Politics

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A lot of city council candidates don’t live in the wards they’re running in

38%

—The percentage of city council candidates running in the 2014 election who don’t live in the wards they hope to represent, according to an analysis by Everycandidate.org. That group includes 12 incumbents.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

35 Comments

Nobody wants to endorse Doug Ford

doug-ford-now-whatThis morning, Doug Ford gathered reporters for what he said would be an endorsement announcement. Except, there was no announcement. The entire purpose of the press conference, the CBC reports, was to give Ford an opportunity to denounce the very concept of political endorsements. “This is a political election and some people want to make it about political endorsements,” he said. (“Political,” in Fordspeak, is an insult word on par with “fascist.”) Ford also took the opportunity to taunt John Tory for supporting him and his brother in the 2010 election. And so, the one major mayoral candidate with no high-profile endorsements is also the one who is philosophically opposed to them. Convenient!

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Politics

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Costume Drama: Olivia Chow’s many vote-courting fashion statements

Costume Drama (Olivia Chow's costume-y pandering)

Sartorially speaking, Olivia Chow has the edge this election season. Fashion is one of her shrewdest political weapons: she goes all out to stand out, dressing the part at every event she attends. Over the years, that’s meant Starfleet uniforms for Trekkie conventions, bedazzled bustiers for Caribana, traditional Punjabi dress for South Asian festivals and rainbow headdresses for Pride. When it comes to seducing voters, no fashion crime is too risky. Here, a look at her most outrageous, ingratiating ensembles.

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Morgan Baskin: “The Taylor Swift album comes out on election day”

“The Taylor Swift album comes out on election day, and the Raptors game is two days later, and then it’s Halloween, so that should keep me busy.”

—Nineteen-year-old mayoral candidate Morgan Baskin, telling Shameless what she’s planning on doing after all the ballots are counted (if she doesn’t become mayor, that is). Baskin is also giving a post-election TEDx talk at the Ontario Science Centre on November 15.

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Quoted

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Bernie Farber: “Maybe we’re all Jewish”

“Maybe we’re all Jewish.”

Bernie Farber, a former Canadian Jewish Congress CEO, talking to the Star about Doug Ford’s dubious claim that his wife Karla is Jewish (and that he therefore can’t possibly be ignorant of Jewish stereotypes, despite appearances). Farber’s point is that technically, using the loosest possible criteria, practically anyone could argue that they have Jewish heritage.

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Columns

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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants’ Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I get my lefty tenants' Olivia Chow sign off my lawn?

(Image: Paul Henman/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I rent the upper floor of my semi to a young couple and was dismayed to find an Olivia Chow sign on my front lawn. I’m ardently opposed to her politics, though I’ll spare you the ideological screed. My question: can they use my property to promote their views? If so, how might I persuade them not to, short of stealing the sign in the night?

—NIMFY, Roncesvalles

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Politics

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Doug Ford made Toronto’s streets dirtier, literally

doug-ford-now-whatThe Toronto Star reports that a 2012 decision to sole-source the city’s purchases of aftermarket auto parts has resulted in the partial breakdown of Toronto’s once-proud fleet of “dustless” street sweepers. The parts supplier, UAP Inc., has reportedly been sending replacement equipment that is incompatible with the particular brand of street sweeper the city uses, resulting in dustier, more garbage-littered roadways. One of the politicians most responsible for the problem, according to the Star, is Doug Ford. In 2012, he was the city councillor who put forth the motion that led to the sole-sourced contract’s approval. This is particularly embarrassing for Ford because both he and his brother Rob have railed against sole-sourced deals in the past, and have often implied that such contracts are inherently corrupt.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

5 Comments

Doug Ford closes in on John Tory in a new Forum poll

Yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll showed John Tory maintaining his commanding lead over both Doug Ford and Olivia Chow, but a Forum Research poll released today tells a much different story. The phone survey of 1218 Toronto residents shows Tory and Ford in a virtual tie, with Chow still trailing far behind. The disparity between this and the Mainstreet poll is beyond either one’s margin of error, so one or both of them could very well be flat-out wrong. (To be fair, any poll can be wrong; it’s an occupational hazard.) If other polls start to agree with this one, though, Ford followers may have something to celebrate. The rest of the city, not so much.

