New poll show John Tory still leads mayoral race. Doug Ford booed by Jewish community at last nights debate. TTC to add more trains to rush hour service. Private Liberty Village express bus service to begin today. Lisa MacLeod to enter Ontario PC leadership race.
POLL: TORY STILL LEADS IN MAYORAL RACE
With 3 weeks to go until election day a new poll suggest John Tory will be Toronto’s next mayor. The Mainstreet Technologies poll had Tory increase his lead to 42% support with Doug Ford at 28% and Olivia Chow slipping to 19%. 11% of voters remain undecided. Tory’s lead increases among decided voters to 47% to Ford’s 31% and Chow’s 22%.
DOUG FORD GETS BOOED BY JEWISH COMMUNITY AT DEBATE
Candidates Olivia Chow, Doug Ford, John Tory and Ari Goldkind faced off Sunday night in a debate sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and United Jewish Appeal. Most of the vitriol from all candidates was focused on John Tory and his Smart Track plan. Chow and Tory got into a heated back and forth regarding the exact cost of his 22 stop plan, specifically tunneling which Tory didn’t have a complete answer for. Doug Ford came under fire at the debate when candidates were asked what they would do to make Toronto a safer place for the Jewish community. Ari Goldkind, a lesser-known mayoral candidate who is Jewish, responded the question by refocusing attention to alleged slurs made by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford earlier this year. “We cannot have a mayor like that, because that is where it starts,” said Goldkind. Doug Ford refused to directly address Goldkind’s statement while brother Rob sat quitely in the audience. “I’m not going to address your comment,” Doug Ford said. “You know something, my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer, my Jewish accountant…” The crowd booed loudly as they took Ford’s comments as a blatant stereotype. Ford continued over the uproar adding, “Our family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community, and we look forward to working with the Jewish community, as we have for the last four years.” Ford then went on to claim his brother had already acknowledged the slurs, saying, “He has apologized for those statements. I have told him very clearly that it was unacceptable and inexcusable.” The Toronto Star reported that in March 2014, the mayor made the following comment about blacks, Italians and Jews: “Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f—ing k–e, n—-r, f—ing w-p, d-go, whatever the race. Nobody does. I’m the most racist guy around. I’m the mayor of Toronto.” Neither Ford spoke with media after the debate. Another debate is scheduled tonight at Centennial College.
TTC TO ADD MORE TRAINS TO RUSH HOUR SERVICE
The Toronto Star says the TTC will be adding trains to its rush hour service after the Thanksgiving weekend. The plan is to give riders more space on subway platforms during peak hours and to cut travel times in off-peak hours. The plan will see 2 new trains added to the each of the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth Lines during rush hour. Each train carries about 1,200 riders, meaning there should be more space on the platforms. The TTC’s new deputy COO, Mike Palmer has also tweaked the train and crew scheduling to help reduce overtime costs.
PRIVATE LIBERTY VILLAGE EXPRESS BUS TO BEGIN SERVICE TODAY
A group residents fed up with waiting for the city to provide adequate transit will begin a pilot project of their own today. The privately run Liberty Village Express will begin service this morning dropping off frustrated residents at Union Station. The first bus is scheduled to pick up about 50 residents at 7 a.m. and there are 4 return trips scheduled with the last at 9:15 a.m. The organizers, 23 year old Brett Chang and 24 year old Taylor Scollon came up with the concept after hearing neighbours transit horror stories. The 504 King streetcar is the busiest streetcar route in the city, carrying on average 60,000 people per day and is often too crowded to pick up Liberty Village residents. Commuters will donate $25 per week for five rides — which is $2 more per ride than the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) $3 token. So far the Line Six Transit has signed on 64 backers and raised $2775. The service runs this week and if successful will continue to operate.
LISA MACLEOD TO ENTER PC LEADERSHIP RACE
Ottawa MPP Lisa MacLeod has announced her bid to succeed Tim Hudak. MacLeod will officially launch her campaign for the leadership of the Tories on Oct. 19. She has been considered a possible contender since Hudak resignation. MacLeod is the 5th name on the ballot for the leadership convention set for next may.