The Mac is back: Former Ward 3 councillor running again
Former long-time councillor Bernie MacDonald is coming out of political retirement to run in this October's municipal election.
MacDonald has been out of politics for four years, but the last time the 28-year council veteran ran he won in a landslide with 78 per cent of the vote.
Still, with several new candidates already making inroads in Ward 3, many are asking what his chances are this time around.
MacDonald officially filed his paperwork on Tuesday and says, "I figure I can go back and do a good job, I love this city, and I think I can add something to council."
Now in his early 70s, he says the family health issues that played a role in his retirement are resolving themselves and he has the time and energy to serve northeast London once again.
Decades ago he fought to allow women to become firefighters and led the charge for the city's first graffiti bylaw.
Now he's weighing in on the biggest hot button issue thus far in the campaign - whether to support construction of a performing arts centre.
"The blue-collar worker, the average Londoner is not in favour of it as far as I'm concerned," he says.
During his 28 years representing Ward 3 MacDonald's popularity was undeniable, but three other candidates want to fill the Ward 3 seat vacated by Joe Swan for his run for mayor.
Candidate Bill Harris says of MacDonald, "He has done a lot of great things for this neighbourhood but the question I have for Ward 3 voters is do we want to step back or move forward?"
Mo Salih is also running and adds "I do believe that we need long-term investment and a long-term vision and I believe I am the candidate that can deliver that."
And candidate Claudette J. Drouin says, "The voters who vote will decide, they'll either vote for me or vote for him."
Still, after watching the turbulent last four years at city hall, MacDonald thinks Londoners want a return to the good old days.
"I'm just hoping that when I get back on there, things will turn around and we will get it back to the way it was."
MacDonald had filed his paperwork earlier this year, only to withdraw it because of family issues, but he says he is now ready to get back on the campaign trail this fall.