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Maclennan hopes to go straight from the closet to mayor's chair

If elected he will become the first openly gay mayor of North Bay

The list of candidates running for North Bay's top political job swelled to three today when North Bay Pride Communications Officer Jason Maclennan announced he has "come out of the closet to run for Mayor in the City of North Bay."

In a news release, Maclennan refers to the fact council was named the most secretive in Canada.

See: An embarrassing win! North Bay most secretive municipal government in Canada says journalist's group

“I been in the closet hiding my true authentic self for many years, but when I finally came out of the closet and was transparent that I was openly gay, the world for me was a better place," states Maclennan. "It is my belief; you cannot be hiding your deals from the community when you are in public office. And to get this 'honorable' mention as the most secretive council, is an embarrassment for all of us."

Maclennan says council's secrecy makes him scratch his head.

"if you were part of this council, what would you do differently moving forward, or maybe you just should not run again. How do you work for the city, when you do not talk to the people that live in the city? It does not work.“

Transparency is becoming a common theme for new candidates for council. On the weekend, council candidate Jamie Lowery made that a main plank in his platform also.

See: Lowery pledges improved transparency and access to City Hall

Maclennan says the City has grown, but asks "for who?"

“Not the homeless. Not the low-income folks. Not small business owners. Not seniors. Not the people who are first-time home buyers. I have noticed, that the city council talks about the new businesses who come to town, but they never talk about the businesses we have lost or moved out of town, but this would be part of being transparent wouldn’t it?” 

He adds that community collaboration is missing from city council.

"We need seniors to tell us their needs, we need places like West Ferris to tell us their needs because it will be different than Airport Hill. We need advisory committees that are endorsed by city council. Maybe if this was the process before, the city would have remembered simple things like adding change rooms to the fields they built for millions.

“Businesses are about creating opportunity for the few like CEOs. The government is supposed to be about creating opportunities for everyone. That is what is missing, that is what we will change. That is how we will grow and end things like homelessness.”

Maclennan, presently a Canada Post employee,  has worked with North Bay Pride since 2017.

He points to its growth, which is "beyond what anyone expected."

"This clearly shows he can grow events and the city for all, not just the few," says the release. 

Maclennan is a former community relations and business manager andhas lived in North Bay since 2005.

"Jason will be the first openly gay mayor in North Bay if elected," adds the release.

Papers will be filed in the next few weeks.

Get more information and see his platform here.

Maclennan joins Peter Chirico and Johanne Brousseau in the race for mayor.

 The next municipal election will be held Monday, October 24,