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Mayoral candidate Nicholas A. Ross eyes housing crisis, transit

Ran for the mayor's chair in 2014, receiving 112 votes
Nicholas A. Ross was the third candidate to register for the mayoral race in the Oct. 24 municipal election.

Combating the housing crisis is the top priority for mayoral candidate Nicholas A. Ross, but it’s not the only one.

The 43-year-old downtown resident, who also ran for mayor in 2014, believes the cost of local housing has gotten to the point where it’s dominated by “rich” people and tenants don’t have enough rights.

“They think they own you,” Ross, who is non-verbal and responded to questions with hand-written responses, said of landlords. 

Other top-of-mind issues for the Guelph-born-and-raised candidate include creating a more walkable community with improved transit, especially from an accessibility standpoint.

“It should be free for the disabled, with no doctor’s note,” Ross said of city transit. 

He also urges changes on several issues under provincial jurisdiction, such as strengthened rights for renters and free post-secondary education for people with disabilities.

“It’s hard for them to get it,” Ross said of education.

The Ontario Disability Support Program recipient also favours rule changes to labour laws.

“Why not have 24 (hour) stores hire people to work at night for free or (give them) free food and somewhere to stay,” he wrote in an email. 

“Some people would work for free because they are rich,” he added. “They will get something back, if they don't want it, why not just give it away to someone who is in need?”

Ross ran for the mayor’s chair in 2014 and garnered 112 votes in a race between seven candidates.

He believes he would have received more votes but said some people didn't take his campaign seriously and/or didn't know his name.

“Back in 2014 people who I knew, I told them like I'm running for mayor but they thought that I was joking around but I wasn't,” Ross wrote in an email. “Then they saw me on the TV or internet. They already voted for someone else, (so) it was too late.”

Asked during an interview what background he has that would make him a good mayor, Ross responded, “I’m nice.”

Also in the running for mayor during the next term are Danny Drew, John Edward Krusky and incumbent Cam Guthrie. The deadline to file nomination papers to join the race is 2 p.m. on Friday.

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Richard Vivian

About the Author: Richard Vivian

Richard Vivian is an award-winning journalist and longtime Guelph resident. He joined the GuelphToday team as assistant editor in 2020, largely covering municipal matters and general assignment duties
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