Tag Archives: Councillor Karen Stintz

Karen Stintz mum on TTC chair gig

Ward 16’s councillor talks transit plans
But quiet on possible appointment to head transit commission
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Nov. 22)

Councillor Karen Stintz may be the next TTC chair.

Councillor Karen Stintz may be mum on whether she’ll be the next TTC chair, but she has plenty to say about transit.
The Ward 16 rep is rumoured to mayor-elect Rob Ford’s choice to replace outgoing TTC head Adam Giambrone.
And while Stintz has said she’d like to serve on the transit commission she’s not saying if the rumour she’ll be its next chair is true.
Coincidentally, Ford’s communications rep Adrienne Batra was meeting with Stintz this afternoon directly before the Town Crier sat down with Stintz in her city hall office.
The TTC is a challenging portfolio with no shortage of controversies and opportunities but Stintz says progress can be made on the problems of the past.
“We can make a difference and improvement in customer service,” said Stintz. “(TTC) effects people’s lives everyday and it effects how to get home on time, to work on time.”
She’d like to see cleaner stations, the implementation of the regional electronic fare PRESTO card and with it the re-examination of zone based fares. Plus that provincial investments are used to build a TTC system for both present and future needs.  Continue reading

Eglinton and Duplex high rise development

Proposal would mean building replaced with 53-storey tower
City doesn’t expect current application to go far
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier June 3.)

Plan to build a 53-storey tower isn't getting much traction at all. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

An application to build a highrise tower at the corner of Eglinton and Duplex will need some drastic changes if it’s going to get any support from the city or community, says local rep Karen Stintz.
Premium Properties wants to replace a seven-storey commercial and retail building at the northeast portion of the corner with a 53-storey, 458-unit residential tower.
Stintz called the project in its current status “ridiculous”.
“We had a community meeting on this. Myself, the planner and community told the developer that it’s so big, so out of keeping (with neighbourhood),” she said. “They need to make drastic changes.” Continue reading

Vacant shops on Yonge strip

Businesses find it hard to survive in Midtown
High rents, aggressive parking enforcement, few shoppers
(Written for Town Crier April 27/09)

Town Crier and Vaughan Today colleagues at the OCNA awards. Kris Scheuer in the centre with glasses, dark hair and black dress.

I wrote this story a year ago, but tonight, it was up for the Best Business & Finance Story category at the Ontario Community Newspaper Association awards ceremony. I didn’t win. I came third out of the 67 or 68 entries in that category. But it was a fun night with some Town Crier colleagues and a chance to catch up with my two favourite Humber College journalism professors Terri Arnott and Carey French.

Now here’s the story I wrote…

Clifford Wong closed his Yonge Street clothing store Basique Attitude. He was not the only struggling shop.Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

By Kris Scheuer
By the time you read this Clifford Wong will have closed up his Yonge St. clothing shop Basique Attitude.
He’s not alone. A visit on Yonge between Eglinton and Lawrence Aves. on April 22 reveals about dozen vacant shops along this busy North Toronto strip.
“I’ve been here 16 months. It’s hard to survive,” says Wong just days before his shop was to close for good on April 25. “I love this area, but it’s very difficult to survive.”
He’s had three stores in Richmond Hill for 15 years, but says it costs $7,000 monthly for commercial rent and property taxes in Toronto for his store at 2581 Yonge St. He also mentions street parking enforcement that acts as a deterrent for shoppers.
“People are scared to park here,” he says.
The Uptown Yonge Business Improvement Area’s members have noticed the same problems.

Continue reading

Roy Macdonald Ward 16 candidate

Macdonald concerned about traffic and crime
First-time candidate wants to see better city services
By Kris Scheuer
(Written May 7 for Town Crier.)

Teacher Roy Macdonald's running for ward 16 council seat. Photo courtesy of Roy Macdonald.

Teacher and coach Roy Macdonald is seeking to unseat Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Karen Stintz in Ward 16.
“I don’t see it being a stretch going from teaching to politics,” said  the 42-year-old, first time candidate. “I’m pretty good at bringing people from different personalities together.”
Macdonald’s worked as school liaison worker with students at Lord Dufferin School supporting kids both academically and emotionally. Many of the students lived in shelters or came from problem homes. He’s taught in communities from Jane and Finch to Lawrence Park.
In his spare time he coaches children’s hockey four times a week in the winter, hardball/softball in the community in the spring and soccer and baseball at school.
“I like to be a busy person,” said Macdonald, who lives in the ward. Continue reading

When to judge politicians’ behaviour

What are reasonable expectations to have of political reps
How perfect should they be in their private lives
(Opinion column written March 5 for Town Crier.)

Politicians are people too.
Okay I know that sounds obvious, but as Midtown councillor Karen Stintz points out people are flawed.
This means politicians, like us, aren’t perfect.
“Generally, the public is not interested in the flaws of politicians,” she tells me.
“Where it is a problem is if a politician presents themself in a particular light and doesn’t live up to that,” she says. “If you try to present yourself as perfect, you are bound to disappoint people because no one’s perfect.”
So it is when a politician is a hypocrite professing to be one way or preaching on a subject when they can’t uphold those same values that the real problem unfolds.

