Filion jumps back in to race
Incumbents have upper hand against political newbies
Despite recent turmoil, there will indeed be an election on Oct. 22, and many familiar faces will be on the ballot and one long-time councillor will not.
In Willowdale, one large ward now sits where there would have been two and almost three under the revised 47-ward system that was in place before the Ontario provincial government passed Bill 5. The current boundaries stretch from Bayview Avenue to the east all the way to Bathurst Street and Highway 401 up to Steeles Avenue.
Although there was speculation that David Shiner would jump back in to the race under the 25ward structure, he confirmed that he would not seek re-election.
That leaves John Filion as the lone incumbent on the Willowdale ticket.
Although the long-serving councillor had intended to retire and had found two progressive candidates to carry on his work in the ward — Markus O’Brien Fehr and Lily Cheng — under the 25seat council, he determined it was too risky, citing candidates supported by special interests, and jumped back in the race.”
“Working with residents through this chaotic time, we have seen worthy candidates like Markus O’Brien Fehr make difficult, selfless decisions for the community,” Filion said. “This is what is truly meant by ‘for the people,’ and it is my hope that for Willowdale, even more voices will speak out and get involved.”
In the 2014 election, Filion garnered 55 per cent of the vote. In another North York race, two incumbents — James Pasternak and Maria Augimeri — will face off against each other in York Centre.
Pasternak was first elected to office in 2010 and in 2014 won re-election handily with 57 per cent of the vote.
Augimeri first served as a city councillor in the old North York in 1985 and served as the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission in 2014.
Her re-election in 2014 was somewhat close; although, she did win comfortably with 42 per cent of the vote.
It will be a close, as will many where incumbents are matched up against each other in what some are describing as Doug Ford’s version of The Hunger Games.
Filion stressed the importance of this election.
“Now more than ever, we need to come together to elect councillors we can trust to guide us through this difficult time in our city’s history,” said Filion. —
John Filion has registered and will seek re-election to represent Willowdale at city council