TCRP Recommended Candidate: Chiara Padovani
Boundaries: Hwy 404 to the north, GO rail to the east; CPR rail to the south; and the Humber River to the west.
Demographics: There are 116,686 people with an average age of 40. The average household size is 2.6 people with a median household income of $53,292. The percentage of visible minorities in the ward is 54%. [ Info Toronto Star | Sept 24]
Ward 5 - York South Weston
Frances Nunziata (Incumbent):
Nunziata has been a Councillor since 1988 (including Mayor of York from 1994-1997) - a total of more than 30 years, and is strongly targeted by progressives in the city. Her political career actually began in 1985 when she was elected as school board trustee for the City of York School Board. In 1988, she successfully ran for a seat on the former City of York’s Council, where she uncovered a scandal which would see the City selling part of Fairbank Park to a developer to build condominiums. Frances revealed the questionable transaction to the public, leading to a police investigation of several local politicians and the imprisonment of two York City Councillors, one Metro Toronto Councillor and the developer.
With the creation of the greater City of Toronto in 1997, Frances successfully ran for a seat on Toronto Council. She has continued to serve as Councillor for Ward 11 York South-Weston. In 2014, Nunziata won the role of Speaker, despite opposition from a handful of councillors. Mayor John Tory favoured having Nunziata carry on with the role.
Progressives would like to see her put into retirement because she votes conservative on many important issues. She is in favour of the Scarborough subway extension; in favour of considering budget cuts that would impact quality of life for Toronto Community Housing Corporation residents; against exploring the feasibility of a Toronto sales tax; against adding 1,000 new beds in the 2018 Shelter Infrastructure Plan. To top it off, she was in favour of naming a stadium after Rob Ford.
Before her political career, Frances was head of the Harwood Ratepayers Association.
Positions: “Throughout her years in politics,” says her website, “Frances has proven herself to be a strong advocate for the best interests of Ward 11, frequently bringing the issues of the community to the floor of City Council. She is also a firm believer in listening to those she serves, and holds many community consultation meetings on development applications, liquor licence applications, and park improvements, to name a few. While her office is at City Hall, Frances is never too busy to visit constituents at their houses or meet with them at a local coffee shop.”
Boards and Committees: Council Speaker; Etobicoke York Community Council; Budget Committee; Licensing and Standards Committee; Nominating Panel - George Bell Arena, Chair; York Employees’ Pension and Benefit Fund Committee; George Bell Arena Board; Hockey Hall of Fame; Urban Arts Community Arts Council.
Voting Record 2014 - 2018: Nunziata voted in favour of keeping bike lanes on Bloor; in favour of considering child care space reductions; in favour of a long-term financial plan for the city; in favour of the Scarborough subway extension; in favour of considering budget cuts that would impact quality of life for Toronto Community Housing Corporation residents; against exploring the feasibility of a Toronto sales tax; against adding 1,000 new beds in the 2018 Shelter Infrastructure Plan. She has been against full funding for TransformTO, the city's long-term climate action plan; in favour of naming a stadium after Rob Ford.
2014 electoral results and 2017 attendance: 1st runner-up Jose Garcia got 24% of Nunziata's vote count. Nunziata missed no recorded council votes.
Frank Di Giorgio (Incumbent):
Di Giorgio won his fourth consecutive term to Council in 2014, defeating John Nunziata by a mere 238 votes. Di Giorgio is a consistent supporter of Mayor John Tory’s agenda. The Mayor named Di Giorgio to head the Budget Committee in 2013. Di Giorgio didn’t get off to a good start. He told journalists he would freeze the budget, but he was corrected within 24 hours by then Mayor Ford who said the budget would be kept within inflation. Because of his loyalty to the mayor, Di Giorgio he has been a member of several influential committees and government bodies, including the Mayor’s designate on the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and the Licensing and Standards Committee.
Di Giorgio has been criticized for not doing enough for his ward, which has dealt with chronic flooding, youth unemployment and a perception the area is underserved by the city. He admitted after his 2014 victory that development in his ward has been largely “dormant” the past 12 years. That, he says, will change. “We're going to see some positive development" (in the ward), he said then. “The low-income areas are always the last to experience rejuvenation.”
Following the province's decision to immediately downsize Toronto city council, Di Ciano voted 'No' to a motion to have city staff investigate the legality of the province’s decision.
Boards and Committees: Etobicoke York Community Council; Executive Committee, Member-At-Large; Employee and Labour Relations Committee; Licensing and Standards Committee; Nominating Panel - Committee of Adjustment; Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors, as the Mayor’s designate; York Community Information.
Voting Record 2014 - 2018: Di Giorgio voted in favour of keeping bike lanes on Bloor; in opposition to cutting child care spaces; in favour of a long-term financial plan for the city; in favour of the Scarborough subway extension; in favour of considering budget cuts that would impact quality of life for Toronto Community Housing Corporation residents; against exploring the feasibility of a Toronto sales tax; in opposition to adding 1,000 new beds in the 2018 Shelter Infrastructure Plan; against full funding for TransformTO, the city's long-term climate action plan; in favour of naming a stadium after Rob Ford.
