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October 10, 2010

Residents of Leeds, England neighbourhood plagued with crime ask council for help

Residents of Leeds, England neighbourhood plagued with crime ask council for help

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

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Residents of a Leeds, England neighbourhood have requested help from a council because their neighbourhood is plagued by crime, overcrowding, and community tensions.

Hyde Park, Leeds, England, where crime has increased by seven percent over the last year. Residents have written to the council asking for help to improve the area.
Image: Gunnar Larsson.

Leeds City Council received a request for help from residents of Hyde Park, who said they were worried about the increasing level of anti-social behavior and worsening community relations. A report will be unveiled on Wednesday by a council delegation, highlighting the problems in the area. “The people living in Hyde Park come from widely different population groups… these groups have very different customs, needs and living styles and this can provoke high levels of tension in the area,” the delegation said.

The council claims that because of the 28 per cent ethnic minority population and the 40,000 students living in the neighbourhood, there are tensions between residents. They added, however, that they are actively encouraging people to work together, citing a multi-faith forum, a cricket competition and activities which bring old and young together.

The report says that the council are trying to build relationships between Muslims and police, something which they said is “particularly important after the area’s connection to the London bombings on 7th July 2005.” A local newspaper reported that “the Shebab project introduces young Muslims to role models from sport and culture and also runs scholars’ talks to counter extremist ideologies.”

Crime has increased by 7% in the past year in Hyde Park, and residents noted that anti-social behaviour was getting worse. The council said that an anti-burglary task force had helped to reduce the number of thefts from homes. Residents complained that there was a lack of pride in the area, and at the end of the academic year in the summer, large piles of rubbish were left in streets, yards and alleyways. The report adds that the council operates a recycling scheme aimed towards teenagers, and that rubbish collections have increased.

Cquote1.svg [We are] slightly frustrated with certain communication issues that we’ve had with the council Cquote2.svg

—Jake England Johns, campaigner

The Guardian reported on Wednesday that campaigners are attempting to “take control of a derelict school building and transform it into a community hub are appealing for sponsors and partners in a bid to turn their dreams into reality.” They say that the unused building, owned by the council, could be used for meetings and events. A volunteer group of residents have been working on a business plan, and have gained support from local businesses to create “a vision of an open, accessible and valuable resource for all.”

A member of the commitee, however, said he was “frustrated” with the council’s attitude towards the plans. “The RPCC is slightly frustrated with certain communication issues that we’ve had with the council, but we’re working with them and hoping to gain further assistance going forward,” he said. “It’s a shame that certain setbacks could have been avoided.”

The deputation added that “a major factor in Hyde Park’s suffering is its high level of population density”, which they conceded is something they are unable to change. The council responded to complaints that streets are “cheap and unhealthy takeaways, letting agents and boarded-up shop fronts,” by saying that Hyde Park Corner and Headingley are, according to the Yorkshire Post, “thriving shopping areas and work had taken place to ensure a good mix of outlets.”

The report concludes: “The council acknowledges that because of the very particular circumstances which exist in the neighbourhood, Hyde Park faces difficult challenges which affect the quality of life of residents and that ‘normal’ service levels may not be sufficient to tackle some of these. The council will do more to enable local people to influence how services work and how local problems are tackled. Local community and voluntary groups will be invited to play an active role.”



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April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe

Earth Day 2009 celebrated around the globe

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell: the Blue Marble on a blue background.

Today is the 39th observance of Earth Day in the northern hemisphere. Earth day is celebrated in Autumn on November 30 in the southern hemisphere. Senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the first Earth Day in April 1970 in the United States, and it is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries worldwide. Earth Day is the biggest environmental event which addresses issues and educates people on environmental awareness on a global scale.

This year, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will beam high-definition images to the NASA website and television. By doing so, NASA hopes to increase appreciation of global climate issues. There will also be a Washington exhibit relating to environmental issues viewed from space as well.

At the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center activities will focus on their slogan for Earth Day 2009, “Just One Drop … PRICELESS” and will demonstrate how the Environmental Control Life Support System operates as used on the International Space Staton (ISS).

Amongst the many festivals, WorldFest is a solar powered music celebration held in Los Angeles, California. Buenos Aires will also feature its second Earth Day event featuring a music festival as well.

“We are in a new era of energy innovation,” said Daniel Yergin at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) forum. Lithium-ion batteries are providing electric storage solutions for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Dodge Circuit EV. Algae fuel is a new form of biofuel, but is still under development.

“Energy Smackdown” was a competitive household activity which compared energy usage between 60 separate households across three cities in or near Boston. The various competitors came up with a variety of innovative methods to cut their carbon footprint, installing solar electric panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and using a caulking gun to seal the home from drafts.

“In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) estimate.

Miami is installing a smart grid which will use individual household smart meters to allow energy consumers know via a web site, their exact home energy usage. “To me these are prudent and smart investments that will easily pay for themselves. It will show the nation how to address environmental, energy, and economic challenges all at the same time.” said Miami mayor Manny Diaz.

Cal Dooley, CEO of the American Chemistry Council ACC, says the plastic bag industry is prepared to spend US$50 million to revamp their manufacturing facilities and will collect 470 million pounds of recycled plastic every year to make plastic bags of 40% recycled content. The ACC is providing a donation to the Keep America Beautiful environmental organisation, both of whom endorse this new project. The Earth Day Network (EDN) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) would like to see an end to the use of plastic bags, however. “We don’t want people to use disposable bags. We want people to use reusable bags,” says Darby Hoover of the NRDC.

Calgary researchers will begin field surveys to help save the “Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens). “Northern Leopard Frogs are threatened in Alberta, but endangered in British Columbia,” said Dr. Des Smith, Primary Investigator and Research Scientist with the Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research. “It is essential to develop new monitoring techniques for Northern Leopard” said Breana McKnight, Field Team Leader and Endangered Species Researcher.

The traditional Earth day ceremony of planting trees is garnering further attention in Japan as Koichi Nakatani, the nation’s Tree Planting Father travels from Hokkaido to Okinawa.

Students can take part in an Earth Day photo contest sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies which will feature images and scientific student research for the environmental change depicted in each photo submitted.

“Earth Day should be about teaching about the environment every day,” said Sean Mille director of education for EDN, “We emphasize taking action for your classroom, school, district or community.” 25,000 schools across America made use of the environmental curriculum developed by the National Civic Education Project, the Green Schools Campaign and the Educator’s Network. Lesson plans are broad and varied and may focus on water pollution, recycling, composting, using chemistry to convert cafeteria left-overs into biodiesel or ethanol fuel or converting go-carts to operate on biodiesel or ethanol fuels in shop class.



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August 23, 2008

Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada

Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

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London, Ontario is the latest in a string of Canadian cities to have acted on increasing public demand to ban bottled water. On Monday, the decision to eliminate bottled water sales in city-run facilities was passed by London’s city council with a vote of 15-3 in favour. The move was driven by a desire to reduce waste and shipping, have a lower impact on the environment and promote tap water as a cheap and safe alternative.

