Upcoming candidates’ meeting / debate

The public will have a a couple chances to see York South-Weston federal election hopefuls over the next few days. Today, Saturday, candidates will answer questions posed to them at St Bernard de Clairvaux Catholic church at 1789 Lawrence Avenue West. A ‘meet and greet’ with the candidates will follow. Start time is 6:00 pm.

On Monday, September 28, candidates will debate at the York Civic Centre in council chambers. All candidates are expected to be coming with the meet and greet beginning at 6:15 and the debate proper will get under way at 7:00. WestonWeb will be taping this for those unable to attend.

Big Red Wave’s a Coming – Part Deux

Just in case MP Mike Sullivan thinks his re-election will be a walk in the park, a disquieting item came courtesy of a group that makes election predictions by aggregating poll results. According to ThreeHundredEight.com‘s latest nation-wide predictions, Liberal candidate Ahmed Hussen would have an 86% chance of winning York South-Weston if an election were held today.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 6.17.32 PM
ThreeHundredEight.com:Con.       Lib.       NDP.

Mr Hussen’s ability to win the Liberal nomination, despite stiff opposition should let Mr Sullivan know that he is not up against an amateur. Mr Hussen is backed by powerful interests including Weston-born George Smitherman.

Obviously, an election will not be held today, next week or even next month. However, Stephen Harper is making rent-a-crowd announcements almost daily and could legally call an election at any time. Many pundits think that he’ll abandon the scheduled October date and hold a Spring election before the more negative effects of low oil prices, foreign troop involvement and a vanishing surplus can be felt. If that is the case, Mr Sullivan and his staff need to get their skates on. While the Tories aren’t likely to be a factor in the riding, YSW is traditionally a federal Liberal seat and the Jack Layton effect is sadly no more.

Ahmed Hussen wins YSW Liberal nomination.

On Sunday, York South-Weston Federal Liberals held their long anticipated nomination meeting at Weston Collegiate Institute. Readers may remember that WestonWeb introduced three of the candidates earlier this year. The full slate was:

Mubarak Ahmed
Anthony Cesario
Ahmed Hussen
Masum Hossein
Monique Rudder
Bill Saundercook

WestonWeb arrived about half-an-hour into the voting which began at 2:00 and it was clear that this was no ordinary political event. Large numbers of people were packing the hallway, moving slowly towards the voting booths. Rumours were that Ahmed Hussen had signed up about 1800 new party members. Candidate speeches began in the dimly lit auditorium at 3:00 pm sharp but were unheard by those lining up to vote.

Voters line up in the halls.
Voters line up in the halls.

Of note, former Ontario Health Minister and (as he took pains to point out) Weston born George Smitherman was there in support of Ahmed Hussen.

Bill Saundercook.
Bill Saundercook relaxes in the hallway.

Supported by Marion O’Sullivan, Masum Hossein, of Weston’s BIA was also a candidate.

Mason Hossein waits to speak.
Masum Hossein waits to speak.

During the speeches, the long line of voters shuffled slowly and inexorably past and down the hall. Mercifully there was only one round of voting (ending at 5 pm) and voters ranked candidates in order of preference.

When WestonWeb left the meeting at 3:45, people were still arriving and the crush in the hallway seemed unchanged.

Results came via twitter before 7 pm.

Ahmed Hussen waits to deliver his speech.
Ahmed Hussen waits to deliver his speech.

As pointed out earlier in WestonWeb, the Big Red Wave is coming and clearly, local Liberals feel that York South-Weston can be wrested away from incumbent MP Mike Sullivan. While there is an urgency among progressive voters to end the Harper Government’s grip on power, it remains to be seen whether Ahmed Hussen can build support from a wide swath of the electorate. Mike Sullivan will also need to run a good campaign and convince voters he is worthy of a second term as MP.

A contrast in Nomination Meetings this weekend

Political junkies will be in their element this weekend which will see York South-Weston Liberals and N.D.P. nominate candidates for the upcoming federal election.

Federal NDP:

On Friday, local New Democrats will gather to officially acclaim incumbent Mike Sullivan as their candidate for the election scheduled to take place next October. The meeting takes place at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Toronto headquarters, located at 47 Densley Avenue, in the Keele/Lawrence area. The start-time is 7:30 p.m. Halifax MP and NDP Deputy Leader Megan Leslie, will be the guest speaker.

Only current NDP members who live in York South-Weston are eligible to vote at the meeting, but members of the public are welcome.
For more information, call the York South–Weston NDP hotline at 416-244-3349.

Federal Liberals:

On Sunday, at Weston Collegiate Institute, 100 Pine Street, these six candidates will compete for the nomination to replace former MP Alan Tonks who was defeated by Mike Sullivan in 2011:

Mubarak Ahmed
Anthony Cesario
Ahmed Hussen
Masum Hossein
Monique Rudder
Bill Saundercook

Candidate speeches begin at 3pm and rounds of voting will begin at 2pm and take place until the winner receives more than 50% of the vote. Liberal Party members resident in York South-Weston are eligible to vote.

Federal Conservatives:

Once WestonWeb receives news of the Conservative nomination meeting, we’ll amend this article and post the date and time.