Talking Toronto

Wayne Cook Talks Toronto

With less than a month until this city's municipal elections, it's not hard to miss the deluge of campaign signs that are littering neighbourhood lawns. With 275 people running across Toronto for the position of City Councillor, finding out about each and every single candidate (even out of the few running in your own ward) can get daunting.

In an effort to learn more about the people trying to run the future of this city, I sent out dozens of emails to candidates trying to learn about their motivations and aspirations. A few responded, many didn't. Over the next few days, I'm going to take a look at the few that did.

Today's candidate: Wayne Cook, Ward 39.

Why did you decide to run for city council?
Because Councillor Del Grande keeps speaking of "a lot of white people are moving out", referring to Candidate John Wong as a person seeking the "Ethnic" vote and references to former Councillor Sherene Shaw as "foreign representation". In addition, Del Grande speaks of "clashes" between Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese. We do not need the divisive politics of Mike Del Grande, we do need to respect each other, seek harmony and unity. We should benefit from the diversity of our community.

What are the significant issues that people in your ward are facing, and what do you plan to do to address those issues?
Transport is one big issue. Taxes are likely another.

Traffic flow on community streets from major streets, like Steeles. No turns from 4-6 p.m. would fix this issue, if used selectively.

What are some of the city-wide issues that you feel most engaged with and why?
Most of my life, I lived in the Beach, and my vision would to have the waterfront developed from Mississuaga to Pickering in this fashion.

What is your larger vision for Toronto in the next few years?
A Front St. transitway instead of a car-based folly. Maybe push it up the Don Valley too?!

Last year, I lived in Shanghai, China to study the city. Shanghai has 20 Million people, which is the Toronto of the future. We need to better prepare a world class public transportation system and make the necessary investments.

blogTO does not necessarily endorse any of the candidates profiled. Candidates were selected based on the ease of finding their contact information on the web, their willingness to reply to my first email, and a bit of random serendipity.

The Toronto municipal elections take place on November 13, 2006. To find out more on how to vote or how to get involved, visit the city elections website.

(Image: Payam Rajabi)


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