Michael Ford won the provincial election last night with 36.6% of the vote. Incumbent NDP candidate Faisal Hassan came a close second, trailing by 800 votes. Liberal candidate Nadia Guerrera came third with 24%.
I found the results surprising. Polls had found the Liberals in second place and the NDP quite far behind. In the end, the NDP came very close to taking the riding.
Ford’s win is historic; it’s the first time since 1955 that a Conservative has eld the seat (when it was York South). He has only a narrow mandate, though; more than 60% of voters supported left-leaning parties.
Ford tweeted “It will be my honour to represent you down at Queens Park and get real results for our community and all Ontario’s working with Premier Ford.”
Tonight, I want to sincerely thank the residents of York South-Weston for putting their trust & confidence in me.
It will be my honour to represent you down at Queens Park and get real results for our community and all Ontarians working with Premier Ford.
Hassan said, “While the results are not what I had hoped for, please know that you can count on me to have your back in the days ahead.”
It’s been an honour to serve the people of #YSW#YorkSouthWeston#onpoli While the results are not what I had hoped for, please know that you can count on me to have your back in the days ahead. Thank you for your continued support. #TOpoli
A Mount Dennis doctor vaccinated “hundreds” of children under 5, according to the Toronto Star.
Sun practices out of the Crosstown Family Health Team clinic.
In a conversation with the Star, Sun said he gave the COVID vaccine to about 500 kids between the ages of six months and five years during a three-month span, a decision he said he made “to protect children.”
Sun, who believes he was “one of the only people in Ontario” vaccinating children under five, said he felt compelled to give the COVID vaccine “off label” to this age group after some parents started to ask for the shot in late December. They told him they wanted to protect their families during the Omicron wave.
The Star says Sun was asked to cease by Toronto Public Health and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and that he has done so.
A child was bitten by a coyote at Westlake Park in Mount Dennis on Saturday at around 4:25 p.m.
Toronto Police say that the child was not seriously injured.
ANIMAL COMPLAINT: Westlake Park * 4:25 pm * – Reports child bitten by coyote – Coyote is still in the area – Injuries don't appear serious – Police en route * People using park advised to be cautious *#GO1005775 ^dh pic.twitter.com/8cucz7ysM5
Three Weston residents have interesting articles in the news this week. Celia Chandler wrote about York South–Weston residents voting against their own self interest in Rabble.
The nurse up the street has a blue sign on their lawn. Yet, Bill 124, passed by the Ford government in 2019, has long-lasting damaging effects nurses and and other health-care professionals. Houses with basement suites have them too. The creators of those blue sign have decimated the Landlord and Tenant Board by failing to fill vacancies, creating delays of more than a year.
Even the couple who wheel around the neighbourhood in their matching mobility scooters, three dogs sitting on the platform, are rooting for Ford. He who overlooked Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the April 28 budget but nonetheless promises to hike the monthly payments by five percent if elected (inflation is at almost seven percent).
Bob Murphy and Chiara Padovani wrote about falling social assistance payments in NOW Magazine.
After the past two decades of Liberal and Conservative governments, people on social assistance are now worse off than in the 1990s when Harris first cut social assistance.
After Harris’s cuts, social assistance support was frozen. And under the four premiers since Harris, in the few years when social assistance was increased, the meagre increases were quickly outstripped by inflation. Now, adjusted for inflation, a person surviving on ODSP is actually $264 poorer each month than in 1996.
The Toronto Police say that a woman was sexually assaulted at Pelmo Park on Wednesday, May 25 at around 9:30 at night. The suspect is described as “white, taller than 5’6″ [and] wearing a black sweater.”
Wednesday night’s debate was extremely well attended. The hall at Weston Park Baptist Church was full, and the audience was very engaged. Faisal Hassan (NDP), Tom Hipsz (New Blue), Nadia Guerrera (Liberal), and James Fields (Independent) attended.
The questions covered social supports, the environment, flooding, the Eglinton Crosstown, and housing, among other things. In general, the responses were unsurprising: both the Liberal and NDP candidates promised much and differed only in details, such as what the minimum wage would be and how rent control would work. Their promises were expensive, too: I’m not sure either of the leading candidates said they wouldn’t fund a program, whether it was tunnelling under the Eglinton Flats or a universal basic income.
I do wish someone had asked about debts, deficits, and how the candidates planned to pay for their promises. I also wish Michael Ford had attended—but he did not. Perhaps he would have had a more fiscally-conservative plan.
I was also hoping there would be a decisive moment or a victor, but Nadia Guerrera and Faisal Hassan sparred only infrequently and there was no mortal blow that settled the contest. In fact, the candidates were almost always very generous with one another. At one point, Guerrera even applauded Hipsz, her very conservative competitor, while Hassan was nodding in agreement.
Guerrera did fire on the NDP at a few points, saying that Hassan and his party have not been an effective opposition. In her concluding remarks, she said “This is our moment to decide what matters, to be visionary and aspirational… The NDP did not hold [the Ford] government to account and will not prevent them from forming another Conservative majority”. It was, perhaps, the most stirring moment of the night, but also, perhaps, a concession that the Liberals are trailing in the race and will not form the government.
Hassan criticized the record of past Liberal governments, especially regarding our riding. He said “we have seen the promises they made with respect to electrification and the UP Express” and “the record of the Liberals and the Conservatives when it comes to the environment is horrible”. In his closing comments he said “we cannot count on Michael Ford to stand up to his uncle, or on Steven Del Duca to fix the mess they made—or even to win his seat.”
Both Hassan and Guerrera were extremely well prepared, with an excellent command of the issues and their parties’ platforms.
Tom Hipsz and James Fields were, I think it’s safe to say, a little less polished. (I don’t blame them. I’m a pretty big YSW nerd, and I was lost much of the time.) Both of them were exceedingly good sports. Hipsz often tilted at green-power “windmills”, and COVID mandates (he was maskless the whole night). He also admitted when he didn’t know the answer to a question, which I thought was refreshing. Fields was harder to pin down: he seems to have an eclectic platform—but as he said, as an independent, he can steal the best ideas.
While Michael Ford is the highest-profile candidate to skip last night’s debate, he wasn’t the only one. Ignacio Mongrell, who is running for the Green Party, did not attend. Neither did Ana Gabriela Ortiz, of the Ontario Party. Neither seems to be campaigning very much, if at all.
The debate was organized by the Weston Village Residents’ Association, the Rockcliffe–Smythe Community Association, and the Mount Dennis Community Association, who did, as always, a super job.