Category Archives: Toronto Politics

Toronto federal MPs elected

Federal election results in new MPs to Toronto
NDP and Conservatives made gains at Liberals expense
Kris Scheuer

NDP leader and MP was re-elected in Toronto Danforth. Photo courtesy of NDP.

Here’s  a look at the 22 Toronto elected members of parliament voted in in last night’s federal vote.
1) Beaches-East York winner NDP Matthew Kellway got 41.6% to beat out incumbent Liberal Maria Minna.
2) Davenport winner NDP Andrew Cash got 53.6% ousting Liberal incumbent Mario Silva who got 27.8%.
3) Don Valley East winner Conservative Joe Daniel got 36.7% edging out Liberal incumbent Yasmin Ratansi who got 34.5%.
4) Don Valley West Conservative John Carmichael won with 43% beating Liberal incumbent Rob Oliphant with 41.8%.
5) Eglinton-Lawrence saw another upset as Conservative Joe Oliver won with a convincing 46.8% over longtime Liberal incumbent Joe Volpe with 38.5%.
6) Etobicoke-Centre Conservative Ted Opitz squeaked out a win with 41.2% and just 26 votes over Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzenewskyj with 41.1%.
7) Etobicoke North winner was Liberal Kristy Duncan with a convincing 42.5% over Conservative Priti Lamba with 32.2%.

Eight) Etobicoke-Lakeshore Conservative Bernard Trottier pulled off a huge upset with 40.4%  booting Liberal MP and party leader Michael Ignatieff who got 35.1%.
9) Parkdale-High Park New Democrat Peggy Nash a former MP won back her seat with 47.2% beating the Liberal incumbent MP Gerard Kennedy  who got 32.9%.
10) Scarborough Centre Conservative Roxanne James won with 35.5% compared to Liberal incumbent John Cannis with 32%.
11) Scarborough Southwest New Democrat Dan Harris won here with 35% with Conservative candidate Gavan Paranchothy coming 2nd with 31.8% and Liberal Michelle Simson getting 29.1%.
12) Scarborough-Agincourt Liberal Jim Karygiannis win convincingly with 45.4% over closest rival Conservative Harry Tsai with 34.2%.

Conservative Joe Oliver beat Liberal incumbent Joe Volpe in Eglinton-Lawrence.

13) Scarborough-Guildwood Liberal John McKay was re-elected in a squeaker with 36.1% and just 600 votes more than  closest rival Conservative Chuck Konkel with 34.5%.
14) Scarborough Rouge-River NDPer Rathika Sitsabaiesan won with 40.5% over closest rivals Conservative Marlene Gallyot with 29.9% and Liberal Rana Sarkar with 27.4%.
15) St. Paul’s Liberal Carolyn Bennett was re-elected with 40.6% against closest challengers Conservative Maureen Harquail with 32.2% and NDPer William Molls with 22%.
16) Toronto Centre Liberal Bob Rae was re-elected with 40.9% over closest challengers NDP Susan Wallace with 30% and Conservative Kevin Moore with 22.6%.
17) Toronto-Danforth New Democrat MP and party leader Jack Layton easily re-captured his seat with 60.5% over closest rival Liberal Andrew Lang with 17%.
18) Trinity-Spadina NDPer Olivia Chow was re-elected with 54.1% over Liberal Christine Innes with 23.2%.

Liberal John McKay was re-elected in Scarborough-Guildwood.

19) Willowdale Conservative Chungsen Leung got 39.9% with a margin of victory of fewer than 1,000 votes over Liberal incumbent Martha Hall Findlay who got 41.7%.
20) York Centre Conservative Mark Adler pulled off a victory with 48.5% beating incumbent Liberal Ken Dryden with 33.3%.
21) York South-Weston NDPer Mike Sullivan won with 40.1% ousting Liberal incumbent Alan Tonks with 32.6%.
22) York West Liberal Judy Sgro got re-elected with 47% support over closes challengers NDP Giulio Manfrini with 27.8% and Conservative Audrey Walters with 22.1%.

