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politics

John Tory and Karen Stintz Will Both Run for Mayor

Both will register Monday as the 2014 mayoral campaign begins to get crowded and competitive.

John Tory moderating a by election debate in November, 2013  Photo by Joseph Morris from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

John Tory moderating a by-election debate in November, 2013. Photo by Joseph Morris from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Councillor Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) and talk radio show host John Tory plan to register as candidates for mayor on Monday, which means the 2014 campaign will now begin in earnest. Stintz and Tory join incumbent Rob Ford and former budget chief David Soknacki as the four high-profile candidates to register thus far. Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow is widely expected to join the race at a later date, and could be the only high-profile left-wing candidate to do so.

Stintz and Tory registering on the same day highlights a pitched battle for disaffected Rob Ford voters–people who support the mayor’s fiscal agenda, but disapprove of his personal conduct and stance on social issues. Both Stintz and Tory have enlisted teams of political operatives that largely consist of Conservatives and Liberals. Stintz’s team includes Liberal strategists Don Guy and Dave Gene, and Conservative Paul Brown. Tory’s includes controversial former Ford strategist Nick Kouvalis, former Kathleen Wynne advisor Tom Allison, and veteran Conservative John Capobianco. Stintz and Tory both seriously considered running for mayor in 2010 before choosing not to join the race. Tory came a close second to David Miller in the 2003 race for mayor, ultimately losing by five points.

Both candidates are framing their candidacies around their ability to manage the City’s beleaguered transit file, keep taxes low, and not be Rob Ford.

Co-ordinated leaks to the media on Sunday night revealed that highlights of the Tory campaign would include a push to end “political gridlock” and build the subway relief line to relieve congestion. The line was referred to as the “Yonge St. Relief Line,” likely to avoid the notion that it is a subway line designed for downtowners. Ford has made this his third subway priority, after Sheppard East and Finch West; on Friday, David Soknacki indicated that even if the relief line were to be excluded, Ford’s plan would double the City’s debt.


John Tory for Mayor of Toronto—Campaign Launch Video

Stintz, TTC Chair in the past council term, will make transit front and centre in her campaign. While Ford takes credit for the much debated three-stop subway extension, it was the Ward 16 councillor that effectively led the effort. But because she led a 2012 effort to restore LRT plans along Eglinton, Sheppard, Finch and in Scarborough, Stintz will be framed as a flip-flopper, and lacks trust on both council’s left and right. For his part, Tory will likely face accusations of indecisiveness.

Tory joining the race is a big blow to the Stintz campaign. Polling by Forum Research over the past three months shows Stintz is competitive in polls with Ford and Soknacki, winning four of the past eight times, with the numbers in a January 22nd poll being 36 per cent for Ford, 29 per cent for Stintz, and 19 per cent for Soknacki [PDF]. But Stintz’s results drop precipitously when Tory, who has stronger approval ratings and higher name recognition, is added to the mix. In the past six Forum polls that added John Tory to a poll that included Stintz, Soknacki, and Ford, Stintz’s numbers fell by an average of 43 per cent. The January 22 poll with the four major registered candidates puts Ford at 32 per cent, Tory at 31 per cent, Stintz at 18 per cent and Soknacki at eight per cent. Competing against more high-profile candidates like Tory and Chow, the challenge for Stintz will be to assert herself not just as a viable “anyone but Ford” candidate, but as someone who is the first choice of voters because of her record and vision.

It will also be important for Stintz, Tory, and Soknacki to distinguish themselves from one another, as these three candidates will compete for the same pool of centre-right voters, particularly those who do not want Ford but find Chow too left wing for their liking. In the last two competitive mayoral elections, 2010 and 2003, the field effectively narrowed down to two to three candidates in the last month of the campaign. If history is any guide, financial and political support might focus on one candidate.

