Dickins vs. Jenkins deja vu all over again
(Written for Town Crier Aug. 27.)
Joanne Dickins Ward 25 candidate.
It’s a Dickins family tradition to run against Councillor Cliff Jenkins in ward 25.
Joanne Dickins registered Aug. 25 to run against the Don Valley West incumbent. In 2006, her husband Tony Dickins ran in the ward, coming second with 2,788 votes to the winner Jenkins, who garnered 7,954 votes.
Tony isn’t running this time. But after much deliberation, his wife is — and she hopes to win in the ward she’s grown up in.
In fact the Dickins’ met at York Mills CI and have raised three kids in the ward who all attended the local high school.
“It’s just the right time for me,” said Dickins, whose youngest child is now 19.
Private school ordered to put up wall for privacy, noise barrier
Complying could mean trees damaged and cut down in process
(Written for Town Crier June 17.)
Junior Academy parent Marva Gragtmans's concerned if a masonry wall is built, trees could be cut down or injured in process. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
Junior Academy is in a quandary.
It was told by the Ontario Municipal Board to build a masonry wall between the school and its neighbours to lessen noise and increase privacy for residents next door.
However, to do that the school may have to remove five trees and damage 18 others says an arborist hired by the school.
“No one in the community benefits from the destruction of 10–12 trees,” said Junior Academy parent Marva Gragtmans. “In North Toronto we have a great canopy but we are losing old trees especially in storms.”
Instead, the school is proposing erecting a wooden fence to comply with the 2006 ruling which required the construction of a 2.4-metre high masonry wall at the Bayview and Lawrence facility. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged arborist, Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Dianne Johnson, fence, Junior Academy, Kris Scheuer, Marva Gragtmans, masonry, noise, Ontario Municipal Board, privacy, Richard Ubbens, Town Crier, trees, wall
Robinson runs in rematch against Councillor Jenkins
The two faced off in heated ’03 Toronto election battle
By Kris Scheuer
(Written May 31 for Town Crier.)
Photo courtesy of Jaye Robinson.
Seven years after she lost to Cliff Jenkins by only 80 votes Jaye Robinson is back again to challenge the Ward 25 incumbent for his seat on council.
Robinson, a former senior manager in the city’s economic development department, said Toronto is in decline and needs fresh blood and new ideas to set it on the right course.
“There’s a lack of vision and long term thinking,” she said. “When you see what’s happening in other cities compared to Toronto, it feels like they are moving forward and we are going backward.”
To get the city back on what she sees as the right track, Robinson says you don’t have to look any further than the city’s purse.
“It’s all rooted in your financial situation,” she said. “We need to get (city finances) back on track so the city can be livable.” Continue reading
Erskine Ave proposal higher than previous development application
Eight-storey building called unfit for area of single-family homes
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 18)
Paula Greco points out from her Erskine Avenue balcony several houses to be affected by the planned residential development. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Paula Greco’s view from the balcony of her Erskine Avenue building could soon change from that of single-family homes to an eight-storey residential tower.
And she isn’t happy about it.
Greco overlooks a redevelopment site at 88 Erskine and 73-79 Keewatin avenues.
Verdiroc Development first applied to build a five-storey seniors’ residence and now has a new proposal for a 78-unit residential tower.
“It just doesn’t belong,” Greco said.
The election campaign already heating up
Who is retiring, running, playing coy in TO election
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated Oct.25- Election Day.)
Joe Mihevc is one of the incumbent councillors seeking re-election.
One thing is certain in life – that’s change. And we can count on that in this city’s election. The vote is Oct. 25.
Of the 44 incumbent city councillors so far 35 current Toronto politicians have signed up for re-election in their own ward. Of the remaining 9 incumbents: 2 are running for mayor instead and 7 aren’t running at all. Want to see for yourself?
Check the city’s election website that shows all 477 candidates running for mayor, councillor and school trustee positions.
Here’s the scope on where all the candidates stand as of Sept. 10 the final nomination day.
Mayor David Miller is not running for re-election. There are 40 candidates registered to run for mayor.
Council races – there are 279 candidates running for 44 council seats
Ron Moeser (Scarborough East Ward 44) has registered and so have three others: Diana Hall, Heath Thomas and Mohammed Mirza.
Paul Ainslie (Scarborough East Ward 43) is running again and has four challengers: John Laforet, Benjamin Mbaegbu, Bhaskar Sharma and Samuel Getachew.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 2010 election, Bruce Baker, campaign, candidates, Chris Sellors, city, councillor Adam Giambrone, councillor Adam Vaughan, Councillor Adrian Heaps, Councillor Anthony Perruzza, Councillor Bill Saundercook, Councillor Brian Ashton, Councillor Case Ootes, Councillor Cesar Palacio, Councillor Chin Lee, Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Councillor David Shiner, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Councillor Doug Holyday, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Councillor Gloria Lindsay-Luby, Councillor Gord Perks, Councillor Howard Moscoe, Councillor Janet Davis, Councillor Joe Mihevc, Councillor Joe Pantalone, Councillor John Filion, Councillor Karen Stinz, Councillor Kyle Rae, Councillor Maria Augimeri, Councillor Mark Grimes, councillor Michael Thompson, Councillor Michael Walker, Councillor Mike Feldman, Councillor Pam McConnell, Councillor Paul Ainslie, councillor Paula Fletcher, Councillor Peter Milczyn, Councillor Raymond Cho, Councillor Rob Ford, Councillor Ron Moeser, Councillor Sandra Bussin, Councillor Shelley Carroll, Councillor Suzan Hall, Enza Anderson, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, Jennifer Wood, John Parker, Josh Colle, Kris Scheuer, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Mayor David Miller, Mike Layton, Mohamed Dhanani, Peter Li Preti, Redmond Weissenberger, Retiring, Robert Meynel, Robert Walker, Roman Danilov, running, Sarah Doucette, Susan Gapka, Toronto, trustee Josh Matlow, Trustee Rob Davis, Vicki Breen, William Molls
Toronto votes to eliminate this type of election funding
Heated debate results in 29-12 vote for reforms
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 3 for Town Crier.)
