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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Federal election results 2011

Historic change in Canada on election night
Kris Scheuer

St. Paul's MP Carolyn Bennett was one of a few dozen Liberals who held onto their seats. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

 Wow. What a difference a day makes.
At the beginning of May 2 before all the votes were cast, this was the make-up of parliament:
Conservatives: 143
Liberals: 77
Bloc: 47
NDP: 36
Green: 0
And by the end of election night May 2, this is how the next parliament will look according to Elections Canada at 2:19 am May 2 evening/May 3 morning:

RESULTS
Conservatives majority government with leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper: 167 (increased 24 seats).
NDP official opposition (first time in history) with leader Jack Layton: 102 (increased 66 seats).
Liberals (third party for first time ever): 34 seats (down 43) and party leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding.
Bloc: 4 seats (lost 43 seats) and the party leader Gilles Duceppe lost his own seat in Laurier-Sainte-Marie.
Greens: 1 seat (first time ever elected in Canada) with party leader Elizabeth May winning in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding.

Privatizing Toronto’s trash collection

City moves closer to contracting out garbage service
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 26.)

Toronto's Public Works Committee has voted to push ahead with Mayor Rob Ford's plan to contract out garbage collection west of Yonge St. Photo by Dan Hoddinott and Illustration by Shadi Raoufi/Town Crier.

The city has moved closer to contracting out residential trash collection west of Yonge Street.
Despite every resident or group who presented to the Public Works Committee during the nine hour proceeding speaking against the idea, councillors voted 4–2 to put garbage collection out to tender along with cleaning up parks and litter vacuuming of all the city’s streets.
Public works committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong told the media privatization will reduce the size and cost of government.
“It will save us over the life of contract – $60 million,” he said.
City staff recommended the city seek bids for contracts of between five to nine years that could cost the city about $250 million. It will also reduce the city’s workforce by at least 300 jobs and save the city about $8 million a year, according to the report.
Contracting out curbside waste collection west of Yonge Street for up to nine years would be worth between $200–300 million according to what Geoff Rathbone, general manager of the solid waste management told the committee.
A seven to nine year contract for litter and recycling collection in city parks would be worth about $30 million. A five year contract to operate mechanical litter vacuums would be worth less than $20 million as would a contingency contract to pick-up residential garbage citywide (in the event of a public contract disruption).

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City keeps ban on street hockey

Works committee decides to keep ban
Playing ball games on city streets remains illegal
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 26.) 

L-R: Xander Anderson, Andrew Polanyi, Bowen Pausey and Liam McMahon presented the city with a petition asking to remove the ban on street hockey on city streets. Kris Scheuer/Town Crier file.

Teen Andrew Polanyi just wants to play street hockey with his friends without risking being hassled by the man.
“There’s a sign right in front of my house saying, ‘ball hockey prohibited’ and ever since that sign has been up neighbours have been coming up to us,” 13 year old Polanyi told the media during a Public Works committee hearing on Tuesday. “Some of them have been taking our pictures and sending them to the police and threatening to call the police.”
Currently, anyone found playing road hockey on Toronto streets could face a $55 fine. But in reality no one is charged or fined, said Ron Hamilton, manager of city traffic operations in Toronto and East York.
“I’ve been with the city for 40 years and I can’t recall anyone in Toronto being charged or fined by police,” said Hamilton.  Continue reading

LRT for Eglinton but not Sheppard, Finch

Mayor Ford’s more costly Eglinton underground LRT
Eglinton LRT is a go but no cash left for Finch, Sheppard
(Column written for Town Crier April 4)

Get ready, midtown, to face the envy and scorn of the rest of Toronto.
A new, underground version for a 25 km Eglinton LRT is moving ahead, thanks to a joint announcement by the province and the city.
Good news, right? Yes, except that the previous plan included $8 billion for surface LRT routes along Finch, Sheppard and Eglinton, and converting the Scarborough RT into light rail transit lines. Then-incoming mayor Rob Ford pronounced that plan dead on Dec. 1.
Mayor Ford wanted the Eglinton line fully buried, so that it won’t interfere with traffic. That’ll be achieved except for a small elevated portion as it approaches Kennedy subway station. Burying the entire rapid streetcar line will increase the cost of the Eglinton project by at least $2 billion.
The result is the $8.4 billion the province had set aside for four will now be entirely eaten up by two: Eglinton and Scarborough. As a result, the new plan cancels LRTs on Sheppard and Finch.
But here’s the kicker: The city will be on the hook to pay back $49 million in costs already incurred for the Sheppard and Finch routes to provincial agency Metrolinx. That is a lot of money down the drain for a decision by a mayor who claims to value respect for taxpayers.

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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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