Charles Wiebe throws hat into Regina mayoral ring
A sixth candidate now wants to take a shot at the mayor's chair.
Friday at noon saw 37-year-old Charles Wiebe announce that he's throwing his hat into the ring. He joins a field of five others who have declared their intentions, including current city councilor Michael Fougere.
Wiebe spoke to the media outside his Cathedral neighbourhood home. The former transit driver is tall and muscular, but also soft-spoken and generous; he even baked cookies for reporters before the announcement.
Among his concerns are a need for the city to do more for poverty-stricken Reginans. Wiebe says he plans to lead by example, pledging to give half his salary to local charities if he wins the October vote.
"I can sustain my life on about half of what the mayor's salary is," he explained. "The other half, when payday happens, it will go to whatever charity or organization gets these things done."
Wiebe currently works for a local charity. He feels there are people being left behind in Regina, which is part of the reason why he's on the fence when it comes to a new stadium.
"I think it's a little bit irresponsible to make the mission be 'build a new stadium no matter what the cost.' Sports is an important part of our local culture here; it's really important. But I think (it's irresponsible) throwing a bunch of millions of dollars at it when there's other stuff that could use money like that."
He also wants to see more done to include First Nations people in city business, including having more First Nations input in city committees.
Wiebe is quick to praise the current mayor and council, insisting they have done some good things in the beleaguered North Central neighbourhood. He also praises the city for including a Treaty 4 flag outside City Hall and for putting a statue of Chief Piapot on the premises.
As far as campaigning goes Wiebe admits he's the kind of person who best connects with people face-to-face. He admits made his announcement now so that he can spend the next four months out in the public, meeting people and spreading his message at a grassroots level.
Mayoral candidates have until September 19 to file their papers and become an official candidate.