Weekend Newsbrief: October 7, 2018
What happened at Toronto City Hall this week (election edition)
The municipal election is in two weeks. Do you know who are your candidates for mayor, city councillor, and school board trustee are? The municipal election is on Oct. 22, which is two weeks from tomorrow (Thanksgiving Monday). If you’re interested in getting out to a debate, CP24 has a list of local debates. If you’re interested in comparing promises made by incumbent mayor John Tory and leading rival Jennifer Keesmaat, the Toronto Star has an election promise tracker. If you’re starting at the beginning, know that the municipal ward boundaries are now the same as the provincial and federal ridings. You can find yours on the city’s ‘MyVote’ website by typing in your postal code. You can also look up who was elected earlier this year in the provincial election, and federally in the 2015 election in your riding. Once you know the name of your ward, check the city’s website to see the list of people running for city councillor and school board trustee, and the list of people running for mayor of the city.
CBC cancels their mayoral debate. This week, CBC’s Marissa Nelson, senior managing director for CBC’s Ontario region, wrote a piece explaining why the public broadcaster won’t be holding a mayoral debate. “John Tory has declined the invitation saying he will only participate in debates that include more candidates, with suggestions of who, using different criteria than those we’ve used for years,” Nelson wrote. Back in September, Tory was quoted in a statement from his campaign saying, “I invite other candidates and debate organizers to support our local democracy by allowing other candidates, including many from diverse backgrounds, to take part in this important election.” A recent article by May Warren in the Toronto Star highlights how ranked ballots can alter the tone of campaigns, with voters needing to choose not only their first but also second- and third-choice candidates.
Councillor races across the city. There were a number of local debates held this past week, including a “political speed dating” event in Toronto Centre, and six all-candidates debates for wards in Scarborough. Ward 23, Scarborough North, is one of two wards in the city that has no incumbent running. It’s mostly comprised of what was previously Ward 41, with the councillor seat formerly held by Chin Lee and now held by Migan Megardichian, who was appointed after Lee left to pursue provincial politics. The other ward race where there is is no incumbent is Beaches-East York (Ward 19), previously Ward 31, held by Janet Davis, and Ward 32, held by Mary-Margaret McMahon. McMahon and John Tory endorsed Brad Bradford last week.
On deck this week: The Globe and Mail is hosting a debate at the Toronto Regional Board of Trade on Tuesday night with incumbent mayor John Tory, former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, organizer Sarah Climenhaga, and lawyer Saron Gebresellassi. Tickets to the event are available for purchase.
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This Newsbrief is by Arianne Robinson.