Election time is here!
Barring any further surprises, we will head to the polls in just over a month to set the direction for our City for the next four years. This election campaign has been one of the most chaotic ever – but please don’t let that turn you away from participating. If anything, now more than ever, this is our opportunity to show that we DO care about the governance and the fate of our City of Toronto.
Confused by all the talk of changing wards?
Not sure who you will even have the opportunity to vote for?
You are not alone!
On Monday, October 22nd, you will have an opportunity to make your selection for the Mayor of Toronto, your local representative on City Council, and your School Board Trustee. Do not forget about your School Board Trustees. Combined, Toronto’s school boards manage over 4 billion dollars of our taxed money!
One of the traditional roles of a Community Association is to provide residents opportunities to meet their candidates, to get to know their platforms, and facilitate an informed decision on who to vote for.
Our ward now stretches from Dufferin Road to the Humber River, between Lake Ontario and the railway tracks (Railpath & the tracks north of Dundas). We will share a City Councillor and School Board Trustees with neighbourhoods including Parkdale, Roncesvalles, High Park, The Junction, Swansea, and Baby Point. Several of these neighbourhoods will be hosting all candidates meetings during the month of October, and we will share the dates and locations with you as soon as possible.
Who might be willing to help us host an all candidates meeting here in the West Bend?
Most importantly, we will need people to attend! We need as many people as possible from the community to participate. Please let us know what would make you consider attending such an event. Are you tired of ‘debates’ consisting only of rehearsed sound bites? Do you find it impractical to attend a weekday evening session? Reply to this email with your feedback and suggestions on what you would like the event to be! What can the West Bend Community Association do to help you and your neighbours make a confident and informed vote?
If we do host a meeting, we will need people to help promote the event, assist as ushers, and act as time keepers, organizers, and more. Are you interested in lending your time and skills to this important democratic cause? No ‘experience’ is necessary — if you want to take part, then we want you! Students – this will be far more hands-on than civics class and you can even collect some volunteer hours!
We must act fast!
There are at least 5 candidates seeking to represent us on City Council and approximately three dozen candidates for mayor! The list will be finalized by end of day tomorrow. We need to make a decision on whether or not to host a meeting and what it should look like within the next week. Please respond to this email to let us know of your interest in attending or helping host a democracy strengthening event. Feedback and suggestions on how to run the event are most welcome. I personally don’t want to see ‘just another sound-bite fest’, and so I am appealing to all of you for ideas on how to make it better. I promise to respond to every one of you who writes me back!
I have some thoughts; How about a gathering on a Saturday? Maybe we could run the event as a social instead of as a lecture? Let’s invite the candidates for School Board Trustee too, as there so few forums to hear from them.
Your vote is just the beginning!
Through the WBCA, we can hold our representatives accountable and promote a well run and healthy City between elections too!
Whether or not we have sufficient interest to host an all candidates event, the WBCA will do what we can to provide you with information you need to know about the people that seek to represent us. We have compiled a list of issues important to the neighbourhood: aggressive traffic, (excessive?) high-rise developments, a lack of neighbourhood character preservation, and community services that do not seem able to keep up with our growing population. We will be seeking formal responses from our candidates on these issues and will make all efforts to get this information to you so that on October 22nd, you can have your say!
Keep an eye on your inbox, and check our website at