Pending City of Toronto 2022 Election - meet the candidates

October 17, 2022

As we all know, our 2022 Election is in motion. As your representatives, we created a series of questions we posed to the candidates of the two wards (Wards 8 & 12) to help better inform everyone of who the candidates are and what they stand for.

Not all candidates responded to the inquiry, but below is what we have received as of Sunday Oct 16.

Ward 12

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? (Your career background, family, etc.)

Josh Matlow: I grew up in midtown Toronto, including here in Cedarvale. My wife’s name is Melissa and we have a 9 year old daughter, Molly.

Bryan Ashworth: I grew up in North Toronto near Mount Pleasant and Lawrence with my parents and 2 older brothers. I attended Bedford, Glenview and Northern Secondary in the city, had many part-time jobs and participated in many different sports. After graduating Northern I got a Diploma from Georgian College then went to a private university in Michigan named Northwood University to get my BA. Most of my work experience has been in business working in the automotive sector. I've held many different jobs from training to marketing to sales. In-between a couple automotive jobs, I helped my brother open a restaurant on the Danforth. 

Bob Murphy: I’m a legal writer, and I’ve worked in law for a number of years.

Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

Josh Matlow: My family and live here in Toronto-St. Paul’s in the Davisville Village neighbourhood. We’ve lived in the area for more than a decade.

Bryan Ashworth: I currently live near Davisville and Yonge with my partner and our 4 year old daughter who attends Davisville Public School. Oddly enough we moved in March of 2020. 

Bob Murphy: I live at Yonge & Glencairn. I’ve lived there for 30 years. I attended North Toronto Collegiate and DeerPark School.

How long have you been in the political world and in what roles? 

Josh Matlow: I’ve been involved in politics and active in our community, beginning as our school trustee in 2003 and then was elected to city council in 2010.

Bryan Ashworth: I have always had an interest in politics because my father had many different roles federally and provincially. 

Bob Murphy: I’ve been heavily involved in local politics for years. I worked on Diane Poole’s campaign for a short time back in the day.

What compelled you to run in this year’s election? 

Josh Matlow: Because I love our community and it’s where my wife and are raising our daughter. There are several important initiatives, locally and on a city-wide policy level, that we are working on that I care deeply about. I also believe it will be important to hold the current mayor and council to account, along with fighting for those of us who live in communities, and operate businesses, severely affected by Metrolinx’s construction along Eglinton.

Bryan Ashworth:  After seeing not many people wanted to be elected for Councillor positions, I wanted to make sure to hold the incumbent to account. I would like to give the people of Toronto-St Paul's another option.

Bob Murphy: I want to address the density plan, the development, the population growth. I will fight for a balance of affordable housing, infrastructure, public transportation, etc.

What are your main platform issues?

Josh Matlow: Making Toronto more affordable, accessible and age-friendly.Improving services, infrastructure, transit and park space. Raising standard son basic city services such as snow removal, park maintenance, waste bins and roads. Focusing on the many, and diverse, needs of each of our neighbourhoods in Toronto-St. Paul’s 

Bryan Ashworth:  Here are a few priorities but not limited to: Affordable Housing, EaseCongestion, Parks and Amenities, Civility - Positive Politics, Safer andCleaner Streets, Electrifying the City Fleet

BobMurphy: Local issues such as stopping the gentrification of LittleJamaica; addressing zoning by-laws that conflict with communities of great cultural heritage significance; focusing on neighbourhood safety, and the purpose of properties such as Roehampton Hotel


How do you think you can best advocate for the Cedarvale/Upper Village neighbourhoods?

Josh Matlow:  I will continue working closely with the Cedarvale and Upper Village Community Group on the challenges we’re facing due to Metrolinx’s construction on Eglinton, continue to work closely with our local synagogues and always stand together against antisemitism, support a comprehensive neighbourhood traffic plan, invest in improvements to local parks including the ravine, and advocate for a design for Eglinton that supports a vibrant, beautiful and successful streetscape while incentivizing drivers to choose it as a preferred route, rather than our local neighbourhood streets.

Bryan Ashworth:  I would like to work in collaboration with all community groups, The City Manager,Deputy City Managers and City Staff to find efficiencies to better provide Toronto-StPaul's the services and resources they deserve. 

