A painting of me

Tony Ruprecht

   30 July 2007, late morning

I haven’t been living at Bloor and Lansdowne too long now, but I have been here long enough to realize that Tony Ruprecht is a thoroughly useless MPP. Ruprecht is the most senior Liberal MPP not to make cabinet. And this is the only fellow in Toronto that endorsed McGuinty’s leadership bid, so to be passed over seems like quite the disrespect. You may recall he gained some notoriety for spending way too much time in Cuba. He claims he was trying to learn Portuguese — I shit you not. (So maybe not having a cabinet position suits him fine.) He is also somewhat infamous for taking donations from all sorts of people you probably would not want to be associated with. As election season approaches I’ve seen him out and about more frequently. When I saw him last he was asking the cops what needs to be done to help reduce crime in the area — this was after they discussed at length what they needed the provincial government to do. To say he comes off as a bit clueless is an understatement. Apparently it was more of the same this weekend at a community march he attended. The worse part is that more likely than not he will win again. He always wins as far as I can tell. What is wrong with people? Please, think before you vote.

Update Sep 12th: Ruprecht is currently doing a good job of avoiding any and all all-candidates debates. There is one scheduled for the 25th of this month he is refusing to participate in thus far. Apparently various community group leaders have been ringing his office up trying to get him to commit. They’ve had no luck thus far. He recently skipped an all-candidates debate on Gold Hawk Live. Yesterday he was at a DigIn meeting, but apparently left before it actually got underway. I wonder if he is worried about people actually hearing what he has to say. Ah the life of an incumbent.

Update Sep 25th: The all candidates debate was today. Ruprecht opted to show up, which was great; it was an actual all-candidates meeting. Even representatives from both communist parties where there. Tony is amicable enough in real life, but he just doesn’t deserve the job he has. He’s been at his post for years, but doesn’t seem to have effected any real change in the area. My vote is probably going to Paul Ferreira. Not only does he have a lot of experience, he was easily the most well spoken of the candidates at the debate.



  1. I encountered Tony Ruprecht this evening on St.Clarens Ave when I was delivering my grandkids to their mom. A young man carrying a bundle of what looked like Tony Ruprecht campaign brochures asked if I lived here. Told no, he asked if that was my daughter (she was on the front walk talking to her mother on the cell phone). He told me he was helping Mr.Ruprecht stop a mental health facility that “they” were “dumping up there”, gesturing in the general direction of Bloor St. He said he thought we would agree that this should be built in Scarborough or Etobicoke. I asked him why he thought I or my daughter would be against a mental health facility in the neighbourhood. He quickly assured me that this was not any kind of “Not in my backyard” thing. I said I was glad to hear that, but had some difficulty understanding how that was so, if the objection was to having it here rather than in Scarborough or Etobicoke. He said that Mr.Ruprecht could probably explain it in better detail, looking past me. I turned to see a rather scrawny man standing just behind me. He stuck out his hand and said “I’m Tony Ruprecht.” “I’m Jim Houston,” I said, “and I’m ashamed of you.” “So am I” he smiled. “But maybe for different reasons” I said. “I’m disturbed that you and you friends are going through the neighbourhood stirring up people against a mental health facility”
    He assured me that what he was against was “dumping” these poor mental health patients in this neighbourhood, with all the drug addicts and prostitutes on Bloor St. and all the needles and condums on the streets. My daughter had hung up the phone. She said, “Why are you objecting to having mental health patients brought in from scarborough? They ahve been dumped out there where there are no services, where they are not part of a neighbourhood, and where transportation is poor and expensive when they have to get downtown to the services they need. Isn’t it better for them to be living right downtown where they can easily and cheaply get to the services? Those people on Bloor St are my neighbours. Why would I join you in going against them. I have just spent another day at the place I work with street involved youth, many of whom are addicted to drugs. They are beautiful people.” “That’s wonderful that yhou work with them. Good for you. But the dealers aren’t your neighbours. They all come from outside to sell their drugs.” “But the people who hang out on Bloor ar my neighbours. They are addicted. They need those drugs.”
    After some more back and forth, in which Tony said that the mentally ill should be able to live in an uplifting neighbourhood,my daughter asked “If this is such a bad neighbourhood, how is it that I can walk around these streets at night and feel perfectly safe? I have never been accosted. Why aren’t you dealing with big picture and helping us who live here work together to make an uplifting neighbourhood? Why would you stop the creation of this facility, sending the mentally ill somewhere more uplifting, and leave us to live in such a terrible place? Wouldn’t it better to get together to improve this neighbourhood?”

