York South-Weston is a tough nut to crack for Tory politicians. The riding, both federally and provincially, has consistently elected Liberals with the occasional NDP exception. MP Mike Sullivan, MPP Paul Ferreira and current MPP Faisal Hassan are the three exceptions.
Last year, Conservative candidate Mark DeMontis came within a whisker of winning in 2018’s Big Blue Wave courtesy of Doug Ford and Kathleen Wynne. Local man DeMontis, with a compelling back-story, courted the area politically and there was speculation that had he stuck around for another campaign (namely the recent federal one), he might have been able to pull off a victory. In June, DeMontis announced he had moved on to focus on his role with the Ontario Government thus making way for candidate Jasveen Rattan.
As an unknown parachute candidate from Mississauga and without a Big Blue Wave to propel her, she faced an uphill task eventually finishing a distant second to incumbent Liberal Ahmed Hussen. In the article, Rattan frames her result as the most successful for a federal Tory in over 40 years but in reality, her vote total and share of the popular vote were almost identical to those of 2015 Tory candidate James Robinson.
TVO’s Steve Paikin has written an article dealing with the Tories’ recent loss and focusses on Ms Rattan and York South Weston. In the article, Ms Rattan states that the people of York South Weston need help. I wonder if she will be providing that help between elections (along the lines of Chiara Padovani and Yafet Tewelde), or whether we can look forward to yet another new Tory face to contest the next election.
Did you ever get an invitation to a party where you are footing the bill?
You have now. Toronto city councillor Frances Nunziata and MP Ahmed Hussen have sent invitations to ‘their’ party – that you are paying for.
I am thrilled to co-host my first Amesbury Canada Day in Amesbury Park from 12-10PM. Mayor Tory will be stopping by for the fun. Flea market opens at 9 AM. Fireworks show at 9:45PM!
I am also hosting my annual Canada Day party in Weston Lions Park from 5-10:30 PM. Fireworks at 10 PM!
Bring your family for all the food, fun, and celebration!
I look forward to seeing you at one (or both!) of these exciting events!
Hussen’s goes like this,
I am hosting my annual Canada Day party at Weston Lions Park (Weston Road and Lawrence Ave W) from 5pm-10:30 PM. I warmly invite you to bring the whole family for an evening of food, fun, and celebration! There will be food trucks, inflatable rides, and entertainment for all. Be sure stick around for the fireworks show at 10 PM! I can’t wait to see everyone there!
At least MPP Faisal Hassan isn’t claiming credit for your Canada Day celebrations.
Let’s hope we’re not at the banana republic stage where politicians have to dispense largesse in order to stay in office.
After much consideration, I am withdrawing from the 2019 Federal Election as the Conservative Party candidate of record. I have decided to focus on my role with the Government of Ontario. I would like to thank my family and the people of York South-Weston for all the support.
Mark DeMontis has withdrawn his candidacy in the upcoming federal election. He said on Twitter the he has “decided to focus on [his] role with the Government of Ontario”.
DeMontis challenged incumbent Laura Albanese and winner Faisal Hassan in the Ontario election. He placed second with nearly a third of the vote, and, in my opinion, he would have been a very strong contender in the federal election. DeMontis has been a successful broadcaster, speaker, and has a gripping story of overcoming adversity—he lost most of his sight in early adulthood, but rollerbladed across the country to raise money for blind hockey players.
The PC government has promised that York Memorial Collegiate will be restored.
Faisal Hassan, our MPP, asked the PCs whether they would commit to rebuilding York Memorial. Lisa Thompson replied
Absolutely, we’re committed to working with the school board to make sure that that community hub, if you will, is absolutely restored.
Coming back from Skills Ontario last Tuesday or Wednesday morning, when it was on fire again, we actually drove by and it’s a heartbreak, what has happened to that community. I understand it’s under investigation. We certainly will be working with the school board, and I look forward to working with you to make sure we get it right.
Last week, City Council also committed to rebuilding the school after the fire.
There had been rumblings, here and elsewhere, that the fire would be a good reason to consolidate schools and develop the land.
The PC government has eliminated a program that gave 20 vulnerable students work and free-time programming at FoodShare Toronto. Summer jobs at Toronto schools are also on hold because the province cut $25 million from education programming.
Foodshare is located just outside of Mount Dennis. It “ prioritizes students who are behind in credits, newcomers, students from low-income families, racialized students and students with learning disabilities”, according to Faisal Hassan, who criticized the decision to cut funding at Queen’s Park this week. The students are “employed, supported and mentored”. FoodShare provides “them with the opportunity to earn money, job skills and up to two co-op credits.”
Hassan asked the Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson, why the government is “turning its back on organizations like FoodShare, which arm students with the skills to allow them to succeed in today’s workplace”.
Thompson repeatedly dodged the question. Instead of answering with details about FoodShare or the Focus on Youth program, she spoke rather nonsensically about McDonald’s accepting applications over Snapchat—apparently not noticing the irony of putting screens and grease over Foodshare’s focus on healthy fruits and veg.
Faisal Hassan, our usually-quiet MPP, had a busy week. He tabled a motion that aims to create 27,000 paid internships for young Ontarians—and, surprisingly, the conservatives said they’d support it.
The goal is to help people get experience and move into paid employment:
The issue is particularly pressing in my riding of York South–Weston, where high rates of youth unemployment create a skills gap, resulting in epidemic rates of adult unemployment and underemployment.¹
The internships will be for students, but also for recent graduates and the unemployed—Hassan said the placements would be “awarded based on need and merit, not merely a further privilege afforded only to those who have already led privileged lives.”
Five other MPPs, including three Progressive Conservatives, spoke to support the motion.
Hassan also presented a petition to support parents of children with autism, and asked the PCs why they are “abandoning” and “making life harder for” children with autism.
Hassan was responding to the recent changes in autism programming announced by the PC government. The changes will increase funding but spread it out over more children, to reduce waitlists. Hassan hosted a meeting two weeks ago on the subject.
¹ I’ve heard this, and variations on this, for years (for instance, that we have the second-poorest postal code in Ontario. Does anybody have any actual data to prove this?