Tag Archives: campaign

Fighting for Transit City

Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier Dec. 15)

TTC's new light rail vehicles.

Several residents refuse to believe Transit City is dead.
In December, days after Mayor Rob Ford announced that Transit City is no more, local activist Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler organized a grassroots campaign in North Toronto to save Transit City, including the Eglinton light rapid transit line.
Chaleff-Freudenthaler took his “save Transit City” petition to the streets in North Toronto’s Ward 16. In December, he continued to canvass every ward affected by the Finch, Sheppard and Eglinton LRTs.
“The goal is to bring high quality, accurate information to people at their doors and communities,” he said.
On Dec. 1, the day he announced Transit City is dead, Ford met with TTC general manager Gary Webster and asked staff to look at costing of various underground options for transit including having the Eglinton LRT completely underground.
Webster will report back in January.
Councillor Karen Stintz, now the new TTC chair, has told the Town Crier on four occasions since the Oct. 25 election she expects light rapid transit along Eglinton to proceed underground.
“I expect when the plan is reviewed, that there won’t be any changes to Eglinton,” she said Dec. 10.

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Rocco Rossi platform for mayor

Mayoral hopeful attends Town Crier editorial board
Then announcing he’s quitting race hours later
Kris Scheuer
(Written for To wn Crier Oct. 13. See UPDATE.)

Mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi told the Town Crier’s editorial board today his campaign isn’t stumbling but picking up steam.
“I think the choice is clearer and clearer,” he said at the Oct. 13 session before he later announced he’d bow out of mayoral race.

Rocco Rossi at the Town Crier offices. Photo by Victor Aguilar/Town Crier.

With all the other candidates, save Joe Pantalone, having released their economic platforms, Rossi said that he’s riding high on the news that the Globe & Mail,Toronto SunNational Post and Toronto Board of Trade have all said that so far his plan is the only one that adds up and is fiscally-responsible. His plan includes eliminating Toronto’s $3 billion in debt that costs the city $450 million in payments annually by selling off Toronto Hydro, the city’s a minority share in Enwave and some surplus land.

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Chris Sellors office, fair market value?

Questions arisen over whether he’s paying enough for campaign office
Some say yes, others say no
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Sept. 9)

Chris Sellors at his campaign office at 1973 Yonge St. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Questions are being raised about the price and location of Ward 22 council candidate Chris Sellors’campaign headquarters.
Sellors opened his office Sept. 1 at 1973 Yonge St., signing what the Town Crier has learned is a two-month lease agreement totaling $3,616 ($1,500 in rent plus $100 in utilities each month, plus HST) for the 1,100 square feet of space.
The 102-square metre vacant storefront, formerly Vittorio’s Restaurant, is now part of a recently approved residential redevelopment by property owners Kilbarry Holding Corp. Sellors worked on this development file as Councillor Michael Walker’s executive assistant but said he’s had nothing to do with the project since March.
A source close to Sellors campaign raised questions about the lease to theTown Crier and spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity.
“It seems like an unusual agreement you wouldn’t see in the industry, which makes me question how it came to be,” the source said in a Sept. 5 interview. Continue reading

Election finance campaign rules

Fines, jail time await those convicted of taking illegal donations
Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept. 9 for Town Crier.)

The stakes are high for both a candidate who may accept, and a corporation or union that may give an illegal campaign donation.
The Municipal Elections Act states the difference between the amount paid for a good or service and market value is considered a contribution and sincedonations from trade unions and corporations are banned in Toronto, paying anything less than market value for a good or service from a corporation or a union would be considered a breach of the act.
Individuals found guilty under the act could be fined up to $25,000 and if they knowingly contravened the act also face six months in jail. A corporation can be fined up to $50,000. Continue reading

Sellors, Matlow, Molls campaign

Ward 22 candidates campaign spending priorities
Kris Scheuer
(Written Aug. 23 for Town Crier)

Ward 22 candidate Chris Sellors.

