Five candidates vie for Toronto-Danforth council seat

Challengers' concerns include children, seniors and housing

Paula Fletcher in 2014 photo
Paula Fletcher, shown in an earlier photo, has held the Toronto-Danforth seat for 19 years. (Wikimedia Commons) 

Long-time Toronto-Danforth councillor Paula Fletcher will have four challengers for councillor in the municipal election on Oct. 24.

One candidate, James Dyson, said he plans to focus on helping children.

Candidate James Dyson plans on helping children if elected. (Photo courtesy of campaign)

“We have not even begun to see the devastating impacts school closures, lockdown and mandates have left upon our kids and youth,” Dyson said in an email. “We need to educate, with an emphasis on STEM, extracurricular sports and activities.”

Many of these programs are operated at the municipal level, so we must ensure our galleries, museums, libraries, sports fields and community centres are properly maintained, remain open, and are accessible to kids and youth, he said.

Dyson also plans to address are poverty, crime and affordable housing.

Another candidate is focusing on helping people at the other end of the scale — senior citizens. John De Marco, another person, running in Toronto-Danforth will be focusing on helping senior citizens.

“Seniors are our foundation and too often neglected and or included in groups that already have representation,” said John De Marco in an email.

Candidate John De Marco will help seniors if elected. (Picture courtesy of campaign)

“If a senior is on a waiting list for housing they can afford, the fine details of such plans supposedly for them indicate that ‘rent-geared-to-income’ throws them together with other groups forcing seniors onto a waiting list that has them on standby for five, seven and more years,” said De Marco in an email.

With the inflation we are experiencing now, seniors are finding it makes it impossible for them to feed themselves adequately, get medical assistance and stay connected to a technical world they didn’t grow up in, De Marco said.

Candidate Wali Abro said his main concern as a councillor will be decreasing the types of oppression people face in the city.

Candidate Wali Abro plans to focus on the oppressed. (Photo courtesy of campaign)

“My main focus will be facilitating harm reduction,” Abro said in an email. “The city, like other institutions of the state apparatus, is an inherently racist and oppressive structure. It inflicts violence and economic terrorism on the masses using the police, prison-industrial complex, and an indenturing regime of fines and penalties.”

He also plans to address housing, and public transit.

“Some of the problems a bit down the road — but still very much in immediate sight — include things like permanent social housing, climate change adaptions, a free public transit program, and cleaning up the waterfront for universal public enjoyment,” Abro said.

The remaining candidates, Denise Walcott and incumbent Fletcher, were not available for comment.

Fletcher has held the seat since 2003 through five past elections.

This year’s election takes place Oct. 24, and early voting is open to Oct. 14.

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Posted: Oct 6 2022 3:08 pm
Filed under: News Politics