Dear Friends and Neighbours,
I am writing to notify you of my election intentions in light of the ward boundary changes.
Later this week, the Ontario Superior Court will hear arguments from the City of Toronto individual residents, candidates and civic organizations to strike down Bill 5, Doug Ford’s so-called Better Local Government Act. This legislation is an affront to democracy, and I am optimistic that the Court will rule it unconstitutional. While, the fallout from Bill 5 has been dismaying and painful, I am buoyed by the strong resistance I have heard from you – at our neighbourhood meeting, through the more than 25,000 Torontonians who signed petitions and wrote emails against it, and in the hundreds phone calls to the Premier’s office. Many of you reached out to me directly to talk about the future of our city and our neighbourhood.
Be assured that, regardless of the Court’s decision, I will be running for re-election.
This community is my home. I was born and raised just to the west of here, I attended St Mike’s College School, and my partner Rosalee and I have lived in the Humewood community for more than 20 years. This neighbourhood is where we raised our family, and it’s the area I have been privileged to represent on Toronto City Council since amalgamation.
The next four years will be tough for the City of Toronto. It is clear that Premier Ford has set his sights on meddling in Toronto’s affairs, including disrupting our elections, planning a hostile takeover of the TTC, and cutting social assistance. On the new council, whether we are 25 or 47, our task will be to defend our city, to present a positive alternative vision for Toronto, and to do the work to make it happen.
We love Toronto because it’s a place that nurtures and inspires, it is welcoming and inclusive, and of course, it is home.
We need to continue nurturing the growth of this great city in turn. It will take creativity, energy, passion, and above all, a commitment to do this together.
I am so proud of everything we have accomplished during my time representing the western part of St. Paul’s. Together, we’ve pursued our community vision with determination and success: we turned an abandoned piece of industrial land into the Wychwood Barns, the beating heart of our neighbourhood. We have made several improvements to Cedarvale Ravine, which has become a green sanctuary for young and old, dog walkers, tennis players, skaters, and walkers. We secured millions of dollars for local investment – in new transit and utilities on St. Clair, and now on Eglinton. We have built and furnished new parks and playgrounds, and commemorated our shared cultural heritage, whether with the Charlie Roach Laneway, Indigenous murals in Wells Hill Park, or the Sousa Mendes Parkette. And, along with these positive changes, our neighbourhoods are growing economically and socially, with hot land development, hip new businesses, and a thriving arts scene.
And yet, there is so much more we can do, in our broader community of St. Paul’s and across the city, to make Toronto more livable.
My commitment to you
I will continue to work with you to champion the kind of city we want. We have work ahead to invest in our community’s infrastructure, to facilitate responsible development and to maintain stable neighbourhoods. Across our city, we must do more to tackle rising social inequality, lessen the burden of poverty, and provide relief for the opioid crisis.
I see my role as a facilitator and convenor for issues that matter to all of us. I was with you through the turbulence of amalgamation and through the dark days of the Rob Ford mayoralty, and in spite of these challenging political circumstances, I have always found ways to move forward on matters of significance.
Regardless of the Court’s decision, I am asking you to again put your trust in me as we steer through the years ahead.
With a larger ward and almost double the number of residents, the work of city councillors will change. I will not compromise the values that have underpinned my work in our neighbourhood over the years. I will be accessible, I will work with you, I will be a leader in our community and at City Council. I will consult, and it will be my job to make difficult decisions. When we have disagreements, we will work through them with respect and with open dialogue.
For many of you, we have had the privilege of working together already on projects in the western parts of St. Paul’s. For residents in the east, we will be getting to know each other better over the coming weeks and years. I look forward to working with you to build the fair, inclusive community and city that we all want.
I hope that I can count on your support.
Candidate for City Council