Canada's Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19) city council candidates speak

Saturday, November 4, 2006

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Parkdale—High Park (Ward 13, 14)
Eglinton—Lawrence (Ward 16)
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Trinity—Spadina (Ward 19, 20)
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Toronto from space.

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 19). One candidate responded to Wikinews' requests for an interview. This ward's candidates include Nick Boragina, Joe Pantalone (incumbent), George Sawision, and Hïmy Syed.

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

George Sawision

50-year-old George Sawision is a master electrician and environmentalist.

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

A: My issues are based on a direct response by my neighbours. Tax is a foremost concern especially the recent and future tax hikes that have been implemented. My plan is still to limit or eliminate these increases by proper management and targeted spending.
The environment is also an important issue for me considering exposure to toxins has affected many of my fellow constituents. Cleaning up the ward and taking proactive steps to reduce vehicle and other emissions is a priority.
Social issues in the ward including the homeless, child care and criminal activity are a focus for me. However giving the youth and artists of the area a boost by direct funding will bring new life to the area.

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

A: The role of councilor is an issue in ward 19. People feel they have been abandoned by the present councilor. I feel a councilor should spend their full attention to the needs of their constituents first. I feel that it is imperative that a councilor be available and proactive. That is why my direct line is always available.

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

A: I have decided to run because I felt it was time to "put my money where my mouth is!".It isn't effective to always complain that problems aren't being handled by those in city hall, I felt that I could make a difference for my fellow neighbours. That is why I am not using tax dollars to run my campaign, to show that I am serious and devoted to helping my neighbours.

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

A: This ward deserves a caring and responsive councilor. I was born in this ward, I have made my career here and I don't plan on leaving the greatest ward in the city. And now I want to return the favour and help my neighbours even further.

Q: How are you currently involved in the community?

A: I have been involved in helping people not only establish themselves in the area but I have also tried to help people deal with government. Everything from immigration issues to dealing with parking or property tax issues. Sometimes its daunting for individuals to face government and I hope I have done my part to help.

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: I feel the council decision to "clean up" Toronto was the greatest goal set by council. Conversely it was also the worst because they didn't "clean up" Toronto, instead it seems items were swept "under the rug" into secrecy.

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

A: As a new councilor I would begin by actually serving the needs of my ward. I would go out of my way to ensure that the taxpayers money will not be wasted!

Q: What does Toronto mean to you?

A: Toronto is my home my life and I couldn't even consider living anywhere else in the world. I just don't want to see Toronto ruined by un-checked development with no regard to future generations.

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