Canada's Trinity—Spadina (Ward 20) city council candidates speak

Friday, November 3, 2006

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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 Trinity—Spadina (Ward 20). One candidate responded to Wikinews' requests for an interview. This ward's candidates include Desmond Cole, Helen Kennedy, Douglas Lowry, Chris Ouellette, Carmin Priolo, Devendra Sharma, Joseph Tuan, and Adam Vaughan.

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

Doug Lowry

48-year-old Doug Lowry is a settlement officer, Money Market Operations, at TD Securities.

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

A: The 3 more important issues in main campaign are
1. we have to be competitive against Markham and Mississauga so the concentration of work remains in the downtown area, by supporting our business community. Work is changing fast and jobs that used to have to be in the downtown area, do not necessarily have to be, I do not believe Council gets it.
2. we need a Problem Properties Committee which is proactive to fix properties and improve neighbourhoods.
3. we need to encourage people to continue to reinvest in their buildings, one method is to have solar panels on homes

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

A: The Problem Properties Committee (which can easily exist in every Ward) to tackle problems before they reach crisis and drag on for months. The committee is made up of the Councillor, the police, and city regulation staff, the Councilor is to provide the political will. In this fashion, neighbours can do what neighbours do, enjoy their property.

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

A: In Ward 20, there is no incumbent, I have served on a number of committees in the neighbourhood which allows me to have been exposed to many issues, and I live here and I believe I would do a good job.

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

A: Most of my activities are involved with the Ward, I live in the middle of it, I walk to work through the Ward. My interest in the Ballet - their office is in the Ward, (on the waterfront), although the Four Seasons is just outside. I am the Treasurer of provincial and federal political associations which ecompass the Ward. My doctor(s) are on one side of the Ward, a community centre which I am involved with is on the other side and I try to shop throughout the Ward. This all means I regularly go through the Ward, I am familar with its history and tend to know it the best.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have active membership in the CLPC - 14 Division, Scadding Court Community Centre, the Waterfront Residents Association, a resident association just outside the Ward, representative of the my building at TCHC, plus I like gardening. These memberships besides going to community meetings, (and holding executive positions) means looking at many types of issues and having links to other groups. These groups means looking at the many different viewpoints on a regular basis, although I have biases, being exposed is good.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto to me is both myth and reality, although it pretends it is an open city, it is much more closed than one thinks it should be. Toronto is place to learn and to work and that is why people come here. When I first came to Toronto to study at Ryerson, having the Blue Jays was beneficial to me liking the city. Upon living in the City for a couple years, it was time to explore it and that lead to a lifelong appreciation of ballet. Toronto is also opportunity because it is so big, but to see it, you must bring it to a size you are comfortable with.

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: Best Council Decision was something that did not make large headlines, but it could have a large impact, Council decided to takeover a derelict property in Parkdale and convert it to housing.
Worst Council Decision was a plan by the Nuns in Scarborough to convert some of their land to housing and it was turned down.

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

A: Because I believe Toronto is more of a closed society, where innovation happens all to infrequently, I would hope to change this by voting for innovative things. I would hope that I would be able to back those that try to do something better by allowing a degree of failure, to be quickly fixed.
I would also, continually thank people for trying to make this city better, most in small ways, but as a group what a difference!!