City candidate uninvited to Grit forum

Jennifer Wood running for city council was invited to Liberal forum
But Ward 29 candidate was uninvited when she didn’t agree to conditions
By Kris Scheuer
(Written March 11 for Town Crier.)

Ward 29 candidate Jennifer Wood. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wood.

Ward 29 city candidate Jennifer Wood was snubbed from a recent forum held by the Toronto Danforth Provincial Liberal Riding Association after refusing to sign a release stating she wouldn’t run against the Grits in future provincial or federal elections.
Wood first reached out to the Liberal association to speak about her candidacy.
The association contacted her with info about the March 8 forum to introduce Liberal-friendly council hopefuls to their members.
She was originally invited to the forum.
“They had three questions,” Wood said days after the forum. “Why I’m running, the credentials I’d bring and the third thing was an agreement not to run provincially or federally against any Liberal candidate in the future.”Wood is not a Liberal Party member but does support the party with monthly financial contributions.
“I told them I find it off-putting for them not to want to hear from a council candidate,” she said. “It’s pretty discouraging for them not to
consider me on my own merits. I take offence to that.”
Grant Worden, president of the Liberal riding association, confirmed Wood’s story.
“That’s true,” he said. “(Wood) was always welcome to attend, but people invited to speak to the group had to indicate to the Liberal association
they wouldn’t run for another party provincially or federally in future elections.”
Worden said the forum was not an all-candidates debate.
“We are interested in supporting candidates who support Liberal issues.”
In addition, the provincial association is not formally endorsing anyone.
In the end, Jane Pitfield was the lone candidate for Ward 29. One candidate from Ward 30 and one from Ward 32 also attended.
“I am working with the Toronto Danforth Liberals as I am with many groups,” said Pitfield, a former Don Valley West councillor. “I was invited to participate in this forum and I was delighted to participate.”
“I am a non-partisan person,” said Pitfield, who currently is not a member of any political party.
Pitfield said she wasn’t asked to sign a release stating she would not run against the Liberals in the future, but did give verbal assurances.
“I simply stated my interest is to return to city hall and I have no interest in running provincially,” she said.

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3 responses to “City candidate uninvited to Grit forum

  1. For those that don’t know Ken, have a gander at his video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJmCKxIs0iU

  2. votejohnrichardson

    Kris:

    Thanks for your continuing coverage of the election. The municipal election is the only election, where all candidates are (or should be) truly independent. Since there are no political parties (at least formally) in the Toronto elections, candidates are entirely free to represent the interests of people in the ward.

    This is a welcome change from the provincial and federal elections where elected representatives are expected to “toe the party line”.

    The fact that candidates are expected to represent the interests of the voters (and not a political party) means that one’s vote does “make a difference”. Yet, a majority of people don’t take the time to vote. The residents of Toronto should take responsibility to “make a difference” and get out and vote on October 25.

    Thanks again for your continuing coverage.

    John Richardson – Candidate Ward 29

    • Hi John,
      There is so much interest in the Ward 29 race, so I hope to give more coverage to this race between now and election day Oct. 25. I also plan to interview you and all candidates for Ward 29 again for the paper I work for, Town Crier. In the meantime, thanks for your comments.

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