London’s new restrictions will be implemented over the next several months in buildings that are already equipped with water fountains. Bottled water will still be permitted at many city-run events, such as upcoming summer festivals. Privately-owned retailers will not be affected by the ban.

Bottled water

Other cities, such as Vancouver, Ottawa and Kitchener, that are already engaged in debate on the issue, may now be watching London carefully for how the ban plays out. Other areas have already begun to phone London with questions on the details of its new regulations. Toronto has begun taking a look at bottled water packaging as part of its waste diversion strategy, and its public school board is looking into the possibility of a total restriction on bottled water sales.

In recent years, an awareness of the energy that is required to manufacture, transport and recycle the product has spread nation-wide. Proponents of the ban point to the fact that it can produce as much as 150 times the volume of greenhouse gas when producing bottled water as compared to supplying the same volume of tap water. They also point out that the water that goes into bottled water products is not inspected as frequently as tap water in Canadian cities.

Some have taken this cause to heart more than others, such as British Environment Minister Phil Woolas, who called the use of bottled water “morally unacceptable.” Restaurant critic Giles Coren of The Times of London criticizes those who use the product as “the new smokers.”

Canada’s beverage industry has come down with criticism on the increasing opposition to bottled water. Spokesman Scott Tabachnick for Coca-Cola Co., which produces Dasani brand bottled water, commented on the convenience of the product: “It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you.”

Cquote1.svg It’s hard to bring your kitchen sink with you. Cquote2.svg

—Scott Tabchnick

Vancouver City Councillor Tim Stevenson thinks that bottled water’s time has come and gone: “Bottled water companies have had a fabulous ride on an unnecessary fad.” Vancouver officials are still determining how bottled water restrictions, which have been voted for by the City Council, can be phased in.

Next month, the city is planning to initiate a marketing campaign encouraging Vancouver residents to choose tap water and to remember to carry reusable drinking containers whenever possible.

Renowned environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki has praised London’s decision, saying that it represents a turning point for people’s perceptions on the issue: “I’m really delighted that London has done this because it really makes us focus on some fundamental issues.” He hopes that someday people will “look at anyone who hauls out a bottle of water and say, ‘What the hell’s wrong with you?'”



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January 9, 2008

Fourteen days left to send National Geographic your shoe for world record

Filed under: Archived,North America,Recycling,United States,World records — admin @ 5:00 am

Fourteen days left to send National Geographic your shoe for world record

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

For the past few months, National Geographic Kids (NGK) has been collecting used running shoes from across the United States, in hopes of creating the world’s longest chain of shoes.

The record attempt organizers welcome shoes of any brand, any shapes, and any size, so long as they have laces and are meant for humans.

The collected shoes will be sorted afterwards, and Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program will take and recycle all the athletic shoes. Nike, which also donates its unusable material to the program, creates rubber surfaces for basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, and running tracks.

Donations of shoes have been received from actress Cameron Diaz, and US Women’s Soccer team players Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley, and Cat Whitehill.

NGK, a magazine by the National Geographic Society, says that 2000 to 2500 athletic shoes contain enough material to build a basketball surface.

Shoes can be sent before January 22, 2008 to:

NG KIDS / Set a Guinness World Record
P.O. Box 98001 (RB)
Washington, DC 20090-8001
United States of America

Nike has disposal locations for shoes in Nike stores around the US, Canada, the U.K., Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Japan. Select athletic clubs, schools and colleges also participate in “Nike Grind”.



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October 1, 2007

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bob Innes, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Family Coalition Party candidate Bob Innes, Hamilton East—Stoney Creek

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Ontario general election, 2007

Algoma-Manitoulin: FCP
Ajax-Pickering: GRN
Beaches-East York: FCP
Bramalea-Gore-Malton: GRN, NDP, PC
Brant: PC
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: NDP
Carleton—Mississippi Mills: GRN
Chatham—Kent—Essex: FCP
Don Valley East: FRE
Don Valley West: FCP
Durham: PC
Essex: LBR
Hamilton Centre: GRN
Hamilton East: FCP
Kenora—Rainy River: PC
Kitchener Centre: FCP
Kitchener-Conestoga: LBR
Lambton—Kent—Middlesex: FCP
London-Fanshawe: PC
London North Centre: GRN
Nepean-Carleton: FCP, GRN
Newmarket-Aurora: FCP
Oakville: GRN
Ottawa Centre: COMM
Ottawa-Orleans: FRE
Ottawa West-Nepean: GRN
Oxford: LIB
Parkdale-High Park: LBR
Peterborough: GRN
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke: NDP
Scarborough-Rouge River: LBR, NDP
St. Paul’s: FCP, IND
Sudbury: FCP
Thornhill: GRN
Toronto Centre: COMM
Toronto—Danforth: LBR, COMM
Thunder Bay-Atikokan: GRN
Trinity-Spadina: LIB, PC
Vaughan: GRN, NDP
Welland: GRN
Willowdale: GRN, FCP
Windsor-Tecumseh‎: GRN
Whitby-Oshawa‎: GRN
York Centre: GRN

What colours will the map be October 11th?

Map of the new ridings in Southern Ontario coloured in by using the transposition of the results of the 2003 election.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
Elections Ontario

Robert (Bob) Innes is running for the Family Coalition Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Hamilton East—Stoney Creek riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Interview

Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?

I have lived in east Hamilton for the past seven years or three floods worth which may explain why I’m running. Since 911, I’ve been disgusted by 1) political correctness and bias in media and political dialog 2) inability of parties to address fundamental problems 3) political encouragement of a smug and selfish attitudes on the part of Canadians.

What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?

My working life was as a Professional Engineer in the field of recycling and waste management where I came to understand how our political system operates in dysfunctional ways, wasting resources AND wasting people because bureaucracies are not co-operating, how the taxpayer is the last person considered. My ability to think laterally enables me to connect dots others do not see or care about. As an engineer, I prefer to solve problems rather than building long term bandaid solutions such as food banks.

Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why?

The FCP is the only social conservative choice Hamilton voters have. All other parties are now on the left of the political spectrum, indistinguishable, musical chair changers. I have sympathy with the other small (Green) party, having spent a lot of time conserving and developing economical solar heating for my home, however we differ on to two important issues: the cause of global warming which we believe is more likely to be a hotter sun (until proven otherwise) and the use of subsidies to achieve green objectives. We believe that taxes are way too high already and I am incensed to think that my solar savings (from building a cheap collector) would be taxed away so greens can hand out expensive/uneconomic solar collectors to their friends. McGuinty actually did this with air conditioners.

What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?

