Copyright and attack ads: Progressive mayor uses Sona image to attack conservative challenger


Karen Farbridge is the the four-term left-of-centre, progressive mayor for the city of Guelph, the city and federal riding that is ground zero for the robocalls controversy.

Farbridge is facing a stiff challenge from Cam Guthrie who is pitching ideas familiar to small-c conservatives.  Continue reading Copyright and attack ads: Progressive mayor uses Sona image to attack conservative challenger

Nothing But Flowers: Goldkind's Green Gardiner

Green-Ribbon-Aerial View


Toronto Mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind doesn’t show up in any of the polls — such as this one, released today showing John Tory in the lead with 37%, Doug Ford in second at 30% and Olivia Chow back at 21% — but Goldkind, who is a criminal lawyer most of the time, is taking the campaign seriously and offering up some interesting ideas. His latest? Turn the Gardiner Expressway that runs east-to-west through Toronto’s downtown into a green space. Continue reading Nothing But Flowers: Goldkind's Green Gardiner

From Fort Mac to Fort York: The ripples of Chow's resignation on federal politics

Mike Layton, Olivia Chow at Chow for Mayor rally
TORONTO – Coun. Mike Layton introduces Olivia Chow during a rally for her mayoral campaign on Sunday. [Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency]
The decision by Olivia Chow last week to quit her seat in the House of Commons to take a run at the Mayor’s chair in Toronto has already started a broad ripple effect in federal politics that stretches from the oil sands in northern Alberta to downtown Toronto and could even influence the way the 2015 federal election is fought.

Chow represented the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina, a riding which Chow won by 20,000 votes in 2011. But that race had been much closer in 2008, when she won by 3,500 and in 2006 when she won by 3,000. In 2004, Chow ran and lost Trinity-Spadina to Liberal Tony Ianno, who would be a junior minister in Paul Martin’s cabinet. Ianno had held the riding for the Liberals since 1993.

Now the Liberals want it back. Standing in their way (aside from some potential Liberal infighting) will likely be Joe Cressy, Continue reading From Fort Mac to Fort York: The ripples of Chow's resignation on federal politics

Poll: Who do you like for Toronto Mayor – Ford, Chow, Stintz or Tory?


Office Rocker

The day before Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair all but confirmed that, yes, it was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in that video, pollster Forum Research was in the field polling Torontonians about their choice for mayor. At that time, there were only three declared candidates in the race: the incumbent (who told reporters he thought the race would be a “bloodbath”), Toronto Transit Commission chair Karen Stintz and former city councillor David Soknacki.

Forum found that, at the time the poll was taken, if that was the race, then Stintz is mayor with 37% of the vote compared to Ford at 33% and Soknacki at 9%.

Of course, the actual vote is not for another year and there’s lots of speculation that there will certainly be more than just those three candidates in the race.

Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow, for example, is seen as a likely entrant. Forum threw here name into the mix for its poll and found that if it’s Chow vs Ford vs Stintz vs Soknacki, then it’s a toss-up between Chow and Ford, who each took about 33% in Forum’s poll. Stintz, in this matchup, takes 20% and Soknacki gets 5%.

Now, Ford’s support has apparently risen slightly since the video revelations though, in the wake of revelations of more self-destructive behaviour , even close former associates such as Toronto Sun comment editor Adrienne Batra — she was Ford’s press secretary before joining the Sun – is arguing in the paper today that, for all his accomplishments, “it has become more obvious, day after day, that it’s time for [Ford] to take a break from the madness that now surrounds [him].”

So Forum put a ballot in front of its survey respondents without Ford on it. Results?  Chow 38%, Stintz 21%, Soknacki 10% and 31% unsure. Stintz is trying to position herself as the “conservative” (and sober) alternative to Ford but this poll suggests that, if that’s the case, she has some work to do.

What about  radio show host John Tory, the former Ontario PC leader? Could he be the “conservative” alternative to Ford? Forum put together a ballot of Chow, Tory, Stintz, and Soknacki. The results? Chow 33%, Tory, 29%, Stintz 12% and Soknacki 6%. So Tory is still not capturing all of Ford Nation’s love but he comes to closer to matching Chow.

And finally, just to get a sense of what a brawl of heavyweights would look like, Forum asked those polled who they liked in a race with Ford, Chow, and Tory as well as Stintz and Soknacki. Answer: Chow 29%, Tory 25%, Ford 24%, Stintz 11% and Soknacki 3%.

Detail on poll methodology and tables are at Forum’s site. [PDF]


The strange tale of a local council gouging its near-bankrupt major employer

I find this an amazing story: Local politicians want to remain popular with their rapidly growing population of increasingly wealthier voters and so rather than ding them for all the new municipal services these voters want and need, the local council ratchets up the tax bill on the municipalities single biggest employer the local paper mill. Meanwhile, the paper mill’s owner is scrambling to avoid bankruptcy. It asks the municipality for relief. It gets just that. A little relief. But not nearly enough.

Frantic to cut costs — Continue reading The strange tale of a local council gouging its near-bankrupt major employer