Bob Murphy: I won’t accept nonsense from city staff (including planners). I’m not a member of a specific party. I will find out why things go wrong when they do. I will hold accountable those who don’t follow the laws of the Planning Act, etc. and I will hold accountable those who don’t keep their promises.


Ward 8 

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

(Your career background, family, etc.)

Mike Colle: Mike has served as Member of Provincial Parliament and CityCouncillor in Eglinton-Lawrence (Ward 8) and is seeking re-election. Mike is a life-long marathon runner with a personal best time of 3:29. Mike and his wifeSharon have four children, seven grandchildren, and their Bernedoodle dog,Sunny.

As an elected official, Mike has successfully championed and succeeded in: Red Light Camera Legislation; Protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine and creating the Greenbelt; Legislation making May Jewish Heritage Month in Ontario; Bill 142 - Pregnancy and Infant Loss;  Creation of Little Jamaica Cultural District; Creation of the Yonge and Eglinton Construction Safety Hub; Creating Toronto Police Service’s Anti Auto Theft and Carjacking Task Force; Forming Canada's first Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response Teams.

Evan Sambasivam: Born & raised in the Yonge-and-Lawrence area, and I'm the only candidate who currently lives in Eglinton-Lawrence. I graduated from Glenview Sr. P.S. & L.P.C.I. in the Extended French stream, and graduated from Queen's University with a B.A.H. in Applied Economics and a Certificate in Business. I have spent 7 years in the mental health sector. I spent 4 years with, a youth mental health advocacy charity that works with schools across the country to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and push for policy change at the administrative level. I spent the past 3 years as a consultant with Capitalize for Kids, a non-profit that helps youth mental health agencies reduce wait times, reduce staff burden, and improve quality of care with the resources they have.

Phil Davidovits: I am a consensus builder and established businessman, having started, managed and run several businesses. I know how to get things done.

Wendy Weston: My name is Wendy Weston and I was born and raised in Toronto to immigrant parents who provided a happy home. Running the little convenience store in front of Baycrest Hospital throughout the 80's into the 90's, Mr. and Mrs. Lee worked long hours to support me and my three older brothers. Though economic hardship had us move frequently, I was lucky to attend Pleasant PS, Fisherville Junior High, Newtonbrook, then York University with my friends and cohort through 18 address changes in and out of the Ward.


Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

Mike Colle: I was a long-time resident of the Ward, but now I live just outside the Ward in neighbouring Toronto-St. Paul’s

Evan Sambasivam: I live in Bedford Park, and have been in this home for 5 years. Prior to that, I lived in Lawrence Park South & attended school in Eglinton-Lawrence.

Phil Davidovits: I grew up in the Eglinton-Lawrence area and know the community and its members well.

Wendy Weston: I’ve lived east ofYonge and Eglinton with my husband and our three children since 2001.


How long have you been in the political world and in what roles? 

Mike Colle: Mike served as a councillor for the City of York and Metropolitan Toronto, where he served in roles as TTC commissioner andTTC Chair from 1988 to 1994. Mike Colle then served as the Liberal MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence from 1995-2018. Mike Colle returned to municipal politics and has been the city councillor for Ward 8 — Eglinton-Lawrence since 2018.

Evan Sambasivam: I volunteered on my first political campaign in 2003, when my Aunt (Deb Matthews)first ran to be the MPP in London North Centre. I have also volunteered on campaigns for Jaye Robinson, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and Arlena Hebert. My work in the mental health sector required me to work with representatives of the provincial government.

Phil Davidovits: As Chairman for the Peel-Halton-Niagara Chapter of AmCham (the AmericanChamber of Commerce) I helped bolster cross-border trade and job creation.

Wendy Weston: As a Constituency Issues professional and Special Assistant to the 25th Premier of Ontario and Member of Provincial Parliament for DonValley West, I worked to bring the concerns of constituents and stakeholders to government ministries and helped resolve matters for those who live, work or play in the riding. My extensive knowledge of howGovernment works is from the almost 8 years of experience facilitating communications between constituents, stakeholders and the province.

What compelled you to run in this year’s election? 

Mike Colle: Over the last 4 years, we have accomplished so much, including the creation of Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response Teams and the formation of a dedicated Anti Auto Theft/Carjacking unit (Toronto PoliceService) to combat auto theft and carjacking.