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Politics

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Doug Ford has yet to prove that he has actually donated four years’ worth of salary to charity

doug-ford-now-whatDuring last week’s semi-disastrous Metro Morning interview, Doug Ford mentioned, offhandedly, the promise he made when he was elected councillor for Ward 2 in 2010: that he would donate his $105,000 annual salary to charity. (Ford is a rich conservative, so this makes for good optics.) Over at Spacing, though, John Lorinc points out that Ford has never, in four years, provided any evidence of these six-figure donations he has supposedly been making. Even more remarkable is the fact that Lorinc’s column is the first time (to our knowledge) that any well-known journalist has even raised the question. It may be time for the mayoral candidate to release some tax receipts.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

9 Comments

Doug Ford tries to appease Jewish people, offends them anyway

doug-ford-now-whatAt a mayoral debate hosted by two Jewish organizations on Sunday, lesser-known candidate Ari Goldkind, who is Jewish, raised a pertinent issue: mayor Rob Ford’s on-the-record use of an ethnic slur that is offensive to Jews. Doug Ford’s response to the jab was completely—almost beautifully—oblivious to 500 years’ worth of Jewish stereotypes. “You know something,” he said, according to the Star, “my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish”—at this point, he was cut off by booing and laughter. He finished with a nod to his family’s “utmost respect” for the Jewish community. Now, strangely, a day after the fact, Ford has begun telling reporters that his wife Karla is Jewish.

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Quoted

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Olivia Chow: “The ‘bottom line’ is where good government starts, not where it ends”

“The ‘bottom line’ is where good government starts, not where it ends.”

Olivia Chow, speechifying during the official release of her full mayoral platform earlier today. The increasingly progressive tone of her rhetoric as election day approaches has earned her renewed admiration from at least a few pundits.

The Informer

Stat

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Olivia Chow absorbs a ridiculous amount of Facebook hate

1,756

—The number of “racist, sexist and other offensive posts” removed from the Olivia Chow campaign’s Facebook page since March 13, according to an investigation by the Star. The same investigation found that far fewer offensive comments had been removed from the other major candidates’ pages.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

23 Comments

A new poll shows Olivia Chow falling way behind

This latest mayoral poll from Forum Research, conducted on September 29 and released earlier this morning, contains no surprises. The survey of 1202 Torontonians puts John Tory right where he’s been for the past two months: out in front. Olivia Chow, meanwhile, doesn’t do so well. This is the worst she has fared relative to Tory in a Forum poll to date. These numbers are roughly consistent with the results of yesterday’s Mainstreet Technologies poll.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

8 Comments

Doug Ford gains on John Tory in the latest mayoral poll

A poll released earlier today by political consultancy Mainstreet Technologies doesn’t give John Tory quite as much breathing room as last week’s Ipsos survey, but the essential message is the same: Tory is still the frontrunner, and Olivia Chow supporters are still getting harder to find. Mainstreet’s robocall canvass of 2,409 Torontonians found that Tory’s support is especially strong among people 45 and older. Also potentially good for Tory: the people who told Mainstreet that they support him also tended to express certainty that they would actually cast a ballot on election day. Supporters of Chow and Doug Ford, meanwhile, were less sure they’d turn out to vote.

The Informer

Municipal Election 2014

4 Comments

Doug Ford pulls out of a debate, supposedly because “average, hardworking people” can’t get in

now-what-newAccording to the Globe, Doug Ford pulled out of a debate organized by the Empire Club today just 20 minutes before it was supposed to begin. The ostensible reason for his sudden change of heart, according to his campaign, was that the lunchtime event’s $80-per-person admission price was insultingly high. “Debates should be open events that any member of the public can attend and ask questions,” a press release said. So, $80 is too expensive for Ford, who has spent the past few days doing everything in his power to portray himself as an everyman alternative to John Tory (despite the fact that both men are millionaires). $750, meanwhile, is apparently just fine. That, according to Global News, is what a ticket to Monday’s planned Doug Ford fundraiser will cost attendees.

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