Monthly Archives: October 2010

Toronto a day in the life 14

Why people love Rob Ford, or think they do
Kris Scheuer

So mayor-elect Rob Ford was voted in. I talk politics all day at work as a reporter with my colleagues and other journalists. I interview politicians, residents, business people about the decisions at city hall. Then I talk with friends and loved ones more about this city, life, news, politics. I listen, read and watch politics. Ahh…
But I can always use more of a reality check into what people I don’t know think about politics and the election. I’d love to hear what you think: what are you excited about, confused about, fearful of with a new mayor Rob Ford about to take the helm?
Let me share with you some comments I overheard from strangers having conversations about Rob Ford’s policies post-election.

First up: Tuesday Oct. 26 the day after the election. It was raining. The streetcar took 15-20 minutes to arrive. It was standing room only with very little room for any more passengers when I overheard a woman ask the streetcar driver about Rob Ford’s policy to get rid of Toronto streetcars.
I could not hear well enough or get close enough to hear their 15-minute discussion on the likelihood of streetcars being shelved. But it was interesting to hear her raise this concern about what she heard regarding Rob Ford’s intentions.
During the mayoral campaign, Rob Ford spoke often about getting rid of some streetcars and replacing them with buses.
In his transit plan on page 2 he writes, ” We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars. Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes.  This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users.”
“It will also improve traffic flow,” Ford’s transit plan states.
“Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reducedpurchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.” Continue reading

Who, where Rob Ford got votes

Poll results show what areas of the city voted in Ford for mayor
Was it downtown, suburbs that gave him most support?
Kris Scheuer

Rob Ford greets young boy

Rob Ford is mayor-elect in Toronto having gotten 383,501 votes to win.
In second place was George Smitherman with 289,832 votes. Ford beat Smitherman with 93,669 more votes.
The mayor is elected city-wide, but what areas of T.O were Ford’s biggest supporters from? Curious? I was.
Today, the city election office released poll-by-poll results for all mayoral candidates. This let us know which of the 44 wards Rob Ford got his support from and where second-place finisher George Smitherman won his votes. Let’s take a look (and check this out to see where past mayor’s got their support).
On average here is the breakdown:
In Scarborough’s 10 wards Ford overwhelmingly beat Smitherman.
In Etobicoke’s 6 wards picked Ford by a huge margin.
More voters in York’s 6 wards loved Ford too than Smitherman.
North York and Don Valley wards also loved Ford.
Parkdale-High Park and the downtown core loved Smitherman.
Midtown was split with half of it voting more for Ford and the eastern part voting more for Smitherman.
Davenport (west end of downtown) half of it voted Ford and the other half supported Smitherman.
Four wards in Beaches, East York, Riverdale, east end: three wards sided with Smitherman and one ward wit Ford. Continue reading

Toronto councilors and mayor elected

Rob Ford elected new mayor
Some incumbent councillors lose
New faces on 45-member city council
Kris Scheuer

Mayor-elect Rob Ford at the Town Crier's editorial board. Town Crier file photo.

Here’s a run down of the winners, upsets, and top place results for the Oct. 25 vote.
Of the possible 1,546,732 eligible voters, voter turnout was about 52.6 percent, which is up from the 2006 election with 39.3 percent.
RESULTS: Toronto here’s your new mayor and 44 councillors.
Are you pleased with the results for mayor and council seats? Please let me know…
Mayor-elect is Rob Ford with 383,501 votes for 47.11 percent followed by George Smitherman in second with 289,832 for 35.6 percent, according to the city’s website. Of course, 38 other mayoral candidates were on the ballot and results for each can be found here and may vary as the city updates the election results.
Here are the councillors-elect for all 44 wards with a list of each winner and closest runner-up. For a full list of all candidates votes in each race, click here.
Etobicoke-North Ward 1:  Vincent Crisanti won with 40.75% of the vote ousting incumbent councillor Suzan Hall, who got 36.96%.

Ward 22 elects Josh Matlow

St. Paul’s school trustee to be next ward councillor
Chris Sellors comes second in hard-fought contest
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 25)

Newly elected Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow gets a celebratory hug from his mother Elaine Mitchell. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

The battle for Ward 22 is over and school board trustee Josh Matlow has come out on top.
Matlow won with 11,892 votes while Chris Sellors came second with 8,037 votes.
At his victory celebration councillor elect-Matlow, surrounded by supporters including his wife Melissa, father Ted Matlow and his mom Elaine Mitchell, expressed his gratitude to all those who helped him during the campaign.
“I am deeply appreciative,” Josh Matlow told the Town Crier tonight after his victory speech. “I woke up this morning knowing I was going to win because of the response we had at the door.”

