Toronto-Danforth candidates gear up for ‘tough’ June election

Two newcomers to provincial politics challenge MPP Tabuns

Toronto-Danforth Riding (Courtesy of Election Canada)

A pair of newcomers to provincial politics are gearing up to challenge Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns who has held office for nine years.

Tabuns himself says he expects it to be a “tough election.”

Two women of very different backgrounds and political affiliations are prepping campaigns that plan to beat the thrice-elected incumbent in the June election: Li Koo of the Liberal Party and Patricia Kalligosfyris of the Progressive Conservative Party.

PC candidate Kalligosfyris is a neophyte in Ontario politics and neither challenger have ever led a political candidacy of their own.

PATRICIA KALLIGIOSFYRIS, PC candidate (COURTESY the Kalligosfyris campaign)

Kalligosfyris identifies herself as somebody who “like so many residents of Toronto Danforth, embodies the value and character traits that Ontario’s foundations were built on.”

She’s a second-generation Greek-Canadian who says she was raised with the principles of inclusivity, hard work, and determination. She has degrees in history and business, and completed a Masters in Education.

As a high school teacher she promotes a fun and challenging curriculum while pushing students to their potential, according to her campaign literature. “Education is of the utmost importance and her campaign wants to bring positive change to Ontario Education.”

LI KOO, Liberal candidate (COURTESY Li Koo campaign)

Liberal candidate Koo has never led a campaign herself, but she is no stranger to politics, having advised various Liberal political efforts in her recent past.

“I am an educator, a community leader and a successful entrepreneur with experience from the non-profit, government, corporate and culture sectors,” she says. “I am passionate about improving education, and helping seniors live with dignity and fulfillment. I’ve advocated for increased access to justice for vulnerable and newcomer communities as a Senior Adviser at the Government of Ontario and a Director at Legal Aid Ontario.”

Peter Tabuns, NDP candidate (COURTESY OF THE TABUNS CAMPAIGN)

NDP candidate and incumbent Tabuns bills himself as a “candidate that sees in East York a unique set of challenges.” He advocates putting provincial money back into the TTC so it works, as well as addressing the lack of affordable childcare which is causing huge problems for families, and fixing soaring rents.

In 2017, Tabuns proposed a rent control bill that would provide a rent-hike protections.

“This will be a tough election,” Tabuns predicts. “People see Ontario going back and forth between Liberal and Conservative governments, bad or worse, when there is a chance to break out of that and elect an NDP government that will focus on peoples needs.”

If Tabuns is successful, he will have secured his seat in the provincial Parliament until 2022.