Brantford Mayoral Election 2010

While I tell everyone I live in Brantford, technically I don’t. I live just outside the city, in Brant County, so I don’t get to vote for a mayor in Brantford. But one comment by one particular candidate caught my attention recently.

It was Mark Littell, and the comment was this one:

Calling on city hall to be more “open and transparent,” Friel suggested reinventing the economy of Brantford from its old failed platform as a “metal bashing town” into higher–tech industry. Specifically, he mentioned videogame design as a possibility.

Game design these days isn’t a high tech profession so much as it is a creative one. Look at the credits for some big recent games and you’ll see very few developers, but potentially hundreds of people working as artists and actors and in various creative roles.

Years ago Brantford was a real manufacturing center, but so much of that has closed down now that the younger generation just isn’t going in that direction. And judging from Brantford’s reputation as crime and teen pregnancy capitals, they aren’t going anywhere good. Meanwhile, the game business is primarily staffed by younger folks. Mohawk College in Brantford has graphic design courses and I know a number of people with creative skills but nowhere to work. I think this could be a good fit for Brantford.

Now, game design isn’t a glamorous industry, as ea_spouse made clear some years ago. But I think that’s the exception and not the rule. And it’s a better industry than no industry.

Looking at Littell’s website, he’s promoting bring GO Transit to Brantford which I think would be awesome (that’s the rail transit system that connects cities from Hamilton to Toronto), and was a driving force behind the South Colborne plan (which involved taking down some buildings which, while historic, nobody wanted, and were just falling down.

So if I was in Brantford, that’s who I’d vote for. Meanwhile in Brant County where I live, in my ward, there are 2 counsellors running for 2 seats, so not much choice there, and so far none of the mayoral candidates jumps out at me. Need to do some more reading there.