With less than four days to go until Ontario's municipal elections, undecided voters may be looking for guidance. Several unions and labour organizations are supporting mayoral, city council, and school district candidates.
Some Labour District Councils have also published lists of endorsements, highlighting candidates who support environmental and economic sustainability, local economic stimulus, better social services, and workers' rights. Endorsements often entail more than just a seal of approval. In many cases, unions or area labour councils will donate time, and staff to their preferred candidates.
The Fords have held power in North Etobicoke since before Etobicoke was even part of Toronto. Doug Ford Sr. was an MPP in the Mike Harris Progressive Conservative government back in the 1990s. In 2000 Rob Ford was elected to amalgamated Toronto as City Councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North. In 2010 when Rob Ford became mayor, Doug Ford Jr became Ward 2 City Councillor.
The 14 years of Fords representing Ward 2 isn't necessarily an issue. The real issue is that the Fords made themselves the gate keepers for any and all developments in the Ward. Nothing got done without the Fords' say so. And it seems, not much did get done.
Progressives in Winnipeg were dealt a major shock on Wednesday evening as two-time mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis fell short in her second bid for the mayor's chair, falling to Progressive Conservative affiliated privacy lawyer, Brian Bowman, with Robert-Falcon Ouellette placing third.
Having consistently polled in first for over a year, after finishing a strong second in the 2010 contest, many were shocked to see Wasylycia-Leis lose the race, especially by a 50,000 vote margin.
The trend continued: only one incumbent councillor endorsed by the Winnipeg Labour Council was defeated. Jason Schreyer, son of former Premier Ed Schreyer, defeated former Winnipeg Jet Thomas Steen, who's campaign was dogged by controversy around recent assault charges.
In September, while attending a standing-room-only Mayoralty debate at the North York Civic Centre, organized by the Black Electoral Alliance, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of enthusiasm for civic politics in that hall.