Zandra Pasia’s palms were sweaty and her heart was beating faster than normal. Nervous but full of anticipation, the University of Toronto student joined others at the Scarborough Civic Centre on Feb. 28 to take the oath of citizenship. After that day, Pasia would be able to vote.
Most voters probably don’t think twice about who they are or what they do, but the role of scrutineer is crucial in ensuring legitimate votes — and only legitimate votes — get counted properly.
After last Friday political commotion in the Ford saga, it was back to business at the city´s mayoral race.
Matt Mernagh starts his day vaporizing marijuana into a plastic bag. He smokes several times a day, consuming several grams to relieve pain from an inoperable brain tumor that causes seizures. He has fibromyalgia, which in addition to pain causes his spine to curve sideways. For almost 20 years, Mernagh, 40, has fought for the rights of medical marijuana users; he’s been attempting to legalize marijuana in an ongoing court case with the federal government. This year, however, Mernagh is fighting a different battle. This year, he’s running to be mayor of Toronto.
Morgan Baskin keeps busy. She’s a Cub Scout leader part of the year. In the summer, she’s a camp counsellor and she travels. She’s also in the middle of what she calls her victory lap, her fifth year, at Inglenook Community High School. In spite of all that, the 18-year-old has made the time for a new pursuit: the mayor’s chair at Toronto’s City Hall.
A troop of inquisitive Girl Guides lines up for autographs in front of a local celebrity, an 18-year-old Guide running for mayor. “I was sick of waiting for grown-ups to fix things for me,” Morgan Baskin said. Candidate Baskin sat in the basement of the Cosburn United Church in front of the Guides, speaking about women in leadership.