New councillor for Ward 15 will work closely with dad, MPP Mike Colle
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 18)
When he’s sworn in as the new councillor for Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence on Dec. 1, Josh Colle will be working closely with his provincial counterpart — who just happens to be his father, MPP Mike Colle.
“We’ve already had some meetings that are constituency-driven,” Colle said in a recent interview following his election win.
“I don’t always agree with him. You probably don’t always agree with your parents. But it’s good to know there will be a collaborative relationship there.”
Part of the ward boundary includes sections of St. Paul’s provincially and federally so Colle’s also spoken or met with those political reps in the weeks since the election.
Colle the younger is also busy attending community meetings to get up to speed on ward issues.
But he’s looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting to work at city hall. And there’s no reason the 45-member council can’t work collaboratively, he said.
“I get that it’s politics with inherent drama and conflict that goes along with it,” he said. “But it’s the responsibility of the mayor and council to do that (work collaboratively).”
Colle won the Ward 15 council seat with 40 percent of the vote. Former councillor and school trustee Rob Davis got just under 33 percent.
Two big ward issues that were a focus during the campaign were the Lawrence Heights 20-year redevelopment and Transit City’s Eglinton light rapid transit streetcar line. Mayor-elect Ford has been vocal against both.
“All that’s been approved is a blueprint (for Lawrence Heights). It will come up many times over many years,” Colle said. “There were some concerns in the community, so I’ve committed to convene a meeting to address those concerns.”
Ford campaigned on a promise to extend the Sheppard subway rather than the approved Eglinton Avenue LRT line. Colle wholeheartedly supports the streetcar plan.
“The new mayor will look at everything with fresh eyes. That’s a good thing. When he looks at Eglinton, I think he’ll see this meets his requirements. In many respects it is a subway,” Colle said.
A large portion of the Eglinton LRT line will be underground, the tunnels will be large enough to accommodate a subway in the future and it is using new fast-moving, high capacity streetcars, Colle added.
Another theme during the campaign was constituents want more value for their tax dollars, said Colle, who supports repealing the vehicle registration tax.
Ward 15 has a mix of young and old, retirees and professionals, families and single people, some of whom are struggling to afford to stay in the city.
“There’s a plea to think of us when you make decisions,” Colle said residents told him.
Colle takes over from retiring councillor Howard Moscoe who recently told reporters he’s going to law school.
“My instinct is he’s not, but who knows,” said Colle about Moscoe’s plans.