I would not be a back bencher who would have to toe the line. Other than our core beliefs, the FCP is a coalition party, wanting to work with others on specific issues. That is how democracy should really work and it is important for voters to approve the MMP system. As it is now, our democracy is unable to deal with difficult issues until a crisis occurs which can be a very dangerous approach. This is because independent voices are not heard, and not being heard, important long term or minority problems are simply not discussed.

What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?

I am utterly opposed to poll driven politics (sort of a mob rule) and want to chide voters for thinking politicians are there to do their bidding rather than acting in the interest of both your area and the whole province and nation. I’d guess that Hamilton voters want more doctors, more benefits and to follow the herd on global warming even if it wrecks our economy without solving the problem. I believe its like we are on the Titanic, oblivious to the “icebergs” of demographic change, dangerous (historical) reactions to overtaxation, gathering storm clouds of conflict, ongoing economic dislocation to emerging economies, and deterioration of the pillars of Canadian society. Canada, while seemingly in good shape,has altered a once strong political system so as to follow failed states into the dustbin of history without having contributed anything meaningful.

What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?

Put the MMP system in place.

Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?

No. Hamilton taxes are so high that they have crushed property values, ruined business districts, whipped industry to death and still there is no relief. Do voters know that industrial taxes are about 11% which means that a business must “buy” itself back from the city every 7 years or so? This is nonsense that has insidious repercussions. As noted, having developer based politicians, it is impossible to re-balance tax burdens properly onto the appropriate base. Shopping malls for instance have killed main street businesses but should be paying far higher tax based on the huge parking areas required and roads required as feeders. You won’t hear this from your Chamber of Commerce.
It was fun though listening to Toronto’s Mayor holding his citizens to ransom to get a tax increase without doing a comparison between taxtakers and taxpayers. Somehow, the media (CBC Radio in this case) cannot seem to ever discover the game in order to let voters in on the secret. They seem to be in cahoots.

How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?

Lower taxes and over-regulation. Think Ireland. In Canada, government is 40% of the economy, meaning producers must fork over 2/3 of their sector to “gummerment”. In turn, this doubles the price of everything, which explains why the NDP has it backwards and is the cause, not the solution to poverty. They do not realize that a poor person is just as happy with lower costs as with higher wages. But lower costs would follow a reduction of gummerment which by regulation, often stands in the way of the poor trying to get ahead. I watched as a young couple tried to make a go selling hot dogs but were crushed by the onerous burden of meeting all the regulations (cart cost over ten grand, license fee over CA$300, nasty inspectors). A friend, driven out of Canada by the magnitude of gummerment hassles and prospered mightily in Costa Rica, priced a certain item at $200 in Canada, $125 in the US and $75 locally. No wonder Canadians are again flocking over the border to shop. This time, its not currency, which is at par. If you want people to work, get gummerment out of the way, out of peoples pockets, and reduce disincentives to work.

What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?

I agree that MMP works to make democracy more sensitive to voters’ ideas and would have rectified things like the Residential School debacle much more quickly. Initially, I was concerned that the list could be a source of problems but was convinced that if it did occur, could be corrected later. I myself and many people criticizing the concept on the basis of the Italian experience but then I realized that we should give Italy a bit more credit. For a small country with few resources it seems they are doing quite well thank you. The coalition idea is to create temporary alliances in order to deal with one problem and then if needed shuffle things around to deal with a different problem. At present, we just sweep problems under the carpet and hope they go away.

What role, if any, does “new media” play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?

At present, this is almost all we have. Big contributors smell money in power and will never support a small party. Please visit my Facebook page, and the Family Coalition Page is at www.familycoalitionparty.com

Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your riding? To the province as a whole?

The province continues to crush Hamilton under the weight of welfare and educational budgets and unfair property assessments, without enabling cities to actually solve the problem. Urban sprawl is the major problem the province has done nothing about and which undermines global ability to survive the decline of oil fields worldwide (never mind global warming.) Cities (offspring of provincial legislation) continue to be run by developers and their money which makes it impossible to deal with inner city problems. Amalgamation didn’t help either.
For a small population in a huge country with an inadequate birth rate, high divorce rate and too many untended kids, to undermine the traditional family even more (gay marriage, no income splitting, promoting unhealthy lifestyles in schools) is to contribute to the serious long term consequences we are starting to experience as demographics change and kids shoot each other with impunity and the health system collapses for lack of young workers.
On the bright side, Hamilton got a new Marine Display and a pork barrel handout just before the writ was dropped. Whoop–dee-doo. When will voters learn?



Sources

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Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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September 24, 2007

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Martin Hyde, Ottawa West-Nepean

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ontario general election, 2007

Algoma-Manitoulin: FCP
Ajax-Pickering: GRN
Beaches-East York: FCP
Bramalea-Gore-Malton: GRN, NDP, PC
Brant: PC
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound: NDP
Carleton—Mississippi Mills: GRN
Chatham—Kent—Essex: FCP
Don Valley East: FRE
Don Valley West: FCP
Durham: PC
Essex: LBR
Hamilton Centre: GRN
Hamilton East: FCP
Kenora—Rainy River: PC
Kitchener Centre: FCP
Kitchener-Conestoga: LBR
Lambton—Kent—Middlesex: FCP
London-Fanshawe: PC
London North Centre: GRN
Nepean-Carleton: FCP, GRN
Newmarket-Aurora: FCP
Oakville: GRN
Ottawa Centre: COMM
Ottawa-Orleans: FRE
Ottawa West-Nepean: GRN
Oxford: LIB
Parkdale-High Park: LBR
Peterborough: GRN
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke: NDP
Scarborough-Rouge River: LBR, NDP
St. Paul’s: FCP, IND
Sudbury: FCP
Thornhill: GRN
Toronto Centre: COMM
Toronto—Danforth: LBR, COMM
Thunder Bay-Atikokan: GRN
Trinity-Spadina: LIB, PC
Vaughan: GRN, NDP
Welland: GRN
Willowdale: GRN, FCP
Windsor-Tecumseh‎: GRN
Whitby-Oshawa‎: GRN
York Centre: GRN

What colours will the map be October 11th?

Map of the new ridings in Southern Ontario coloured in by using the transposition of the results of the 2003 election.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
Elections Ontario

Martin Hyde is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Ottawa West-Nepean riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Note that he did not answer the question “Of the decisions made by Ontario’s 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to this riding? To the province as a whole?”

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Interview

Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?

Environmental issues are core to our long term social, physical and economic health, both globally and locally. Globally there is no law — only agreements that participants sometimes choose to honour. In Canada law is made at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels. I attended my riding Green Party candidate nomination meeting because I wished to participate in the nomination process for the provincial election, and found that no one was contending for the position. I’m running because I believe it’s important for people who are concerned about environmental issues to have a Green Party candidate to vote for so that the larger parties will be forced to recognise their concerns.
Currently in Ontario, because we are not able to vote directly for a party, but are only able to do so by voting for a local candidate, it’s crucial that a party runs a candidate in every riding so that people can make themselves heard. I believe the Multi Member Proportional system of voting will help solve this problem if we choose it in the Referendum on October 10.
I’m running in this riding because it’s where I live.

