Posts Tagged ‘2010 Municipal Election’
John Laforet with Ward 43′s proceeds to Foodpoll 2010
Below is a news release regarding the success of foodpoll 2010′s challenge to all City Council candidates. I was proud to participate and wish the others running in Ward 43 had gotten involved to make it more interesting. I want to thank everyone who dropped by to donate non parishable food to the foodbank and have to say I was personally amazed by the amount of food donated.
240 Pounds of Help For Scarborough’s Food Bank Collected in Ward 43
SCARBOROUGH, Mon. Sept 20, 2010 – Residents of Ward 43 donated 240 pounds of soup, flour, pasta and other non-perishable food items to local food banks this past weekend as part of the city-wide Toronto Food Poll 2010. This food drive was organized as a challenge to all city councillor candidates in the upcoming October 25th municipal election.
The motto for this year’s Food Poll was “Politics doesn’t matter if you’re hungry…. Everyone needs to eat.” John Laforet was the only councillor candidate in Scarborough’s Ward 43 to participate in this community food drive.
“Helping out our neighbours is a tradition in Scarborough. I want to thank all the Ward 43 residents who dropped off groceries this weekend. I was amazed by residents’ generosity in just two days,” said Laforet.
He congratulated the food drive organizers for taking a creative approach to link urban poverty with the current municipal election. Laforet said food drives are important to many people in Ward 43. The ward includes some of Scarborough’s poorest neighbourhoods. He added that city officials estimate about 3,000 families in the ward’s area depend on local food banks.
“In addition to its low-income residents, Ward 43 continues to lack many of the city services that other parts of Toronto take for granted,” Laforet said. “We have no subway service. Some of the worst roads in Ontario are in this ward. And only one library is now operating in this whole ward.”
All the food collected by the John Laforet campaign in Ward 43 will be delivered to Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank, which supplies food to Scarborough’s volunteer-run food banks. About 40 councillor candidates across Toronto took part in the Food Poll. The final city-wide results of this drive will be announced by the Toronto Food Poll 2010 later this week. More information about this initiative is available at www.foodpoll2010.com
Some key points about the motion discussed in the article below:
Councillor Ainslie voted for Toronto’s renewable energy targets even though Toronto Hydro said advised Council could only be met with offshore wind. He moved a motion of support for the Green Energy Act even though Dalton McGuinty and George Smitherman cited Scarborough Bluffs residents opposition to Toronto Hydro as the reason to take away citizens rights. I am the only candidate who fought them on their attacks then, and the reason why George Smitherman has attempted to apologize three times for his abusive comments that Ainslie seems to have condoned.
Paul Ainslie’s motion amounts to nothing more than a political deathbed conversion brought on by the fact that Guildwood residents are sick of not being represented and are overwhelmingly supporting my campaign to replace him and stop this project. They are also pretty open about this with him from what I understand.
The City of Toronto owns Toronto Hydro and could instruct them to stop tomorrow. Instead of trying that avenue, Paul Ainslie is literally copying and pasting a motion passed by Clearview Ontario that the Minister of Energy has already stated would have no impact on anything. Ainslie has said for over a year this is a provincial issue (yet he voted to support the City and Toronto Hydro moving forward with the research in December 2009). Folks, Toronto Hydro’s project is municipal as it gets. We own this issue as a City.
We need a Councillor who will address the real issue which is the City of Toronto’s ownership of Toronto Hydro and therefore this Council’s ability to stop the project regardless of what the Green Energy Act, the Minister of Energy or Dalton McGuinty think. Having a Councillor who voted for targets that can only be met with this project going forward and moved a motion of support for the Green Energy Act, praising the City and Toronto Hydro for their expertise in developing renewable energy projects isn’t going to be a winning strategy if we’re serious about stopping this project.
My position: ‘I’d fight like hell to kill the project.’
Paul Ainslie’s position: ‘I’m scared to death, so I’m going to look like I’m trying and hope my electoral defeat can be postponed.’
