TORONTO, July 31 – Since Thursday evening, we have been dealing with a new normal. There can be no certainty as to the next move by the provincial government. Some candidates are waiting and watching, minute by minute, others are canvassing as though nothing has changed.
I have taken a three-pronged approach to this campaign since Thursday: Legal Action, Community Work and Campaigning. Thanks to my strong team of volunteers, we have been able to explore our legal options while continuing with our campaign and community work.
- I have been meeting lawyers with backgrounds ranging from litigation to constitutional and municipal law. As we read through the legislation that was tabled Monday, we also helped launch a legal fund at resistford.ca. We are reaching out to other first-time candidates, as I believe that we may have been compromised under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 3.
- We have been running the campaign as “normally” as possible. We held our second volunteer canvass training on Saturday and had over 20 volunteers in the session. Our campaign team met Sunday and we continued canvassing in the community. Regardless of what happens provincially, there are still many local concerns that we need to address.
- While meeting with lawyers and the campaign team, I am continuing my community work in Ward 21. I met with other community leaders Monday to discuss an affordable housing project and a long-term health care project in our ward. I also continue to meet with senior staff at Metrolinx about the massive Union Station Rail Corridor project. This project has a direct impact on the residents in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood and work on it cannot stop because of this election upheaval.With all this work going on, I remain deeply concerned that this new provincial legislation constitutes a bias toward the incumbent and that if we follow the riding boundaries, this election will be for incumbents only. Any opportunity for non-partisan candidates like me will be eradicated, and it will be difficult for new faces ever to run in this City again. This is being further explored by our legal counsel.
I have been working in the ward for over 20 years and will continue to do so even as our city remains shocked by this incursion on our independence. We cannot afford to take a wait-and-see attitude, which is why I’ve helped take the lead on resisting this attack on our democracy.
Regardless of the number of wards, I have deep concerns about how the provincial government has undertaken this process. In the meantime, my team and I will continue to campaign and work on existing community projects.
Campaign Manager – Aaron Binder