In the competitive St. Paul’s Ward 22 race, candidates seek any advantage they can gain over their opponents.
As of Aug. 23, candidate Chris Sellors was the only hopeful planning to open a campaign office. His storefront office opened Sept. 1 in a prime spot on Yonge Street at Belsize Drive.
Sellors said he started scanning empty stores in late March, but the first call he made was for a space at 1973 Yonge Street. The spot needed fixing up and was empty because it’s part of an eight-storey redevelopment project.
It’s here where Sellors plans to hold team meetings, and provide campaign literature, he said. It’s also a place where voters can access him.
“I was swift enough to look for a campaign office when everyone else was sleeping,” Sellors said Aug. 20. Continue reading

Chris Sellors’ campaign office

Ward 22 candidate plans to open site Sept 1
Office located in land owned by developer with proposal before council
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Aug. 20)

Chris Sellors getting ready to open his campaign office at 1973 Yonge St on site that's part of a current redevelopment application. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Ward 22 council candidate Chris Sellors plans to open a campaign office Sept. 1 in space owned by a developer with an application currently making the rounds at city hall.
The office is located in an empty storefront at 1973 Yonge Street and is owned by Kilbarry Holdings Ltd, which has applied to build an eight-storey condo tower at Yonge Street and Belsize Drive.
The application’s in the final stages and could be approved at the last council meeting before Oct. 25 election. Should council fail to make a decision on the redevelopment next week, it would be up to the next elected council to rule on it.

Initially, Sellors told the Town Crier he wouldn’t move into the space unless the redevelopment was approved at the Aug. 25-26 council meeting. But two days later he had changed his mind citing lack of major residential opposition to the project. Continue reading

Arlington school closing

Toronto middle school set to shut Sept 2011
Local parent Robin Fraser questions next steps for community
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 30 for Town Crier. Update HERE.)

Toronto school board voted to close Arlington MS by Sept 2011.

Next year Arlington Middle School will close its doors forever. But it didn’t have to be this way, says local parent Robin Fraser.
On June 23, school trustees voted in favour of closing the school and expanding and upgrading four elementary schools — JR Wilcox, Cedarvale, Rawlinson and Humewood.
The vote followed months of meetings, known cumulatively as an Accommodation Review Committee or ARC, looking at how to tackle enrolment and space issues in that cluster of schools.
Fraser, who has a son graduating from Arlington and a daughter at nearby Humewood, fought for alternatives to closures.
“After my deputation to move (Arlington) into a sports school there was a healthy discussion,” she said. “(Then) they all voted to close Arlington except (trustee) Ms. Maria Rodrigues.”
The plan is to close Arlington by September 2011. Continue reading

Sandra Bussin’s 2010 campaign

Beach councillor faces hot issues in election year
Kris Scheuer
(Written June 11 for Town Crier.)

Beaches-East York Councillor Sandra Bussin.

Beaches-East York Councillor Sandra Bussin has come under fire lately over a series of hot button issues in her Ward 32.
There’s the firestorm over 204 Beech Avenue, where the owners bought the property with the intention to tear it down and build an accessible home only to find out it is a candidate for heritage protection.
Bussin got caught up in heated meeting on that issue. A clip depicting her as unsympathetic to the owners subsequently ended up on video streaming site YouTube, and made the rounds via Twitter.
And there’s the controversial 20-year, sole-source contract that awards a lease extension to Tuggs owner George Foulidis for his Boardwalk Café at Ashbridges Bay. Some feel Foulidis got too sweet a deal.
Though she removed herself from any city staff discussions surrounding the Boardwalk Café in 2009, Bussin was a vocal supporter of the sole-source contract for Foulidis back in 2006.
And this is now an election year.
“I am a strong person. I represent this community with integrity,” she told the Town Crier referring in to the criticism she is facing lately.

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Politics, campaigns, election and rumours

Rumour mill includes falsehood I’m working for candidate
Someone spreads lie I’m on communication team for Dhanani
By Kris Scheuer

As a journalist for a dozen years including nine focused on politics, I am accustomed to interviewing politicians about rumours.
But I am not used to political rumours about me.
Yesterday, I got an email from  Satinder Sahota who’s working on Jon Burnside‘s election campaign in local race in Don Valley West Ward 26.
She’d heard I was a communications person for Ward 26 candidate Mohamed Dhanani’s campaign and wanted to know if this was true.
Of course it’s 100 percent false and I emailed and called her right away to say so.
I have never worked or volunteered on anyone’s political campaign, ever. And certainly would not do so at the same time as being employed as a political reporter who is interviewing candidates during the current 2010 election race. Continue reading

Rocco Achampong for T.O mayor

Young mayoral candidate among 21 running for city’s top job
Rocco Achampong launches his campaign Feb. 1
By Kris Scheuer

Rocco Kusi Achampong

Rocco Kusi Achampong is running for mayor of Toronto in the 2010 election.
I don’t know much about this 31-year-old young man, but he knocked on the Town Crier‘s city hall press office this afternoon to introduce himself to me.
He officially launches his mayoral campaign at U of T’s Hart House debate room on Feb. 1 at 5:30 pm if you want to hear more from him personally. Continue reading