Monthly Archives: September 2009

David Miller’s vision for Toronto

Before David Miller became mayor, he spelled out his view for the city
My interview with him in 2002 before he became mayor
A look back now that Miller’s announced he won’t run again
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written for Town Crier Nov. 7/2002)

“I think the city faces a great future, but only if we have great leadership and I don’t think we do now,” Parkdale High-Park councillor David Miller told a small crowd, who had gathered to hear him speak at a Rosedale gallery. 
Miller, who wants to be the city’s next mayor, spoke and answered questions on Nov. 6 at D&E Lake Limited on Yonge St. north of Summerhill subway station.
“I have no idea who else is running. I’m the only one who has announced candidacy publicly. I think Mel Lastman wants to run again. It’s possible he will run again. If he doesn’t, there could be four or five candidates come forth,” he said.
“I do know that City Hall has a lot of problems now,” he said referring, in part, to the MFP computer leasing scandal, which is being investigated by police and through a public inquiry. 
“I’m worried about where the city is going,” Miller said in an interview. Continue reading

Mayor Miller’s family ties

David Miller cited his family as reason he’s not running again
I have seen his focus on son, daughter, wife even when media cameras aren’t on
By Kris Scheuer

I was at the press conference yesterday when Mayor Miller announced he would not seek a third term in the 2010 city election.
I have covered city hall since 2001 at time he was a Parkdale-High Park councillor. And one of my vivid memories is as a Town Crier reporter covering his election win in 2003 as mayor. The atmosphere was like a rock concert, but the lead of my story at the time was that on the biggest night of his political life he remembered and was focused on his family: wife Jill Arthur and especially son Simon and daughter Julia.
To read that 2003 election win article, click here to read what I mean.
There’s also a terrific article in The Globe & Mail today by veteran reporter Jennifer Lewington where she has an exclusive sit down with the mayor hours after his announcement.

Who will be next Toronto mayor?

Mayor David Miller won’t run in next election, he announced today
Here’s a list of early possible contenders for 2010 mayoralty race
By Kris Scheuer
(Join the debate below, see update here.)

I attended David Miller’s press conference at 10 am today when he declared he won’t seek a third term as Toronto’s mayor.
For that story, click here.
In the hours that followed myself and colleague Karolyn Coorsh heard about a number of possible candidates for mayor. Keep in mind that we spoke to just a handful of politicians and strategists, so this is just an initial list of contenders. And the next city election is 14 months away.
Tell me if you would vote for any of them or would like to see someone else run instead.
Possible Toronto mayoralty candidates for 201o that were mentioned to me and fellow Town Crier reporter Karolyn today. Keep in mind these names were told to us as possibilities only. No one has officially thrown their hat in the ring, yet. Continue reading

Miller won’t seek re-election in 2010

Mayor David Miller announces today he won’t run in next election
Wants to spend more time with wife Jill and their kids Julia and Simon
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept. 25 for Town Crier.)

David Miller at the Zhong Mua Men Archway opening on Sept. 12. He won't run for a third term as mayor.

The race for mayor is now wide open.
Mayor David Miller announced today he won’t run for re-election in 2010, saying his family played a big part in his decision.
“I will not be seeking a third term as mayor of Toronto,” Miller said with his wife Jill Arthur, son Simon and daughter Julia by his side.
“Both my children were born after I was first elected in 1994,” he said at his city hall office.
“If I were to be re-elected in 2010 and serve until 2014, my daughter would be in university and my son would be about to graduate from high school.”
After his re-election in 2006, Miller made a private decision not to run again in 2010, though he had considered a third run for mayor. 
He met last week with his core campaign team, including John Laschinger and Patrick Gossage. 
“They were excited about the campaign, confident about my record and a message we would present to the people of Toronto,” Miller said. “But after that meeting, I consulted with my family and decided I had to make this announcement today. Continue reading

Eco school status spreading in Toronto

Maurice Cody PS shows how it’s done
Leaside school achieves new platinum ecological rating
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Aug. 14 for Town Crier)

Maurice Cody Public School’s garden has become a haven for the neighbourhood. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Environmental consciousness in schools is spreading like dandelions on a large pesticide-free lawn.
The Toronto District School Board boasted 259 eco-certified schools in the 2007–2008 academic year and that’s expanded to 310 in 2008–2009.
Being an eco school means not just teaching students about the environment but putting those lessons into practise. Schools in the program conduct waste audits and minimize garbage on site, conserve energy and create sustainable school grounds.
Not only is the number of eco-schools growing in the board, but so is the level of environmental stewardship. Continue reading

Burning biosolids in the beach?

Incineration was one of three options to dispose of wastewater sludge
But it’s not being recommended for Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant
By Kris Scheuer
(Written  Sept. 10 for Town Crier.)

If you read the draft of the biosolids treatment plan for Ashbridges Bay you could be forgiven for thinking incineration maybe coming back to the Beach.
Incineration, also known as “thermal energy”, is listed in the report as one of three possible options but officials tell the Town Crier that burning biosolids at the site is no longer on the table.
“All the options for each plant site were evaluated,” said Deborah Ross with consultant firm AECOM, which is producing Toronto’s Biosolids Master Plan. “Thermal energy ranked high, but it’s not being recommended.” 
Instead, the plan is recommending the waste be converted into biosolid cake and used as fertilizer or, as a second or temporary option, sending the material to landfill. Continue reading

How swimmable are Toronto beaches?

The city tested eleven beaches daily in swim season
Here is a wrap up of how clean the water was summer ’09
Some beaches safe daily, others posted high levels of E.coli
By Kris Scheuer

BW Saundercook2.jpg

Councillor Bill Saundercook swims at Sunnyside in mid-June with his wedding suit on to promote how safe it is. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

It’s a little chilly for a dive in the lake at any of Toronto’s beaches now, but these hot spots are packed all summer.
Interestingly, most people go down for a stroll on the boardwalk or walk their dog, but not for a swim in the water.
But our beaches are top notch, in most cases. In fact seven of them fly a Blue Flag, which is an international rating.
And the city tests beach water daily from June 1 to the first week of September.
So just how well did Toronto’s 11 beaches stack up this season?
Take a look for yourself.
Continue reading