Two in­cum­bents go head to head

New ward will have beloved pro­gres­sive coun­cil­lors com­pet­ing

Annex Post - - NEWS - –– Ge­orge Redak

With the re­cent news that Toronto City Coun­cil will be slashed from 44 coun­cil­lors to 25, res­i­dents in some of the city’s most pro­gres­sive neigh­bour­hoods have a tough de­ci­sion come Oct. 22. Ward 12 St. Paul’s in­cum­bents are Josh Mat­low and Joe Mi­hevc, long­time friends who spent their po­lit­i­cal ca­reers with sim­i­larly pro­gres­sive agen­das. They now find them­selves head to head for the same coun­cil po­si­tion.

“Josh is go­ing to run his cam­paign. I am go­ing to run my cam­paign,” said Mi­hevc. “As I some­times put it, this is Doug Ford’s ver­sion of The Hunger Games, and in these kinds of sit­u­a­tions, re­la­tion­ships are ob­vi­ously se­verely tested.”

The two in­cum­bents have al­ways looked out for the in­ter­ests of their com­mu­nity.

“I’ve done lots of work in pub­lic health, with su­per­vised in­jec­tion sites and nu­tri­tion aware­ness,” said Mi­hevc, who was elected in 2000.

“I’ve done lots of work in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, as well as deal­ing with child care and se­nior is­sues and ten­ant is­sues.”

Mi­hevc was clear that af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing and recre­ational and pub­lic ser­vices will be a top pri­or­ity. Mat­low has road safety among his pri­mary con­cerns.

“My main fo­cuses con­tinue to be on road safety, en­sur­ing that in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices keep up with the pace of growth, lead­ing the charge for the sub­way re­lief line and neigh­bour­hood safety,” said Mat­low, who has held his po­si­tion for eight years.

How­ever, not ev­ery­one is im­pressed with their achieve­ments. The mem­bers of Oak­wood Vaughan Neigh­bour­hood Ac­tion Part­ner­ship (OV NAP) are hop­ing that the per­son who gets elected will meet all their con­cerns.

“We are not able to make po­lit­i­cal state­ments about can­di­dates,” said Lyba Spring, cochair of OV NAP. “We can say, how­ever, that the city made com­mit­ments to us in 2015, and not all of them have been ful­filled.”

Short­com­ings they cited in­clude the need for more ac­tive in­volve­ment with neigh­bour­hood youth and bet­ter use of ex­ist­ing neigh­bour­hood space. But other com­mu­nity groups dis­agree.

“Coun­cil­lor Mat­low and his staff have al­ways been ac­ces­si­ble, sup­port­ive and help­ful to­ward our as­so­ci­a­tion,” said Brian Maguire, chair of the For­est Hill Home­own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. “We be­lieve, there­fore, that he should be re-elected in the new ward.”

It’s clear the race for coun­cil­lor in St. Paul’s will be very close.

“My only fo­cus is win­ning this elec­tion, so that I can do the work the I love for my com­mu­nity,” said Mat­low.

L-R: Josh Mat­low, Ward 22 St. Paul’s coun­cil­lor; Joe Mi­hevc, Ward 21 St. Paul’s West coun­cil­lor

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