What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?

I have no prior political experience.
I have been a teacher for many years in Ontario public schools, and international schools overseas, which has broadened my understanding of people and issues from many perspectives. I’ve often promoted environmental issues when teaching, through such things as partnered community cleanups, introducing recycling programs, and organizing Earth Days.
As a graduate student I studied democratic participation and education.

Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?

In my riding the Liberal MPP Jim Watson poses the biggest challenge. He is the incumbent, and has been a politician for many years.
I’m only the most desirable candidate for those voters who care about creating an economically and environmentally sustainable society in the long term.

What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?

The issues which individuals care about are very diverse. The most important issues for those who are likely to vote Green are likely to be: a taxation plan which does not hit incomes, but directly targets non-renewable resource consumption — and in conjunction with incentives to reduce consumption, initiatives to replace dirty energy with clean, renewable energy sources; a single public school system which has the democratic interests of all Ontarians as its primary concern; and an emphasis on livable communities which promote walking and public transit, decreased levels of pollution, and increased opportunities for healthy activities. It’s all about sustainability, economically, politically, and personally.
Our party platform contains specific details on how these issues would be addressed.

What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?

The first order of business should be to begin shifting taxes away from personal income, health care, and corporate profit, and onto the consumption of resources. Specifically, our taxes will shift immediately to a 2% tax on oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as an increase in fees on the taking of aggregate (sand and gravel) and water, directly from our income taxes and the tax on health care.

Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?

This is an issue that is probably best addressed by voters at the municipal level. However, the Green Party has a plan to place a moratorium on increases in the assessed market value of residential properties and introduce a Location Value Tax, which will shift the focus from taxing buildings to taxing the land under the buildings. This would be a revenue neutral shift with the purpose of encouraging intensification of land use, while deterring sprawl.

How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?

The tax shift from income to resources will mean that labour will be cheaper for employers without a decrease in wages for employees. It will also provide an incentive to hire people to find more energy efficient ways of making products since non-renewable energy costs will be higher.
To encourage the repair and recycling of products the Green Party of Ontario will establish a Product Stewardship Program that will place the responsibility for the entire life cycle of a product with the manufacturer or importer. This will encourage the creation of jobs focused on designing products that can be repaired and recycled.

What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?

My view is that the MMP system is better for everyone.
In the short term it is obviously better for smaller parties such as the Greens. In the 2006 federal election the Green Party of Canada won 4.5% of the vote. Fairness would seem to dictate that out of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, around 14 should be Green MPs. Yet there is not one Green MP in the House. Nearly 700,000 Canadians voted Green. Not one of them is represented by their party in the House of Commons.
In the 2003 Ontario election the Green Party only won 2.8% of the vote. Under the proposed MMP system we would not have been able to appoint an MPP. Yet we would only need an additional 0.2% to be eligible for, presumably, three to four MPPs. Clearly, this would be good for the Green Party of Ontario.
In the longer term it would also be good for the larger parties, and for those who vote for them. It’s true that their power stands to be diluted somewhat by parties that have broad support across the province, which will impair their ability to pass the laws they want today. But we all have to live under those laws, and in a democracy that means we should be represented in their creation. When we’re not, those laws begin to lack legitimacy.
In 2003, 43.2% of eligible voters in Ontario did not show up at the polls. There is something wrong when almost half of the people in our province who can have a say in the rules we live under choose not to. There are likely many reasons why people don’t show up, but one is certainly that many people feel their vote does not really count. It has no influence. This will be a problem for all of us in the long run because, the fewer people who participate in the creation of our laws, the less legitimate those laws will appear to be to an increasing number of people. When we have an opportunity to strengthen the foundations on which our society rests, we should take it.
A concern I’ve heard about MMP is that it could result in a large number of unelected MPPs. To understand this concern, consider this example.
You have a legislature with 100 seats. Party X wins 20% of the provincial vote, but only 15 seats. Under MMP Party X will be allowed to appoint five MPPs from their list to bring them up to 20 seats. The concern is that those five MPPs are not elected, but appointed from a list, and that they will not be responsible for any particular riding.
What’s important, though, is how those lists are created. People voting for Party X would know, well in advance, who might be appointed, and how that list of appointees was created. If they disagreed with the list, or how the list was generated, they could choose not to vote for the party. The fact that 20% of electors still voted for the party would indicate that they were generally okay with the list. While the five appointed MPPs would not be responsible to a local constituency, they would be responsible to voters for Party X in the province as a whole.
If a voter liked the local Party X candidate but not the list, they would not have to vote for the party. They could simply vote only for the local candidate.
A second concern is that this system will result in minority governments, but just because minority governments are unstable under FPTP does not mean they will be under MMP where minority status would be a clear picture of the will of the people rather than an ambiguity which makes decision making difficult.
Ultimately, whichever way the referendum goes, this is a unique opportunity for all of us. In a democracy we do not always get our way. What holds us together and allows us to live under laws which we may not necessarily agree with is our general agreement with the system itself. And on October 10 we get to decide on the structure of that system, together. So whether we choose the FPTP or the MMP system, the act of participating in this referendum will only serve to strengthen our democracy.
That said, because the MMP system will allow representation of a large number of individuals who are currently not represented I believe it is the better choice. It will be good for democracy not only by improving the representation of those who are still trying to be heard, but by bringing back to the table those who have given up participating because they find the exercise to be pointless.

What role, if any, does “new media” play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?

I came to this late, but a website is obviously important, and will be a part of my campaign (and is already if you count www.gpo.ca). Blogs, especially interactive ones, are great ways to communicate and learn from others. Facebook, YouTube and wikis, are very interesting ways to generate shared knowledge. I appreciate being asked to contribute here.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

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November 4, 2006

Canada\’s Scarborough East (Ward 44) city council candidates speak

Canada’s Scarborough East (Ward 44) city council candidates speak

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough East (Ward 44). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Donald Blair, Diana Hall, Mohammed Mirza, Ron Moeser, Kevin Richardson, Richard Rieger, Richard Ross, and Kevin Wellington.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Diana Hall

