I have lived in what is now Ward 3 for close to thirty years and have witnessed first hand it's decline and recent revitalisation. When I first moved here it was like for many to live closer to work and it's inexpensive housing. Sadly most of the major employers have left or are in the process of leaving leading to the disappearance of thousands of good jobs.
As a result of this decline in employment, banks and retailers abandoned the area, however with the explosive growth in condo townhouse and in fill development, areas of Ward 3 are being revitalised resulting in the return of banks and retailers.
While there are many pluses in this there are many negatives, Skyrocketing housing costs are driving out many long term residents, huge increases in traffic which will only worsen as the many new developments open and no transit improvements in the works.
Making matters worse is there doesn't seem to be a plan in place to deal with any of these issues which brings me to our current councilor ( not to forget about the departing DiCiano of the defunct Ward 5) Mark Grimes.
To say that Grimes has been ethically challenged would be an understatement. From appearing in promotional videos for developers to being censured by the integrity commissioner and under review by the OPP for allegedly accepting and failing to declare $40,000 in local polling data in the last election from the developer who employs DiCiano's twin brother it is clear that Mark Grimes represents his own interests and not ours.
It is also important to note that Grimes as chair of the CNE board is responsible for the lock out of stage hands and the subsequent hiring of out of province scabs in the service of large corporations.
Those are all good reasons to vote against Grimes but I believe it is most important to vote for something and someone. It is the only way to effect actual change through the ballot box, which brings me to Amber Morley.
While I have not personally met Ms. Morley I have spoken to several people who have and they all speak glowingly of her , of her experience at city hall, of her community involvement and activism. She has also garnered several endorsements from publications like NOW and the Toronto Star.
Amber Morley grew up in this community and understands our issues, she is young knowledgeable and energetic all of which we need at city hall. I will be voting for Amber Morley on Monday and I ask my neighbors to consider doing so as well.