We have also fought to get approval for:

·      A new Reena 19 storey residence for persons with developmental disabilities;

·      A 30% increase of density in the Lawrence Heights Revitalization;

·      Affordable housing projects for the Shortt Street parking lot at Dufferin and Eglinton and at the Allen and Eglinton.

Evan Sambasivam: In 2020, I lost one of my oldest friends to complications of homelessness and mental health. The city's approach is failing, both with respect to expenditure and outcome. We could spend fewer resources and save more lives if we divert funds to supportive housing, as it will result in fewer people in hospital beds and jail cells, remove people from unsafe situations on the street, and reduce the burden on our shelter system that is currently at 98% capacity.

Phil Davidovits: I want to be your community advocate. I am not another career politician. I want to ensure the concerns of the more than 120,000 residents of Eglinton-Lawrence are heard at City Hall –not ignored.

Wendy Weston: Eglinton-Lawrence needs a fresh, energetic, modern voice at city hall.  One with the life, work and lived experience in the city; a professional who knows to follow rules and procedure, a creative, people centred politician.  Perhaps a nice lady like myself.

We need a different, more forward-thinking alternative. A collaborative and inclusive way to govern with voices collected from the community. Voices from YOU.  Organizers. Passionate advocates. Voices that live, work and play in the WARD who want a betterToronto.

I believe government is for all people. We’re changing and we need government to change with us. This can’t be an old boy’s club anymore. And to return an ‘ol boy to City Hall…keeps us from our best potential.   

I believe that our society is better when we help each other. In a city, I believe there are some who need help. Some need more help than others and some need help at different times. 

I believe when we give, we get back. We’re better when we all do better and I’m putting my name forth for public office with that value in my heart.

I know how government works for you. For constituents. And in this election, we can put party politics aside because municipal government affects you on the most personal and everyday level. 

Housing, Small Business, Jobs, Training and Learning Opportunities, Safety and Food Security, Arts, Culture and Recreation – Our Civic Engagement and Belonging, Our Environment – How are we Planning for Climate Change? How are we Getting Around, can we get Access and Connect?

We need a new city councillor to work with us - for us. Eglinton-Lawrence deserves a city councillor with the energy to challenge the status quo and reverse the years of decline and neglect that our city has experienced. Toronto City Council needs fresh blood because the city is getting stale and the direction we’re headed - stinks.

What are your main platform issues?

Mike Colle:

(1) Increasing the supply of affordable housing with the Lawrence Heights Revitalization, Reena Residence, Shortt Street parking lot proposal, and adding affordable, inclusionary zoning in all our new developments.

(2) Expansion of Mobile Mental Health Crisis Response Teams to respond to mental health and substance abuse emergencies including Fentanyl poisoning in the Eglinton Marlee area.

(3) Increasing neighbourhood policing to combat gun crimes, carjackings, hate crimes, and deal with traffic enforcement.

 Evan Sambasivam:

(1) Ending the affordability crisis - I was endorsed by More Neighbours Toronto for my evidence-informed approach to ending the housing crisis. They even went as far as listing me as the alternative to a housing villain.

(2) Responsible governance - Toronto is facing two seemingly contradictory crises - we have spent ourselves into a $857 million deficit, and basic services have been slashed (libraries, road repair, recreational programs, and park maintenance have seen cuts to name a few). I want to introduce an Economic Impact Office to conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis on every expenditure in the budget to ensure that the city is maximizing the utility of taxpayer dollars.

(3) Public safety - I was the first candidate to sign onto the Toronto CommunityBikeways Coalition's Road Safety Calls To Action, and the only candidate to be invited to speak at their rally for road safety. Beyond that, I have been publicly advocating for increased action on hate crimes, and have called out anti-Asian rhetoric in the community.

(4) Climate and Environment - I am the only candidate in the race to have committed to The Environmental Defence's litmus test for municipal candidates, and the first candidate to sign onto Toronto Environmental Alliance's pledge for greener cities.

Phil Davidovits:

(1) Construction- Instead of focusing on approving more new housing developments, I will: Focus on creating programs for the present homeowners to keep their homes; protect our green spaces and homes; prioritize finishing the 71 projects already approved in our community; minimize the road construction caused by stop-and-go construction; only look at project proposals to build a high-density affordable housing project once I understand what"affordable" means in a practical sense.

