EDITORIAL : York Centre By-Election - October 26
Ya'ara Saks, Liberal
The DLCVA does not support any one candidate or party
As Downsview Park is a federal park run by a theoretically independent (+ self-financing) crown corporation, the York Centre riding is more sensitive than most to the priorities of the government in power.
The riding is said to be 1/3 Jewish, 1/3 Italian and 1/3 Filipino. Often considered a safe Liberal seat it voted for Conservative Mark Adler in 2011.
This by-election was suddenly announced by PM Trudeau on September 15. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, there has been little opportunity for open nomination meetings. Furthermore, candidate campaigning in a time of social distancing has been severely restricted.
Ya’ara Saks (47, single mother of two teen daughters) is a newcomer to elective office in Canada but a longtime policy wonk, social influencer and community advocate.
An Israeli-Canadian, she lived in Jerusalem 1995-2006.
With degrees in political science (McGill) and international relations (Jerusalem) she brings an outside-the-box perspective to the legislative process.
With established roots in the Bathurst Manor community (she helps run a Sheppard Avenue yoga studio), she has advised and advocated for a number of local charitable organizations
Julius Tiangson, Conservative
(57, married with 3 children in their 20s)
Prominent business man, community advocate and former pastor, he immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 1985 where he studied accounting
Co-founder of the Gateway Centre for New Canadians which advises the government on newcomer integration, refugee advocacy and the live-in / caregiver programs.
- President and CEO of the Portico Group which provides wealth creation and home ownership strategies for newcomers to Canada
- Unsuccessful Conservative candidate in 2015 federal election for the Mississauga Centre riding.
Andrea Vasquez Jimenez, New Democratic Party
(Afro-Latino-Canadian, parents from Columbia)
- surprise second-place finisher in the York Centre 2018 provincial election won by Roman Baber (Voting: PC 18K, NDP 8K, Lib 7K)
- President of York Centre NDP Riding Association and co-founder of Latinx Afro-Latin-America, Abya Yala Education Network (LAEN)
- Recent graduate degree in Social Justice Education from U of T's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
- longtime community organizer, activist and educator focused on issues relating to inclusivity and social justice for all citizens
- comfortable with the NDP program to remedy inequalities faced by the marginalized and underserved
Sasha Zavarella is running for the Green Party.
Maxime Bernier, former federal cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, is running for the People's Party of Canada, a new 'national' party which he is trying to form.
Phase 3 consultation for proposed William Baker District Plan to take place on-line in early November
- Canada Lands Company, the crown corporation running Downsview Park, is applying to the City of Toronto
- While Wm Baker is part of the old CFB Downsview (i.e. federal lands) it is not part of Downsview Park
- The ultimate aim of the District Plan is to transfer Wm Baker lands to city jurisdiction
- Normally a District Plan sets out such things as roads, population densities and uses
- William Baker is approximately 60 acres, half protected woodlot and half vacant land
- Under the Downsview Secondary Plan, 3550 "apartment" units have been approved for these lands
What DLCVA fears most: a monster 30 acre bedroom community of 3550 units at Keele and Sheppard overwhelming the 30 acres of fabulous greenspace
Round 2 of on-line consultation on the Bombardier airstrip lands completed on-line
Despite all the talk about consulting, what DLCVA fears most is the two biggest landlords in the GTA telling local residents what to do.
- Northcrest Developments and Canada Lands have joined forces to apply to City of Toronto to amend the 10-year old Downsview Secondary Plan by changing the zoning from employment to mixed use
- Subject lands are those in yellow above plus the Sheppard and Chesswod Districts and part of Allen District. Total: 550 acres (9x larger than Wm Baker)
- Developers have lined up over a dozen well-connected consultant firms to help plead their case
- They are in a rush and are proceeding as if the pandemic changes nothing