Canada's Parkdale—High Park (Ward 14) city council candidates speak

Monday, October 30, 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.

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

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 Parkdale—High Park (Ward 14). One candidate responded to Wikinews' requests for an interview. This ward's candidates include Beverly Bernardo, John Colautti, Tom Freeman, David Hanna, Barry Hubick, Walter Jarsky, Ted Lojko, Gord Perks, Anthony Quinn, Rowena Santos, Dilorece South, Jimmy Talpa, Matthew Vezina, and David White.

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

Anthony Quinn

38-year-old Anthony Quinn is a currently associate producer for Moses Znaimer, at his independent production company. For seven years, Quinn served as Executive Assistant to Citytv co-founder and CEO Znaimer at Citytv.

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

A: I'll break the three issues down by Ward, City and Philosophy.
The most important issue in Ward 14 is the prevalence of drug dealers, pimps and petty criminals on our streets; directly related to the low number of police available and the erroneous view that the status quo is ok and it's all just a part of living in Parkdale. My priority for Ward 14 is to increase the number of police on the street, who'll then have the manpower to get that criminal element out of the shadows of lower Parkdale, and revitalize the neighbourhood with the return of commerce and family friendly passage.
The most important issue in our City is the cold reception that the business community has received from Council and the resulting flight of businesses from Toronto and the ensuing erosion of the tax base. While Business is turning it's back on Toronto, a left-leaning City Council has continued on its irresponsible tax and spend mission.
The most important philosophical issue in this election is the infiltration of partisan politics and agenda driven decision-making being the rule and not the exception in Council chambers. While it is important to know the ideology of your elected representative, the needs and wants of Ward residents may not always mesh with the will of a political party and a Councillor then becomes handcuffed to the partisan political agenda, and is no longer a true "representative" of the resident, but only of the Party. Partisanship gets in the way of creative problem solving and consensus building. City issues do not stop at the arbitrary Ward boundaries and we need a Councillor who can work with others at City Hall and solve problems outside of political affiliations to get things done.

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

A: Parkdale – High Park is an enigma. It's the tenderloin of Toronto, in some parts a haven for criminals; in others a vibrant cultural marketplace with large homes on tree lined streets. It is the first stop for many new immigrants and the last stop for the poor and the mentally ill.
Ward 14 needs a vision that includes taking care of our poor and ill, maintaining vibrant local businesses, holding onto our forest in the city and improving access to our waterfront. A vision that allows for revitalization while caring for those who are in the greatest need and maintaining identity of our individual neighbourhoods.

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

A: I've been following the shenanigans of politicians at City Hall since I moved back to Toronto in 1989. They've caused me to shout at my TV, write letters to the editor and continually vote against incumbents. I've complained to friends, family and anyone else who would listen about incompetent Councillors. Now instead of just complaining about the problem, I'm tying to do something about it. I've met my opponents and have heard their platforms and I'm now more worried that our tax and spend council may be strengthened by my left wing opponents and I'm emboldened in my resolve to bring independent thought to Council.

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

A: Because it's a challenge. Because this ward needs help and a broad minded approach to problem solving. I live approximately 900 metres outside of the Ward 14 border. My wife and I live with our two pre-school children in a west end condo, and we've tried in vain to buy a home in Roncesvalles Village and High Park over the last few years. I chose to run in Parkdale – High Park because it's my home and will be the neighbourhood where my children will grow up. I want to help shape that environment for the better; for my family and for all families in Ward 14.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I'm a father of two pre-school kids and starting a family, as all parents will know, is a busy time and I hope considered a contribution to the community in itself.
I have however made the effort to find some extra time to contribute to the community. I'm starting my third year as a volunteer tutor for 'inner-city' middle school students, in an after school homework club organized by Frontier College. I'm a volunteer soccer coach for my daughter's soccer team in the Toronto Parks and Recreation league. I'm Board Secretary for my Condominium Corporation representing several hundred residents.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is: the Leafs and the Argos; Slush and Sunburn; Subways and Streetcars; Szechuan and Souvlaki; Atwood and Egoyan. It's the "centre of the universe" and the engine of the country.
Toronto can and should be the great, democratic, multicultural wonder of the world. A bastion of inclusiveness, diversity and environmental awareness with an artistic, cultural and free enterprise foundation derived from all corners of the planet. With a compassionate leadership and a social safety net that catches those who fall between the cracks.