Candidates debate—and why I’ll vote for Ferreira


Laura Albanese and Paul Ferreira were polished and careful at the debate last night. Andrew Ffrench, the PC candidate was, by far, the most fun to watch, though. He spoke without notes or polish, laid it all on the line, and said some funny things as a result, like when he said, seniors “take up a lot of space” in hospitals.

But in this race, Ffrench can afford to be the most fun: he has nothing to lose. Only Ferreira and Albanese are serious contenders.

Ferreira was sharp, sometimes aggressive, and fast. He hammered his opponents, and especially Albanese.

Albanese was very good too; she struck the right tone at the right occasion—with one, very notable, very disappointing exception.

But that one exception decides my vote.

On policy there was little to separate Ferreira and Albanese (and anyway, few people in the room were undecided. The different flactions clapped like they were on the set of Oprah.) Albanese and Ferreira agreed on auto-insurance, seniors’ issues, transit, pensions, electrification, small business, even sports.

They only really disagreed on history: the history of the Liberal party and of Metrolinx. Ferreira thinks, rightly, that Metrolinx is broken and needs to be fixed. Albanese thinks that it should be given a larger mandate.

The most interesting part—and the part that settled my vote—was about the gas plant scandal and the history of Liberal mismanagement. At first, Albanese answered to these issues well, and said contritely that her party could have done better.

But at the end of the debate she blew it. Ffrench mentioned, again, the wasted $1,300,000,000. Speaking over him, and out of turn, Albanese  “It’s over 20 years. And you promised it too. Done, done, done!”

Oh. No. No you don’t.

This was shocking. First, there is Albanese’s disavowal of the facts: Andrew Ffrench did not promise any such thing. He was not in government. Yes, all parties did promise to cancel the gas plants, but only the Liberals knew the true cost. They lied about it and tried to hide it in a shameful bid to spare themselves embarrassment.

And a billion dollars is a billion dollars whether it is wasted slowly or quickly. Those gas plants cost my family $500 in wasted tax money. I expect more than  “done, done, done”.

There’s also the implication.

I doubt that Laura Albanese had anything to do with the gas plant scandal— governments are big places—so she probably has little to apologize for. But, by the same token, its easier for her to distance herself from the scandalous waste by saying something along the lines of “Hey, my party did a stupid thing. I think it’s awful. But rest assured, I’m your representative first and a Liberal second.”

But that’s not what she said. Instead she implied that a billion wasted dollars (but hey, over 20 years) is not a big deal.

It is a big deal.

And, worse, she implied that wasting that kind of money is politics as usual. Maybe it is. It shouldn’t be. And I, for one, will tear up my ballot before I vote for someone who thinks it should.

So I won’t be voting for Laura Albanese.

With little to differentiate between the Liberals and the NDP in this election, I think it is perfectly reasonable to vote for the person you trust the most. I trust Paul Ferreira more than I trust Laura Albanese. He seems sharp, principled, and decent.

I only hope that he will acknowledge when his party is wrong. Ms. Albanese missed her chance.

I’ll be voting for Paul Ferreira.





PS: Jessica Higgins, the Green candidate, didn’t show up for the debate. I emailed to find out why. She hasn’t responded.

The other candidates (an independent and a libertarian) didn’t show up either. Seriously, what do people get out of registering but not campaigning. Is it a tax thing? Honest question.



Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

15 thoughts on “Candidates debate—and why I’ll vote for Ferreira”

  1. I agree that the Liberals really mucked it with the gas plants. It was a bad decision. But give me a break that Andria Horwath suddenly found conscience after supporting the Liberals for the past couple years. She knew about the gas plants and the political decision to move them. She could have brought the Liberals down long ago. She didn’t. To try to make that the ballot box question based on her record, is non-sense and lacks total credibility. Its a cover for the fact she has no platform.Extremely poor miscalculation by her and her advisors.

    Horvath and the NDP have had a weak election and her left flank is disserting her. The NDP platform can fit on a napkin. One of my older neighbours, who has been a staunch dipper (and loves telling me stories about the CCF btw), is ticked at Horvath. The tipping point was her not ruling out propping up Hudak last week. He nearly had a coronary. My brother in laws union stewards are telling their crews to vote liberal.

    Have no doubt, this is a race between Wynne and Hudak. Under no circumstances do I want Hudak in power. Wynne should continue as Premier. If you usually vote NDP, ask yourself, has Horvath defined herself as the true progressive in this race? Look at their histories. Wynne’s history is rooted in activism. Wynne is the real progressive leader in this race, not Horvath. I urge my friends in the community of York South Weston, to support Wynne and the Liberal platform. She’s visionary, bold, and truly a decent person. And yes, that means supporting your local Liberal candidate.