53-year-old Diana Hall is the Executive Assistant to a City Councillor.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: I want to deliver a made-in-Toronto waste solution – every year Toronto residents produce 500,000 tonnes of waste. I would like to look at implementing high-rise recycling; investigate new technologies to convert waste into clean energy, expand our recycling program to include materials such as Styrofoam and polystyrene plastic and improve recycling to e-waste to eliminate the 140,000 tonnes of old computers, cellphones and home electronics that end up in our landfills.
I believe we should expand and integrate our public transit system as Ward 44 is poorly serviced by both the TTC and GO transit systems. I support finding lasting solutions which include developing seamless transit that would make it easier to transfer from TTC to GO, expanding the Sheppard Subway to Scarborough and plan to push the Province to improve GO service with more trains, more often and longer hours.
I believe that the City must live within its means and we should be spending money on the core services that keep the City functioning. I believe our priorities should be to Improve the Aging Infrastructure. We need to make sure our water systems, electrical systems, roads and transit systems are safe and well maintained. I will work to hold tax increases to no more than inflation and want contracts to be openly tendered so we will achieve the best value for our money.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Promoting quality communities. Ward 44 is a great place to live and we have lots of parkland, lots of green space, a new waterfront trail and community centers. To keep it that way I will:
  • Promote open communication so that no planning application will go ahead without the community’s involvement.
  • Support the Highland Creek Community Center. The first step towards achieving this has already been taken. It was included in the April 2006 Capital Budget.
  • Make Property Standards Enforcement a Priority. We all enjoy our well-maintained neighbourhoods. To achieve this I will support hiring more enforcement officers for our community

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I want to move forward with fresh new ideas to make our city and our community a better, more vibrant and safer place in which to live and raise our families. Being on City Council means making difficult choices. I believe I have the experience, the understanding of our community, and the track record of working with everyone to be able to make the best choice. I believe we should move forward, not backwards.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: I have lived in the community for 23 years and have worked at City Hall for the past 3 years so I know this community, the people and the issues. I know this job. I’ve listened and heard residents’ concerns. I am now ready to act on their behalf because I know the priorities will be to address infill development, property standards and traffic. I will support finding solutions to garbage, transit and crime. We need to invest in our City’s future.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: Currently I am an unpaid leave of absence from the City of Toronto. Prior to that I was a Resource to 2 Local Erosion Control Projects and to the East Scarborough Storefront Steering Committee.
My other previous community commitments include:
  • Centennial Community and Recreation Association (CCRA) Executive
  • Heart and Stroke, Fundraising Chair
  • West Hill Softball League, Volunteer
  • Parent Council and Teacher’s Assistant
  • Scouts Canada, Vice Chair and Key Leader
  • West Hill Community Advisory Panel

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: The completion of phase one of the new waterfront trail at the foot of Port Union Road is the best accomplishment in Ward 44 over the past three years. The completion of this trail was a cooperative effort of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation, the Federal and Provincial Governments and the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. It is truly a waterfront park we can all be proud of.
I believe the decision not to build a subway in Scarborough and to run a dedicated light rail line on the Scarborough RT is a disservice to Ward 44 – we need better transit in the eastern part of Scarborough.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: I’m currently the assistant to the outgoing City Councillor and sometimes there is the assumption that I would be a carbon copy. I’m not. I have my own views on the issues and my own way of getting the job done. Too often politicians get into office and we never hear from them except at election time. I always have been accessible and will continue to do so.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: For me, Toronto means unique communities working together to make a great City. I love living in east Scarborough with the Rouge Park and the waterfront trail on my doorstep. While I think my own community is a pretty remarkable place, I can’t imagine Toronto with the Taste of the Danforth, the jazz festivals, the energy of downtown, all its restaurants, or the tranquility of High Park. Each community has something to offer and together they combine to make our City a vibrant place to live.

Kevin Richardson

46-year-old Kevin Richardson lists his jobs as a “Director of Operations, Corporate Division”.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: Transportation is a crucial issue for the people of Ward 44 as our ward is the most eastern section of Toronto and many people, including seniors and students, find that there is simply insufficient bus and transit service to cover the growing population of the ward. The Scarborough Subway needs to be expanded but unfortunately, due to political agendas North York continues to receive all the subway infrastructure dollars while Scarborough continues to be denied a proper transportation network.
Subsidized Housing v. Green Space and the loss of valuable green space is of particular interest to Ward 44 residents who feel betrayed by downtown politicians and their own retiring councillor who approved a fairly large subsidized housing project (Manse Valley) that is slated to be built in the ward. The City of Toronto has a horrendous record when it gets involved in subsidized housing often turning beautiful neighbourhoods into cesspools of criminality in the process.
Community Services are important to a great many people in Ward 44 to address the needs of youth, seniors and special needs residents. Youth services are crucial in order to engage teenagers and to teach them the value and duty of community living. Senior citizens for example, have given so much to the community and are still contributing members and we must do everything in our power to make their ‘golden years’ truly golden. Additionally, people with special needs are extremely vulnerable and need our community support in order to give them the opportunity to be the best that they can be. To this end an ultra modern Community Centre in the Highland Creek section of Ward 44 would be extremely beneficial in addressing the community needs of everyone living in Ward 44.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Commitment to our community is the biggest issue. The people of Ward 44 feel abandoned since the last two councillors that they elected refused to represent them to the fullest extent of their abilities. The incumbent, Gay Cowbourne, has now resigned after allowing her assistants to run the ward (to which they failed miserably). The previous councillor, Ron Moeser missed almost half of all crucial votes at City Hall during his lethargic tenure. Voters want someone who will represent them at City Hall and not someone who cannot even be bothered to show up except to collect their paycheques.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: Essentially I grew weary of the miserable representation that Ward 44 was receiving from our elected councillors, current and previous. I knew that I was capable of working much harder than former councillor, Ron Moeser, who is trying to make a comeback of sorts and the current incumbent, Gay Cowbourne, who is retiring. As a result of my educational background and my extensive corporate experience and marketing panache, I am confident that I can make a difference in the political process for the people of Ward 44.
I want to see Ward 44 as the jewel of Toronto since Ward 44 is blessed with sensational parks, gorgeous ravines and outstanding views of Lake Ontario. I want to one day be able to walk down Kingston Rd and see beautiful office buildings and modern five star hotels and not used car lots and crummy run down motels that are used by the government for short term housing and by transients for their criminal activity. I want to prevent the agenda of certain downtown politicians who seek to expand subsidized housing and criminal halfway houses in Ward 44. I want to see the youth of Ward 44 become our future leaders and for seniors and special needs persons to be treated with respect and dignity.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: Ward 44 is where I live. My mother used to regale us with stories about her childhood in West Hill (circa 1949) and the fruit farm that they used to live on beside the Crooked Creek Boy Scout Camp and the rural lifestyle that existed in those days. My grandfather’s cousin was married to Joseph Reesor who in turn was responsible for introducing grandpa to the West Hill area. When I purchased my own home in 1998 due to the incredible natural beauty of the area, it was richly ironic that I had chosen my mom’s old West Hill community.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I am currently involved in the community by putting my modest writing talents to work writing articles, under the pen name: “Canada Kev” for New Canadians for a newspaper called: Likha, which targets people originally from the Philippines. Hopefully these articles, written from a Canadian perspective, will help New Canadians learn about our cultural lifestyles, traditions and our inclusive Canadian culture.
Additionally, for a number of years I have been upbraiding the mainstream Toronto media over their unfair and oftentimes biased characterization of Scarborough in relation to their crime reporting methods. For reasons unknown to most residents of Scarborough, the Toronto media seems to take a perverse delight in attacking Scarborough at every opportunity but when crime rears its’ ugly head in North York or Etobicoke (these are all former boroughs of Toronto before amalgamation) the Toronto media continues to obscure the fact that crime is occurring at horrific rates there. What the media does to obscure the reality of criminality in North York and Etobicoke is to use code words, such as “Jane and Finch” or “Rexdale”, rather than to use North York or Etobicoke when violent crime occurs there. Additionally, in many instances Scarborough is blamed for North York crime and I have forced the media on many occasions to retract inaccurate stories that wrongly identified Scarborough as crime scenes when in fact the crime occurred in North York and not Scarborough.
I feel quite strongly about this issue because this type of media coverage unfairly stigmatizes the residents of Scarborough and Ward 44 and adversely affects property values and the quality of life of her residents, and makes it easier for downtown politicians to deny services for Scarborough residents.
Please see my website at www.Ward44.ca for a more complete essay on this subject.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: When I think about Toronto I think about home. I think about my ancestors who came to this great city via Ireland and the British Army in the 1850s and who had the intelligence to settle here. Toronto is where I was born and it is where I will live, fate willing, for the rest of my life. Toronto literally means “Meeting Place” deriving its meaning from the First Nations People who traded here. Toronto is still the “Meeting Place” for people from all walks of life and ethnic and religious backgrounds and is rich in history and natural beauty.

