Ontario 2022 Election in Ward 10

Although I have already voted, I present here the candidates and some of the issues of this very important Ontario 2022 election. Most of the issues we struggle to fix in Toronto can easily be fixed by the Ontario legislature, which is unfortunately dominated by parties that reflect the disdain other Ontarians feel for Toronto (a disdain often felt by people outside a big city toward that city elsewhere in the world).

screenshot of voter information page for Ward 10 at elections.on.caThe Ontario election is in its last day and, though I have voted a while back (vote early, vote often, as poll workers and even candidates sometimes joke), I thought it might be a good idea to discuss some of the issues and candidates, given the importance of provincial politics to the daily lives of Canadians.

Some of us often feel that none of the options presented is worth investing the time to vote. My personal view is that irrespective how bad the menu is, I always hold my nose and pick someone; otherwise, I am letting someone else pick for me.

I typically start with a tool like VoteCompass (cbc-vcon22), whereby political scientists make an effort to distill platforms (or lack thereof, as is the case with the incumbent party) into questions that seek to determine how closely aligned is any one party to my own views. I then also try to determine how “communicative” individual candidates are, by coming up with a list of questions and making an effort to contact each one and see how (or, sadly, if) they bother to answer. This effort is best done long before election day, so that the chances of candidates answering are increased; alas, I don’t always manage to do that.

Some of the questions on my mind for this election include:

  1. Traffic tickets (and other fines, such as parking violations, or downtown toll fees for non-residents) should be proportional to income, like in Switzerland and Finland, or at least to the value of the vehicle – see the twitter thread (wef-tckts).
  2. I support emergency shelter sleeping pods in downtown government buildings since apart from an initial investment they should be cheap to operate and should have low recurring costs as a (temporary) solution to homelessness and parks overcrowding, but a longer term solution requires provincial and federal participation, much like Singapore or Vienna.
  3. While recording of court proceedings is less of a taboo than it used to be, some people feel that section 136 of the Courts of Justices Act should be further liberalized (ontco-rec). Others feel that the judicial nominations process is too vulnerable to corruption as the judicial nomination lists are too long, allowing the government to pick judges who are less esteemed but better connected to the party in power. Finally, the “outsourcing” of lawyers’ bills to the Assessment Office, part of the AG office, might be counterproductive and some feel that LSO should deal with both ethical and overbilling issues, as does its Quebec counterpart (last I checked, a few years ago).
  4. Although Toronto already has a special relationship with the province (City of Toronto Act), its further growth and prosperity might require a new Charter.
  5. Some people feel that the re-districting done by Doug Ford was a good idea, while others feel it needs to be revisited. The opposition is for canceling that measure, but it would be interesting to learn if individual candidates have anything to add.
  6. Some people feel that it is shameful that Toronto has been increasing spending on policing while crime has been decreasing (secular trend) and that police officers do not belong on the sunshine list above university professors, while others feel that the increase in crime after the lockdown warrant staying the course at both municipal and provincial level. There is also something to say about police officers who can never be fired and continue to collect their salaries while under investigation for egregious misconduct.
  7. Proponents of the guaranteed minimum income think that CERB proved it viable, though others feel that even given the exceptional circumstances the government has gone too far.
  8. Some people feel that protestors shouldn’t be able to block traffic (especially since it’s so terrible in Toronto) while others feel that further restricting protests is detrimental to democracy.
  9. Some feel that electric bikes should be subsidized more than electric automobiles and that the province should build bicycle infrastructure along Ontario roads (only the Greens have that in their platform) while others feel that bike lanes take precious real estate on the roads contributing to traffic jams.
  10. TTC needs more subsidies to bring down the cost and encourage riders as well as incentives such as free rides at off-peak hours.

The list of candidates can be found on the Wikipedia page for Spa-Fy as well as on the Elections Ontario “101” page (elon-w10); each party is linked to its respective Wikipedia page using the Ontario Parties page as a starting point:

  1. ASHER, ANGELA (New Blue) actress with Wikipedia and IMDB pages, none of which had been updated to reflect candidacy and this was the only candidate with no link even on the Election Ontario page, suggesting they do no want to be bothered, so I did not call their 519 general number
  2. DES GRANGES, CARA (Green Party of Ontario GPO) spoke to the media contact person who answered every question and even provided the email address for the candidate (fullname at gpo.ca)
  3. GLOVER, CHRIS (Ontario NDP/NPD) incumbent, very likely to be re-elected; answered the phone call immediately but was curt, stating “no comment” before hanging up
  4. NEEMUCHWALA, HUSAIN (PC Party of Ontario) this candidate has a very professional presence but was generally unable to provide details; Doug Ford runs a tight operation 😎
  5. NGUYEN, CHI (Ontario Liberal Party) spoke to campaign manager Adam who was evasive, requesting an email, which I had already sent before calling; it seemed as if he had already gone through it
  6. OSKO, JAN (Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda) the phone number had a “mailbox full” message; operations seemed abandoned

The New Blue candidate had no link on the ElOn aforementioned page, so I added the only relevant link I could find from the party website. Also, given my prior disclosure of my background as a volunteer peer counselor or my reposting of Bertrand Russell thoughts, one might be tempted to think that I am against the “stop sex-ed” party, but that is not necessarily true: I support semi-Direct Democracy, and as such, if a majority of my voters would lean in that direction, I would have to follow and furthermore I think that schools should reflect as much as possible parental educational desires.

A sad commentary on our representative democracy is that the forerunner typically is quiet and avoids making comments, which is precisely what Doug Ford as well as Chris Glover did. It is quite remarkable that some of the “long shot” candidates were essentially unreachable, making seemingly a zero effort to win votes. Once again, the Greens were impressive and I wish I had gone through this exercise before voting as MPP Glover’s rudeness may have pushed me to vote Green.

I expect a low turnout (msl-apathy).

Sources / More info: cbc-vcon22, elon-w10, wef-tckts, ontco-rec, msl-apathy, k33-recs, phss-sites


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