Snapshots of first-time candidates for city council.
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.”