Q:’ Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: There were no decisions that the City of Toronto implemented since the 2003 election that I am proud of. Our Ward 44 incumbent, Gay Cowbourne, won the 2003 election as a protest vote against the former councillor, Ron Moeser, who was known more for his chronic absenteeism and dismal voting record than in representing the people of Ward 44. Unfortunately, Ms. Cowbourne was not cut out for public life and delegated most of her duties to her paid assistants (who failed miserably in the process) and voted at City Hall according to the interests of the NDP bloc at City Hall and not for the residents of Ward 44. Ms. Cowbourne, not surprisingly, is retiring from politics and will not be seeking re-election.
I am disappointed with Council for concentrating almost exclusively on the Toronto Island Airport issue while the City of Toronto is on the brink of financial ruin with no long term plan to invest in the infrastructure of the city. The City of Toronto does not have the authority to stop the Toronto Airport Authority (which falls under the authority of the federal government) from expanding their operations thus wasting precious time and resources in the process.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: First and foremost I would bring a dedication to the council position that Ward 44 has never had. I will be a strong voice for the people of Ward 44 at City Hall and will not be influenced by special interest groups or the agendas of political parties who rarely represent the local interests and concerns of a particular ward. Unlike Ron Moeser, who had his chance and failed miserably (Moeser was evicted from office by Ward 44 voters in 2003 due to his chronic absenteeism and his miserable voting record), I will be an extremely hard working councillor who will promote transparency and accountability at City Hall. I will bring both corporate and academic expertise to the table which I have obtained from my years at the University of Toronto and my extensive business background. I will bring a level of energy to City Hall that will be an inspiration for others to follow.
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Canada\’s Scarborough East (Ward 43) city council candidates speak

Canada’s Scarborough East (Ward 43) city council candidates speak

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough East (Ward 43). One candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Paul Ainslie, Amarjeet Chhabra, Mujeeb Khan, Glenn Kitchen, John Laforet, Abdul Patel, Jim Robb, and Kumar Sethi.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Glenn Kitchen

54-year-old Glenn Kitchen has been a carpenter for 30 years.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign?

A: Our Youth: Our youth cannot suffer another cut to their educational programs. The results of the cutbacks to after school programs are showing their negative effects. If our youth do not have positive activities to participate in, they are more likely to be involved in negative activities. We need to re-introduce and re-open after school programs that have been closed. After school programs need to be run by staff and councillors who will act as positive role models and help our youth to find their way to positive choices. Our youth deserve better than what this city is currently providing them with.
Public Transit: Public transit in this ward is either non-existent or very limited. Navigating through this community is very difficult, and in many cases means numerous transfers. Scarborough has been given the short end of the transit line too many times. People in Scarborough want to travel within their community; they need to go grocery shopping, to go to work, to take their children to school. TTC needs to recognize these needs and work with Scarborough to create a more extensive route system to service people in this community.
Garbage: As the city of Toronto grows, the amount of waste we produce also grows. Looking into the future, we cannot rely on the methods we have used in the past. We must create new and innovative ways to deal with our waste. We must look at the waste as a resource, using every recyclable product to preserve materials that can be re-used. In order to be effective we must require all residents to contribute to an extensive and responsible recycling system. All houses, apartments, condominiums, as well as, commercial residents can participate and help lower our garbage levels. We must work as a team to ensure that we are being responsible with our waste.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Our Youth. As new families move into this community, they are bringing their young children. The children in this community now, will be our youth in the future and we must help them to grow into positive members of the community. As I stated earlier, youth need positive activities, not just a basketball court or field, with no councillors. Our children need leaders, coaches, and role models to mentor them. The children need clubs for homework, reading, chess, music, dance, and sports. Our children are the future of this area and we must help them grow to be positive members of society.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: Since childhood, politics have been a big part of my life. My parents were believers in the political process, and encouraged our involvement. Voting was always emphasized and modeled in our household. In a family with seven boys, the democratic process was always modeled in our home.
In the last decade I have felt discouraged by the lack of accountability in politics, and the lack of regard for the needs of the voters. Learning from my childhood the value of the democratic process, I feel we need to speak out to preserve it. The Toronto municipal government has made many irresponsible decisions that have affected the residents of Toronto. Transit development should have been done in areas where there are current riders, not future riders. Scarborough is in dire need of extensions of TTC services, and new routes. Our youth need stronger leaders to look up to, and they need to be engaged. Our current municipal government is not doing enough to ensure they have services available to them. The political process must serve the people who it affects the most, and I feel it is my duty as a resident to get involved to ensure this takes place.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: I want to represent this ward, because I live here. I am familiar with the communities, including problems and strengths. I believe in the concept of local representation and I do not agree with politicians who run in any area, simply to be elected. If you live here, you understand the community. At this level of government it is important that the politician walks the same street as the people they represent, and get your hands dirty in the same dirt. This ward is my home and I want to make it feel like home for everyone in this ward.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I am involved in the community in the most important way, I engage with my neighbours. I am always ready and willing to help my friends and neighbours with problems they may have. I have always been willing to lend my hand or skill to people who need help. As councillor, I feel I would be able to help more people than I am able to now.
I am currently also involved with the Scarborough General Hospital, in order to Save the Scarborough Grace unit. I feel this is important because if this hospital is closed to the general admissions the public at large will suffer. Community based preventative care will be phased out and the risk of community illness will increase. This unit will then redirect its basic and emergency care to the general division and the overcrowded conditions will continue to grow.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is where I was born and raised and has always been my home. I feel Toronto gave me a colourful childhood full of great experiences. I learned to swim in the water, explore in the forests, I was educated here, and started my family here. This city has provided me with pride in my accomplishments, including my involvement in the building of landmarks such as the Sky Dome, the Eaton Centre, the Reference Library and retrofit of Osgoode Hall. Above all, Toronto has shown me the value of community and I would like to show this to its residents.