Residents need action, not excuses. We need success, not failure.
This project must be stopped and I am the only candidate that is serious about doing that.
Keep our message alive. Give us the tools to succeed. Click donate to do what you can to help or visit the ‘Contact’ page to get involved in taking back our community’s seat on Council.
Below is the text from the Globe’s article.
Anna Mehler Paperny
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Published on Friday, Apr. 16, 2010 11:40PM EDT
Last updated on Friday, Apr. 16, 2010 11:42PM EDT
It’s an ongoing battle worthy of Cervantes, if he’d been an eco-minded urban planner: A furious group of residents, tilting at a hypothetical windmill.
The proposed turbine project, which would set up windmills in Lake Ontario off the Scarborough Bluffs, would be one of the province’s first forays into offshore wind power. Studies into whether such a project is even feasible are still in the nascent stage. It will take at least two years before Toronto Hydro knows whether there’s enough wind to make it work, and provincial regulations governing such a proposition are a ways off.
But the Don Quixotes of the Scarborough Bluffs are dead set against the suggestion. And their vocal opposition is putting local politicians on notice.
A motion going before Monday’s executive committee, put forward by two local councillors, proposes to ask the province for a blanket moratorium on wind-power development in Ontario. Even if the motion does make its way through council, it will have little impact, but it’s symbolic of the sway local opposition can have on such a project.
As Toronto commits to sourcing a quarter of its energy from renewable sources and the Ontario government commits billions of dollars to green-energy projects across the province, local opposition to backyard energy generation is something with which next year’s council will have to contend.
Already in the Guildwood community’s case, the turbine spat has galvanized candidates challenging incumbent councillor Paul Ainslie, arguing he hasn’t been vocal enough in his opposition. Mayoral candidates are being told in no uncertain terms that if they hope to pursue projects like these, they’ll have to find a way to work with angry residents.
Mr. Ainslie, the Scarborough East councillor who put forward Monday’s motion along with Scarborough Southwest councillor Brian Ashton, says he was motivated to do so out of concern for a precious part of the Toronto waterfront and fear that residents’ concerns are being ignored.
“People have a lot of concerns and people want to be listened to,” he said. “We’re asking for a moratorium because there’s health concerns, there’s real estate issues with property values and there’s a lot of things that are unanswered.”
The wind turbine issue is making Mr. Ainslie political enemies in his own ward: It’s the reason John LaForet is gunning for Mr. Ainslie’s council seat in October. “I’d fight like hell to kill the project,” he says.
Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid said even if the city’s executive committee passes the motion, it won’t change anything. If the project is deemed feasible and meets whatever provincial rules are put in place, it will likely go forward.
“There’s an 80-fold increase in wind turbines happening across Ontario – it is going to be something that’s going to be part of our landscape,” he said. “I think it would be a little bit hypocritical for Toronto, given its efforts to try to portray itself as a green city, to support this resolution. But that’s something that council will have to deal with. We’re determined to move forward with building green energy.”
Mayor David Miller, who has championed the city’s push towards renewable power, said opposition to the Scarborough Bluffs turbine is the exception, rather than the rule.
“The vast bulk of the green projects we’re doing are not only not controversial, they’re overwhelmingly embraced by people.”
It would be “tragic” if fear of angering residents prevented the city’s politicians from pursuing much-needed renewable energy initiatives, said York University environmental studies professor Mark Winfield.
“I think the potential is enormous and the benefits are enormous,” he said. “The biggest danger in some ways … is, frankly, the derailment of some of these efforts.”No Comments »
When I read that Dalton McGuinty had an opinion on what the ballot question should be in Toronto’s municipal election I was taken aback. It just seemed inappropriate that the Premier of Ontario would be advising residents what debate should determine the outcome of the race.
Watching the election unfold so far it seems clear there are going to be two camps, the folks who want to take drastic action to fundamentally alter how and what City Hall does and those who think tinkering is the way to go.
