BLIZZARD HITS CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Ex-Sun scribe well-schooled in education issues SUE-ANN
Unlike many candidates who run for the school board, this one isn’t interested in using the trustee role as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Meet my former Toronto Sun colleague, longtime Queen’s Park columnist and good friend Christina Blizzard, who’s running for public school trustee in Scarborough Southwest.
She says she’s doing so because she really cares about school board issues and is prepared to be an “effective voice” for the area.
Unlike incumbent Parthi Kandevel, who couldn’t even wait out one term to run for the provincial Liberal nomination in his area this past January (he lost), she says, if elected, she intends to devote her time advocating for the students, parents and schools in a part of the city she feels is often neglected by the highly political trustees on the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
“I’m not a member of any political party,” says Blizzard. “People here feel very fed up seeing (school board) politics as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”
She says people are also tired of being walked over by the “downtown voices” at the TDSB.
“The ideological types dominate the school board and, meanwhile, parents here can’t get a playground,” she said, adding that she has seen how horrible traffic is around the schools she has visited.
I spent an afternoon canvassing with Blizzard and meeting parents outside a local school (she visits schools twice a day, first thing in the morning and when the afternoon bell rings) to see what it was like for her to dip her toe into politics for the first time ever after holding the feet of provincial politicians to the fire for 23 years.
She says she was very naive when she first decided to throw herself into the
Ward 18 trustee race against nine opponents.
It never occurred to her that she had to raise money and pay for signs.
But with the help of friends and family, she has gotten her cards and her signs out and is out door-knocking and visiting schools several hours a day.
“I’ve learned a huge amount just going door to door ... People are really engaged,” she says. “People are so open and welcome and kind to me.”
Outside Birch Cliff public school at 3:15 p.m., Blizzard greeted a steady stream of moms and dads, telling them she likes to “fight for people” and “help them (parents) get through the (education) system.”
One mom with two kids in the school tells Blizzard Birch Cliff “literally needs everything” — new boilers, proper electrical wiring and so on.
“I have yet to see a school that is worse,” she said.
Glenn Kremp, who had come to pick up his 4-year-old daughter, Evy, told Blizzard he had already voted for her.
He said the incumbent “didn’t seem to care and was not helpful.”
Kremp said he felt “fresh ideas” were needed and he thought Blizzard would have those fresh ideas.
He added that he felt strongly that this is one of the most important elections with all the changes at City Hall and Queen’s Park and they need someone who takes their ward seriously, one often forgotten.
“It’s so important for people to do their research,” Kremp said. “It is such an important election.”
For more information on Blizzard, check out her website at christinablizzard.ca or e-mail her at email@example.com
“I’m not a member of any political party. People here feel very fed up seeing (school board) politics as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.”
Former Sun political writer Christina Blizzard hits Bluffers Park Marina yesterday, looking for votes. Blizzard is running for Toronto District School Board trustee in Scarborough Southwest.