Snapshots of first-time candidates for city council.
Candidate: Alex Mazer (age 34)
Ward: 18 (Davenport), currently represented by Ana Bailão
Background: Grew up in P.E.I., undergrad at McMaster and law school at Harvard, former policy director for provincial finance minister Dwight Duncan, co-founder of Better Budget Toronto.
Why are you running for council? “In some ways bad things create opportunities for good things… There’s a question that people have to ask of their current councillors. If they’re not happy with the way city council’s been working, which I think a lot of people aren’t, then the question has to be, ‘Has my councillor been part of the problem?’ I don’t think the answer is clear enough with the current councillor… Councillor Bailão has voted the wrong way on some pretty important issues—probably the Scarborough subway is the leading example, in my mind. But there’s also stuff like the Jarvis bike lane, or eliminating the vehicle registration tax—things that are pretty key to our mayor’s agenda.”
“I also think there’s a question of if things are being done proactively, are opportunities being seized, are people looking at Ward 18 as a leader in the city?”
On the wish list for local improvements: The West Toronto Railpath, which Mazer would love to see further developed, and considered not just a recreational space but part of a “green transportation network.” If elected he plans to work to enhance the space by layering in infrastructure and amenities such as cafes and shared workspaces.