The province has used the 2010 municipal budget as an opportunity to use spending power to exert more control over the TTC. This is something Torontonians should approach with caution because it means local control will be shared with the province, likely through Metrolinx. This could create an even more unwieldy governance structure for the TTC.
The Premier’s suggestion that the Toronto Election is a good opportunity to discuss the idea of transit workers being declared an essential service was not only off base, but possibly a sign of what is to come with the permanent funding proposal from the Province, particularly in a race that sees the front runners running against City Hall, not for it.
With the significant decisions the next Council is going to have to make regarding Toronto’s future should be top of mind of all voters when they determine who to send to Council in the fall. I believe our next Mayor and members of Council need to focus the municipal/provincial relationship on building a sustainable and workable framework for Toronto to govern it’s affairs with the resources needed to meet the challenge. We need to make sure, whoever is elected doesn’t sell our city short in these negotiations and ensures the Premier understands providing adequate funding to the City of Toronto and the TTC isn’t optional, its necessary.
How about the province just fund a proportion of the TTC’s operating budget because it’s the right thing to do, and historically a role they played.
If there is to be a ballot question regarding anything to do with the Provincial government it should be, which candidate for Mayor best represents our City’s long term interests in negotiating a sustainable framework with the Ontario Government.No Comments »
It had a great day connecting with my neighbours in Ward 43 today. Although it was cold, the sun was out, and many people were quite willing to talk about how we can change direction and turn the page together in the upcoming term on Council. For much of the day I was talking with Guildwood residents about Toronto Hydro’s wind turbine proposal, and what we’ll need to do to stop their irresponsible plan from damaging the environment or our community. We need to protect our green space and natural environments. There is an overall disappointment with a lack of local leadership from our Councillor, his antics at City Hall and more broadly, the actions of City Hall in general.
Making the decision to run for public office isn’t an easy one, not matter what anyone says. What makes being a candidate so rewarding, is the ability to work on solutions with residents, offer something different, and solutions that will improve the community we each call home. If we continue to work together, and build a vision we can pursue over the coming months, we’ll then have four years to see action on our priorities and truly turn the page for our community.
I am humbled by the response I’ve received so far and motivated that much more to press on over the coming months in hopes that the community can unify behind the only candidate in the race whose got a plan to improve our community moving forward.
We have a long way to go, and it’s going to take the help of many if we’re going to succeed. I want to hear your thoughts, and ideas so please feel free to write me.
Our campaign can only be successful with the financial support of those who believe in what we’re trying to achieve.No Comments »
This post was sparked by Councillor Giambrone’s email to Councillor Palacio, who represents the other half of the Federal and Provincial Davenport riding, but speaks to an issue far greater than a silly turf war between two men.
Ok – Here is a brief rundown of what happened.
Adam Giambrone is the Councillor for Ward 18, which is the southern portion of the riding of Davenport just west of the downtown core. The area has a very large Portuguese community. The President of the Regional Government of the Azores (a small autonomous archipelago that is part of Portugal) was coming to Toronto and the Portuguese community wanted to hold an event in recognition of this. They also wanted an liquor license for the event. So far, it sounds pretty reasonable right?
So members of the Portuguese community contacted Councillor Palacio, himself Portuguese, and the Councillor neighbouring the ward where the event would be held for his help.
That seems to have upset Councillor Giambrone who sent the following email to Councillor Palacio
“Stop messing in my ward or there will be problems. I generally ignore your actions, but I am going to start looking for ways to cause trouble for you and when I start you’re not going to appreciate it.”
Ward 18, is essentially Davenport South, Ward 17 (where Palacio is elected) is essentially Davenport North. They are separated by Dupont, meaning based on Giambrone’s logic, Palacio can do whatever he wants on the north side of Dupont, but needs to stay out of all affairs on the south side of the street. It’s a pretty ridiculous and arbitrary logic.
The use of ‘my’ in politics is something that I always kind of watch, because in many ways how one uses ‘my’ as an elected official represents the outlook they bring to both their role and that of members of the community.
