Dawn Arnold launched her campaign on March 4th, marking the start of her bid for Mayor of Moncton.
Arnold was first elected in 2012 and served as Councillor at Large for those four years. When asked why she decided to run for Mayor, she said, “I believe that our city right now is on the cusp of really great things. There is huge potential in our city, but we need someone who is able to take that potential and move Moncton forward, and I believe that I am the candidate who can do that.”
According to Arnold, she has been a leader and a builder of our community for the last 18 years, and this is one of the reasons why she is the best candidate for Mayor. She said, “I wake up every morning honestly thinking about how I can enhance the prosperity and build our community.”
She has lived in Moncton for almost 19 years and has been involved in cultivating the Frye Festival since 2000. She became interested in politics after listening to American politicians while on vacation in the U.S. in 2012. “There was something on CNN in the hotel room talking about something the Republicans were doing in the U.S. that I had thought had been solved many years before and it struck me as kind of regressive and I thought, ‘Hmm, I wish there were more women around the table making decisions,’ because I don’t think a decision like this would have been made. And it struck me that I needed to run for politics.” After she returned to Moncton, she put in her nomination for Councillor at Large and won.
During her time on Council, she became known for her presence on social media, where she would post details about meetings and other goings-on at city hall. “I really wanted at the very least during my tenure for people to understand a little bit more about what goes on at City Hall, and I think I’ve accomplished that.”
Her top priority if elected is to make the city more open for businesses, by reducing barriers and red tape, and also by getting the various groups at City Hall working more closely together. In particular, Arnold hopes to help out the development community, from whom she has heard the most grievances.
When it comes to youth, Arnold is concerned about ensuring that young people have a vibrant city that makes them want to stay in Moncton, and her approach is to focus on revitalizing Downtown Moncton. She has been the chair of the Downtown Revitalization Committee for the last 4 years and has put incentives in place to help attract developers to the downtown area. Currently, our downtown area is 46% parking space, which she sees as wasted potential.
She also has a youth committee for her campaign to advise her on what youth would like to see happen to the city in the future. Some suggestions given to her were to have more activities in the downtown area and expand on the Moncton Market, as well as having more meaningful jobs available and a more exciting city in order to attract young people back to Moncton; all of which Arnold hopes to make happen.
Arnold is also interested in creating more livable neighbourhoods. She has a four-point test for neighbourhoods: the ice cream test, the date test, the parade test, and the trick-or-treat test. “Are the homes close enough that if you are out trick-or-treating, you can get lots of candy? . . . Is there a place that you can walk to, to go out on a date? . . . Is there a place that you can walk to, get an ice cream, and walk to something else before the ice cream melts? And does it pass the parade test, which is, is there a place where the community can come together and meet?” According to Arnold, these are the four factors that make a livable and healthy community.
When asked what she likes most about Moncton, Arnold replied that she loves the people of Moncton, its Anglophone and Francophone cultures, and the can-do attitude of its citizens when faced with hard times. She also loves the Petitcodiac River. “I think it is beautiful, and I never understood how people who have lived here their whole lives didn’t find it beautiful.”
For more information about Dawn Arnold, check out her website: http://dawnarnold.ca/
Voting day is on May 9th and any Canadian citizen and resident of Moncton who is at least 18 years old can vote.