Continue reading

North Toronto voters’ high expectations

Coun. Karen Stintz governs a very politically active ward
Residents put pressure on politicians to side with them
(Column written Feb. 5 for Town Crier.)

Eglinton-Lawrence Councillor Karen Stintz represents a very politically engaged Ward 16 that has high expectations of their local reps.
The ward has six ratepayer organizations as well as tenant associations, condo boards and co-ops.
On top of that is the very active Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations that represents three dozen ratepayer organizations in the broader midtown area. And they are a politically active bunch.
Stintz says this is a blessing not a curse.
“One of the strengths of the North Toronto community is they are highly engaged and relative to the city there’s a higher than average voter turnout,” she says. “The community is very engaged and that’s not just during an election year it’s throughout a person’s (political) term.” Continue reading

Toronto mayor and council candidates

Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone has expressed interest in running for the top job in 2010.


By Kris Scheuer
(For update, click here.)

For political junkies, like me, elections are a fun time to be a journalist.
There’s change, drama, personality clashes, issues debated, suspense, scandals, disappointment, joy, surprise upsets, unpredictability…
Okay maybe it’s just me, but I know I am not the only one who gets excited by politics and electi
Someone back me up here and write to tell what you think.

So last night, I was at a party with a bunch of left-leaning strategists, politicians, journalists and lobbyists. I am not a card carrying member of any political party and never have been. But it so happened this evening’s party was packed with NDPers.
As I was not working this past weekend,yesterday was my first chance to officially confirm what’s been reported on Friday that Councillor Kyle Rae is out of the game. He won’t run in Toronto Centre-Rosedale in the 2010 municipal race.
I interviewed him today, so click here for a teaser of the full interview I am writing for the Town Crier and will post on my site this Thursday.
But that’s not the only story.
Today Liberal fundraiser and strategist Rocco Rossi made it official that he, along with MPP George Smitherman and councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, is running to be Toronto’s next mayor.
But that’s not all. On a range of rumour all the way to sure bet – others are set to announce their mayoralty hopes too including current city councillors: former journalist Adam Vaughan, Budget Chief Shelley Carroll, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and TTC chair Adam Giambrone.

Continue reading

Karen Stintz opts out of mayor’s race

Stintz won’t run for mayor of Toronto in 2010
She plans to run for re-election as Eglinton-Lawrence councillor
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Nov. 8 for Town Crier.)

Local rep Karen Stintz is no longer considering running for mayor, but she has no shortage of priorities to tackle if she’s re-elected as councillor.
“It looks like it will be a crowded playing field running for mayor,” says Stintz, who had openly mused about running for the top job. “I can best serve in another way by promoting new ideas and getting issues discussed.”
Stintz is in her second term in office and has carved out a place for herself as one of the main spokespeople for the Responsible Government Group, which was formed in opposition to Mayor David Miller.
With Miller not returning again, it will be a wide open race although few have declared themselves as official mayoralty candidates so far. Stinz has now declared she will be seeking her current seat as councillor for Eglinton-Lawrence’s ward 15. Continue reading

Garbage fee hike cancelled

Solid waste budget gets additional cash to avoid trash rate hike
Millions saved during summer strike diverted to garbage department
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Oct. 28 for Town Crier.)

Call it the garbage fee hike that never was.
Toronto city council couldn’t stomach implementing a proposed two percent increase for trash fees so soon after a strike that saw garbage collection suspended for 39 days.
The fee would generate an additional $4.8 million for the solid waste management department to implement additional waste diversion programs such as additional reuse centres for old mattresses and furniture to be recycled or sold rather than tossed in landfill. The proposed fee hike would have meant an additional $4-8 per bin depending on the size.
But instead of raising garbage rates, the city approved using $4.8 million out of the $36.1 million “saved” during this summer’s strike for the garbage department’s 2010 budget to hold the line on fees. Continue reading

Strike savings used to avoid garbage hike

City to add millions to garbage budget to avoid fee hike
Proposal was to raise rates by two percent in 2010
By Kris Scheuer
(Oct. 29 update here.)

City council voted today to apply $4.8 million from money saved during this summer’s strike towards the garbage department’s budget.
While the city saved money in some departments during the 39-day labour dispute, in other areas it cost them more in overtime pay and legal costs.
Overall, the city came out $36.1 million ahead. Today city politicians debated what to do with that money: issue rebates, put it into general revenue or use part of it to off set proposed garbage fee hikes.
In the end, council voted 22-19 to apply nearly $5 million to Toronto’s garbage department budget to avoid a proposed two percent hike in rates for 2010.
The motion put forth by Councillor Karen Stintz passed after hours of debate.
For more on this story, please click here for update.

So what do you think? Was this the right use of $4.8 million?