Ward 18 All Candidates Debates

    9 November 2006, mid-morning

The end of the night at Dewson

Yesterday a small all candidates meeting was held at Dewson Public School. The two candidates that I was most interested in seeing, Simon Wookey and Adam Giambrone, were both in attendance. There are 6 candidates running in our ward, some clearly more capable than others. The turn out at the event was fairly small. I don’t think people are too interested in civic politics, which is stupid since it really effects you the most.

Jim McMillan was at the debate. The few times I’ve seen him he has been yelling at Adam, and doing very little else. As such, Shima and I had taken to calling him a crotchety old man — because he is old and angry. Yesterday he was much more tempered and well spoken than I’ve seen him be in the past. I still don’t think he’s on par with the Wookey or Giambrone in terms of leadership and ideas, but I certainly have a better opinion of him now than I did a week ago. I also like the fact that he’s as old as my grandparents, but still very active in the community. You need people like him to keep your politicians in check. Jim Rawling and Na Lhe were also at the event. Rawling was pretty good, Na Lhe, not so much.

I’m still torn about who to vote for. Wookey and Giambrone both appeal to me in their own way. Both are progressive in their ideas. Both are charismatic and well spoken. I think they’d both make great councilors.

Simon Wookey’s environmental policies seem interesting, and they would certainly be in line with the sorts of things the Mayor and his buddies would be interested in doing. As I mentioned earlier this week, I like his ideas for fairer taxation of those in the city. Most of his other ideas strike me as being fiscally liberal: park trusts, economic incentives for businesses on Bloor, economic incentives for those building low-income housing, economic incentives for this and for that. Wookey makes the point that much of the low income housing that we have in the city was built by developers because it was profitable to do so. He felt that imposing a heritage designation on 48 Abell was a waste of time, and that the city should have been working with the owner to make it viable for the building to remain as it was through other incentives. I’m not sure I agree 100% with everything Wookey has to say, which is why I’m still up in the air about him.

Adam is a tide-and-true NDP guy. When asked if he’d lower property taxes, which are quite high now, he said as long as the city didn’t have the means to pay for day cares, and parks, and roads, and all the things we enjoy, he would not. Saying no you to a tax-cut isn’t going to make you popular, but clearly Adam is still well liked in the ward. Most of the people I have talked to comment on how approachable he and his staff are. I would have to agree; both times I’ve seen him out he’s been quite nice. I’ve had the one email I’ve sent to him answered promptly (on a Saturday no less). Beyond his NDP sensibilities, I also am a fan of his attempts to engage the various ethnic communities within the ward. (More so because I don’t get the sense he is pandering for votes.) Most of the legitimate criticism I’ve read on Adam seems to centre on his not doing “enough” in his first term of office. Most people feel he underperformed. This is a legitimate criticism, but it seems similar to me not liking House of Flying Daggers  because it wasn’t as good as Hero. House of Flying Daggers  is still pretty damn good.

So as I said earlier, I’m still not sure who to vote for. Shima on the other hand is firmly in the Adam Giambrone camp. She is enamoured with his geeky charm. (Giambrone is both geeky and charming.) Regardless of which way I end up going, I am lucky that for the first time I can remember, I would be happy with either front runner. Shima pointed out last night that Wookey and Giambrone had the exact same outfit on: I take that to be a sign. (Jim McMillan was the sharpest looking dude out last night by a healthy margin; I think dressing really well is some sort of lost art.)

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Comments

  1. I saw Jim this morning at the subway station. he had a little sign about having elevators at Lansdowne station. He was well dressed!

    I said Hi to him. He’s a cool old dude. I hope he doesn’t stop being vocal after the elections. It’s entertaining.

    You emailed Adam twice, you’re still waiting on a reply from last night, so am I! 8o|

  2. Thatís true. My new plan is to vote based on how quickly Adam or Simon reply to our question. I call it ping-voting. If you donít know how to vote, I recommend you try this approach as well.

    (Aside: since the upgrade, the way comments display when you preview is not good. I donít know why you need to scroll down to read them. Iíll fix it soon.)

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