–Karen Stintz, speaking to the Post shortly after her exit from the mayoral race on Thursday. If Stintz’s campaign for the soon-to-be-available commissioner job is successful, she’ll have something in common with her mayoral rival, John Tory: he was the head of the CFL for a few years in the nineties.
In an effort to get something better than the usual promises and platitudes from the current crop of mayoral candidates, we decided to pose a hypothetical situation. In an ideal world where all of Toronto’s most pressing problems—transit, housing and infrastructure, mainly—had already been solved and required no further attention, what would Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory do with a million dollars? They could spend this hypothetical million on anything they desired for the city, but they would have to use the full amount. Here’s what they told us.
Today marks the first bizarre criminal accusation of the 2014 mayoral election, as Doug Ford says he has informed police about an alleged contact-list theft by Karen Stintz or someone working for her. According to CP24, Doug, who is managing his brother Rob Ford’s campaign, claims that people on the mayor’s private contact list were recently also contacted by Stintz’s campaign—which, in itself, proves nothing at all. “Someone, and I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but someone has received the information and has given or sold the information to the Karen Stintz campaign,” he told reporters.
Toronto Police have confirmed that they were informed about the matter, but haven’t said whether they plan on investigating, or whether they have already. Stintz has stopped just short of denying the allegation. “We have people supporting Karen who have supported other candidates in the past, and we accept lists that are given to us,” Lauren Souch, the Stintz campaign’s spokesperson, told the Post. Several Twitter users say they recieved unsolicited email from Stintz on Wednesday, so it seems to be true, at least, that she recently obtained some new addresses from somewhere.
Five things we learned from Spacing’s investigation into the shady politicking behind the Scarborough subway
Over at Spacing, journalist John Lorinc has just published part four in an epic, five-part investigation into why, exactly, the city and the province got together last year to overturn years of transit planning in Scarborough. The now-infamous policy reversal resulted in the breaking of a signed, sealed agreement to replace the Scarborough RT with a seven-stop light-rail line. Instead, for reasons that Lorinc’s investigation makes significantly clearer, former TTC chair (and current mayoral candidate) Karen Stintz and provincial transportation minister Glen Murray teamed up to scrap the light-rail plan in favour of a three-stop subway that will cost significantly more to build.
Here, five things we learned from Lorinc’s piece, the first part of which is here.
Karen Stintz has spent the past three years upending Toronto’s long-term public-transit planning, for good or ill. As TTC chair, she was instrumental in restoring the Transit City light-rail plan, which Rob Ford had hoped to scuttle. Almost as soon as she’d finished resurrecting light-rail, she put forward an incredibly ambitious new transit plan that ended up going nowhere. Later, she was a key player in the council drama that resulted in the city deciding to scrap a planned light-rail replacement for the Scarborough RT, in favour of a subway line.
That’s three different transit plans in three years for Stintz—a track record that has earned her the disdain of some of Toronto’s transit watchers. And yet now, as a mayoral candidate, Stintz is suddenly trying to position herself as a huge fan of maintaining transit’s status quo—particularly the plan to build the Scarborough subway extension, which fellow mayoral candidates Olivia Chow and David Soknacki have promised to cancel.
Here she is during a presentation for the Women’s Executive Network on May 15, as transcribed by the Star:
At the Toronto Region Board of Trade this afternoon, Olivia Chow unveiled her transit-investment strategy in front of a packed room. There was nothing exciting or unexpected in her speech, but, in a weird way, that’s exactly what was remarkable about it.
We might not typically judge a candidate for public office based on his or her drink of choice, but considering how much we know about our current mayor’s drinking preferences—whether it be a few beers at a Leafs game, an early-morning bottle of brandy at his office, or just a few Iceberg vodkas and Tropicana grape juices with an old friend in the park—it seems only fair that we ask those who seek to unseat Rob Ford what beverages they turn to after a hard day of arguing about who did or didn’t actually save the city a billion dollars.
Sure, there are far more important issues, but there’s also something to be said for getting the candidates off their scripted talking points. There are few things more personal than how someone chooses to unwind.
And so, with that in mind, here’s what the top contenders for mayor like to drink, along with some wild speculation about what their choices say about how they might govern if they win.
Candidate: Karen Stintz
Beverage of choice: Hendricks gin martini with three olives
Analysis: Interestingly, despite her often indecisive approach to policy (see: changing her mind on light rail and the island airport expansion), this answer is unequivocal: Karen Stintz knows what she wants to drink, right down to the brand of gin and even the amount of olives. It’s a classy (and delicious) drink but, tellingly, it’s one that’s often associated with urban sophisticates. In some ways, then, the choice of a martini speaks to the identity crisis Stintz has faced as she has tried to bridge the divide between urban and suburban voters—a struggle best exemplified by her now infamous “I’m like you” tweet.