By Justin Field and Liam Harrington
Incumbent Mark Grimes has won re-election and is the councillor of the new Ward 3.
Grimes won with over 40 percent of the votes. His closest competitor, Amber Morley, had over 27 percent of the votes.
Amber Morley, who talked about her experiences growing up in cooperative housing in the Lakeshore community, campaigned on a platform of community consultation surrounding development processes in the ward, and supporting cooperative housing.
“I would absolutely encourage more of the cooperative housing model….and absolutely advocate through the planning process as the councillor to ensure that there are affordable units in all new developments” Morley said at a candidates’ meeting in Etobicoke on Oct.10.
“Not the results we were hoping for,” says Pamela Gough.
When asked what’s next for her, she said, “ask me in a couple of weeks. I’m still a trustee until December…I’ll go back to my duties.”
One of the main issues brought up throughout the election has been affordable housing in Toronto.
Gough is a long-time resident of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore community and was an elected TDSB trustee for 17 years.
“Steeply increased housing costs are creating an unaffordable city. We need to look at mechanisms to encourage new rental stock, renew aging TCHC infrastructure, and create innovative affordable, complete communities that offer housing options for everyone,” Gough said in a piece on toronto.com.
Housing affordability was the top priority for candidate Iain Davis, an issue which he says made him want to run for council.
“One of the hallmarks of our plan is to increase the supply of housing, it’s to deal with Toronto community housing which is mismanaged, and to deal with property taxes and how we are taxing property owners in the city,” Davis said at the same meeting.
Incumbent Mark Grimes was not at the Oct. 10 meeting, but his campaign website noted affordable housing as something important to himself and the community.
Transit is the other hot button issue, and was a large talking point during the election campaign.
“[I’ve] secured new express bus routes to connect residents with GO services and subway stations, and increased service frequency on key routes,” Grimes says on his campaign website.
Grimes also brings up the work he has done with Vision Zero, a traffic safety project with the goal of having no fatalities due to traffic.
“Working with Vision Zero to implement School Safety Zones around all schools, and installing a new Senior Safety Zone on Cavell Ave,” Grimes’ campaign website says about his accomplishments.
Morley’s platform focused on “more commuter cycling infrastructure, fighting to ensure relevant Vision Zero Road Safety Plan recommendations are implemented and prioritize moving forward with the Waterfront LRT as well as Mimico GO renovations” according to her campaign website.
Davis’ platform also focused heavily on transit, and the issues surrounding it, including fares, reducing streetcar use, and advocating for a new go station.
“In terms of fares, I would like to see seniors ride for free in non-rush hour and I would also like to see the youth exemption extended for all registered students,” Davis’s campaign site says.
Gough’s platform promises to “Address pedestrian and cycling safety with traffic calming, reduced speed limits and street redesign,” and “Reduce road congestion by prioritizing better public transit and fighting to secure the Park Lawn GO station,” her campaign site says.
Aside from the issues, no election is complete without its controversies.
The Toronto Star published an article just days before the election in which Davis and Gough discussed Grimes’ poor voting record at council.
Grimes has been a city councillor since 2003, spending four terms and 15 years in office.
“I am running a campaign based on positive change, but people need to know positive change from what. And the facts are pretty clear in terms of the incumbent’s poor attendance record,” Gough was quoted in The Star.
Grimes missed 33.3 per cent of council votes in 2018, according to a review of councillors’ voting undertaken by the Star last year.
Grimes has said that he has only missed four days at council in the past four years, mainly due to illness, the Star reports.
Just two days before the election John Tory endorsed Mark Grimes as a council candidate in the form of robo calls going out across Ward 3, the Star reports.
The redrawing of ward boundaries has affected many wards, with multiple incumbents running against each other, but in Ward 3, Grimes was the only incumbent running.