Tories set sights on Willowdale riding
But Liberal Zimmer vows to defend his seat
(Written for Town Crier March 3)
Liberal MPP David Zimmer seeks a third term in Willowdale. Photo courtesy of David Zimmer.
Liberal MPP David Zimmer knows the Progressive Conservatives have set their sights on Willowdale, but he’s ready to fight to keep his seat in the upcoming provincial election.
He first came to power in 2003 beating then PC incumbent David Young.
“All the pundits, polls, newspapers and blogs in 2003 (stated) the conventional wisdom was Conservatives would lose all seats in 416 except Willowdale,” recalls Zimmer.
The commentators were mostly correct as the PCs lost all their Toronto seats including Willowdale.
“David Young was a good candidate, a lawyer. I know him and we had a good campaign,” said Zimmer, also a lawyer by trade. “I won by 2,000 votes.”
Fast forward to the 2007 provincial race and then PC leader John Tory looked closely at running in Willowdale against Zimmer but settled on Don Valley West where he eventually lost to Kathleen Wynne. The PCs ran Willowdale Councillor David Shiner as a star candidate, but Zimmer held on, beating Shiner by almost 6,000 votes.
“This year the Tories are anxious to try and get Willowdale,” Zimmer said. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged Agovino, candidate, David, election, Kris Scheuer, Liberal, MPP, PC, provincial, re-election, Tories, Town Crier, Vince, Willowdale, Zimmer
Debate in high needs needs ‘hood draws tough questions
Five Toronto mayoral candidates face off on their city vision
(Written July 26 for Town Crier newspaper.)
L-R: Candidates Thomson, Ford, Smitherman, Pantalone, Achampong and debate moderator David Mitchell. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
His opposition to plans to redevelop of Lawrence Heights put mayoral candidate Rob Ford in the hot seat at a recent debate held in the neighbourhood.
At the July 23 debate, one resident accused Ford of carrying a virtual axe to “kill things” as his campaign symbol.
Ford was one of only three councillors who voted against the Lawrence Heights plan July 6 at city council.
Ford responded by saying he didn’t support the plan to replace 1,208 rent-geared-to income units to the area and add around 5,000 private homes because he’d heard opposition from among the 4,000 people who he said signed a petition against the project. But he did support helping residents with access to affordable housing.
“When I drove along Lawrence, every single private apartment that I drove by said bachelor, one bedroom, two bedroom for rent,” said Ford. “We can subsidize your income or rent and put you into private buildings.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged community, David, debate, George Smitherman, Heights, housing, Joe Pantalone, Kris Scheuer, Lawrence, mayoral, Mitchell, Rob Ford, Rocco Achampong, Sarah Thomson, Toronto, Town Crier
Kiwanis has run city-owned Casa Loma for over 70 years
City not pleased with Kiwanis lately, may seek new agency to take over
(Written July 8 for Town Crier. UPDATE HERE.)
The city's done millions in external renos, but Kiwanis behind on some of the internal repairs agreed to in current contract. File photo/Town Crier.
Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma has until July 31 to fix its relationship with the city or lose its contract to run Toronto’s famous castle.
Kiwanis has operated the city-owned castle since 1937, but disputes over the current 20-year management agreement have put that partnership at risk.
On July 7, the city voted to give Kiwanis until the end of the month to agree in writing to a series of actions, including developing a financial plan on how the group plans to fulfill its contract obligations to fix up the castle’s interior.
The city contends Kiwanis is woefully behind on a commitment to spend $1.6 million fixing the hunting lodge, visitors centre, dining facilities, and flooring.
Posted in Toronto
Tagged Casa Loma, contract, Councillor Joe Mihevc, David, Kiwanis, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Miller, Richard, Town Crier, Wozenilek
Low-income business hopefuls look to prosper from loan initiative
(Town Crier column written July 9.)
Fatima Ali got laid off from her job as a personal chef, but don’t think it’s getting her down — she’s applying for a loan to start up her own catering business.
The 23-year-old is one of several youth hoping to qualify for a one-year pilot project geared to helping would-be entrepreneurs start their own business venture.
The initiative was spearheaded by financial institution Alterna Savings, who has partnered with the Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto.
It is geared to unemployed, out of school 18-24 year olds living in low income, west end neighbourhoods, including Bathurst-Finch, and Lawrence Heights.
“I was a private chef catering clientele meetings,” the bubbly Ali tells me at the July 8 launch of the micro loan initiative.
“When I’m cooking or baking, I’m in a positive vibe.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Ali, Alterna Savings, catering, community, David, Fatima, Faustin, Foundation, Kris Scheuer, loans, Lozandieu, Mayor, micro, Miller, RAW, Robert, Toronto, Town Crier, Xamuel, youth