Taking two weeks off from posting and election coverage
You won’t see any new posts from me for two weeks, while I take a vacation.
But I will be back with a flurry of new articles starting at the end of the month.
Please keep me posted with your comments on the election, candidates, debates, issues, scandals and anything else you want to mention.
See you back soon, Oct. 1.
Wit and barbs between candidates brightens up debate
(Written for the Town Crier Sept. 16)
Mayoral candidate Rob Ford, "It's hard to miss 300 lbs of fun" he said at debate. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
A few dozen people attended a somewhat lackluster mayoral debate focused on development issues.
Understandably debate’s organizers, the Building Owners and Managers Association, tailored their questions to issues about development charges, commercial property taxes and over-regulation of the industry.
But what made the Sept. 16 debate more lively was the banter, digs and comments between Joe Pantalone, Sarah Thomson, Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman, considered to be the frontrunners in the race for mayor.
When candidates were asked what they would do in the first 100 days in office to address spending, Ford was inadvertently passed by.
“You missed me. It’s hard to miss 300 pounds of fun,” Ford joked. Continue reading
Will York Centre council candidate win this time?
Toutchinksi’s been a runner up in previous elctions
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 2)
Igor Toutchinski is running in a crowded field of Ward 10 council candidates.
A two-time Ward 10 council candidate who was runner-up in the 2006 municipal election race hoping he’ll emerge victorious this time around.
In 2006, in a field of seven candidates, Igor Toutchinski came second to Councillor Mike Feldman, who recently announced he won’t seek re-election.
But even with no incumbent, it’ll be a tough race. As of press time, Toutchinski was up against nine other candidates.
“This race will be very tight,” Toutchinski said. “The winner will win with a small amount of votes.”
He said his advantage is his profile in the Russian community, which is large in North York. According to Toutchinski, about a quarter of all eligible voters in Ward 10 are of Russian background. Continue reading
Former city planner runs for council
Friedman is running in York Centre in wide open race
(Written Sept. 2 for Town Crier.)
Jarred Friedman is running in Ward 10.
Local resident Jarred Friedman is running in ward 10 to improve safety, planning and transit and to keep spending in check.
Residents want to be better informed and engaged in the planning process, said Friedman, who is fluent in French, English, Hebrew and Yiddish.
Considering Friedman was a planner with the City of Edmonton and has worked on projects in Toronto, he’s confident his experience will be an asset.
“I can give my advice on planning issues. I have knowledge of municipal government and experience holding public meetings,” said the York Centre council candidate.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 10, candidate, centre, city, Friedman, Jarred, Kris Scheuer, planner, Town Crier, ward, York
Mayor jokes about running again as nominations close
Sept 10 last day for candidates to sign up in this election
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 10)
Outgoing Mayor David Miller joked about making a last minute filing to run again moments before nominations closed Sept. 10. Town Crier file photo.
Mayor David Miller strolled into the city council chambers about 10 minutes before 2 p.m. nomination deadline waiving $200 in his hand.
Was Miller going to change his mind and register at the last possible moment for the job he’s held for two terms?
No, he was just having a bit of fun with the media who were gathered to see the final tally of who is running for the top job, council seats and various school boards.
However, Miller did use the opportunity to urge Torontonians to get out and vote on Oct. 25.
“Vote for … A city that welcomes everyone from around the world and builds for the future,” he said. “That is the kind of Toronto I want my children to grow up in and that’s the kind of Toronto that the vast majority of Torontonians want to see.” Continue reading
Questions arisen over whether he’s paying enough for campaign office
Some say yes, others say no
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 9)
Chris Sellors at his campaign office at 1973 Yonge St. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
Questions are being raised about the price and location of Ward 22 council candidate Chris Sellors’campaign headquarters.
Sellors opened his office Sept. 1 at 1973 Yonge St., signing what the Town Crier has learned is a two-month lease agreement totaling $3,616 ($1,500 in rent plus $100 in utilities each month, plus HST) for the 1,100 square feet of space.