Q: Which council decision do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of? Which was the least desirable?

A: The council of 2003 made many decisions but the most favourable was to end the use of pesticides for cosmetic use on lawns. This was a step forward for the protection of the environment. While people thought it would mean jobs lost, I have not seen this occur. Furthermore, it has meant the return of birds and wildlife. In fact I have seen chipmunks, rabbits and deer in growing numbers. I have seen more butterflies and insects that do not harm but are a product of a healthy earth.
The least desirable was the elimination of open bidding on TTC subway car replacement contracts. As in all bidding processes, the lowest is not always the winning bid. I would have voted in favour of the Canadian workers, because I feel it is important to support our economy. However, I feel that bidding is an important part of the process.
Additionally, The lack of action on the Guild Inn has been disappointing, because the potential is there for the Guild Inn to be an important part of Toronto again.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, what would you bring to council?

A: I would not refer to a new councillor as a rookie, but a new way of looking at the issues, new set of values, and a new perspective. As a new councillor I would bring an open window, so people could have a sense of accountability. I would foster communication between Scarborough and City Hall, which has been lacking for many years. I would propose community ventures that are thought of by the residents, for the residents. I would propose new ways for the community to become involved with city hall, including Saturday and evening meetings, to ensure that working citizens are able to participate. I would also propose innovative ways to involve the public, utilizing new technologies. The political process requires the involvement of the public and I would strive to strengthen that involvement.
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November 3, 2006

Canada\’s St. Paul’s West (Ward 21) city council candidates speak

Canada’s St. Paul’s West (Ward 21) city council candidates speak

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is St. Paul’s West (Ward 21). One candidate responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Adams, Tony Corpuz, Joe Mihevc (incumbent), and John Sewell.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Joe Mihevc (incumbent)

54-year-old Joe Mihevc is the incumbent for Ward 21, St. Paul’s West, Toronto, Canada.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: The three most important issues are the environment, transportation and the local economy. As Toronto plans for its future, we need to increase our waste diversion and recycling programs. We need to maintain and protect our green spaces. We need to enhance sustainable energy options. We need to reduce gridlock and smog in order to improve our air quality. And, we need an efficient, affordable, reliable transit system to keep the City and local economy moving.
In addressing each of these issues, I am convinced that we cannot make decisions for today only; we need to have vision and hope for a brighter future. As Councillor, I have worked, and will continue to work, on each of these issues in many separate and specific projects throughout the Ward and City. For a full record of the positive results of my work on these issues, go to www.joemihevc.ca
All three of the issues come together in one local project – the rejeuvenation of St. Clair Ave W, which I address in the next question.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: The majority of residents have indicated to me that they want St. Clair, the Avenue at the centre of our community life in the south of Ward 21, to provide them with reliable public transit, an efficient flow of traffic, and sidewalks that draw neighbours out for a stroll or to shop locally. This is the vision towards which we are working! With streetscape and transit improvements, St. Clair West will continue to be pedestrian-friendly, and I will continue to encourage the growing patio culture for restaurants and cafes. To improve public transit, I support a dedicated lane that will allow streetcars to pass unobstructed along the street. In terms of reliability, we are getting the equivalent of an above ground subway service – the dream of so many neighbourhoods across the city! How can I not support that as the local Councillor, responsible for enhancing the Ward which I represent? Current levels of transit service are already insufficient here and will become more so as St. Clair increases in density and popularity. Improved public transit is vital to preserving the neighbourhood character of St. Clair, while moving us into the future.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: Great communities, like great cities, are built from shared dreams that address shared needs. I have been a Councillor for the last 15 years, and I am proud to have helped guide the growth and improvement of our community. In the last few years, we have seen the neighbourhoods in St. Paul’s West increase in recognition, reputation and property value. This has not occurred by chance. I have worked hard to build successful, creative and vibrant relationships amongst local, corporate and government stakeholders in order to stimulate local renewal and make it happen! We are on the cusp of a renaissance on St. Clair that will reap tremendous rewards for small business and residents. Millions of dollars of City investment in street and transit improvements; support for local Business Improvement Areas; the Wychwood Barns Park; the upgrading of our play parks, the Cedarvale Ravine and the Kay Gardner Beltline Park; all this work is making Ward 21 a wonderful place to live and raise families. I have a vision of community and City growth – one that is sustainable, civil and inclusive. I enjoy working with people who have a passion for this community and City. This is why I am involved in the political process.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: The creativity, passion and positive community spirit of residents and businesses in Ward 21, St. Paul’s West, continues to inspire me. It has made my work as city Councillor, a real pleasure. Together, we are transforming our neighbourhood and our City into one that works – because we are addressing our shared needs, hopes and aspirations, in a fair and equitable manner.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: My recent involvements include:
  • Salsa on St. Clair, a street festival to showcase both Hillcrest Village businesses & Latin culture;
  • Melitaville Festival to support community engagement in Davenport-Shaw neighbourhood
  • St. Clair Art Walk to showcase local artists with Wychwood Heights businesses
  • transformation of the TTC Wychwood Car Barns into a Park to provide valuable green space, recreation, live/work :* space for artists, and community space
  • protected banks of Cedarvale Ravine which led to a City-wide ravine protection by-law
  • annual Spring Clean-up Days in Cedarvale and Nordheimer Ravines, and Kay Gardner Beltline Park
  • support for the West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy (WISE) to purchase solar systems for the roofs of interested community members, reduce household-produced emissions and contribute to sustainable energy.
  • a home for the heritage Tollkeepers Cottage at Bathurst and Davenport; and, restoration of the historic Connaught Gates
  • fought the demolition of rental units at 310/320 Tweedsmuir Ave, which led to new City zoning laws restricting condo conversions of rental housing stock
  • stopped the McDonald’s drive-thru on St. Clair which led to City by-law prohibiting drive-thrus near residentially-zoned areas
  • improved playground equipment in Graham Park, Marian Engel Park, Humewood Park, Cawthra Park, and park infrastructure in the Kay Gardner Beltline and Cedarvale Park;
  • Wall murals by local artists to improve neglected lands
  • the merger of Upper Village (Toronto) and Upper Village (York) BIAs
  • Forest Hill Village BIA’s “Village Vision” began to renew the face of the retail village
  • the Hillcrest Yard employee parking lot in order to reduce on-street parking problems on Davenport and in the Hillcrest and Wychwood Park neighbourhoods
  • new signalized intersections at Burton/Kilbarry and at Ossington/Acores to make crossing safer for students, seniors and all pedestrians
  • extension of the Allen Rd. noise wall, south from Fairleigh Ave. to Eglinton Ave. West
  • renewed streetscape along MacPherson and Bridgman Avenues
  • time-based TTC transfers and 4 additional off-street parking lots on St. Clair, to boost shop local campaign
  • a new accessible elevator at Eglinton West TTC station
  • the Commercial Façade Improvement Program

