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.

Liberal Nomination Candidates Post their Details.

Readers may be aware that a Federal Election must be held on or before October 19 of next year. Although the Tories legislated the actual date of the election, the Prime Minister retained the right to call an election before then. The likelihood of an earlier election is therefore strong as the Tories will no doubt seize any opportunity to take advantage of high polling numbers should that occur.

Three candidates so far are contesting the nomination to represent the Liberal Party of Canada in the riding of York South-Weston. They have responded to the questions posed by WestonWeb and these responses are presented below. WestonWeb will alert readers once the date of the nomination meeting is announced.

Anthony Cesario

Relevant experience:

Anthony is a small business owner and a lifelong Liberal. Prior to starting his own business, he worked in municipal government for over 10 years and volunteered with various city, provincial and federal politicians over the last 15 years. Anthony has been working on the nomination process since mid-January. He is the son of immigrants who came to Canada with the hope of a brighter future.

Main Issues:

Anthony believes that the riding has lost its voice in Ottawa and that he can help restore that voice by being part of a Liberal government that is interested in the priorities of the York South-Weston: seniors’ concerns, funding community services, providing effective transit service and combating youth unemployment.

Residency:

He doesn’t presently live in the riding but has many relatives and friends that do. He has provided services and assistance to the riding through his work in municipal government.

Monique Rudder

Relevant experience:

1: Immigrated to Canada from Trinidad & Tobago in the West Indies in 1989, at the age of 13, raised by a single mother, attended University of Toronto through a combination of scholarships, student loans, summer and part-time jobs.

2: Earned a Chartered Accountant designation and has 15 years of business experience. Her job involves working with colleagues and collaborating with clients to develop solutions. MP role is similar – must listen and engage with constituents from varying backgrounds and community leaders, develop recommendations to address needs and be a strong advocate for public policy beneficial for the riding.

3. Has volunteered with various groups through the company she works for and also participated in income tax clinics, United Way events, Canadian Women’s network, volunteered for an NPO that supports Pan-Asian professionals and co-facilitated a course for the University of Waterloo’s Master of Taxation program for 5 years.

4. Has been a member of the Liberal Party for a few years, has canvassed with MPP Laura Albanese as well as acting as a scrutineer in the recent provincial election. Now wishes to become more involved and give back to the community where she grew up.

Main Issues:

1. Jobs and training

2. Housing and enforcement of standards so that people can live in dignity.

3. Access to equal opportunity and ability to get ahead, including subsidized day care.

She has canvassed in low income buildings, continues to meet with community groups in the riding and understands the struggles that people are going through.

She believes the Liberal Party is committed to invigorating the political process and achieving increased engagement with citizens. She is also interested in the increased engagement of women and youth in public service.

Residency:

She lived in York South-Weston until her early twenties and feels at home in the area. She currently lives in Parkdale High-Park with her husband and two children. Her mother still resides in the riding. Previously her grandmother also lived in the riding until moving to a retirement home due to the need for specialized care.

Bill Saundercook

Relevant experience:

As a city councillor, first for the City of York then for our mega city, Toronto, I learned a tremendous amount about our communities in York-South Weston. I’m very proud of my achievement of starting the first Blue Box program in York (all of Toronto followed), and many years of affiliated committees to the health of our Humber River. My association with numerous committees is too long to mention here, but maybe at another time. Being a life long resident of York, living in 7 different communities of west end Toronto (formerly York) has allowed me to experience the diversity of  neighbourhoods. Now, having raised our family of 5, my wife, Anne and I live in Swansea. Anne teaches in the riding, Our Lady of Victory and I taught many years (mostly part time) in Mississauga (Dufferin-Peel Catholic Board). Having the privilege of representing York-South Weston as their Member of Parliament would allow me to bring much of my life experience to the everyday lives of most of the constituency.

Main Issues:

Some of the main issues of York-south Weston, to mention just 3, would be, the aging population, youth unemployment, and infrastructure needs and concerns for the future. Without getting into too much detail, here is a thought on addressing all 3 at the same time. It has come to my attention, in dialogue with the President of the Humber River Regional Hospital, that not too far into the future, we will be dealing with a surplus building! What better location to offer our seniors a centre for activity, residence possibly, and health related care and at the same time, hopefully offer many of our youth opportunities to engage and work with our elderly! This may be a project that touches all levels of government and community, but would serve the Trimbee family proud for keeping a local service approach to the future use of this building!

Residency:

I currently do not live in the boundaries of York-South Weston. But, over the years, the boundaries have changed many times and subsequently, I have lived and voted many times for candidates representing York-South Weston.

Big Red Wave’s a coming.

Can you hear it? The faint but steadily increasing roar of a second big red Liberal wave about to crash on the shores of York South-Weston. After the excitement and dramatic results of the recent provincial election, all eyes will soon turn to the Federal Liberal York South-Weston nomination process. According to riding association president Ryan Ward, the Liberals are looking for a high profile candidate to unseat incumbent NDP MP Mike Sullivan. To date, three candidates have come forward; Anthony Cesario, Monique Rudder and Bill Saundercook. The nomination meeting will be held later this year.

In the interest of brevity, WestonWeb asked the candidates three questions:

1. What relevant life experience have you had that would serve you well as an MP for York South-Weston?

2. What do you see as the main issues in the riding?

3. Do you live in the riding?

Weston Web will publish the answers once they come in.