The 102-square metre vacant storefront, formerly Vittorio’s Restaurant, is now part of a recently approved residential redevelopment by property owners Kilbarry Holding Corp. Sellors worked on this development file as Councillor Michael Walker’s executive assistant but said he’s had nothing to do with the project since March.
A source close to Sellors campaign raised questions about the lease to theTown Crier and spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity.
“It seems like an unusual agreement you wouldn’t see in the industry, which makes me question how it came to be,” the source said in a Sept. 5 interview. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged Biddington, campaign, Chris, election, Josh, Kilbarry, Kris Scheuer, lease, market, Matlow, office, rent, Sellors, Town Crier
Fines, jail time await those convicted of taking illegal donations
(Written Sept. 9 for Town Crier.)
The stakes are high for both a candidate who may accept, and a corporation or union that may give an illegal campaign donation.
The Municipal Elections Act states the difference between the amount paid for a good or service and market value is considered a contribution and sincedonations from trade unions and corporations are banned in Toronto, paying anything less than market value for a good or service from a corporation or a union would be considered a breach of the act.
Individuals found guilty under the act could be fined up to $25,000 and if they knowingly contravened the act also face six months in jail. A corporation can be fined up to $50,000. Continue reading
True to form, North York councillor waits until the end to register
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 7)
Councillor David Shiner is the last incumbent to make his intentions known in the election.
He got in just under the wire, but Willowdale Councillor David Shiner is running for re-election.
Shiner signed up on Sept. 7, just days before the Sept. 10 deadline.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people asking me to remain on council,” he said in an interview today after he registered.
“It’s extremely important that there’s good representation with a history of the suburbs. A number of my colleagues with history have left,” said Shiner.
Howard Moscoe, Mike Feldman, Brian Ashton and Case Ootes are all retiring from city politics represent North York, Scarborough and East York.
Because of that turnover, Shiner said his experience will come in handy if he wins re-election.
“This council was divided with the way the mayor worked,” said Shiner, who is not a fan of outgoing Mayor David Miller. “I plan to bring that experience and offer it to the new mayor.”
First time candidate runs in competitive Don Valley West race
Local resident, volunteer and interpreter hopes for electoral success
(Written for Town Crier Aug. 20.)
Tanvir Ahmed is a ward 26 candidate.
Thorncliffe resident Tanvir Ahmed said it’s his desire to work for the community that prompted him to run in Don Valley West’s Ward 26.
He’s a volunteer with the Thorncliffe PS Council, a soccer coach at the school and has helped plan local family events for the local elementary school.
“It is very important for me to be involved, for the children to be involved and everyone else to be involved,” he said. “There are so many issues that need our involvement in the community. Otherwise we can’t solve those issues: unemployment, overcrowding.”
Before moving to Canada in 1999, Ahmed worked in legal services for the National Development Finance Corporation in Pakistan for 11 years. Continue reading
Veteran councillor says he’s lone leading progressive candidate
Pantalone would continue Miller legacy but with less taxes
(Written for Town Crier Sept.1)
Mayoral hopeful Joe Pantalone during a Sept. 1 Town Crier editorial board meeting. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Joe Pantalone says he’s running against four right wing candidates in the mayoral contest, which will bode well for him on Oct. 25.
Pantalone told a Town Crier editorial board he offers a clear choice for voters whereas Rob Ford, George Smitherman, Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi offer varying degrees of the same.
“I’m the only progressive candidate for mayor,” Pantalone said.
“I’m running against a bunch of mini-Mike Harrises. All of them want to sell something. All of them want to contract out something. All of them want to shrink the city in terms of what we spend while the population is growing.”
Pantalone railed on several of his opponents’ ideas, including Smitherman’s idea to privatize some TTC bus routes, Rossi’s pledge to sell Toronto Hydro and what he says is Ford’s unrealistic notion of spending. Continue reading