On October 24, residents of Toronto will be voting in the latest municipal election. After current city councillor Mike Layton decided not to run for re-election, there are now 14 new names on the ballot for Ward 11’s city council.
Axel Arvizu wrote in a statement to The Varsity that he was inspired to run for city council after initially planning to move out of Toronto because of affordability concerns until the COVID-19 pandemic impacted those decisions. “We were essentially being driven out of our own city by the housing crisis,” he wrote. He is running on a platform based on housing affordability, access to transit or alternative transportation, and community safety.
“Young generations are facing an unprecedented amount of obstacles in this city,” Arvizu wrote. He promised that, if elected, he would prioritize making time to address questions and concerns from constituents.
Robin Buxton Potts
Robin Buxton Potts is the current interim councillor for Ward 13, Toronto Centre. She is filling in for former city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who was elected to the provincial government in June 2022.
Potts has served as chief of staff in Wong-Tam’s council office and is promoting her previous experience in her campaign.
In an email to The Varsity, she highlighted key aspects of her platform, including commitments to regular accessible transit, availability of affordable housing, and improved neighbourhood maintenance, including parks preservation, repairs to water fountains, and snow maintenance.
“It is unacceptable to me that students are Travelling over an hour to get to class or staying in shelters or are living in unsafe, rooming houses across the city because the city government has not created enough space for them,” she wrote in the email.
Norm Di Pasquale
Norm Di Pasquale has served as a trustee for the Toronto Catholic District School Board in Ward 9 since 2018. He also previously ran for MP as the New Democratic Party candidate in Spadina—Fort York. His platform’s top priorities include commitments to housing for all, improving public services, and increasing the accessibility of parks and other public spaces.
In an email to The Varsity, Di Pasquale wrote that he would work to improve issues important to students such as housing affordability and mental health services. “I have seen the state of our City, and we need to do better. Services are not working for residents, Toronto is as unaffordable as ever, roads are not as safe as they need to be, and we are still lacking the meaningful climate action that will make us a world leader,” he wrote.
Di Pasquale has been endorsed by outgoing Ward 11 councillor Layton.
Adam Golding is a U of T alum and candidate for the Municipal Socialist Alliance, which has a collective platform of providing assistance to those facing homelessness, advocating for free transit, and enacting climate action. Golding previously participated in municipal political issues, including supporting unhoused people camping in Lamport Stadium Park who were facing eviction from the city. According to Durham Radio News, Golding was arrested at Lamport for police obstruction. He later wrote on Twitter that the charges against him had been dropped.
In a statement to The Varsity, Golding wrote that his platform is “laser-focused on the cost-of-living in the short-term,” as well as “expand[ing] the arts.” He highlighted that he is the “only candidate with sheet music as part of their campaign materials… which I distributed to every office in the music faculty.”
Andrew Layman wrote in an email to The Varsity that he was inspired to run for city council to make his home ward more accessible and affordable. His platform centres on housing affordability, creating an accessible community, and increasing street safety and road shareability. “Housing affordability impacts us all, but students and young people arguably face the most hardships due to the skyrocketing costs of housing,” he wrote.
“The city as it currently stands has become increasingly unaffordable and young people and students are often priced out of the city. Worst, young people, students, and people of colour are oftentimes forced into homelessness,” he added.
Dianne Saxe is an environmental lawyer who also served as the Ontario Environmental Commissioner from 2015–2019. Her platform focuses on affordable housing, environmentally sustainable modes of transportation, repairing city services and infrastructure, and climate action.
“The climate crisis is of overwhelming importance to young people because it will colour so much of their lives,” Saxe wrote in an email to The Varsity. She also described goals to increase opportunities for active transportation, which includes biking and walking, as well as create “missing middle” housing to develop “15 minute neighbourhoods” — neighborhoods where most necessities are “within 15 minutes of their homes.”
Pierre Therrien plans to run for city council as part of a larger plan to run for premier of Ontario. In an email to The Varsity, Therrien wrote that one of his main reasons for running for office was “to highlight the underfunded conditions at our nuclear energy facilities, and bring this issue to the provincial legislature.” Therrien explained that the rest of his platform includes climate change initiatives such as a carbon tax and free transit.
He has previously posted on Twitter that he believes “Every Canadian, born in Canada, is Indigenous to Canada.”
The Varsity could not reach candidates Michael Borrelli, Peter Lovering, Heather Shon, and David Fielder for comment.
Diana Yoon, Alison Pang, and Ann Rohmer have withdrawn from the race, but their names will still appear on the ballot.
Election day for Toronto’s municipal election is October 24, 2022. To find the candidates for your area and how you can cast your ballot, visit the City of Toronto’s website.