With the municipal election on Oct. 24, six candidates are vying to replace Brad Bradford, who is running for re-election as Ward 19, Beaches-East York councillor.
“My objective has always been to be a strong voice and representative for our community,” Bradford said in an email. “I’ve been hearing about the big issues that are affecting people’s day-to-day lives. That includes building more attainable housing … ensuring it is safe to travel by bike, foot or car, and supporting our vibrant local businesses here in the East End.”
Bradford was elected in 2018, beating out political veteran Matthew Kellway in a tight race.
One new challenger to Bradford is candidate Jennie Worden who says her policies focus on issues including mental health, addiction, homelessness, road safety, transit, more affordable housing, and more support for art and culture.
“I would like to see a city that shows more compassion, more interest in its residents’ needs, that is more collaborative, consultative, and more focused on building strong communities,” Worden said.
Adam Smith, who ran in 2018, is running again on policies of providing food security, scaling back developments like condominiums, improving transit, and taking action against climate change, while also preparing for the effects that climate change will have on people and the economy.
“We’ve got a ‘develop at all costs’ attitude, regardless of the impacts it’s having on our city and its livability,” Smith said.
Crime is another concern candidates raised, specifically citing a rise in crimes such as auto theft.
“What we’re not seeing is a lot of police presence,” said Frank Marra, another candidate who ran in 2018. “I’ve counted the police passing by my street on one hand.”
He also said he believes in having flexible policies that change according to the situation.
Another candidate focused on crime and policing, Donna Braniff also wants more police presence.
Her other policies include more assistance for seniors, improved transportation for commuters, and a dedicated system for people in Ward 19 to express their concerns so that they can be addressed.
Sébastien Auger is running on a platform of local issues and removing hurdles for businesses.
“As a councillor, you’re not there to solve world-wide problems,” he said. “Ultimately you want to resolve local problems.”
Auger had previous issues with the City of Toronto and incumbent councillor Brad Bradford, when his business, Paddle Pirates, was prohibited from operating on Kew Beach due to lacking permits.
Auger attempted to obtain permits to operate at Kew Beach, but the city has to date not issued them for Paddle Pirates.
Auger says that if he’s elected, he aims to make it easier for small businesses in Beaches-East York.
“I don’t want what’s happened to me to happen to other small businesses,” he said.
Steve Thompson is running for councillor in Beaches-East York with policies focusing on affordable housing and more resources for marginalized groups.
“There’s no doubt that we are in a housing crisis,” Thompson said. “I’m absolutely for development, but specifically I’m for affordable housing.”
Early voting for the municipal election begins Oct. 7 and ends Oct. 14.
This post was updated Sept. 23 with email comments from Brad Bradford.