The title of this column looks almost like the title of a book. But there’s no question we now have “The Milobar Factor” in play as we lead up to next May’s provincial election. The Mayor is going to be under all sorts of scrutiny over the next few months, but as my colleague, the Armchair Mayor says, we need to cut him a bit of slack. First of all, he has done nothing wrong by seeking the Liberal nomination. Those who would accuse him of opportunism are blind to reality. We always need to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities, and even though the taxpayers will foot the bill for a new civic election if he succeeds in May, you can’t fault him for taking advantage of the opportunity. So let’s not worry about that. It will be what it will be.
The biggest thing Milobar will have to worry about is how he’s going to divide his time over the next five months. Some ask “why are we so worried about Milobar and not Donovan Cavers?” Cavers, of course, is running for the Greens, but it’s not the same. The Mayor’s position is a full time job. In fact, it’s more than full time. And running for political office is a more than full time job. Being on the campaign trail will take a huge amount of time. And let’s not forget the Mayor is also on the Board of the TNRD. That’s where the Milobar Factor comes in. Is it reasonable to assume that Milobar can find adequate time to do both jobs? I don’t know. But it’s also not reasonable to think he should resign at this point. While he may be the odds-on favorite to win the riding, it’s not a guarantee, and if the NDP should actually put a few good issues on the table, instead of the rhetoric they’re spouting so far, who knows what will happen. And don’t rule out Dan Hines of the Green Party either. He is quite able to duel the Mayor in any debate, and could well be a force.
The Mayor’s job is first of all to be the Mayor. That has to come first. We’re paying good money for his service. The provincial campaign has to come second - a distant second in my books. I think Peter Milobar is smart enough to have a plan figured out that will, at the very least, give him reasonable time in both camps. If not, he could face a backlash from voters May 9th that could cost him votes. The Milobar Factor may well play an interesting role in this coming campaign.