Carolyn Bennett wins St. Paul

Popular Liberal keeps her seat in St. Paul’s
Bennett bucks trend as other Liberals lost seats
Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier May 2)

What happened? Carolyn Bennett won in St. Paul's but the Liberals dropped to third party in government. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Towm Crier.

May 2 was a bittersweet night for Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, who held onto her St. Paul’s seat but saw her once-dominant party face defeat of historic proportions.
Bennett, a popular Liberal member of parliament and former doctor, obtained about 40 percent of the vote. Though she still garnered a healthy lead, even Bennett felt the sting of Liberal backlash. In the past five federal elections, she’s garnered over 50 percent of the vote.
But the mood was decidedly sombre at her campaign party at Grano Restaurant as she and other staunch supporters watched Liberal incumbents across the country lose seat after seat.
“It’s congratulations and condolences all at the same time,” Bennett said to the crowd, acknowledging her win and the devastating Liberal defeat across the country.

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Parkdale-High Park federal race

Which MP do you want: past or present?
Incumbent Gerard Kennedy faces  challenge from predecessor Peggy Nash
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 15.)

Parkdale-High Park is a rematch between Liberal Gerard Kennedy and the NDP’s Peggy Nash.
Kennedy won the seat in 2008 when he beat first-term incumbent Nash.
This showdown mentality was on display during an all-candidates debate at Swansea Town Hall on April 13.
One of the contentious issues of the evening was Kennedy’s attendance for Parliamentary votes. Nash’s team was passing out a Globe and Mail article she said is based Hansard, the complete minutes of Parliament. An addendum to the article claims between Nov. 2008 and March 2011 Kennedy missed 122 votes and was present for 241 out of the 363 total votes.

NDP candidate and former MP Peggy Nash. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Kennedy’s team countered he was present for 272 votes and 32 paired, a system whereby an opposition and a government member both agree to be absent for the vote and are not normally counted as absences, for a total attendance record of 304 votes out of 363.
The two candidates had a few exchanges regarding this at the debate at one point Kennedy appeared quite emotional as he said, “Don’t accuse me of not working hard for this community.”
He said he attended votes in Ottawa even at times when close family members were battling severe illnesses.

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Layton’s Toronto-Danforth seat looks safe

Will be a challenge for Grit challenger to oust NDPer Layton
Liberal candidate Andrew Lang makes 2nd attempt win seat
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 8.)

Jack Layton at any NDP rally in March at Toronto's Wychwood Barns. Tristan Carter/Town Crier file photo.

The Green Party’s Elizabeth May notwithstanding, it’s safe to say that federal party leaders easily win their seats in the House of Commons seat whether or not they’re present in their riding during an election campaign.
If that’s a given, then the Toronto-Danforth race is Jack Layton’s to lose. Not only is he party leader of the New Democrats, he’s an incumbent who’s represented the riding in some form or another since 1994. Still, Layton has challengers from all the major parties, including Liberal Andrew Lang, who ran unsuccessfully against Layton in 2008.
“The longer you are an incumbent the more people become comfortable with you,” says Nelson Wiseman, a politics professor at the University of Toronto. “The longer you are a party leader, the more it contributes to your credibility.”
Layton became party leader in 2003 and in 2004 he beat incumbent Toronto-Danforth Liberal MP Dennis Mills. Layton was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
As expected, Layton has been criss-crossing the country since the election writ dropped on March 26.
“I am grateful for the understanding of my local constituents that I can’t campaign as often in Toronto-Danforth, but I make up for it between elections by being in my riding frequently for events,” Layton said from British Columbia on April 7.
Layton served on Toronto City Council and Metro Council from 1982 to 2003 before entering federal politics.  Continue reading

Green Party federal candidates 2011

Green candidates seeking federal seats in Toronto
Kris Scheuer
(Updated with all candidates nominated.)

Sonny Day is the Green Party's federal candidate in York South-Weston.