Even before both Tory and Stintz have both registered, the attacks have already begun. Almost as soon as Tory announced his intention to run, Doug Ford spoke to Newstalk 1010. Doug, the campaign manager for Rob, claimed that the other mayoral candidates weren’t really right wing, accused the radio station that gave him and his brother a weekly two-hour unfiltered show of being biased against the Fords and implied the hosts of the show were campaigning for Tory.

After Ford repeatedly claimed Newstalk’s hosts weren’t objective, but that he and Rob had been when they’d been running their show, co-host Edward Keenan said, “You keep using that word, and I’m not sure you know what it means, Doug.”

There are 244 days until the election.

Comments

  • dsmithhfx

    Elephant in the room: Scarborough subway extension.

    • nevilleross

      Big fat stinky white elephant that will end up being a noose around the neck of the city, that taxpayers, and a future mayor

  • Angie Mac

    I was going to go back and pull a quote or two from the radio program to show how it was a completely unobjective. Then I thought, that would require listening to that show again. Please nobody call me on it. The show was incredibly unobjective. Trust me. Don’t make me listen again.

    • MaryL

      You’ve summed up my feelings about listening to any Ford nation radio or YouTube show.

      But the holy grail of “objectivity” aside, what matters are facts. Ryan really had been on Team Ford for years, and he’s still inclined to cut them some slack on various matters. But he also has eyes, ears and a brain, and to suggest, as Doug did, that he was hopelessly unobjective, especially after the past year of extra special WTF from Rob, is just silly.

  • OgtheDim

    Edward Keenan as Inigo Montoya?

    • Lee Zamparo

      Love it. A younger Joe Pantalone might have served as the Dread Pirate Roberts, but in this council I don’t think we’ve got one.

  • OgtheDim

    Quoted this morning in the Globe

    “We’ve decided on building a Scarborough subway. We’ve got to get on with that….”

    And with that he loses my vote.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      As long as he’s stealing votes from Ford…

      • OgtheDim

        Chow needs to get beyond her base as well.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          She would have to run for mayor for that to be a consideration. She isn’t in the race (yet).

          • dsmithhfx

            I’m struggling to see an upside for her in running, personally or politically.

          • Guest

            Upside… after October she can spend more time with her kids

          • dsmithhfx

            Beats pounding a crack pipe, I guess.

          • Ren596

            LOL

          • OgtheDim

            She’s all but in. Let the right wing people bash on each other a bit and then come in as the reasoned one.

            Just don’t use a broom this time.

    • Astin44

      The problem with changing the subway back to an LRT from a political standpoint is the federal contribution. The feds have earmarked $660 mil specifically for the extension. The argument will be if the switch is made back to LRT (which just extends how bad Council looks on the transit file), then that money will probably be taken away, unable to be reallocated to someplace it’s actually needed.

      The whole thing is a farce. It should be LRT, and would be if not for Ford’s propagandizing. The fact he was ultimately successful has now really mucked up the political waters surrounding this.

      • MaryL

        Wasn’t the LRT funded solely from provincial money? The fed money came in only for the subway extension. While it would be nice to have the extra, we can build an LRT without it.

        • OgtheDim

          Or the Relief Line (which the TTC and Metrolinx are insisting only goes up to Bloor but REALLY needs to go up to at least Don Mills and Eglinton.

          • Steve Munro

            The feds have $300m earmarked for Sheppard, nominally for the LRT project (or whatever). This dates back to Transit City days when Sheppard was a high priority project.

          • MaryL

            Steve, is the Scarborough LRT money all provincial, no feds, or are the feds contributing only to the Sheppard LRT/whatever and the Scarborough subway-not-LRT?

        • Ren596

          The Province Would Carried The Majority of the Cost.
          The ONLY cost to the TTC would be in the manpower needed to operate the trains.

      • dsmithhfx

        Forgetting that even with the fed’s contribution, local taxpayers are still on the hook for $1-billion in new taxes to get the new subway extension in Scarborough. If we revert to the LRT option, that tax increase will go away.

