoral candidate is bringing people together,” he said. “I’m trying to build bridges; I’m not trying to burn bridges.”

Curtis has even won the support of Jan Stick, who was his NDP opponent when he ran as a Liberal in the territorial election last year.

“She has two signs on her lawn,” said Curtis.

He’s “appalled” at the rhetoric and falsehoods directed at his campaign. “There are other candidates that are doing a really stellar job, but no one is questioning their motives,” said Curtis. “They’re just going for the jugular.”

Though he has received donations, and some sizable in-kind contributions from friends and family, his campaign is largely self-financed.

“I can swear on a stack of bibles that I’ve not received one penny from any political party or any union, big business or mining company,” said Curtis.

But he’s reticent to put his money where his mouth is.

While he supports the idea, recently put forward by the NDP, of amending the Municipal Act to create some financial disclosure rules for municipal elections, he won’t commit to it during this race.

The people who donated to his campaign were under the impression that their support was confidential, said Curtis. “I must respect the confidentiality because I would not be respected if I broke that trust.”

For other candidates, disclosing their campaign contributions wouldn’t be difficult.

“Nobody gave me a cent,” said Scott Howell. “It makes it really easy.

“A lady gave me a break on the buttons and a guy made me some hats. There’s very little for me to disclose.”

The same goes for Bernie Phillips.

He’s paying for most things himself, even recycling some of the signs he had left over from his last run at city council 12 years ago.

When people offered him money for his campaign, he told them to give it to the food bank instead.

“In regards to all the money being spent now, it’s just getting out of hand,” said Phillips. “I have never seen so much signage, so many faces on the boardwalk thoroughfares.

“People do need to get out there, but at the same time I think that the money is better spent somewhere else.”

With stickers, T-shirts and quite a few signs of his own, Mandeep Sidhu has spent a fair amount on his campaign, but not all of it was on self promotion.

He’s hired four shuttle buses to ferry people to the polling stations.

“I don’t care who you’re voting for, you can just call these cellphones and they’ll come pick you up,” he said.

The phone numbers are posted on his Facebook page.

Both Sidhu and Rick Karp said they will disclose all their campaign contributions if elected.

“I think it’s time for openness,” said Karp.

During the last debate, Karp and Curtis got into a bit of a row after Karp brought up the rumours of undue political influence.

“I wanted to mention that I don’t have any political affiliation, I never have,” he said. “I wanted to make that statement clear that the municipal election is not the place for any territorial or national party to play any games.”

It wasn’t meant to be a slight against anyone, said Karp.

“I’ve worked with Dan at Skills Canada through my wife’s salon, and I have respect for Dan and the work that he’s done,” he said.

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