It’s election time with another federal vote on May 2.
I have posted information on the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP candidates as they become known who are running for federal seats in Toronto ridings.
But this post focuses on Green Party federal candidates running for 22 seats in Toronto:
1)York Centre Green candidate Rosemary Frei.
2)York South-Weston Green candidate Sonny Day.
3)York West Green candidate Unblind Tibbin.
4)St. Paul’s Green candidate James McGarva.
5) Scarborough-Rouge River Green candidate George Singh.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood Green candidate Alonzo Bartley.
7)Scarborough Centre Green candidate Ella Ng.
8)Scarborough Southwest Green candidate Stefan Dixon.
9)Scarborough Agincourt Green candidate Pauline Thompson.
10)Etobicoke North Green candidate Carman Roberts.

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Conservative federal candidates 2011

No Conservatives MPs with federal seats in T.O now
But these Tory candidates hope to change that
Kris Scheuer

John Carmichael is running for the third time as a Conservative candidate in Don Valley West.

The federal election is May 2, and the Conservatives want a seat in Toronto.
I will also post all candidates running for the LiberalsGreen Party and NDP as they are nominated.
This post focuses on Conservative candidates running for federal seats in the 22 Toronto ridings:
1)York-Centre Conservative candidate Mark Adler.
2)York South-Weston Conservative candidate Jilian Saweczko.
3)York West Conservative candidate Audrey Walters.
4)St. Paul’s Conservative candidate Maureen Harquail.
5) Scarborough Rouge-River Conservative candidate Marlene Gallyot.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood Conservative candidate Kazimierz “Chuck” Konkel.
7)Scarborough-Centre Conservative candidate Roxanne James.
8)Scarborough Southwest Conservative candidate listed as Gavan Parachothy on the Conservative’s site.
9)Scarborough-Agincourt Conservative candidate Harry Tsai.
10)Etobicoke-North Conservative candidate Priti Lamba.
11)Etobicoke-Centre Conservative candidate Ted Opitz.
12)Etobicoke-Lakeshore Conservative candidate Bernard TrottierContinue reading

NDP federal candidates 2011

Who is running for NDP in Toronto federal ridings
Candidates seeking TO seats in 2011 election
Kris Scheuer
(Updated with all candidates nominated.)

NDP leader Jack Layton is seeking re-election in his home riding of Toronto-Danforth.

While there are 308 ridings up for grabs in the May 2 federal election, this post focuses on the NDP candidates and current New Democrat MPs in Toronto seeking your vote.
I will also post candidates running for the Conservatives, Green Party and Liberals as they become known.
New Democratic Party federal candidates in 22 Toronto ridings as they are being nominated:
1)York-Centre NDP candidate Kurtis Baily.
2)York South-Weston NDP candidate Mike Sullivan.
3)York West NDP candidate Giulio Manfrini.
4)St. Paul’s NDP candidate William Molls.
5) Scarborough-Guildwood NDP candidate Danielle Ouellette.
6) Scarborough-Rough River NDP candidate Rathika Sitsabaiesan.
7)Scarborough Centre NDP candidate Natalie Hundt.
8)Scarborough Southwest NDP candidate Dan Harris.
9)Scarborough-Agincourt NDP candidate Nancy Patchell.

Continue reading

Liberal federal candidates 2011

Who’s running federally for Grits in Toronto ridings
Kris Scheuer

Rob Oliphant is seeking re-election as the Liberal Don Valley West MP.

It’s election time with another federal vote on May 2.
I have posted information on Conservatives, Green Party and NDP candidates as they become known who are running in for federal seats in Toronto ridings.
But this post focuses on Liberal candidates running for federal seats in 22 Toronto ridings:
1)York-Centre incumbent Liberal MP Ken Dryden.
2)York South-Weston incumbent Liberal MP Alan Tonks.
3)York West incumbent Liberal MP Judy Sgro.
4)St. Paul’s incumbent Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.
5) Scarborough Rouge-River Liberal candidate Rana Sarkar.
6)Scarborough-Guildwood incumbent Liberal MP John McKay.
7)Scarborough-Centre incumbent Liberal MP John Cannis.
8)Scarborough Southwest incumbent Liberal MP Michelle Simson.
9)Scarborough-Agincourt incumbent Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis.

