On-site at the ICC Toronto Mayoral Debate

I thought that if I was going to attend this debate, I might as well bring the notebook and note items of interest. Let's see what happens.

The debate starts with 5 minutes by each of the candidates.


George starts with a Salaam Aleichem, Eid Mubarek. I will let you know if he says anything that cannot be found on his web site.

– Toronto has not fulfilled its potential in terms of creating jobs

– 2011 tax, hiring and new spending freeze

– 100 day review

– job, jobs, jobs – city gov't supporting entrepreneurs

– let diversity communities get more of the work



My story is a Toronto story. My parents were sharecroppers. We live in a city where immigrants are allowed to succeed.

My father was a city builder – pick and shovel.

Believe in going forward.

Public service is an honourable profession.

Sample success is CNE. Brought back to place of celebrations, festivals, green technology

Poster child for renewable energy around the world

Ex profit of $9M – possible to invest and get geturn.

Running against a bunch of mini-Mike Harrises



Proud that he and brothers have expanded family business


Candidate with 10 years of council and 20 years of private sector experience

Screams about waste at city hall

– $9M of waste

Abolish land transfer tax and car reg tax

Cut council in half

Only candidate who can put an end to gravy train

Spending like drunken sailors

The party is over.


Rocco Rossi:

Starts with a Salaam.

Good start making contact with Persian community – anecdotes about past with community

I am the son of immigrants, etc. – runs the resume

Public service is not a job but a calling – term limits

Spending but not getting value

Ford's plan has good instincts but Ford does not have effective plan to implement

(does that mean Rocco should be Rob's assistant, implementing his ideas?)

Strong Toronto in strong GTA

Good applause.



George: Building transit. Ten year transit plan. First phase by Pan-Am Games.

Rocco: TTC is like a transit museum. Need to do two things:

What can Toronto do?

Politicians have to be removed from TTC board.

Cannot understand on-time, on-budget.

Put good governance in place like province put skills based board in place at Metrolinx

Sell assets to pay off debt, reallocate payments paid to bankers.


Joey Pants:

Gridlock on the head of provincial gov't. They do regional planning.

The others – just talk! More expensive subways. Transit City is amazing plan, agreed to and intelligent.

Irresponsible other candidates.

Build to approved plans.


Rob Ford:

Continue transportation plan to Sheppard

Loop to Scar Town Centre

We don't want street cars!

People want subways

If McGuinty does not give $3B he will have to suffer the wrath of the Toronto voters

If prov does not give the money, subways will not be built


Not a one of them talked about anything but transit. What about roads, traffic lights, tolls, etc.


How to better integrate new Canadians?



Diversity is his priority – takes a shot at Rob Ford

Canadian Experience Trap



Credentials gap

Matching skills to jobs available

Language training – transformed mother's life

Daycare for women

Leverage value and strengths of various ethno-cultural chambers of commerce to provide opportunities

When opportunities available at city hall make sure they are advertised properly



Loss that doctors, lawyers, etc are driving cabs in Toronto

Programs to help people help themselves


Rob Ford:

Some of my best friends are Persian

Many Persians are on my team

Through Rotary, etc

Work together


Rocco: The people are coming. The immigrants are coming. If Rob can't deal with it, get out of the way.


Q3: Status of Toronto as a World Class City

GS: Toronto can only be a world-class city if diversity engaged. George thinks TO is not a world class city!  #voteTO

Rocco: Been a senior exec at multi-national corps. Speak 4 languages. Must have GTA strategy. Want to compete against Dallas, Mumbai etc rather than against Missisauga.

Pants: Toronto is one of the best cities in the world. Amazing city. Others saying Toronto is a mess. That's not how you sell the city.

Ford: First thing to do is reduce commercial tax rates. We need to clean up the city. Exchange 22 politicians for 100 new police.More taking credit for Woodbine Live. Daddy was an MPP. I am only one with real business experience.

Rocco: Rocco: I honour and respect Mr. Ford's business experience. But he has only been hired by one employer, his daddy.


Question: Childcare. Pascal report on hub model on childcare. Full day learning experiences for pre-school.

GS: Likes Pascal's work. Strong supporter of hub delivery model. Need to make sure to preserve and expand subsidized daycare. Use empty schools as community hubs for delivery of social services

RR: Huge proponent of education. Have to expand daycare opportunities. Make better use of empty schools. Work with Learning Enrichment, leveraging volunteer time. Give more opportunities.

Pants: Supports community hubs. Province headed in right direction. Not running for Premier but mayor. Of all taxes collected, 8% stays in Toronto. Reinvestment not good. That's why no national daycare. 24K kids get subsidized daycare. Will keep that. Pants would fight for feds and province to live up to responsibilities to Torontonians.

Ford: Full day pre-school is where money should be spent. Save money by reducing expenses ($53K). Spending problem at city hall, not revenue program.



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