Retired bureaucrat Jim Hart will replace the late Councillor Ron Moeser as the representative for Ward 44, Scarborough East, where UTSC is located.
Prior to his retirement in 2014, Hart was the city’s General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Hart volunteered to help in the constituency office after Moeser was diagnosed with cancer, representing Ward 44 in Moeser’s stead.
Hart will represent Scarborough East until 2018. Scarborough Campus Students’ Union President Sitharsana Srithas told The Varsity, “We looking forward to working with him to address the various issues, such as transit, youth underemployment, and carding, that affect our students every day in Scarborough.”
Hart said in a statement that he would like to “ensure future campus development integrates well with the community and in particular an emphasis is placed on student housing at [UTSC].” He also stated that new development will “respect the natural environment and heritage aspects of the surrounding community.”
The new councillor intends to continue Councillor Moeser’s work on projects such as the Port Union waterfront trail.
The selection process culminated on June 28 with voting by City Council. Hart won with 27 of 40 votes. He was supported by Mayor John Tory as well as Moeser’s widow. His primary competition, former councillor and mayoral candidate David Soknacki, received nine votes.
Hart lives in Scarborough East, whereas Soknacki resides about five kilometres away from the area. Mayor Tory had stated that it would be best if the new councillor lived in Scarborough East.
Hart is also a supporter of the controversial Scarborough subway extension.