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Ward 29 Debate

Last night, I went to the Ward 29 debate at the Eastminster United Church, around the corner from me. The six candidates were (in alphabetical order, by last name):
Chris Caldwell
Mary Fragedakis
Jane Pitfield
Mike Restivo
John Richardson
Jennifer Wood

None of the candidates are the incumbent, that was Case Ootes, who is retiring.

One thing that bothered me is that all the candidates are upset over how well Toronto’s parking enforcement do their job, and they’d try to get a 10 minute grace period. This is bloody ridiculous, if you park illegally, you park illegally. Don’t expect to not get a ticket if you’re “running in and out.” I was getting home super late from work last night, and en route I needed to visit Graeme and Heather. I stopped at their house, around the corner from me, seeing as I didn’t stop at home, I drove there. They told me about the debate, so we walked together. Graeme warned me that they’re very harsh about ticketing and I should move my car further forward so it didn’t block a bit of the sidewalk. What did I do? I moved my car forward. If I got a ticket, what would I do? Pay it! I made an error, I am responsible for that error.

Mary Fragedakis isn’t a horrible candidate. She’s rather insistent that she’s a small business owner, and felt the need to remind us over and over again. She also seems to not understand what a luxury is, as she stated that a car and house “are not a luxury.” I’d like to remind the candidate that a roof and mobility are not a luxury, and that’s why we have shelters and TTC Wheel-Trans are provided to Toronto’s citizens. A house, however, if it were not a luxury as she implies, why is the City of Toronto not providing me with a house? Why do I live in an apartment? Even though I own a car, I know it is a luxury. I lived for years and years without a car, and if I didn’t work outside of Toronto’s borders, I wouldn’t need a car, or want a car. A car is most certainly a luxury.

Jane Pitfield was awkward, and unsure throughout the whole night. Though she is the most qualified of the candidates, based on her existing political career, I don’t believe her to be the best option to represent Ward 29. Her answers were contradictory, and insightful to her character of speaking before thinking.

Mike Restivo was one of my favourite candidates. He does repair work for a living. Owns a company, repairs POS systems, and PCs. Yet this is his website. HAHAHA! Okay, seriously, here’s his website. I would never trust a man to build, or repair any electronic system who has such little grasp of what a website is. Nor would I trust someone who thinks a blog is a series of static HTML pages. Sigh.

John Richardson is angry, and he’s not going to take it! Richardson is so angry, that he’s unhappy to even be at this event. He didn’t want to be there, and it was damn obvious. He thinks he’s always right, and would rather push ahead with his vision, rather than to examine an issue with a balanced approach. You sir, are not my candidate.

Jennifer Wood is the most visible candidate to me, as her office is across the street. HI JENNY! Within a few seconds of her opening statements we learned two things about her. She’s a lawyer, and teachers Sunday school. RUN FOR THE HILLS! She’s also a small business owner, much like her clone Fragedakis is reluctant to let us forget it.

Finally there’s Chris Caldwell. He studied urban planning, he’s well spoken, his brain seems to be filled with a crazy amount of raw data, and wants to properly evaluate and plan the city. I couldn’t quite put my finger on whether he was left wing or right wing. Simply, he’s an intelligent man, who would be a good representative for the ward in council.

Simply put, please vote, please consider Mr. Caldwell.

13 thoughts on “Ward 29 Debate”

  1. Thank you for writing about this – it was a great evening, most informative. I am with you in being behind Chris Caldwell – he seemed genuine, intelligent and is pro-community. Have you seen his website I didn’t remember Chris Caldwell talking about a 10-minute grace period, which I agree with you is a crazy idea, and impossible to administer.

    Besides, for the business owners on the Danforth (I am not one), I am sure they would prefer a prompt turn-over of parked cars so new customers can come to their businesses, rahter than people hanging on to their spot for longer than they’ve paid for. Just a thought!

  2. I really appreciated the tone of the debate – civil and positive. It gave a chance for each candidate to present ideas and positions. I found Chris Caldwell to be the most balanced, well-informed, thoughtful and intelligent candidate. His commitment and integrity really came through. With a Degree in Urban Planning he is just the sort of qualified representative we need in City Hall.


