Canada's York West (Ward 7) 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 York West (Ward 7). One candidate responded to Wikinews' requests for an interview. This ward's candidates include Sandra Anthony, Fred Cutler, Giorgio Mammoliti (incumbent), and Larry Perlman.

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

Larry Perlman

42-year-old Larry Perlman is a self-employed equities trader.

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

1. The perception and reality of crime in Ward 7 that has resulted in feelings of discomfort in our communities. By initiating a Neighbourhood Watch in my community and eventually connecting all the Neighbourhood Watches within the Ward, I hope to show residents that by participating in their own communities they can make a difference.
2. A lack of connection between residents to their communities, the communities to the Ward, and the residents and communities in the Ward to their local Councillor. By establishing 10 community committees and having one representative from each community part of a Ward committee, I will help connect the residents of Ward 7 together.
3. Voter apathy and cynicism to the political process that has resulted in low voter turnout and the lack of pride in their communities. A goal of 50% voter turnout within 8 years is one of the visions in my campaign.

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

A: Connecting the residents and communities in Ward 7 together will be the most effective means of identifying the Ward's "quality of life" issues, which will then be used to find the best solutions that can be solved together.

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

A: In the last 3 years living in Ward 7, I have noticed a void in effective leadership from the incumbent Councillor. I took it upon myself to fill that void by getting involved in community organizations, finding solutions to Ward-area problems, and providing City Council committees with ideas that would benefit the City as a whole. My accomplishments are reason enough to go to the next level -- Councillor.

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

A: My wife and I moved into Ward 7 a little more than 3 years ago (our first home). We have a close connection with our neighbours, and as Councillor I would like to make things better in my community.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have participated in a number of organizations and initiatives in my community, including the establishment of a Neighbourhood Watch and participation in the Humber Summit Community Resource Centre. I virtually eliminated illegal pocket bike use in the Ward, minimized garbage dumping in various areas in my community, established speed humps and a review of the City's traffic-calming policy, and voiced my opposition to excessive aircraft noise coming from Pearson Airport. Please go to my website for more accomplishments and initiatives that I have undertaken and will undertake in the future.

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is my hometown. It is the City I was born in, raised in for many years and the City I have chosen as my home and place to work after finishing University. I met and fell in love with my wife here, bought a home here and intend on raising my family here.

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 decision to react strongly to the "year of the gun" last summer by recruiting more Police and putting more money into youth programs was the best decision the City made for our Ward (and the City as a whole). There is still more work to do, as the perception and reality of crime is still around us, but the situation is much better than last year. The least desirable decision by City Council was the pay raise given to themselves earlier this year. It was not deserved and resulted in negative feelings towards our City representatives and cynicism among the residents of Toronto towards the political process.

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

A: Passion, Persistence and Fresh Ideas! As a "rookie", I would not be settling in my position as Councillor, but would be actively bringing new ideas to the table, searching for the best solutions for the Ward, and representing the needs and wants of the residents of Ward 7 with energy and determination. I have shown this with my accomplishments, my promises, my future initiatives and my vision, as stated clearly on my website. No other candidate for Ward 7 Councillor (including the incumbent) can say the same thing.