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Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Representation from the outside | Posted Toronto | National Post

In Canada on October 12, 2010 at 11:18

Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Representation from the outside

Peter J. Thompson / National Post Files

Peter J. Thompson / National Post Files

Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan with his son Salvador in April. Vaughan is one of 13 incumbent councillors who do not live in their own ward, though he points out he lives just one streetcar stop west of the ward boundary

  October 12, 2010 – 7:16 am

Councillor Anthony Perruzza represents Ward 8, but lives in Ward 7, so his city councillor is Giorgio Mammoliti. Mr. Mammoliti, meanwhile, represents Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue, but lives closer to Bathurst Street and Lawrence Avenue.

Councillor Shelley Carroll lives in Denzil Minnan-Wong’s ward; Councillor Paula Fletcher lives in Sandra Bussin territory. Councillor David Shiner has Karen Stintz for a city councillor. Ward 44 at the every eastern end of Scarborough, is home to three city councillors: Ron Moeser, who actually represents the area, as well as councillors Paul Ainslie (Ward 43) and Norm Kelly (Ward 40).

Altogether, of 35 incumbent city councillors seeking re-election on Oct. 25, more than one third, or 13 councillors, do not live in the ward that they represent.

Candidates’ home addresses are not published on the city’s web site; voters can find out where candidates for City Council live by consulting a big black binder behind the reception desk at Election Services, at the back of of the ground floor at City Hall. The binder contains the forms that hundreds of council candidates filled in when they registered for the election, including their “qualifying address.” Rules do not require council candidates to live in Toronto, let alone their ward.

Several councillors said their deep roots more than make up for not actually living in the ward they represent at City Hall. Often, a councillor will grow out of the home they initially bought in their ward, and then find that it is more convenient to move to a larger home in another part of town. Family break-ups are also a factor.

“I grew up in northwest Scarborough,” says Councillor Norm Kelly, who represents that area, though he now lives in southeast Scarborough. “When I was riding my bike along Sheppard Avenue when I was 12 years old, it was a horse farm. A place where I skated on a pond is now a Tim Hortons. I probably know more about these communities collectively than any one individual person. I’m like a kid who’s never left home.”

Councillor David Shiner, whose ward is Willowdale, now lives west of Yonge Street and south of Highway 401, in faraway Ward 16.

“I moved into the ward and raised my family there for 25 years,” says Mr. Shiner, first elected to North York council in 1991. His political roots go back to his mother, Esther Shiner, a former deputy mayor of North York. He says he moved away in 2005, noting, “family issues do arise from time to time. I recently settled some family issues and am looking to purchase a home back in the ward.”

Perhaps the most creative spin on not living in one’s ward goes to Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (York West), who represents the city’s northwest, ranging to the north border of Toronto on Steeles Avenue, but lives near Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue West. He said his centrally-located home allows quicker access to City Hall than the more remote Ward 7.

“It’s easier for me to get to City Hall,” he says. “It takes me 20 minutes to get to City Hall by car and 10 minutes to get to my ward. Leaving York West to go to City Hall takes 45 minutes by car.”

He explains his move from the ward saying, “I got married. We had an opportunity to take over Monica’s grandparents’ home.”

Councillor Marwia Augimeri, whose ward is north of Highway 401, says she moved south of the highway because, “I had another child and we moved to another house. It’s important to have roots in the ward. We worship in the ward, we shop in the ward.”

Councillor Adam Vaughan notes that he lives just one streetcar stop west of his ward, Trinity-Spadina. He notes that, when he and his second wife were expecting a child, he was living in a condo in the ward, and searched for a three-bedroom condo, but could find none. From this came his attempts to use the city’s zoning clout to require more developers to offer bigger units in new towers downtown. He adds, “Not living in the ward means never having to declare a conflict of interest over a development project.”

Councillors who do live in their own wards see it as quite important. Councillor Doug Holiday (Etobicoke Centre), who lives near Kipling Avenue and Princes Margaret Street, first won election to Etobicoke Council in 1982.

“In 1992 I put an addition on my house,” he recalls. “The kids were becoming teens, my mother in law was coming to live with us. I weighed that against moving. I would have had to move east across Kipling. From a financial standpoint it wasn’t the best thing to have done. I stayed in my ward.”

Similarly, longtime downtown councillor Pam Mc-Connell recently moved from her longtime Cabbagetown home to a new home in the condos that Daniels Corp. is building in the redeveloped Regent Park. She noted the move in July by making a revision to her nomination paper. Her new home remains in her ward.

Some star candidates for City Council, such as Doug Ford (brother of mayoral contender Rob Ford) and Jane Pitfield, the former councillor, do not live in the wards they seek to represent. But perhaps the prize for living furthest from one’s intended political home goes to Nick Dominelli, who lives in the City of Vaughan, and seeks the council seat in Ward 12.
When registering to run for council, Mr. Dominelli used 127 Strachan Avenue, off King Street West, as his “qualifying address.” His family owns that building; Mr. Dominelli owns a restaurant, Politica Resto Bar, at that address. He said he has purchased a home in Ward 12, on Bicknell Avenue, near Keele Street and Rogers Road, which is presently under renovation, and which he says he will occupy once elected.

“I’ve been in talks with my wife,” he says. “My wife is close to her family [who live in Vaughan]. It’s a difficult challenge.”

pkuitenbrouwer@nationalpost.com

Incumbent councillors who do not live in their wards

  • Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) lives in Ward 15
  • Councillor Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) lives in Ward 7
  • Councillor Maria Augimeri (Ward 9, York Centre) lives in Ward 12
  • Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) lives in Ward 18
  • Councillor Cesar Palacio (Ward 17, Davenport) lives in Ward 13
  • Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) lives in Ward 19
  • Councillor David Shiner (Ward 24, Willowdale) lives in Ward 16
  • Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth) lives in Ward 32
  • Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) lives in Ward 34
  • Councillor Adrian Heaps (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) lives in Ward 36
  • Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt) lives in Ward 44
  • Councillor Raymond Cho (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River) in Ward 41
  • Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43, Scarborough East) in Ward 43

Source: National Post

Posted in: City Hall, Posted Toronto  Tags: ,

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