September 12th was a hard day for many candidates mentally, physically and emotionally. It is the last day to drop out or jump into any of the races for the municipal election. All the months of canvassing, events, strategy, platform creation stops for a few hours. The unpleasant truth is many politically experienced candidates often jump into races at the last minute. Strategically it may be a brilliant political move; saving all the effort, funding and support until the election "matters". To politicos and residents aware of the races, it is seen as opportunistic.
I have been registered since February 7th, 2014. My campaign has been simple and true to my mantra of POLICY over POLITICS. I've been respectful to my opponents despite our differences. Each candidate will spread a message about where they see Etobicoke headed; various paradigms that may be generally opposing.
I preface about Ward 3's race because it has been civil. This has not been the case for other wards across Toronto and I felt it was appropriate to address some other developments on September 12th.
In late March / early April I had to chance to meet a gentleman who was preparing to enter a councillor race. We had talked about where we wanted to go in our campaigns and the issues in our communities. It was a great conversation that led into other meetings and now has spurred into a friendship. That candidate's name is Andray Domise and he is running for Councillor in Ward 2 - Etobicoke North. I supported Andray in April and I will continue to support his campaign until the end.
Ward 2 is Ford Nation territory. Ward 2 has been neglected for several terms - I would suggest reading up on Andray's blog to get a sense of his view on Rob and Doug Ford's "legacy".
On July 1st I went to Ribfest at Centennial Park (in Ward 3) and later returned with Andray and Chantal to enjoy the festivities including some delicious food and of course the fireworks. What ended up happening was a chance to speak with John Tory who attended Ribfest. It was good to see a mayoral candidate in Etobicoke enjoying the beautiful weather.
After having a good laugh with our Nintendo moment, we saw a moving crowd. It was Rob and Doug Ford surrounded by a mob. The next few moments will be best described in Andray's article for the Huffington Post.
I bore witness to the events although I was not able to hear any of the conversations Andray had with either Rob or Doug Ford. I did however have my camera to take photos of the fireworks and quickly pulled out my camera for the impromptu meetings with the Fords.
Andray was very upset after the encounters and it took some time to cheer up. He focused on the knowledge that he wanted to represent his ward and improve his community; to start to heal the wounds both Doug and Rob had inflicted on Etobicoke North. The night settled down and we did eventually get to enjoy one of the best fireworks displays at Centennial Park I've ever seen.
Fast forward back to September 12th. Andray has been polling behind another Ford (Michael Ford) but was quickly increasing his chance to be the Councillor for Ward 2. The Ford machine did what they do best, do what is good for the FORD'S. The campaign deadline ended with Michael stepping down, Rob stepping down and a huge switcharoo. Doug is now running for mayor, Rob for Councillor in ward 2, and Michael for trustee. The nepotism of the situation infuriates me and many others in Toronto.
We need to stop this circus! I will not be supporting Doug Ford for mayor. I will not be supporting Rob Ford for city councillor.
We need to have residents across all wards get informed about who is running in their ward. Check the City of Toronto website to see who is your candidates. Read up on their platform, what are their policies and what is their vision for Toronto. I've had the pleasure to meet many great candidates from all across this city. There is hope in Toronto. There is vision in this city that will make it the best city in the world.
If you live in Ward 2 - vote for Andray. He will represent with honour and integrity.
If you live in Ward 3 - vote for policy - vote for me.
No matter what ward is yours, vote for a candidate that represents what you believe a Councillor should be.
Toronto needs candidates that will bring Policy over Politics. Candidates need your support: volunteer, donate and make sure you cast your vote.