July 23, 2018
By Arianne Robinson
Han Dong registered to run for councillor in Ward 20 on Monday morning. The new downtown ward is within his former riding of Trinity-Spadina when he was a Liberal MPP between 2014 – 2018.
Ward 20 is one of the new wards introduced this term and includes the condo neighbourhood east of Bathurst and north of Front called City Place, as well as the Rogers Centre and the first section of the King Street streetcar pilot project. Its boundaries are Bathurst St., Queen St., John St./Rees St., the waterfront, Remembrance Dr./Coronation Park, and Lake Shore Blvd.
Asked about what issues he thinks are a priority in the ward, Dong said there’s a need for more social infrastructure such as pediatricians in the ward, green spaces for families, preserving heritage buildings, and elevator repair standards.
“The number one frustrations for high-rise dwellers are the elevator outage. Sometimes when they go out they go out for weeks. It’s a form of transportation – it’s absolutely unacceptable to have these kinds of outages happening. With more and more condos going up in the city core, if we don’t tackle this problem now, we’re going to have serious issues down the road.”
Current Councillor Joe Cressy is running in the new Ward 24, which is located in the north part of the former ward. Right now, Cressy is the only one registered to run in that ward. This is the last week to register to run for council.
Dong joins a longer list of those registered to run, including school board trustee Ausma Malik; Al Carbone, owner of Kit Kat cafe on King Street; April Engelberg; Mike Lapointe; Dean Maher; Kevin Vuong; and Sabrina Zuniga.
In an interview, Dong recalled his first experience running for school board trustee in the 2003 municipal election (he was not successful).
“I think for any political candidate submitting their paper to run, willing to put their name on the ballot, it’s an exciting time.”
Dong recently ran in the provincial election, and was defeated by the NDP’s Chris Glover.