Weekend Newsbrief: October 21, 2018
What happened at Toronto City Hall this week (election edition)
Monday is voting day in Toronto. Toronto voters head to the polls on Monday to elect the city’s mayor, city councillors, and school board trustees. Voting stations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. Electors can find out the nearest polling station to them on the city’s MyVote website. Anyone who owns or rents property in Toronto is eligible to vote, as per the eligibility guidelines. Electors must bring acceptable ID to receive a ballot, generally something that identifies them and their address (includes leases). This is the first election since 2000 that the ward boundaries have changed from 44 to 25, changing to align with the provincial and federal riding boundaries. Each new riding involves at least two ridings, many with longtime incumbents or politicians who have held previously held positions at other levels of government battling it out. Read candidates’ answers to Signal Toronto’s questionnaire in our Toronto election candidate listings.
In ward races, every vote counts. While Toronto’s mayoral faceoff between John Tory and Jennifer Keesmaat may not end with the slim margin that Vancouver’s did in this weekend’s municipal election (mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart beat Ken Sim by 984 votes), many of Toronto’s wards might. With many popular incumbents facing off each other in the new 25-ward structure, a big factor will be who votes (the city’s voter statistics for the 2014 municipal election report that out of 1,813,915 eligible voters, 991,754 or 54.67 per cent voted). A few races to watch on Monday night either because they will be close or will result in ousting a popular (or at least loud) councillor from city hall next term are: Josh Matlow vs. Joe Mihevc in Toronto-St. Paul’s; Norm Kelly vs. Jim Karygiannis in Scarborough-Agincourt; Paula Fletcher vs. Mary Fragedakis in Toronto-Danforth; Gary Crawford vs. Michelle Holland-Berardinetti in Scarborough Southwest; and Giorgio Mammoliti vs. Anthony Perruzza in Humber River-Black Creek. As Matt Elliott wrote in an updated column and new VIDEO for Signal Toronto, every vote counts. If you’re interested in how many votes a candidate received in the last election, the 2014 official election results are available online.
Safe streets group advocates for stronger commitment from politicians on future planning of the city’s streets. A coalition of organizations released the results of a survey on Thursday morning, showing responses from mayoral and city councillor candidates on issues ranging from speed limits, to sidewalks, to protected cycling lanes. “We feel that [the city’s road safe plan] is not being implemented quickly enough,” Nancy Smith Lea, Director of the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) said. The group told members of the media at the press conference they would not be endorsing particular candidates. However, Cycle Toronto’s executive director, Jared Kolb, did lean in favour of one candidate in the Humber River-Black Creek Ward race. “One of those races I think that is hot on a lot of people’s agenda is looking at the race in North Etobicoke between Councillor Mammoliti and Councillor Perruzza and candidate Tiffany Ford and others. And I think it does send a message that Anthony Perruzza responded [to the survey] and Giorgio Mammoliti and other candidates didn’t… We’ve got to invest in council candidates and in mayoral candidates who see that as a priority, otherwise we’re going to be locked into this pattern of continuing this trend of deadly streets here in Toronto.” Both Perruzza and Mammoliti were members of the city’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee this past term. However, it is questionable how seriously each candidate took the issues. At one committee meeting, Perruzza spoke at length and off topic, about the possibility of a cycling licensing system. Mammoliti is more outlandish than Perruzza and controversial; he recently drew attention with a post he wrote on Ford’s facebook page about racial “segregation” in social housing, as reported by CityNews’ Faiza Amin.
In other news…
– Oct. 18, 2018. Spacing by Tricia Wood. ELECTION: Could we please have a mayor who will stand up for Toronto?
– Oct. 18, 2018. Toronto Life The no-politics mayoral candidate questionnaire: John Tory vs. Jennifer Keesmaat (read other TL questionnaires here)
– Oct. 19, 2018. Globe and Mail by Jack Diamond. Toronto used to be a metropolis model. So what happened?
On deck this week: Monday is the municipal election day in Toronto, marking the official shift in the balance of power from 47 city councillors to 25. The first meeting of the new city council is the first week of December. The three-member Toronto Parking Authority will meet on Wednesday. The city’s real estate agency CreateTO will meet on Thursday to decide what amount they should request from the 2019 annual budget process in the winter. Staff recommends a request of $12 million to run the property organization, which includes an increase of over a million for human resource fees. The Toronto Police Service Board will meet on Thursday. On the agenda is the issue of weed in the workplace and the police service’s prohibition on recreational cannabis possession and use while at work, on duty, on call, or in uniform; a strict prohibition on attending work while under the influence of or impaired by recreational cannabis (the report says impairment can last up to 28 days).
Candidate election campaign theme song selections by numbers
Last week, we launched our election candidate listings page. Here’s a few things we learned about their song selections for their campaign:
This Newsbrief is by Arianne Robinson.