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          But that tax increase will likely return when we start talking seriously about the DRL. At which point, I’m sure there’ll be a good round of bickering by people who won’t want to fund a subway “downtown”.

          • tomwest

            Really, it should be called the “Danforth-Scarborough relief line” – as those are people it will benefit.

          • dsmithhfx

            Yes it will. Imagine how unwelcome it would be if it were on top of an entirely needless Scarborough increase. And the feds would gleefully proclaim they were already tapped out on account of that contribution.

            This only gets much worse for political supporters of the Scarborough subway option — including those who think “we” have already decided. Better lance it now, and run the risk of being accused of ‘flip-flopping’, than wear it through a whole election campaign of common-sense-and-math water torture.

          • Angie Mac

            One thing’s guaranteed, no matter what his campaign says, the downtown relief line is NOT a priority with Ford. Back in October he did an interview where he stated, “The people of downtown have enough subways.”

            Once Rob’s got something in his head, he doesn’t shake it.

            He still thinks Transit City was a plan to build streetcars all over the city.

          • Ren596

            It’s only the eastern part of Line
            So its Really YRL it will help ONLY with Capacity on the Yonge Line YRL

      • leslieville

        As mentioned, the LRT was fully funded by the province.
        This included any cost overruns as well as any operational losses.
        For operational losses, just look to the Sheppard line as an example of what it is costing the taxpayers of Toronto.
        Federal money is a carrot and with that the taxpayers of Toronto get a massive bill, courtesy of the Ford family.

        • Astin44

          I get all this. I’m just pointing out that from a purely political standpoint, it’s become trickier to go back to the LRT because of the added federal funding. This came up when Matlow proposed putting the subway tax into escrow while getting a better cost breakdown for the extension. The Scarborough Councillors jumped all over him.

          So it’s basically another bullet in the pro-Subway chamber. Anyone running for Mayor who thinks they need Scarborough to win will stick with the subway.

          Never mind that LRT would save everyone money, and make the relief line a more viable possibility.

          • OgtheDim

            But its not in stone.

            The federal funds are part of an infrastructure option that the city decided to ask for to use on that subway plan.

            In reality, the money can be spent however the feds want to.

            And given the EA for the line won’t be ready until after the next fed election, the commitment means nothing.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Why is it trickier? I’m sure the feds would be happy to put that money towards another infrastructure project. It’s not like a lot of money has been spent on the subway extension. They have yet to get started on an EA.

          • nevilleross

            This is why I was against Tory being in the election in the first place. Now, his presence is going to fuck up anything about Transit City being developed.

      • Angie Mac

        I loved the latest YouTube video. Doug comments that there are no major cities using this “antiquated streetcar system” (referring to the previously proposed light rail system.)

        He’s absolutely right, if you don’t count Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Bucharest, Madrid, Lausanne, Mexico City, Monterrey, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, LA, Newark, Pittsburgh, Seattle…

        Doug Ford logic.

    • Angie Mac

      Wasted how much time debating it? In my opinion, we should have just gone with the plans we had for Transit City then had the debate for a subway in a few years. It totally would have been possible, and (I think) the best decision.
      Essentially, what we’ve done is taken a grander scale proposal that would have cost the city nothing (save provincial taxes) and replaced it with something that is smaller scale and is going to cost the taxpayers a lot more. For what reasons? Did the people of Scarborough demand it? Not really, I don’t think. I live in Scarborough, and the new subway proposal only touches a small portion of the suburb. If you’re out at Markham Road, Kingston Road, Scarborough Golf club or anything east of McCowan, you’re still going to be taking the bus.

      I like John Tory, but I agree with you. If he doesn’t at least analyze the situation a little more, this has lost my vote too. Soknacki for mayor?

      • leslieville

        If not the LRT, I think even retrofitting the existing SRT to fit the same trains as used on Sheppard.
        The cost of retrofitting was much lower, as you were utilizing existing faclities and rebuilding the train bed.
        If you need to hve it covered for snow related issues, that is a relatively low cost too.
        Create this to Scarborough and look to expand the Sheppard line to meet it. This would create a loop through Scarborough from the Danforth line to the Yonge line and be much more useful than a multi-billion dollar voter grab, at the expense of the rest of the coty.

