What to make of Mainstreet’s poll results

While neither the local nor mayor’s race is decided, unless some dramatic changes occur before polling day on October 22nd, the following scenarios are likely.

Toronto’s new ward map. From City of Toronto. (Click to enlarge.)

As Adam has pointed out, Mainstreet Research issued a poll that reflects the voting intentions of 593 residents of Ward 5 (York South Weston) on the 24th and 25th September. Among decided and leaning voters, the support is as follows:

From Scribd.com Click to enlarge.

Mainstreet’s poll methodology seems exemplary; for example, a large number of calls were made to a variety of cell and land line phones and at various times of two survey days.  The margin of error is 4.1% which still indicates a cast iron lead for Frances Nunziata over all other candidates.

The results must be demoralizing for candidates Lekan Olawoye and Chiara Padovani . The candidates with their dynamic young teams have worked hard to expand their bases in the respective halves of York South Weston. They have been outmuscled by the star power (i.e. name recognition) of the two incumbents, only one of whom will be councillor. While it is notoriously difficult to unseat an incumbent Toronto councillor, Olawoye and Padovani can look for hope from three sources:

  1. There will be other elections – sometimes it takes a few tries before voters learn your name.
  2. Your focus on certain issues during the campaign may have moved people’s (and possibly the winning candidate’s) opinions.
  3. This is valuable feedback – try other tactics to raise your profile.

As for Frank Di Giorgio; to win he needs to build up his support in the 50+ age groups in YSW. If he loses, he won’t be the first big name to be defeated by Ms Nunziata.

Mayor’s Race:

Of the four major candidates, Mainstreet’s latest poll shows stodgy incumbent, John Tory snoozing his way to victory in spite of his flawed and lacklustre mayoralty. Toronto poverty, crime and congestion levels continue to rise under his watch while he concentrates on his three main objectives; austerity, low property taxes and re-election. The mayor is so confident, he recently took a pass on a transit debate, instead choosing a cocktail fundraiser with Toronto’s moneyed and business elite. His abysmal SmartTrack plan was probably the reason for wanting to avoid scrutiny on that difficult topic.

Former Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat’s campaign has failed to gain traction as her policies differ only marginally from those of the incumbent. Her insider knowledge of where the bodies are buried at City Hall has been kept under wraps so far. In policy areas where Ms. Keesmaat does differ from John Tory, she is unable to effectively state why her position is better.

Local candidate Saron Gebresellassi has acquitted herself forcefully in debates and offers some starkly new ideas to address issues such as poverty in a big city like ours. She needs to keep pushing the two mainstream candidates off their comfort zones.

Sarah Climenhaga is another candidate with West Toronto connections and one who has lived a fascinating life full of valuable experiences. Like the other candidates, this is her first shot at the Mayor’s job.

Sadly, becoming mayor costs a lot of money. Mayor Tory spent almost $3 million to get elected in 2014. This is beyond the reach of most candidates; even the well-connected Ms. Keesmaat. It looks like we’ll be stuck with John Tory for another four years.

Last of all; most people usually don’t vote in civic elections here in YSW. The people who do tend to be in the older age groups. The folks at American media production company Nail Communications produced this mock ad geared to the mid-terms in the U.S. but speaks volumes about the demographics of voting in both countries.

Poll shows Nunziata far in the lead

Frances Nunziata has a huge lead in Ward 5, according to Mainstreet Research.  Nunziata is supported by about 40% of decided voters. Frank Di Diorgio, the other incumbent, trails her by 10%, and the new challengers, Lekan Olawoye (7%) and Chiara Padovani (4%), are far behind.

18% of decided voters will be supporting one of the other candidates, and 35% of voters have not yet decided whom they will vote for.

 

From Mainstreet Research
From Mainstreet Research

Mainstreet Research robo-called 593 residents on cell and landlines. The survey was not paid for by any candidate, party, or company; Mainstreet foot the bill.

“Caring for our Creek” event this Sunday

The Black Creek Alliance will be hosting “Caring for Our Creek” this Sunday, and everyone is invited to tour the channelized Black Creek, “discover the history and hear the dreams to restore nature, create trails, reduce flooding and bring beauty to this forgotten corner of our neighbourhood.”

Photo from the BCA

The municipal election candidates have been invited to attend.

Dave Bennett wants to be local trustee.

Dave Bennett outside the latest incarnation of St John the Evangelist Catholic School.