Continue reading

Heated Ward 26 debate

Don Valley West race a hot one and it shows
Debate in Leaside drew laughs, shouting and boos
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 20)

WARD 26 CANDIDATES Salim Nawab Khan, left, Shaukat Malik, Yunus Pandor and John Parker answered questions from a packed house at the Leaside Memorial Gardens. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Ward 26 all-candidates debate was hot last night and not just because 250 people packed a room inside Leaside Memorial Gardens.
There were questions on job creation, heritage, the arts, transit among others, but things got quite heated when resident Lise Lareau asked who distributed anonymous literature denouncing Mohamed Dhanani’s record.
The one-pager, accuses Dhanani of inflating his resume, being involved in the billion dollar e-health spending scandal when he worked for former health minister George Smitherman. It also questions what Dhanani has promised in exchange for an endorsement of the Toronto York Labour Council.
Lareau asked each candidate to own up or denounce it.
“I had nothing to do with it,” joked Dhanani later adding the info was all lies.

Continue reading

Joe Pantalone debates himself

Pantalone only mayoral hopeful who shows up
A hundred people listen to him talk about why he should be mayor
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 20)

Joe Pantalone at the YMCA debate as the only candidate who showed up.Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Is it still a debate if only one mayoral candidate shows up?
The YMCA and Toronto Community Foundation hosted a mayoral debate this morning with George Smitherman, Rob Ford and Joe Pantalone all confirming attendance. But within an hour of the scheduled event, Ford’s campaign pulled out of the debate and then Smitherman followed suit leaving Pantalone as the only one on stage.
Veteran councillor Pantalone had the audience of 100 to himself as he outlined his vision for the city and was asked for commitments on arts, sports and poverty reduction. Continue reading

Toronto-Danforth Ward 29 race

No incumbent, who will win heated contest?
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 15)

Ward 29 candidate Jane Pitfield.

It’s shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested council races in town: Toronto-Danforth’s Ward 29.
It’s got everything: no incumbent, a former councillor as candidate and a party-backed star candidate.
Case Ootes, who’s held the ward for almost 22 years, is not seeking re-election. Six candidates in total are vying for the job: Jane Pitfield, Jennifer Wood, Mary Fragedakis, John Richardson, Mike Restivo and Chris Caldwell.
Pitfield has the advantage in the final stretch of the campaign, said Ryerson political professor Mitch Kosny.

Continue reading

Toronto advance voting increased

Will 2010 voter turnout be up from 39 percent in 2006?
Over 77,000 make ballots in advance polls, increase over ’06
Oct. 25 is election day, get out and vote
Kris Scheuer

Let’s face it. Voter turnout is shamefully low. In 2006, overall turnout was 39.3 percent.
But there’s encouraging news so far: in the advance polls for the 2010 race a total of 77,397 people turned out.
That represents an 82 percent increase in advance voting compared to 2006.
Of course, if you are like me and are waiting to vote on election day Mon. Oct 25 polls are open from 10 am to 8 pm at 1,562 locations across the city.
To find out where to vote in your area go the city’s election site and click on where do I vote? Or call 311 to ask. On election day, bring your voter registration card (if you were mailed one) plus ID and proof of address.
There are a total of 476 candidates running for council, mayor and school board for 84 elected positions at city hall and Toronto school boards.
So are you planning to vote on election day or have you voted already? What would encourage you to vote?

 

Jennifer Wood asked to bow out in Ward 29

Rita Smith emails Wood suggesting she quit race
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 15)

 

Jennifer Wood asked to step out of Ward 29 race. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wood.

 

An email from a Jane Pitfield campaign supporter asking candidate Jennifer Wood to “do the right thing” and drop out of the Ward 29 council race is causing major tension in the east-end race.
Rita Smith, who has been a volunteer on Pitfield’s campaign, sent the email in question to Wood on morning of Oct. 14, the day after Rocco Rossi dropped out of the mayor’s race.
“Jennifer, now that Rocco has bowed out … I hope you will give serious consideration to doing the same thing,” the email read. “You would be doing the right thing for the right reason, and everyone would admire your judgement (sic) in the situation.”
Smith admits sending the email but is adamant she did so without the consent, knowledge or direction of Pitfield.

Continue reading

Ward 30 candidates on development

Toronto-Centre hopefuls weight in
Balancing development with protection of neighbourhoods
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 14)

How will you protect the local character of neighbourhoods while balancing the need for revitalization and development in Ward 30?

Liz West is running in Ward 30. Photo courtesy of Liz West.

Councillor Paula Fletcher is seeking re-election. Town Crier file photo.

Liz West‘s answer: It’s not enough to fight against development and just say no. Defeating a residential and commercial project on Eastern (Avenue) only to have it replaced with car dealerships as of right while pretending to protect the film studios, did not serve the community well. I believe Ward 30 residents need to understand fully the choices they face so that they can make informed decisions on what is best for the community. I plan to lead those discussions, especially around the developments proposed for the Pan Am games, continued candidate West. These games provide an opportunity to clean up the contaminated Port Lands while creating a balanced development of recreational, reside ntial and commercial spaces that can be showcased to the world.

Paula Fletcher‘s answer: As the current councillor I worked with the community to stop the Big Box on Eastern Avenue. The film industry did not want it as it would jeopardize the future of film; the neighbourhood not want seven million car trips annually through neighbourhood streets and all of the small, family owned businesses on Queen Street, from Leslieville to the Beach, did not want to have their sector decimated.

Continue reading