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6 Comments

politics

Meet a Council Candidate: JP Boutros, Ward 16

Snapshots of first-time candidates for city council.

image

JP Boutros, former advisor to the TTC chair, rides the rocket. Photo courtesy of JP Boutros.

Candidate: Jean-Pierre Boutros (age 41)

Ward: 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence), an open seat after incumbent Karen Stintz registered to run for mayor

Background: Boutros grew up in Don Mills, attended Crescent School, and later graduated from Carleton University. From 1998 until 2010, he ran a Formula 1 management and promotion company, but he then accepted the position as senior TTC advisor to Chair Karen Stintz. He speaks English, French, Greek, and Italian fluently, and enjoys watching UFC matches and the works of Joss Whedon.

Why are you running for council? “I know my community and my community knows me—my neighbours know me. I know the environment to advocate on their behalf in. It’s the perfect symbiotic joining of the two. I believe I’m the best candidate, and I want my friends and neighbours represented. And I have such love doing what I have been doing with Karen for so long. Learning about all 44 wards in the city, so I’m not going to come into this—if I’m so fortunate to win—with a purely parochial attitude toward it.”

“I understand a lot about what we’re doing here in Ward 16…but the real big thing I can bring to the table is that the southern part of Ward 16 is the Eglinton Crosstown, and it’s the biggest infrastructure project in Toronto’s history, and I know all the players. Whenever there’s an issue, I’m the person who knows these people already, knows where the issues could end up being…the transformation of the neighbourhood is basically going to make it Yonge and Bloor in 20 years. We have no second chances on this–it has to be done right.”

Priorities for Ward 16: “Anything related to schools is a big deal. Whether it’s commuting around them, parking around them, walking to them, schools are a huge deal. The other thing is development…developers and development are a big issue around here, whether it’s small or large. I’m not comfortable with the OMB, and there’s this movement of some to abolish it outright. But my personal opinion, and I haven’t heard this bandied about, is that we can’t just have an abolition of the OMB, but we must become, excuse the expression, masters of our own house, and maybe create a TMB–a Toronto Municipal Board…In harmony with the official plan, with development going forward, maybe we just have Torontonians themselves and something like Toronto community council adjudicate such things.”

Comments

  • Patrick Smyth

    Even knowing this much now, I still don’t get how somebody from the racing car business can become a senior policy advisor on transit. I would have imagined somebody with actual transit experience would have been a better spend these past three years. At least this fellow can claim that he had nothing to do with the neglect of Ward 16 since first the local councillor started preparing for a run for mayor in 2007. He’s correct about development. It has run rampant and uncontrolled since Karen Stintz approved of closing-in the only remaining open space at Yonge and Eglinton. Have a look at the NEON building too and see how much of our public realm was gifted to the developer. The local councillor approved of that too.

    • atomicnumbermuncher

      Ya, why do we have business-bros working in senior management for transit planning?! I’d expect this sort of position to go to a P.Eng. with transit experience or similar. Bragging about knowing all the players sounds suspicious – if something needs to be done there should be a process, no ‘knowing’ people to get things done… Maybe I’m missing something?

      • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

        “[A] P.Eng. with transit experience”? Now you have two problems.

        • AlyssaMoh

          You mean two brilliant solutions?
          More engineers should run for council. But they’d probably get frustrated with councils inability to examine facts or base decisions on sound principles, and instead rely on casting runes or shouting matches.

      • Lukas

        Bureaucracy. It is the difference between calling 311 for a water issue and calling a motivated Councillor’s office – the latter can (I emphasize ‘can’) actually get someone to attend to an important issue by bugging the right person, rather than just formally receiving it then dragging heels.

  • Konstantine

    Not my ward, but this guy does seem intelligent. I hope he is the sort to not only know is constituency, but listen to them as well.