  3. Pingback: Toronto Ward 29 | Neighborhood Blog ‘Never had to fight’ – All candidates review | Caldwell For Council

  4. I liked the tone of Caldwell’s message, but it was very non-specific. I left not really having any idea what he stands for, except a warmer, cuddlier, more ethical government. Frankly, he doesn’t have the skills to bring that about. Well-meaning urban planners with grandiose ideas are very dangerous–see Regent Park before the current revitalization.

  5. Question to Lewis – what sort of skills does one need to be more ethical or to contribute towards that type of government/governance? Urban planners can be practical and intelligent and involvement of community is key – The best leaders in the world were as good as their followers – community must take responsibilities and participate – be active. Caldwell has insight and foresight – when he is at City Hall, the community will realize his strengths and determination,

  6. I’m not questioning Caldwell’s own ethics–he seems genuine. I just don’t see that he would have any real influence on other councillors. I think he’ll be ignored.

    Yes, he seems intelligent, but I didn’t see much pragmatism. Urban planners who recognize the discipline’s limits are fine; those who think urban planning can create a utopia are simply wrong.

  7. I agree but i will add that it takes a certain mentality and personal energy to motivate groups. If community is behind a member, and they are as \one\, the ideas can be put forth into practice,
    Have you been to Kleinberg recently? It is well worth a visit – and also Unionville and add to that Picton and many others. Wonderful areas to live in, to walk around in. Toronto is suffering. It is a big city and each ward/community ought to consider participation as a duty – then the results would be as the collective wants.
    I fail to see that anyone in council would be ignored by other members necessarily – there are those that are ‘followers’ and then there are ‘leaders’. Caldwell seems to be more a leader (a go-getter) than a follower – he did a lot of work in that regard for another community and has an excellent track record which i am certain he would gladly share with you upon request.
    If Ford gets in as mayor – he will undoubtedly clean up and keep it clean, and people like Caldwell will be of great benefit to the city as well as community. In other words, it is time for change.

  8. I too thought that Chris Caldwell was the only candidate to display any leadership, vision or even personality! His remarks seemed genuine, and well thought out.

    From my conversations with him in the neighbourhood, it doesn’t seem so much like he’s into “grandiose ideas” so much as recognizing that Toronto can do much better, and that other cities are already showing us how.

    Besides, his whole emphasis is on empowering the community from the bottom up, entirely different from the antiquated top-down approach that brought about the Regent Park disaster you mentioned. The other candidates all seem like more of the same-old same-old city politics that is leading us to stagnation.

  9. Although I am unable to comment on this debate in particular (as I was not there), I can certainly comment on what I know about Chris Caldwell. There seems to be nobody that is more “forward-thinking”, with as many great and fresh ideas on how to make this city a better one…and that’s exactly what this city needs.

  10. I see what Lewis is saying. I like Caldwell, and he seems to have a lot of good ideas, but they seem sort of disorganized, and unfocused. Having the ideas are great, but they need to be presented clearly and convincingly, to both constituents and the rest of city council. I don’t think right now is his time, but I’d like to see him run again next time, with a little more focus.

  11. KR: who does not have ideas?
    I did not hear much reasoning nor intelligence coming from any other candidates, so if you are easily bent and cannot see tornto needs CHANGE, then the city has little hope, but same old, same old think and this will be repeated in ward 29. one of the 3 women? You really think so? O boy for ward 29! WE NEED A PLANNER not a politician,,, havent we had enough?

  12. check out caldwell’s site … caldwell for council ward 29 – he is very focused but there is more than just a few issues to be looked at and brought to light to deal with. He has the right experience, background, education, charm and so on. GO CHRIS GO!!!!

  13. It’s a shame Caldwell doesn’t live in Ward 29. I’m always reluctant to vote for candidates who want to represent a ward but don’t actually live in it. And good lord – anyone but Jane Pitfield.

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