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Meet a Toronto-Danforth Candidate: Craig Scott

The Toronto-Danforth by-election to replace Jack Layton happens on March 19. Here, Torontoist aims to tell you who’s running, and why.

The federal by-election for Toronto-Danforth is drawing closer, and NDP candidate Craig Scott is busily canvassing. He is hoping to follow in some famous footsteps.

Jack Layton won Toronto-Danforth with 60 per cent of the vote in the last federal election. “I hear a lot of stories from people about how they met Jack. It’s humbling to know someone had that much charisma,” Scott says.

Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow, and his son, Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), have expressed their support for Scott. Expectations for him are high, and he leads in early polling.

Scott is a professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and a human rights activist. It was because of a sense of duty that he decided to seek the NDP nomination, which he won in January. “The country is going to have a hard time surviving the Conservatives,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll be able to recognize ourselves if they win again. We need to produce an alternative in 2015 for Canadians.”

Scott has resided in Riverdale, a neighbourhood within Toronto-Danforth, for over 20 years. He insists he understands the riding’s major issues.

“The environment is taken very seriously here,” he said. “The MPP Peter Tabuns has a solid environmental background, and there are many local activists like Justin Duncan of Ecojustice. There are initiatives like The Ravina Project on Ravina Crescent. There needs to be a transition to a blue-green economy, and that means more blue-collar jobs. The Port Lands, for instance, how will they develop in a sustainable and also vibrant way?”

Aside from the environment, the growing youth population in Toronto-Danforth is a priority for Scott.

“More and more young families are moving in, and I want to engage them, make sure they see themselves as part of the future. Housing conditions in some areas need to be improved, and tenants’ rights need to be protected. This should be coordinated across all levels of government,” he said.

After he’s through worrying about his own election, Scott will turn his thoughts to the NDP leadership race. He’s still torn over which candidate to support.

“I haven’t decided who I want the next NDP leader to be,” he said. “There are a number of qualified people.”


  • Amie

    What? No interjection by Peter Tabuns?

  • Anonymous

    I dislike the politically correct and usually registered lobbyists of the environmental kind. I usually think of cash registers when i see them

    • Anonymous

      Concern troll is concerned.

  • Dimetre Alexiou

    When is the next Meet the Toronto Danforth Candidate piece happening?

    • Anonymous

      Early next week.

  • CM

    Great- another public sector, leftist trougher queuing up for the $160K plus pension and bennies.

    /is it impossible for a Canadian with a solid private sector business success background to run for the HoC?

    • GZ

      He’s a law professor, I don’t think he’s particularly hard up for cash.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Here is an progressive idea for Craig Scott to accept and help implement in the NDP caucus:

    Progressive Gas Tax
    Its time has come & it is now!
    Canadians have one of the highest Carbon foot print on our planet & we must try hard to reduce it to avoid or at least delay climate change.
    1. Carbon tax and cap & trade are too difficult to explain to folks busy with their daily lives. Gas tax – everyone already knows!
    2. If we support progressive income tax for social equity, then why not progressive gas tax for social and environmental equity?
    3. Progressive tax will increase gas tax rate based on vehicle weight and horsepower. So, Hummers may pay 10[?] times the gas tax rate as of smart cars. Step-up tax rate needs to be ascertained.
    4. Why? – Heavier [bigger] cars & powerful engines consume more gas, produce more pollution, and cause more road damage & fatal accidents. Also need more space to park.
    5. It provides badly needed additional tax revenues stream for public transit and bike lanes. Smaller cars will need narrower car lanes making room for bike lanes. Bikers are healthier and reduce health costs too!
    6. More trailers when you need, rather than large cars always!
    7. Start with large urban areas first and then phase in smaller cities, towns and villages etc. What a way to save our healthy environment, your bank balance and turn our national deficit into a surplus?

    Chaitanya [CHAI] Kalevar

    Ask your favourite candidate will s/he support Progressive Gas tax or allow climate change to make our planet become inhabitable?

    I will be happy to discuss it with you.