Torontonians don’t want more years of division and chaos
By William Doyle-Marshall
John Tory, the leading candidate in the race for Mayor of the City of Toronto told a Sunday morning gathering on Broadview that social justice is very important to him and it will continue to be that when if he becomes the next mayor. As a volunteer Tory informed the assembly that he has devoted literally years of his life to making sure that “we can look ourselves in the mirror every morning and we can say we are true to our Canadian and Toronto values which is: we don’t leave people behind”. Responding to a question about the entire campaign focused on transit and very little had been said about social justice, he emphasized that is “very much a part of what I want to do as the mayor which is to ensure that we don’t leave people behind”.
Tory said the city council councilors have to really get going on making sure that they renew not just one or two or three priority neighbourhoods but rather renew all the neighbourhoods physically and socially. This has to be done in partnership with people who know what they are doing – government, non-profit and the private sector. Tory said that would be something he would devote his time to. That means getting on with building transit and it means getting on with being an ambassador with a proper reputation for this city, out selling this city as a place to create jobs, the mayoral aspirant concluded. Directing his attention to the Smart Track train campaign Tory reported being told by a resident of having to wait until three trains pass daily at the Davisville station. “This is just not the kind of city people want to live in. people deserve better than that.
The Sunday morning stop for Tory was immediately after addressing a church gathering. He went to bolster the campaign of Liz West for Ward 30 councilor and Maria Saras-Voutsinas for Ward 15 Toronto District School Board trustee. West almost captured the seat at the last municipal elections and has been encouraged to re-enter the race again this time. she wants to get rid of part politics at city hall so council could work together and focus on the needs of its residents. Saras-Voutsinas, a young mother has two children who attend Toronto District School Board’s schools. She wants transparency and fiscal accountability at City Hall.
In welcoming all the Tory supporters to her campaign office on Broadway West said it felt like being on a packed subway car and that reminded her of one of the reasons she was in the race to become a Toronto City Councilor. Her plan is to work on solutions to help ease congestion in the city. Every door West has knocked on, the aspiring councilor said she heard about people’s frustration as they get around the city. She told the gathering of volunteers and media in a small crowded space she was in favour of electing a non-partisan council that is really going to work together on peoples’ priorities. These are her reasons for supporting Tory whom she believes has similar goals. “Smart Track is going to bring three new stops to her ward which will give people an option right now who are waiting for streetcars, buses and subways that are packed and they can’t get on them,” West said.
She reported talking to a lady who waited on nine trains in the subway to go by on the Bloor Danforth line before she could get on. She considered this situation unreasonable. “I believe Smart Track is going to give us a solution in the short term, a quicker solution. It’s going to help people all over the city which is fantastic.”
Tory terms his approach in the campaign is to emerge with a unified council with the purpose of building a great city. His dream is to take Toronto from being a “good city to a great one”. That is going to require everybody working together, he stressed.
He praised West for putting her name on the ballot because it is a difficult decision which changes your life in many ways during the period of the campaign and afterwards if you hold public office. Despite its difficulties Tory said it is a wonderful, rewarding thing to do, to help build the city and to help make the city go forward. He said he is proud of Toronto and considers himself lucky to have lived here. Tory said he has been getting a lot of positive response to his call to unify the city. “We all live in Toronto. We all love Toronto. We all need transit to get built; we all need jobs to be created here; more jobs for our kids and for other people that don’t have jobs. People downtown are responding to the fact that they don’t want four more years of division and chaos. That’s what’s causing me to have a good response right across the city.
September 29, 2014