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: The diversity within Toronto makes it not only a unique place in the world, but a unique place in history. Never has there been, nor is there elsewhere, the meeting, merging and living together of so many cultures that IS Toronto. Diversity truly is our strength. And, in as much as we are able to honour that diversity, Toronto will be a great city.
Toronto is also a City where the vulnerable and marginalized have a voice and the commitment is strong to making sure their needs are met. This is our greatest security: each citizen knowing that they have a role, a place, and positive contribution to make to community life.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: Ward 21 was well served by city Council. No adverse decisions were made.
Ward 21 was especially well served by Council’s decision to invest so much in our area: in so many of our parks and the Cedarvale Ravine; on street and transit improvements.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.


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Canada\’s Davenport (Ward 18) city council candidates speak

Canada’s Davenport (Ward 18) city council candidates speak

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Toronto municipal election, 2006

Etobicoke North (Ward 1)
Etobicoke Centre (Ward 3, 4)
Etobicoke—Lakeshore (Ward 5)
York West (Ward 7, 8)
Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
Davenport (Ward 17, 18)
Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
St. Paul’s West (Ward 21)
Don Valley West (Ward 25, 26)
Toronto—Danforth (Ward 29, 30)
Beaches—East York (Ward 32)
Don Valley East (Ward 33)
Scarborough—Agincourt (Ward 39, 40)
Scarborough East (Ward 43, 44)
Toronto from space

Toronto from space.

To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontoians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Davenport (Ward 18). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Lloyd Ferguson, Adam Giambrone (incumbent), Nha Le, James McMillan, and Simon Wookey.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Adam Giambrone (incumbent)

29-year-old Adam Giambrone is the incumbent councillor for Ward 18, Davenport, Ontario Canada.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A:
1. Some of our neighbourhoods have struggled with crime and community safety for more than a generation. We have begun to change that, but there’s still much to do.
2. Our streets and public spaces have cleaner. We must redouble the effort to make them beautiful and attractive–and yes, cleaner–so people will use them.
3. The people of our city depend on reliable infrastructure–both physical and social–and we move by transit. We must continue to protect and invest in these priorities if we are to build a city we can continue to be proud of.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Continued investment in crime reduction and safer neighbourhoods.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: For our government to work, it needs direction from problem-solvers with a strong dedication to public service and accountability, and an energetic optimism about the good things we can do together. I admire the work of these people, and I have a strong drive to contribute in the same way.
When these people have not provided this kind of leadership, I have considered it my responsibility to take up the challenge.
I have also felt the need to have the voices of younger people represented at City Hall. Being the youngest member of Council, I have encouraged other young leaders to take up the challenge of political responsibility as well.

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: I’ve lived in this ward all my life and feel a strong personal attachment to the people here. The sense of community here is very strong, but we have not always been well represented at City Council in the past, and we know it. I want to continue to give it the high level of care and attention it rightly deserves.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: Before I was the city councillor, I was actively involved in community groups and our parks associations. Our previous councillor was not responsive to the community, so with research and hard work with others, I was able to provide the kind of service we were lacking.
When I arrived at City Hall, I opened and have since maintained a community office, so people have ready access to their councillor. I have continued to work with community groups across the ward and provided ALL residents with the kind of information in correspondence and newsletter that they were not accustomed to getting.
In a very culturally diverse community, I have also worked with many cultural communities in many languages to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or language, is well served by City Hall.
I have worked successfully with the community to establish 3 Business Improvement Areas so that our struggling main streets have a fair chance to grow and succeed.
I have increased local democracy by not only consulting, but often balloting neighbourhoods about very local decisions.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: This is a community that cares about the health of our environment. Of the decisions Council made this term, I think it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to our goals in adding recycling and “green bin” facilities in apartment buildings.
I think this Council should be proud that we made a very responsible decision to keep our Transit plan on track by establishing the St. Clair Right-of-Way. There was a lot of fear-mongering about it, but in the end, Council made the right decision.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is a city that has a proud history of distinct neighbourhoods and cultural diversity. We are a city that has occasionally struggled against a Provincial instinct to cut back and destroy the things we have built together over generations. I think many people who don’t know Toronto would be surprised at the progressive, community-minded nature of our people. It’s a city I’m intensely proud of.

Jim McMillan

Aged “39 & holding” Jim McMillan is currently self employed in sales.

Q: Describe the three most important issues in your campaign.

A: 1) Elevators or ramps in Lansdowne, Dufferin, Ossington subway stations now.
2) Turning the contaminated 640 Lansdowne Ave – the police rejected it, the city & the T.T.C. are left neither wanting to pay the clean up costs (60,000,000.00) sixty million dollars. It should be capped with afoot of concrete and trees planted every 20 feet to suck out contaminates and the site used for a multi use park.
3) Split the 14 Division police force into two groups, leave one group in the old Dundas/Dovercourt Sts. site with the administrative staff remaining there, the other half to set up a large satelite [sic] station at Bloor/Lansdowne Sts.saving gas reducing pollution and putting police in the face of the hoodlums who terrorize Lansdowne/Bloor area residents.

Q: What one election issue do you feel is most relevant to your ward in this election?

A: Rolling back the 9% pay increase to councillors and mayor.

Q: Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process?

A: I have decided to involve myself in the political process because:
1) Adam Giambrone voted for the 9% pay increase
2) Adam Giambrone voted for the extension of using city finances/resources for 2 extra months.
3) Adam Giambrone believes ward 18 ends at Dufferin St. and ignores the needs of the west part of the ward, (Dufferin St. to the C.N. Line)

Q: Why do you want to represent this particular ward on council?

A: I want to represent my ward to clean up Adam’s mess in our ward.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have been involved in a clean up campaign for the last 17 years. I believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Q: Which council decision (since the 2003 election) do you feel the city/your ward should be most proud of, and which was least desirable?

A: Since the 2003 election, nothing was done to be proud of, but both the salary increase of 9.7%, and the untendered contract for the subway cars, were least desirable.

Q: If you were elected as a “rookie” councillor, What would you bring to the table beyond the incumbent?

A: I feel I could add many years of life experience & that of a family provider, to council & not that of a single recently school grad, with none of “the school of hard knocks experience”.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto means so much to me that I composed a Toronto song.
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Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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