by Larry Johnston
Scarborough Southwest is one of the most stable ridings in the city. The boundaries have hardly
changed from its predecessor Scarborough West and for years there was little
change in population compared with most of Toronto. It returned a Liberal by a
comfortable margin until 2011 when a three-way split gave it to New Democrat
Daniel Harris. Harris was already a familiar name among regular voters as had
run for every office since he had been old enough to vote.
This time, the Liberals are determined to win the seat back.
Bill Blair, the former police chief, won a three-way race for the nomination. He won
despite being the last person to enter the contest. He could not declare his
intention publicly until he had officially retired as police chief.
Blair attracted one other candidate who definitely opposes him. Tom Taylor was
an innocent bystander outside the G20 conference. On Saturday night, he was on
the little street in front of the Novatel Hotel that was full of people
Suddenly the police closed both ends and started arresting everybody. Worse was
yet to come as they were all held all night without charge in the temporary
warehouse for people overnight.
By the end of the weekend, Taylor's whole life has changed. He started working
for charities, and wrote a one-person play which he played across the country
When he learned that Blair was seeking a seat in Parliament, he was not the
only person interested in running against him. Taylor won the Green Party
nomination after three tie votes.
The Tories, with Liberal support have added to the G20 horror with Bill 51. If
elected, (or not) Taylor will be trying to get rid of these.
The Conservative candidate is Roshan Nallaratnam was a policeman, has 2 kids and plays cricket.
Tommy Taylor for Greens
by Larry Johnston
Tommy Taylor is one of those people who can point to one weekend that completely
changed his life. It was not exactly a religious experience either,
It was the weekend of the G20 in June 2010. Tommy and his wife, who live close
to the downtown, made the mistake of going down Saturday night.to see what was
happening. They found themselves in the little block near the Novatel Hotel,
Suddenly one end of the block was cut off by police cars, and then the other.
No one could get out and then everyone in the block was arrested. They were all
shipped off to the special building set up to house G20 protesters, handcuffed
and kept without charges until the conference was all over.
Taylor was a theatre artist by profession. After that weekend, he became more of
a fundraiser. He started producing work for charities such as the Hospital for
Sick Children, the CAMH, and spent six months with amnesty international. He
then wrote and performed in a one-person play that toured the country from
Montreal to the Yukon. From one end of Canada to the other, he started hearing
stories of other abuses of power by authorities.
In the past, there was no contest for the Green Party nomination in Scarborough
Southwest. Taylor joined and this time, the contest between three candidates
was intense and the vote was tied three times. So, Taylor was the winner on the
Unlike most candidates for other parties, Taylor now finds himself in a role he
never intended for himself, campaigning for public office. Fortunately, the
Green Party no longer restricts itself to environmental issues although nearly
everything can be put into a green perspective.
He says that prime minister Harper has messed things up by relying on high oil
prices to pull the country back into prosperity. “He put all the eggs in one basket and he lost,” says Taylor. In Oak Ridge, part of the riding, 60 per cent of children are
living in poverty.
Besides the G20, there is now a human rights issue with Bill C51, the latest
bill giving CSIS exceptional powers that is opposed
outright by the NDP and Green Party. The Liberals voted for it, but say they
will make changes if elected. But the individual freedom to speak is greatly
restricted in the mainline parties, particularly the Harper conservatives. “I come from theatre, so I am used to working from a script, but their talking
points are stricter than that.”
Taylor is hoping that a couple of proposed debates actually happen, although
Chief Blair has said he won't answer questions about the G20. The same is
probably true of police carding, now out of use in Toronto while the provincial
government is studying the issue.
As for the environment, Scarborough Southwest includes much of the unique and
spectacular Scarborough Bluffs, the most prominent and sensitive geographic
feature in the city, so Taylor says it deserves a Green Party candidate.
Dan Harris - NDP
Speaks Up Against The Closure of Second Base Youth Shelter
by Ryan Hurley
Dan Harris, the NDP candidate for re-election in Scarborough Southwest reacted
strongly to the potential closure of a shelter for troubled youth in his
riding. “Second Base is needed in our community. It has provided a warm bed and a place
to sleep for many youth, some of whom have escaped abusive situations at home.” said Mr. Harris at a rally to save Second Base Youth Shelter on Friday,
September 18th. The shelter, which has served the community for over 20 years
is slated to close this October.
Harris stated the NDP has a plan to provide stable, reliable funding to
municipalities and provinces to keep shelters like this open across the
“Shelters protect the most vulnerable within our communities. If we cannot even
provide our most vulnerable citizens with food and shelter in their time of
need, that signifies a failure on behalf of government and society as a whole.
I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. Every level of government needs to come
together to save this shelter. The bottom line is there are going to be young
people in our community with no place to sleep if something isn’t done about this closure.
Chuck Konkel - conservative
by Andrew Wright
Chuck Konkel, the Conservative candidate for Guildwood, aims to make a
difference locally. He understands that change implemented by the Canadian
government doesn’t always trickle down to ridings like Guildwood.
“You can say it’s a municipal issue, you can say it’s a provincial issue but ultimately the job of the member of parliament, as the
federal representative, is to bring all of his provincial municipal
counterparts together and say look, forget the partisan issues, what do we do
to bring jobs to the people here?” Konkel said as he addressed the lack of employment in the area.
Chuck Konkel also hopes to provide local educational workshops for seniors that
will inform them of beneficial government policies such as the Disability
Benefit: a benefit that he says many seniors are unaware of.
John McKay - LIBERAL Wants Transit
by Larry Johnston
A Liberal government will quadruple federal investment in public transit by
investing an additional $20 billion. In Scarborough-Guildwood, I am committed
to partnering with the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto to ensure a
Scarborough Subway, Electrified Lakeshore GO Train, improved TTC bus service
and traffic underpasses for the rail line at Morningside, Galloway and
Scarborough Golf Club Road.
We asked candidates for their major local goal. For John McKay it is improving
transit infrastructure, including federal investment in the Scarborough Subway,
electrifying Lakeshore GO trains, improved bus services, and rail underpasses
for Morningside, Galloway, and Scarborough Golf Club Road.