Will York Centre council candidate win this time?
Toutchinksi’s been a runner up in previous elctions
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 2)
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.
Back in 1992 he co-founded Russian Canadian Broadcasting Company, which includes TV, radio programming and a weekly newspaper.
“I started my business from zero,” said Toutchinski, who is currently the company’s CEO.
Born in the Ukraine in 1957, Toutchinski’s been a journalist for 30 years, working in Canada, Israel and Russia.
Fluent in English, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish, he is no stranger to political races. He also ran provincially in York Centre for the Progressive Conservatives in 2007, garnering 32 percent of the vote for a second place finish against Liberal MPP Monte Kwinter.
Toutchinski said he gets calls from radio listeners asking for solutions to city problems in the ward, including crime.
“The parking lots in large apartment buildings, there are some criminals selling drugs. I spoke with police and they said they know about the problem,” he said.
As well, some garage doors of apartment buildings are broken allowing people to enter the parking lots and steal or vandalize cars, he said.
There is also a lot of community opposition to a redevelopment proposal at Bathurst Manor plaza on Wilmington Avenue to build nearly 400 residential units, he said.
He said the area’s sewer system and school couldn’t handle the added population the redevelopment would bring.
“I will fight against this issue,” he said.
To help ease congestion, he wants to see express buses, expanded transit and synchronized traffic lights to keep cars moving.
He is endorsing Councillor Rob Ford for mayor and likes his style of customer service.
“Constituents, like customers, are always right,” Toutchinski said. For more information, visit his website.