(2) Public Health - Access: OurProvincial Government has stated that there will be money to pay medical professionals, which is good news. I will work to use that funding to: Open transitional care housing for patients from our community who are moved out of the hospitals to Long Term Care Homes up to 300 kilometers away because they are not sick enough to be in the hospital but not well enough to be at home. If patients are so far away they will not have community support or easy access back into the hospital where they were treated; we need to bring in partners to create along-term care solution in our community based on the funding already allocated so we can keep our vulnerable in our community where we can take care of them.

(3) Public Health: Handling COVID - We need to ensure there is never another lockdown again; we need to continue to protect the vulnerable while moving on with our lives; I plan to help organize groups of doctors to determine what would be the optimal health care provisions for people of various ages and health profiles; each doctor should guide their patients individually rather than trying to follow a one-size-fits-all approach; we need to examine the funding already provided by the Provincial Government for Community and Long-term Care to help seniors or ill community members and have a platform to allow family or friends to have access to those monies to keep their family members at home.

(4) Police - The focus of Police should be to serve and protect us. Police activity should not used to create revenue for the City. We need to feel safe cooperating with police officers as well as other City organizations including bylaw officers and Toronto Public Health.  

(5) Helping the Homeless - For the homeless and people coping with mental illness, we need to provide them with shelter, food, and support. They should live with dignity. They should have opportunities to contribute to our community. We need to fix the short-term shelter system because it does not work. We need a community-based platform where the homeless can receive the services that they need.

(6) Employment- I want to help citizens who are prevented from working legally because of intractable bureaucracy to get jobs. I want to ensure that anyone living here legally has their paperwork completed in a timely manner.

(7) Grants to Small Businesses - Currently, the government is giving out billions of dollars to large corporations to help them after the lockdown. Small business owners got hurt by the lockdown too and need government support. Grants should be given to small businesses. I will fight to ensure businesses in our community are given the same opportunities as the Province is providing to large manufacturers and corporations. 

Wendy Weston: My vision for Toronto is to create change through collaborative and supportive relationships to build and grow the city we love.In this urban vision, there are parks, comfortable benches to sit and relax, wide pathways, space to move and reflect. Arts and culture thrive and there’s a place for everyone to call home.  It’s welcoming, clean and safe. 
Constituents in Eglinton-Lawrence need a modern voice at City Hall to help create a midtown for us all. My voice on the ballot in Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence will speak for: 

The poor, the sick, the old and frail, the disabled, the hungry, the angry, the sad, the tired.
Kids and babies, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas in the city.
Young people, seniors, the voice for singles, couples, the voice that speaks broken English, the voice that just wants to make it.
The ordinary extraordinary communities working together for a better life for themselves, their family, and their city. 

I will use my position as a Toronto City Councillor in Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence to be a voice for you. Toronto is beautiful and I'm listening because your story resonates with me. Please support my vision for Toronto and vote Wendy Weston on October 24, 2022.

How do you think you can best advocate for the Cedarvale/Upper Village neighbourhoods?

Mike Colle: Calling for a Public Inquiry and reparations due to the delay of the completion of the Eglinton Crosstown recently announced by Metrolinx. Local residents in the Cedarvale/Upper Village neighbourhoods need to be compensated for years of living through construction and traffic congestion. Metrolinx must give us the truth about the repeated delays and how they are going to end the construction.

Evan Sambasivam: As the only candidate who lives in Eglinton-Lawrence, I have a vested interest in ensuring better outcomes for residents. I have spoken to countless residents who have been frustrated by the Crosstown's impact on businesses and traffic, and have received no help from current representatives. I want to ensure that we protect the small businesses on Eglinton-West that make the community vibrant, and ensure that we create enough affordable housing so that longtime residents are not pushed out of the area.

Phil Davidovits: I will focus on providing my constituents with a better quality of life. I am committed to ensuring that the community flourishes and thrives. There is a pressing need to protect the vulnerable. I will make this one of my key priorities.

Wendy Weston:

Before Metrolinx announced their latest delay, TMU Journalism Grad Student Mahsa and I discussed the LRT Construction project and how its impacted small businesses for her course “Covering TheCity”.

Advocating for Cedarvale/Upper Village neighbourhoods would focus on the businesses and how they can be supported through to the end of the LRT construction and the Allan Road traffic/Eglinton West Station pedestrian “mad scramble”.

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Pending City of Toronto 2022 Election - meet the candidates

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