Dave Bennett is a busy man with deep ties to the Weston community. Apart from helping raise a family of four, he has been active as a volunteer in Weston for quite a while having been a member of the Weston Residents’ Association for many years and is now the chair. He is past president and current board member of the  Weston Heritage Conservation District, volunteers with Weston Minor Hockey, has coached house league for almost 15 years, has supervised a division for 9 and has been a VP for the past few years.

His role as a parent at St John the Evangelist Catholic School has now ended (his youngest child graduated last year) and  Dave is now community relations advisor to its Parent Council having been chair for many years. As a result of his knowledge and experience, he feels he can make a contribution in terms of  the way schools are run in York South Weston and has entered the race to become a school trustee with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. When asked about his chances of winning, Dave feels that his chances are pretty good.  This is not a surprise considering that Mr. Bennett is used to achieving things in his life.

Dave says that the new school was long overdue and tells me that the old (now demolished) building was really two additions joined together. The original school at 23 George Street was added on to when more space was needed and later when enrolment increased, the older building was replaced with yet another addition. In later years the school needed twelve portables to accommodate students. The new building will be almost twice the size of the old one and will even have room for 36 day-care students. He modestly points out that many people are responsible for the new building’s existence, including former MPP Laura Albanese. He is obviously proud of the new school and easily rattles off facts and figures along with other details of its unique construction. At the moment, SJTE students are being accommodated a few minutes’ away at St Philip Neri on Beverly Hills Drive near Jane and Wilson.

He proudly points out that the new school field rests on a styrofoam base inside a giant concrete container covering the UP Express and GO Train tracks. The styrofoam helps reduce the load on the tunnel while not being deep enough for the field to float during heavy rains .

The new school playground over the UP Express and GO rail tracks can be seen in the upper middle of the image.

While his children are now too old to attend the new school, he feels some satisfaction in knowing that future generations of Westonians will enjoy the new facilities which will open in September 2019.

Getting back to his passion for hockey, Dave says his neighbours are always impressed by the timing of the Bennett annual backyard rinks, built following Farmers’ Almanac winter forecasts. Dave says that the Almanac hasn’t let him down yet. Based on their forecast, expect to see the family rink by mid-December at the latest.

 

The politics of water

The Toronto Community Housing building at 5 Bellevue went without water this weekend, and politicians were quick to respond. Frances Nunziata, Chiara Padovani, and Lekan Olawoye each had a role, and all of it played out on Twitter.

Padovani’s and Olawoye’s teams came with bottled water for angry residents, and Padovani called for the Lions’ Pool to be opened so people could shower.

Meanwhile, Frances Nunziata was working behind the scenes.

Our office was made aware of the situation at 5 Bellevue Crescent on Saturday and immediately contacted Toronto Community Housing (TCH) to ensure that water was being provided to residents, and that staff were onsite to assist vulnerable residents by bringing water to their units and checking on their well-being.

When it was stated yesterday that the water may not be back on until today, Councillor Nunziata contacted senior management from TCH to express the urgency in getting repairs made so that residents would have access to water. …

As a result of these actions, last night the water was up and running again, one day earlier than TCH had originally promised.

With respect to Ms. Padovani’s comments – Councillors do not have the authority to open a pool. That being said, if there was reason to believe the disruption to water service was going to last longer than it did, Councillor Nunziata would have contacted the appropriate staff to make arrangements. She has done this in the past

And her tweet was a zinger:

I love it. This round goes to Nunziata.

A great disturbance in the Force

I’m sorry that WestonWeb.ca was taken off the air for a few days.

We pay a company to host our site, and that company had a major outage. Many, many sites were taken down, and great drama ensued. It was, apparently, caused by one person sending one ill-conceived typed command to the servers. When she or he pressed “Enter”, millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

Restoring the files has taken quite a bit of time.

I confess, I was just a touch worried that eight years of my life’s work writing had been deleted, but I’m glad to say that it appears that nothing was lost, and my hope of someday one-upping my wife by having my work archived by someone, somewhere, remains intact.

We are a bit behind on the news, however, and emails last week didn’t get sent out to our newsletter subscribers—sorry about that.

Remember all: backup early and backup often.

 

Upcoming event

Frontlines will be hosting its annual AGM and anniversary celebration on September 26 at 7:30. If you would like to attend, they would appreciate it if you would reserve your space.FLAGM