  2. Tough call. I think Paul may be the stronger candidate locally, but I agree that Wynne is the better leader. I tend to vote for who I want as leader not local personality. This is about who is the best leader to run the Province. Neither Paul nor Laura will be running this Province at the end of the day.

  3. I totally agree that Laura Albanese is untrustworthy. She shows up, when she likes and always late, after the decisions are made, on everything. Paul Ferreira has been active committed and working on issues in this community and continues to work hard to make Weston and the whole riding a better place to live.
    It is not strategic voting time, as the earlier careful analysis from last week explained: were voting for who will represent us. I choose Paul and the NDP because I know they will listen.

  4. Question this random assumption that gas plants itself is the dividing question. No…it is accountability. Several dozen years ago in my first job (my paper route) when I inadvertently gave a customer too little change, I was sent back to return the difference.
    Fiscal mismanagement exhibited by e-health, Ornge, gas plants…lack of faith by the Liberal party in their last leader which put Wynne in office while keeping the old one around….changing the platform (most of it pinched from another party). When the ONLY visible change comes from the modest duress of outside scrutiny, do you trust them to put public good ahead of party interest? Who is the beneficiary of all this lost money….of re-zoning….of building applications…of any conceivable manner private capital can be made from public office? Has this been scrutinized? If not, why not?
    “Learned our lesson” and “learned from our mistakes” ….GIGO, please remember.

  5. Sorry Westonian. Strategic voting does matter. And it’s disingenuous by you and Adam to say otherwise. Let’s say the liberal fall one seat shy of having the most seats in the election to Hudak. Hudak becomes Premier. Lets say that one seat that the liberals are short, is because of a loss of the seat here in York South Weston. That’s why, it’s non-sense to suggest that strategic voting, does not matter in an election as close as this, and in a riding that has been so close between the liberals and ndp the last couple of elections.

    And sorry, you want to speak about trust? How about the the tax payer funded election newsletter that MP mike sullivan put out promoting Paul last provincial election? Paul worked for him. Have Paul and mike repaid the thousands of tax payer dollars they used for personal political benefit? It’s not gas plants, but don’t preach that Laura is untrustworthy when Mike and Paul play fast and loose with their budgets that are funded by the taxpayer.

  6. The cost of the failed gas plants, e-health, orange etc far outweigh the cost of a mailer. Let’s be serious. Do you know how long we’ll be paying for all these scandals? The liberals came to my door – they asked for my support and I explained that in all honesty I couldn’t vote for a party that spent billions of taxpayers dollars to secure two seats in the legislature. In fact, I told her that I thought they all belonged in jail…… the answer – ‘well, that wasn’t Laura’s fault’… play for the team – you take responsibility for the loss!

  7. exactly>>>>>> “How about the the tax payer funded election newsletter that MP mike sullivan put out promoting Paul last provincial election? Paul worked for him. Have Paul and mike repaid the thousands of tax payer dollars they used for personal political benefit? It’s not gas plants, but don’t preach that Laura is untrustworthy when Mike and Paul play fast and loose with their budgets that are funded by the taxpayer.”
    Paul will be third party and have no power to do anything for this community, just like Mike. Paul and Mike are using tax payer dollars to push the NDP agenda, including a stunt yesterday at a school fair where they had a banner that said NDP candidate, and ignoring the Weston Santa Claus parade organizers requests that they don’t include partisan signs at a community event, pushing their own agenda with tax payer dollars every chance they get. They are in it to promote themselves, and I don’t care what you all write about my comments on this blog, you are all TOTALLY WRONG about Paul. He is out for himself. You can all deal with the consequences, I would never vote for him.

  8. NDP=Liberals. Liberals=NDP. Vote PC. They are both the same. They are the only one who does not waste money on the pet projects, interest groups, etc.

  9. Oh course Eric found time to post his regular rant on westonweb defending his employer laura…good news is i am voting for paul…hope enough follow.

  10. Paid liberal staffers writing in on Albanese behalf…she is a joke and invisible.
    Like it or not Ferreira is the smart choice in this town.

