Charlottetown officially has a race for mayor.
Jamie Larkin, 48, who grew up in Borden-Carleton but moved to Charlottetown 31 years ago, told The Guardian on Friday he’s throwing his hat in the ring.
Municipal voters head to the polls to elect a new mayor and council on Monday, Nov. 5. Larkin is the second candidate to declare for mayor after Al Douglas announced his intentions earlier this year. Incumbent Mayor Clifford Lee said last week he will not seek a fifth term in office.
Larkin ran unsuccessfully for city council in the 2014 election, losing in Ward 1 to Eddie Rice by nine votes. Larkin asked for a recount, but it changed nothing.
Larkin said he sees Charlottetown as a capital city dedicated to providing an opportunity for everyone.
“Opportunity for all starts with implementing a pilot project for universal basic income and focusing on affordable housing,’’ Larkin said. “Universal basic income and affordable housing are necessary requirements to foster equity and equality in a society. Under the new mayor’s leadership, these values will strengthen as I work collectively with all people to ensure Charlottetown is a city of possibilities for everyone.’’
Like his father, Kenny, Larkin spent 10 years working on the Marine Atlantic ferries that used to run between Borden-Carleton and Cape Tormentine, N.B., before the Confederation Bridge opened in 1997.
More recently, he has worked in real estate and as a financial adviser with Investors Group.
In addition, Larkin sits on the board with Lennon House, dedicated to people suffering from addiction and mental health challenges, and the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry.
“My gut tells me now is the time (to run for mayor). I really want to have an impact on people’s lives. (Working as a financial adviser) is not a whole lot different from representing people as a politician. You listen very carefully to their goal and concernss and we work very closely to make a positive impact on their lives.’’
He sees the city as a place where small business owners and their employees thrive. His plan is to assess taxation, eliminate unnecessary restrictions to business owners and encourage innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
One restriction he mentioned, for example, would be to push the province to allow corner stores to sell beer and wine.
“I talk to a lot of small businesses . . . they find it hard sometimes. There are a lot of regulations. We want to make it more fluid for them; we want to be open for business. I want to work with Charlottetown residents and Charlottetown business people to encourage the local economy to circulate the money around. When it does well, we all do well.’’