Click here to view this article as it appears on EYE WEEKLY’s official website. Originally published August 26, 2010.
Rob Ford’s personality has been at the centre of the mayoral contest since he took over as the front-runner in a mid-June poll. He has identified priorities in city finances and customer service, proposing drastically cutting councillor expense budgets and halving council. He plans to cut both the land transfer and vehicle-registration taxes, but has not identified where service cuts or user fees will be implemented to make up for lost revenue. He has not yet released info on a transit or environmental platform.
George Smitherman has an impressive list of legislative accomplishments as Dalton McGuinty’s health and energy minister and a reputation for strong-arming opponents. He has declared a focus on ending provincial-municipal feuding. His transit plan, a scaled-back Transit City, has been duly criticized for its incomplete funding strategy. He wants to balance the books before cutting taxes. With stunts like an attempt to get a one-on-one debate with Ford, Smitherman hopes to become the moderate alternative.
Joe Pantalone has become the flag-bearer of David Miller’s government. He is the only top-five candidate who has pledged to fight for Transit City and the current Bike Plan. Pantalone does have some original ideas: property-tax breaks for retired Torontonians and initiatives for food security. He has the most municipal experience of all the mayoral candidates — he’s worked at City Hall since 1980.
Sarah Thomson was the publisher of Women’s Post before declaring her candidacy. Her platform is full of big ideas: a massive subway expansion financed by congestion tolls on the Gardiner and DVP, earmarking the billboard tax for the arts budget and fast-tracking “beautiful” architecture.
Rocco Rossi, John Tory’s former campaign manager, has a very business-oriented platform. His plan to privatize Toronto Hydro to pay the debt has been heavily criticized — it would amount to a one-off sale that would eliminate one of the city’s steady revenue streams. He has also pledged to privatize garbage collection, remove the Jarvis bike lane and revoke the five-cent charge on plastic bags.
Rocco Achampong sharpened his teeth in student politics at the University of Toronto. His platform includes freezing TTC fares, challenging collective bargaining agreements, doubling the arts budget and forcing the province to take responsibility for its housing projects.
HiMY SYeD wants a complete reboot of the city with citizens’ rights at the centre. No wonder he’s been accused on Twitter of impersonating Toronto’s original rebel mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie.
Keith Cole announced that this month he’s putting aside his drag show and committing himself full time to the mayoral race. His focus is raising awareness about gay rights, cycling and arts issues.
Selwyn Firth, the lone voice (still!) calling for the Spadina Expressway, a supporter of trash incineration.
Don Andrews is a neo-Nazi who once said “racism is for everyone.”
Douglas Campbell, a left-wing activist who is prone to conspiracy theories.
Sonny Yeung has an open and honest campaign blog and a pragmatic platform.
Joseph Pampena wants to list the city on the TSX and once supported the vigilante Guardian Angels.
Phil Taylor is a self-help guru who wants to apply his five core values and driving forces to the city.
Tibor Steinberger has a few high-tech solutions: more red light cameras, electronic TTC fares and floating houses.
Colin Magee is a Beer Store employee promoting civic engagement.
Howard Gomberg is a 71-year old actor who raps at debates.
David Vallance has a mission: making Toronto its own province.
John Letonja in his own words: “if you, the politicians, dump shit on the people, the people will dump shit on you.”
Baquie Ghazi wants to make Metropasses more affordable, inaugurate toll roads, lower property taxes and have more councillors.
Mark State: this guy has a detailed opinion on every part of the city and a website that’s too comprehensive to navigate.
George Babula is repping for West Queen West and the Parkdale Party, values a happy workforce and better relations for all Torontonians.
Christopher Ball: please send us some information, or maybe a link to your website.
Jaime Castillo: is promoting the “Multicultural Power Vote” in an effort to better represent Toronto’s multi-culti makeup.
Kevin Clarke: is back in the race, so says the graffiti under the Gardiner anyway — can’t wait for some of his unscheduled debate appearances.
Charlene Cottle: it’s a little hard to judge what her politics are from just a sparsely updated Twitter account.
James Di Fiore: hip-hop artist and journalist, DiFiore is also the writer who voted three times in the 2004 federal election.
Michael Flie: left-leaning policies like Euro-style bike lanes and better urban planning dominate his Facebook campaign page.
Barry Goodhead: his blog is a bit of a well of negativity, but Goodhead is also proposing cutting police the budget and making the police chief an elected position — good luck.
Monowar Hossain: how rad would it be to have a mayor named Monowar?
Dewitt Lee: campaigning as the city’s Christian candidate, Lee is also a multi-media pioneer.
Jim McMillan: see Charlene Cottle.
Ratan Wadhwa: a CP24 interview tells us that Wadhwa thinks we need more casinos and a red-light district.
Daniel Walker: I am a Reverend with Church of the Universe. I believe strongly in the legalization of Marijuana. ’Nuff said.