Councillor Michael Walker has been pushing for election reforms since 2001.
It is either a large democratic step forward or a huge setback that will make it less apparent who’s funding local politicians campaigns.
Those two polarized opinions dominated an all day debate when city council voted to ban corporate and union election campaign contributions.
The decision means all candidates running for city council will have to get their funding from individuals only in next year’s election.
Mayor David Miller was able to raise over $1 million in the 2006 election solely through individuals and he pushed council to vote for finance reforms.
“I know there are different views in respect to corporate and union donations. With respect to those who think we should maintain that practise, I say it’s out of date,” Miller said during the heated debate.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged campaign, city, corporate, council, Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Councillor Howard Moscoe, Councillor Michael Walker, debate, democracy, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, election, finance, funding, individuals, influence, Kris Scheuer, Mayor David Miller, politicians, Professor Robert MacDermid, reforms, Town Crier, transparency, union, Vote Toronto, York University
Plan for multiple condos and $17 mil rec centre rejected by city
Developer will take case to the Ontario Municipal Board
(Originally written Oct. 2 for Town Crier.)
By Kris Scheuer and Karolyn Coorsh
SIMONE GABBAY of Don Mills Friends called the offer made by Cadillac Fairview a bribe. Photo by Kris Scheuer.
The deal is off the table.
Cadillac Fairview has withdrawn its offer to build a $17 million community centre after council rejected the developer’s application to build a series of residential condos near Lawrence Ave. East and Don Mills Rd.
The community centre was proposed as an added benefit to phase 2 of Cadillac Fairview’s plan to redevelop the Don Mills Centre.
The condominium buildings would range from 12-26 storeys, and bring a total of 1,387 units to the neighbourhood.
Councillors voted 17-16 to reject the settlement offer at council on Oct. 1, also defeating the application itself.
Area councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong ultimately voted against it, saying the residential plans are too dense, an opinion the city planners working on the application shared.
“I don’t agree that we should look at this as simply getting a community centre,” he said during council debate on the matter. “This is first and foremost a planning application that will define Don Mills for years to come so we need to get it right.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged $17 million, Cadillac Fairview, community centre, condos, Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Don Mills Centre, Don Mills Friends, Don Mills Residents Inc, lawyer Jeff Davies, Ontario Municipal Board, Simone Gabbay, Terry West
Should corporations and unions contribute cash to political campaigns?
Council considers banning this kind of donation in city elections
(Originally published Jan 16/09 for the Town Crier.)
I first wrote this column six months ago, but I think it is even more timely now for three reasons.
Firstly, the city just came through a 39-day strike by two union locals 416 and 79 where there were all kinds of accusations that Mayor David Miller is too cosy with unions. (By the way, Miller took zero corporate or union cash contributions in the last election). This leads to the second reason why this opinion piece is relevant now, the next Toronto election is in 2010 and you can bet politicians’ connections to unions will be a very hot topic. And lastly, the city will be revisiting the issue of banning corporate and union donations in the fall and could make a decision BEFORE next year’s election. So onto my original column…
Getting elected isn’t cheap. Some of our midtown councillors spent over $60,000 a piece and Mayor David Miller almost $1.2 million on the latest campaign.
So it begs the question who is footing the bill? City council is wrestling, yet again, with a plan to ban corporate and union campaign contributions. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Councillor Michael Walker, funding democracy, Kris Scheuer, Lawyer Adam Brown, Mayor David Miller, Professor Robert MacDermid, Toronto, Toronto election 2010, Union and corporate donations, union election contributions
At least 10 city politicians to vote against union contracts tomorrow
Wage increases, bankable sick days points of contentions
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30. Read July 31 UPDATE on the final vote.)
City councillors known as the Responsible Government Group vowed to vote against the negotiated deals with CUPE locals 416 and 79 at tomorrow’s special council meeting.
“Throughout the last five weeks of a strike the people of Toronto have put up with trash in their parks and cancelled services because they believed it was necessary in order to achieve a fair and affordable contract,” Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Karen Stintz said at a press conference this morning. “We have achieved neither.”
The contracts award striking workers with a six percent pay increase over three years and an option to continue to bank sick days until retirement or take a buyout and switch to the new short term disability plan.
|“After a strike of almost six weeks the unions and mayor have declared they have reached an agreement that is fair to both employees and the people of Toronto,” Toronto-Danforth councillor Case Ootes said today. “Citizens have been let down.
“The mayor promised to eliminate the costly sick benefit program and has failed to meet that commitment,” he added. “This agreement is not affordable and not acceptable to the taxpayers of Toronto.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Strike
Tagged council meeting, Council vote union contract, Councillor Case Ootes, Councillor Cliff Jenkins, Councillor David Shiner, Councillor John Parker, Councillor Karen Stintz, CUPE local 416, CUPE local 79, Kris Scheuer, Responsible Government Group, Toronto, Toronto Strike
Toronto’s inside workers vote for new contract today
Here’s some insight into the city contract, but strike not over
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 29.)
While Mayor David Miller couldn’t release the information on when city services would resume as planned, he did release some details on the tentative deal struck with CUPE Local 79.
The pact includes a six percent raise over three years, as well as various options on banking sick days.
“The sick bank is eliminated,” Miller said.
However, the devil is in the details.
In the deal struck, new employees cannot bank sick days and will instead be offered a short-term disability package of up to six months of sick pay. Continue reading