2014 electoral results and 2017 attendance: 1st runner-up John Nunziata got 95% of Di Giorgio's vote count. Di Giorgio missed 8.2% of recorded council votes.
Austin is founder of Young Lives Matter Outreach Organization.
Deeqa was formerly a minerals lab technician with ICP Mass Spectrometry. She has diplomas from Madix College and Seneca College. Deeqa lists former CBC personality Kevin O’Leary as a person who has influenced her. Barre's issues include 'Affordable child care, better youth senior service, clogged transit, and Community Safety.'
In 2016 Carapinha organized a thousand-name petition in opposition to the homeless shelter on Runnymede Road. He is a freelance editor/ proof-reader and consultant. Joey and his wife are active in the local community.
Issues: Joey says his desire to represent ward 11 at City Hall extends from his years of experience with different groups and associations who challenge City decisions only to be either ignored or promised compromises that never materialize.
A transit operator with the TTC, Fosu says knocking off Frank Di Giorgio, the incumbent from his old ward, is not going to be easy. “(Di Giorgio) banks on low turnout and the fact many people aren’t engaged. Gotta turn out the vote and let people know they deserve better. Cause the area is on a steady decline."
Gulri is a property accountant at GWL Realty Advisors and chair of the board of the Runnymede Collegiate Institute. He has several issues on his platform, including the doubling of bus service for 79B and 30; an LRT for Jane Street; replacing water pipes throughout the ward, and increasing resources to fight crime. Other points are: build more affordable housing through vertical development and re- development; resurfacing of many roads, including Alliance Avenue; and a tax freeze until the community sees significant improvement in these services.
In 2014, in his first attempt at politics, Lekan was defeated by long-time incumbent Frank Di Giorgio. Unknown in the ward, Lekan picked up 21 per cent of the vote. Olawoye is the executive director of the Venture Talent Development at MaRS Discovery District. He has extensive experience in youth policy, leadership development and social justice, playing a pivotal role in delivering empowering youth programs in Ontario. Lekan’s experience as an immigrant from Nigeria has left him very conscious of the needs of immigrants in the ward 12 area, one of the poorest areas of the city.
Olawoye served Toronto as a board member for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and was the first-ever Chair of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities. Under his leadership, the Premier’s Council designed a $5 million youth opportunities fund and advised on a $295 million youth job strategy fund.
Lekan is a graduate of CivicAction’s DiverseCity’s Fellow program, United Way’s Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young (CITY) Leaders, and is a 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference alumnus. He gets good media coverage because of the important nature of his work. In 2016 he was honoured to deliver The MasterCard Foundation presentation “The Walrus Talks Africa’s Next Generation.” Olawoye seems very ambitious and expresses a degree of anger on behalf of the community. Referring to Di Giorgio, he said: “For 30 years we have been represented by someone who has not represented the entire ward. We’ve been neglected. We can’t get a sidewalk paved. Our young people cannot get support.”
The Toronto and York Region Labour Council endorses Olawoye for always standing up and fighting for good jobs and social justice. “Lekan has played a pivotal role in creating positive change across our city,” says President John Cartwright. “Leaders like Lekan will help guide the way to a more inclusive city for everyone.”
Portillo is retired city worker. He was a Health and Safety Officer and Union Rep for local 79. He assisted homeless men, women and children in his role as a client service worker at Seaton House, the largest homeless shelter in Toronto. Luis also volunteers for the Homes First Society, managing three rent geared-to-income houses occupied by single mothers with children. A political refugee who arrived in Canada in 1983, he was a founding member of Cooperative La Paz in 1989.
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Chiara is described by WestonWeb.ca as a “left-leaning activist.” She writes about herself: “Extensive experience in community development and project coordination - over six years of experience in project design, implementation and evaluation in Canada and Latin America. She has extensive knowledge of human rights with an emphasis in women’s rights - 5 years of professional experience in women’s and human rights organizations in Latin America. Extensive work experience with children and youth - more than 10 years experience working with children and youth from diverse communities. Experienced workshop facilitator - over four years of facilitating workshops aimed at preventing gender-based violence and promoting gender and social justice."
She also worked for several months as an advocate and community member, and led opposition to a meat plant at 200 Rockcliffe. A local newspaper says Padovani has institutional support like no challenger has had in more than a decade, and she will flank Nunziata from the left, where Nunziata is weakest.
Announcing her candidacy, she wrote, “For too long, we’ve been forgotten by City Hall. Overcrowded buses, potholes, flooding, abandoned lots with overgrown weeds - these are just a few examples of the municipal neglect in our community. Growing inequality, unaffordability, declining city services, and a lack of meaningful community engagement from the current leadership at City Hall, threaten to worsen the quality of life for all of us.”