Moncton — Confusion reigned on election night in the Hub City as a grassroots write-in campaign resulted in Tim Horton being voted as the city’s new mayor.
Although he had no organized campaign, advertising or support staff — and has himself been dead since 1974 — Horton appears to have carried the day through his strong name recognition among Moncton voters.
“I’ve never met the man myself,” said Ted Stevenson. “But everywhere I went I was seeing his signs all over town. I thought anyone popular enough to get that much support has to be OK.”
Famous for having more Tim Hortons outlets per capita than almost anywhere in the world, Monctonians are among the most loyal supporters of the brand. Low voter turnout, combined with even lower political literacy, conspired to give Horton more votes than all other candidates combined. The result created election night panic among Elections NB officials, who refused to comment about how the city would actually function with a democratically elected mayor who is both no longer alive and an international corporation.
However, Horton voters were clear when asked who they wanted in charge.
“I already knew his name before the campaign even started,” said Laureen McNaughton. “But then I saw him inside the new Canadian Tire store and everyone’s real excited that he’s opening up two more stores at the airport. He’s good for the economy, good for creating jobs. He’s the man for us.”
However, the results are also being slammed by those who say the new mayor has much to answer for.
“So the guy who leaves his empty cups all over the place is running things at city hall now? I guess that shows what we think about the environment in this town,” said Sophie Cormier-Doiron, president of the Greater Moncton Green Action Committee. “While other cities are taxing sugary soft drinks, here we elect somebody who sells donuts to kids and blocks the bike lanes with cars waiting in line at the drive-thru. Classic Moncton.”