Ward 18 is not Adam Giambrone’s ward. In 2010 I expect he’ll have a handful of challengers, and like all who seek public office, even those who win, will have thousands of folks who vote against him. Ward 18 is the ward he represents, he is Ward 18′s Councillor, but Ward 18 isn’t his. The point I’m trying to make is the Councillor belongs to the Ward, not the Ward to the Councillor.
It irks me when a Councillor or any elected official uses the phrase ‘my’ to refer to political boundaries or the people who live within the area. To me it seems like a subtle recognition that the individual who is speaking doesn’t necessary understand the relationship between a community and it’s elected official, at least as I see it, or their broader role as one of 45 people tasked with managing the City of Toronto.
Communities are important, so is the role of the public in decision making. To me at least, it seems like the best elected officials are the ones who recognize that they’ve been hired by members of a community to act as their voice, to use the tools they’ve been granted to work on the issues of concern to members of that community, while those who live in the community provide guidance and perspective on matters that reflect significant departures or change from the status quo. My general view on government is that the representative needs to represent the community to the level of government and not take the ‘trust us, we know best’ approach to governing. Far too often, elected officials find it easier to stand with bureaucrats, political parties, and others against those who elected them, relying on the fact that powerful friends remember good deeds longer and can reward them better than members of the community remember bad representation, which is now so common folks just tend to expect it. Call me cynical, but look at the donors lists and voting records of many elected officials and tell me you don’t see a pattern.
Giambrone’s over reaction to a fellow councillor trying to help out a community he has clear ties to with something that is void of any political agenda to me seems ridiculous. I loathe the kinds of politicians who refuse to help folks or listen to folks because they don’t live in their ward, and what Giambrone has done appears to be to try and convince a member of Council that the ‘focus on your ward and forget about everyone else’ feeds into that. I don’t even have words for the attempt to bully and intimidate a fellow member of Council and think it is great that Councillor Palacio has made this email public. He was also right to file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner in my view.
Without getting into electoral reform, I would like to point out that under the 1997 election rules when each ward was the size of a federal and provincial riding and had two representatives, Councillor Palacio’s actions would have been completely OK and in general one of the biggest flaws with the single member constituency concept is it leaves residents who are on the opposite side of an issue with their elected officials, without a voice and with politicians who they gave a mandate to represent them, with the power to in effect silence members of the community.
Why Giambrone even cares who gets to help the community get a liquor license to me seems odd. I would be willing to bet no one in Ward 18 will or
will not vote for him would or would not have voted for him based on whether he or another Councillor helped get the license. I doubt the community frankly cared, they just want the license, and figured Palacio, a fellow member of their community, probably would be more motivated to work on it, in effect letting Giambrone off the hook.
What this amounted to is silly ward politics, over a complete non issue. But what it has become probably will hurt Councillor Giambrone’s otherwise shining star and could see a minor backlash against him from folks who see his actions as inappropriate and indicative of a kind of politics they’d rather not support.
At the end of the day constituents who seek out help are after one thing. It’s always very transparent, they’re looking for help with whatever their problem or issue is. They necessarily don’t care about the next election when they initially reach out to an elected official, or the politics of City Hall. They just want help resolving whatever issue they have been unable to. That being said, like all individuals who come away from a situation no better off then they were before, voters have a tendency to look for others options. Like each of us whose changed a service provider over bad service, voters change representatives for the same reason.
If Councillors focused less on the politics of elections to come, and more on the needs of those who’ve hired them, faith in government would be considerably higher, residents in all wards would be better served, and the ‘ward boss’ mentality that is often seen around City Hall would be unnecessary.
Councillors would probably still win re-election at the same rates they currently do; well the good ones at least. The difference would be that they would be winning through with votes from an informed, engaged and well served electorate, not the 30-35% who isn’t so frustrated they’ve given up on municipal politics as even being relevant and opted not to exercise their right and responsibility to vote.6 Comments »