        With the existing SRT, something to consider, the daily ridership is lower than the King Streetcar.

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Can’t retrofit the SRT. It’s different technology than LRT. The tracks and signalling need to be replaced and the stations widened. I’m sure if this could be done then Metrolinx would’ve proposed it rather than force people onto express buses for 3 years while the LRT is built.

  • MaryL

    I’d like to know how he’s planning to finance the DRL and the Scarborough travesty at the same time. I mean, I can see how it could be a difficult political task to sell the concept of going back to the Scarborough LRT plan without triggering the carefully nurtured sense of resentment about the issue. But this is just pandering.

    This would be a good time for the Socknacki team to install the Plain Speaking Chip.

    • HotDang

      I’d like to know how he’s planning to finance the DRL and the Scarborough travesty at the same time.

      Probably in the same way that Rob Ford plans to fund building multiple subways at the same time.

    • Steveinto

      The extension of the Bloor/Danforth subway is not going to happen. It was never planned to happen. It is a political strategy to get Rob Ford reelected funded by he feds, and the province as it turn out.
      It’s pathetic to see how all parties and politician especially those that oppose Rob Ford have decided to join the reelection campaign.

  • hamish wilson

    It’s encouraging to have a broader field; and also have serious discussions about our transick, and the tax hikes and mathemagics some use with their sub-braying. Also badly needed is a real discussion about how we subsidize cars: one older figure is an annual avoided cost of $2700 per car per year, coming from Vancouver. Both GO and the TTC have user fees; pretty high ones too comparatively. When are we going to do a car services review, and look at the car-avy?

    • VictorianShuter

      um, thanks for the purple pun-ditry, Bicycle Man! :)

  • OpportKnocks

    Based on the rational articulation of public policy, Soknacki should easily be number one…. but this is an election in Toronto.

    Tory supporting the Scarborough 3-stop? Say goodnight John.

    • nevilleross

      This is why I hate and dread his ((Tory’s) running for mayor in the first place. We don’t need people like him anymore, but people who are willing to spend as much money as they can to improve the lives of Torontonians.

  • leslieville

    Doug Ford loves to tell everyone what they are and not letting anyone define themselves.
    It’s also funny hearing him talking about how the Ford supporters stopped listening because it was so ‘negative’.
    Wow, both he and his brother are such self-centered egomaniacs.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      They have selective memories. I recall the Fords attacking civil servants from their bully pulpit(Medical Officer of Health) branding other councillors “two steps left of Stalin” and calling the media “maggots”. When it comes to going negative the Fords are in their own league.

    • Jacob

      It’s true, though.

      Ford supporters have plugged their ears to all negative press about him. It’s really amazing how devoted they are to their self-styled “working class hero”.

      • Konstantine

        I’m surprised people need fridge magnets that badly.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          They have it on good authority that magnets are magic.

    • OpportKnocks

      The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” defines the Ford’s condition as Narcissistic Personality Disorder >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    • Angie Mac

      My husband and his mates were goofing around one day and came up with the Rob Ford/Doug Ford drinking game.

      For Doug Ford, you must take a drink when he says
      - anything involving a goose or gander
      - number one/highest ranking whatever
      - you’re not fooling anyone
      - he’s talked to many many many people
      - anything involving glass houses

      There were more, but I can’t recall them right now. We came to the conclusion that Rob plays the Doug Ford drinking game.

      • Konstantine

        My capacity for alcohol is no where near that high.

  • Lee Zamparo

    Well that was a weird 7.5 minutes. It was particularly bizarre to hear Doug admit that Ford had been campaigning for over a year, when by law the campaign can only begin January 2. Nothing will come of it, to be sure, but what I find striking is that he’s too stupid to realize it was a faux pas.