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Rob Ford’s privatization plans

New mayor has shown a push to privatize city services
(Column written Mar 4 for Town Crier.)

Mayor Rob Ford has been in office for more than 100 days now and one trend that’s emerging quite vividly is his preference for privatization and partnering with the private sector.
Exhibit A: the mayor campaigned on contracting out garbage in an effort to save money and avoid strikes.
On Feb. 7, the city announced it had given CUPE Local 416 a 90-day notice that it plans to privatize all recycling collection in city parks, half of the city’s litter collection, plus garbage pickup in 165,000 residential homes west of Yonge Street to the Etobicoke border.
City staff will report back on the issue in April and go to council for a vote in May.
So far, the city estimates it can save $8 million if this move succeeds. Interestingly, right-wing think tank C.D. Howe Institute and U of T released a report before the municipal election outlining how Toronto could save $49 million by privatizing garbage citywide. The Ontario Waste Management Association, made up mainly of reps from private sector waste haulers, gave $50,000 toward that study.
I’d like to see the upcoming city staff report explain potential savings in further detail, given some full-time city workers have a “jobs for life” provision in their contract that guarantees them city work if their positions are contracted out. And while the mayor is moving in this direction to avoid strikes, like the 39-day episode in the summer of 2009, there’s no guarantee a private sector contract will mean no strikes. Continue reading

See Sarah Thomson run, again

She is Liberal’s Trinity-Spadina provincial candidate
After last year’s mayoral run, she’s aiming for MPP
Kris Scheuer
(Written Mar 10 for Town Crier/Toronto Today)

Sarah Thomson is seeking a seat in the provincial legislature on the Liberal ticket. Giordano Ciampini/Town Crier file photo.

Sarah Thomson has accepted an invitation from the provincial Liberals to be their candidate in Trinity-Spadina this fall.
She made the announcement March 9 in a Facebook post.
“I’ve said I want to run in a nomination,” she said hours later, in confirming the report for Toronto Today.
Herman Ng, Trinity-Spadina riding association president, confirmed Thomson will be the only Liberal candidate at a nomination meeting held March 27.
“I investigated both the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario PC Party to find which party today best represents my core values,” Thomson stated in her Facebook announcement.
Thomson, a midtown Toronto resident who once lived in the Annex, is a business woman who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Toronto in last year’s municipal race, dropping out before election day and throwing her support behind second-place finisher George Smitherman.
“There are politicians who critique others but never actually initiate anything — they run because they want a job or news headlines,” wrote the Women’s Post publisher on her Facebook page. “And there are politicians who stick their neck out and do what they believe is right — they run because they want to contribute to building a better world.”
If nominated Thomson will be taking on incumbent Rosario Marchese, who has represented the riding since 1990.
“We don’t have someone who is a doer,” Thomson told Toronto Today. “(The riding) is getting poor representation in the legislature.
“He has been there for 21 years. What has he done?”
Marchese, who was part of the Bob Rae government and has been in opposition to both the PCs and Liberals, defended his record.
“I’ve been a strong advocate for education,” he said.
He said the Liberals have decreased funding for special education and parents have fundraised $600 million to supplement school needs, creating a two-tier education system for poor and richer communities.
He’s also put forward three private member’s bills to make amendments to the condo act that the Liberals have rebuffed.
If Thomson is serious about reforms, Marchese said, she’ll have to defend the Liberals’ non-action on issues of housing, education and healthcare.
“I’m hard pressed to see what Sarah thinks she will accomplish as a backbencher or minister, assuming this government gets re-elected,” he said. “What would she be proposing?”
Marchese won with 41.1 percent of the vote to then-Liberal candidate Kate Holloway’s 31.5 percent in 2007. In 2003, he got 47.5 percent to Liberal Nellie Pedro’s 31.8 percent.