  11. Really, Adam, is this the best argument you could construct in favour of Paul Ferriera? First that Laura Albanese “shockingly” spoke “out of turn” during a political debate. I’m sure no one has ever done that before. Secondly, that she disavowed the facts by accusing Andrew French of promising to cancel the gas plant. That is an interpretation of the word “you” which blatantly obfuscates the meaning of her words. When Ms Albanese said, “And you promised it too.” the context of the situation clearly indicates that she was referring to the Conservative Party and not Mr. Ffrench personally.

    The only thing which puzzled me was why she uttered the words, “Done, done, done.” A quick Goggle search solved the mystery. The following is taken from an article published on the CBC news site on Oct. 5, 2011.

    “Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak pledged Wednesday to get rid of a gas-fired power plant west of Toronto, just one day before Ontario voters head to the polls.
    The Tory leader has repeatedly derided Premier Dalton McGuinty for promising to pull the plug on the 280-megawatt facility midway through the campaign, calling it a crass attempt to grab votes.
    Asked if he’d scrap the Mississauga plant if he formed the next government, Hudak replied: “That’s right. Done. Done, done, done.”
    Finally when one denigrates the opposition rather than commend the achievements of the candidate one supports, it leads me to wonder if there is ultimately little to praise.
    “I trust Paul Ferreira more than I trust Laura Albanese. He seems sharp, principled, and decent.” is not a ringing endorsement.
    As Shakespeare so discerningly states,
    “meet it is I set it down
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain— “
    I’m not implying that there is anything villainous about Mr. Ferreira, he most likely is sharp, principled and decent. It would have been a more convincing argument if you had focused on supporting your opinion of Mr. Ferreira.

  12. Ouch. That one by G.V really stings. Investigative Shakespearian journalist extraordinaire!

    In all seriousness, context is everything, and that’s what journalists do. No disrespect to Adam, but he has his spin on it, and there are many counterpoints in the comment board that are valid. I must say, Paul being “sharp”, “principled, or whatever, well so is Laura. Do not try to vilify Laura that she is something less than honorable. She may not be as polished as Paul, but she was never ambitious to be in politics as Paul is. His running constantly for every level shows there is no real agenda to his ambition. Laura was asked and encouraged to run because people like her bring real life experience from outside of the bubble of the professional political class. We need more people in politics like her. Paul, at his essence, is all politics, all the time. Fair enough, there are many out there and make a career at it, but I think its refreshing to have someone who is not purely ambitious because they want to be in politics. Even I have to give credit to Sullivan. He had his life experience outside the political bubble, and ran for office in later life on a cause.

  13. I watched the community debate.

    I’ve been NDP supporter a long time and I tried to look at it objectively. I really wanted to see Laura and Andrew as I just didn’t know their style. Admittedly I only saw half the debate but I thought they all did quite well. Biases aside, I did think Paul was quite good with delivering his lines – using more emotion and emphasis in his message – small tricks that can really help when presenting. I didn’t think Laura’s messages were bad actually, but I have to agree with a previous comment – she “plays for the team”. Even if she is a good MPP and York South Weston supporter (which is debatable from my experience), her party has wasted billions of dollars. I can only imagine what that money could have been used for…so many examples…so much wasted it’s really hard to put in perspective. It still frustrates me that no one may be held accountable for this. If I even did a fraction (and I mean a .00001% fraction) of what the Liberals have done, I’d get fired and be charged criminally most likely.

    Flush them out. It’s never that simple, but it has to be done. I even think Ms. Wynne is a good leader, it’s just a shame she’s a liberal – otherwise, I’d support her in a heartbeat. I haven’t seen her rushing to dig out the ‘dirt’ on this scandal.

    And the “Done Done Done” phrase from Laura just sealed my decision for Paul. Whether it was misunderstood or not, it comes across as ‘so what?’ from her. My hard earned tax contributions should not be going towards this attitude.

    Andrew seemed a descent bloke and was impressed with his no-notes performance, but I’m willing to give Paul a shot. Seems honest and if he works with Mike, all the better! I’ve found Mike Sullivan very forthright in his communications to the community – certainly more than Laura. He champions causes that matter to me in the community as well as handling all of his federal duties. If I get a Mike version 2.0, that would be amazing – I think I’d honestly see some big action underway in York South Weston. On the flip side of the coin, when I do see Laura, she’s out in public with Francis N., our councillor. BFF forever or just political allies? It doesn’t matter, Francis has her own reputation (albeit, not
    a good one and a Rob Ford supporter) It looks bad on Laura for sure.


    PS – And pls….whoever gets in, please do away with that Metrolinx train highway to airport using diesel. It’s so so….everything backward about that decision. Let’s be a leader in Toronto.

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