    Just then, her 17month-old dropped a rock on his toe and started to scream. So that ended our discussion with the MPP. We did not get a copy of the brochre he was handing out, and we didn’t get to find out exactly where this proposed facility is to be located.

    My question: Is he just using this issue as a way of going door to door with his literature, sneaking in some campaigning before the writ is dropped. Is what he doing illegal?

  2. Ruprecht has always been a do-nothing absentee MPP. Davenport has the poorest possible representation and we need to change that. He is nowhere on issues and his office is completely unresponsive. If you email them on any provincial issue, you get back a form email that says “your comments will be passed on to the MPP”. Lets stop giving this bum a big salary and pension. Let’s get Peter Ferreira as our MPP. We can do it and we should do it.

  3. I’d be more inclined to take Peter Ferreira more seriously if they approached the election a bit more seriously themselves. I mean, the circa 1995 Peter Ferreira Home Page is nice and all, but a plain text page with the tiniest bit of information would be a bit more informative then the under construction banner that’s currently posted. We live in a time when it is easy and cheap to get your message out. The NDP really need to step up.

  4. Ferreira’s site is now apparently up and running, but I hear from people in my former riding — now I’m a bit more west — that he has been knocking on doors and doing subway blitzes for quite some time now. The campaign office opened today — has anybody been?

  5. Er… What language is this under Commitments on his website PeterFerreira.ca?

    I am searching and searching for something positive to say about NDP web campaigning this year, but not a thing from any quarter. Nada.

  6. It’s a shame they aren’t doing a better job promoting themselves online. Still, chances are he has my vote. I like the NDP platform the best thus far, and I am sure he can do a better job than Ruprecht.

  7. >> The Toronto Star Feb 1, 2008 reports “A group of mentally ill Torontonians has launched a human rights case against a Liberal MPP who opposed a supportive housing development because his community had enough “crazed individuals” already.”

    I was at the July 2007 meeting where Tony helped increase the stigma against the mentally ill and helped kill afoordable housing in Davenport. (184 Wallace)

    “Last August, Ruprecht wrote to the city’s committee of adjustment urging it to deny an application for 10 units of supportive housing in the Lansdowne Ave. and Dupont St. area. He said the community already had a “high number of seriously mentally-ill patients and other roaming the streets.

    “(The developer) is not ignorant of our children finding condoms and needles in the back lanes. … He is not ignorant of the daily struggles of shop owners trying to stop crazed individuals from stealing items outright and urinating in front of their shop doors.”

    The application was withdrawn by the non-profit developers when their funding wasn’t approved.

    An apology is not enough. The guy has been involved in Ontario politics for decades and in 1985, Tony was appointed Ontario’s first Minister Responsible for Disabled Persons. Mr. Ruprecht is also currently on the cabinet Health and Social Services Policy Committee.

    He is also a well educated man. He should know better!!

    >> Anyone who wants to add their voice to this complaint (especially if they were there at that meeting with me) should contact:

    Jennifer Ramsay

    Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator

    Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)

    425 Adelaide Street West, 5th Floor

    Toronto, ON M5V 3C1


    416-597-5855 ×5168

    Toll free: 1-866-245-4182

    E-mail: ramsayjg@lao.on.ca

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