Ontario Election 2011: Candidate Overview for the Riding of Parkdale Highpark (Updated)
Aug 21, 2011

Ontario Election 2011: Candidate Overview for the Riding of Parkdale Highpark (Updated)

UPDATE: NDP incumbent Cheri DiNovo wins reelection with 46%. Cortney Pasternak (Liberal) gets 37%, Joe Ganetakos (PC) gets 12% and Justin Trottier (Green) gets 3%. 

This post is intended to fill a void on Google that does not, as yet, have a non-partisan summary of the basic facts about the candidates running in the Parkdale-Highpark riding in the 2011 Ontario Election. I will not offer any commentary here but shall defer that to later posts. The blurbs about the candidates are quoted directly from the 'about' or 'bio' sections of their campaign websites. 

Polling data demonstrates what would seem to strongly indicate a re-election win for NDP incumbent Cheri DiNovo, although it remains very early in the campaign, with 51/22/19/7 for the NDP/Liberal/Conservative/Green parties respectively. 

NDP Incumbent Cheri DiNovo:

"Cheri DiNovo was elected to Queen’s Park September 14th, 2006, to represent the provincial riding of Parkdale – High Park. Shortly after her election, she took on a diverse critic portfolio, consisting of Employment Standards, and Small Business.  Cheri was  re-elected as MPP on October 10th, 2007. 
Quoted by journalists as “The new female power at Queen’s Park” and “a dynamo”, in just a few months Cheri had made her mark on the political landscape, championing issues of critical importance to many in her riding and across the province. Cheri was named best MPP by Toronto’s NOW Magazine. 
Cheri has been most recognized in her leadership to end poverty in Ontario with the Living Wage Bill and Payday Lending Bill. Both pieces of legislation have received strong support from anti-poverty groups, the media, and people across Ontario. The Living Wage Bill would increase Ontario’s minimum wage to $10.25 immediately. Cheri’s Payday Lenders Bill would require licensing and a cap to interest rates charged within the Industry. This would put an end to the 300-1,000%+ criminal interest rates that are currently being charged by the majority of Payday Lenders in the province. 

Prior to her election to Queen’s Park, Cheri was the Minister of Emmanuel-Howard Park United Church on Roncesvalles Avenue and performed the first legalized same-sex marriage in North America. She is a former board member of the Centre for Active Resources food program at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, as well as King Street’s Shalom House community kitchen. Cheri is a former member of the Parkdale Banking Project and is a winner of the Washington D.C. “Lambda” civil rights Award."

Liberal Candidate Cortney Pasternak:

"As a working professional and mother of two young children and two adult step-children, Cortney understands the challenges facing Ontario families. 
She recognizes the important role that community and neighborhood-led initiatives such as farmers markets and community gardens play in building strong neighbourhoods. When she saw a need in the community, Cortney filled it by organizing affordable kid's classes in language, music, and healthy cooking. 
She is a passionate supporter of cleaner, greener and safer spaces for residents in west Toronto. A broadcast journalist for Global and CTV, Cortney has been putting a human face on real issues affecting people, families and communities. She has reported from across Canada and around the globe on a range of topics including politics, health care, education, human rights, poverty, environment, and crime. 
Cortney’s success as a broadcast journalist can be traced to her strong work ethic, her compassion and her warmth. Throughout her life she has been an advocate for those dealing with mental health, disability and affordable housing issues. Her life experience, coupled with her journalism work, has left her with a profound desire to improve the opportunities afforded to others. 
Cortney is ready to put the knowledge and experience she has gained to work for the residents of Parkdale-High Park."
PC Candidate Joseph Ganetakos:

"Having devoted his career to technology innovation, Joe and his wife Mary are now looking to give back to their community through public service. Used to working under tight deadlines while helping to design some of Ontario’s most advanced electronic games, he’s remained steady under pressure never  away from challenges. 
Joe pledges to work passionately on any efforts he’s involved with on behalf of the residents of Parkdale High Park. 
He has seen how Dalton McGuinty has mismanaged the province’s finances by spending far more than it has and passing these costs down to average families. 
Joe believes that the taxpayers of Parkdale High Park deserve a strong voice in Government, and this has led him to commit to helping Tim Hudak give back to Ontarians the strong economy that they have always had with Progressive Conservative governments."
Green Candidate Justin Trottier:

"Justin Trottier grew up in the suburb of Thornhill and then moved to Toronto for work and study. He is happy to live in a busy neighbourhood with amazing parks, unique local businesses, and plenty of opportunities for community engagement. 
Justin has dedicated his life to balancing his love of science and technology with his interest in public education, community service, and social advocacy. He has an Engineering degree from the University of Toronto, specializing in materials science, alternative energy systems and fuel cell vehicles. Justin worked at Mississauga-based Electrovaya Inc. in the development of novel materials for green energy, including batteries for electric vehicles, laptops, and astronaut life-support systems. 
Justin is the founder and CEO of the national educational charity the Centre for Inquiry. CFI advances critical thinking and scientific literacy by hosting public education programs, social services like ESL and sobriety support, and volunteer-based community outreach at 9 branches across Canada. Its headquarters, a community centre in Toronto, has been a hub for environmental and social justice-related public events and initiatives. 
Justin speaks regularly in the media in defense of fundamental freedoms like free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of inquiry. He participates in debates and dialogue which bring together groups from vastly differing backgrounds and perspectives, exploring issues in ethics, religion, and politics. 
Justin’s main priority is education and literacy. He is developing critical thinking modules for local high school curricula and volunteers with Pathways to Education, a tutoring service for students in at-risk neighbourhoods. Utilizing new media to engage youth, Justin hosts Think Again! TV, an independent media outlet that uses investigative journalism to explore human rights issues, and to serve as a watchdog for unfounded and dangerous claims. 
Justin enjoys practicing piano, cycling, playing tennis, as well as hiking and walking with his dog Sagan in local parks and trails."

Thoughts on this post? Comment below!

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janfromthebruce said...

Thank you; it was very respectful of all the candidates!

I am a NDP but Justin, I know quite well & is very articulate and knowledgeable, and very nice, decent person.

deathbytrolley said...

JanFromTheBruce: I think we've met. Weren't/Aren't you a part of OneSSN?

I can also vouch for Justin Trottier of Green. He's the Director of Centre for Inquiry, Canada, the country's leading think tank and community for atheists, agnostics, skeptics, etc. I was an active member for a few years (I still align with the causes but only visit the centre like twice a year now). During this time I got to know Justin. Obviously I agree with this cause in terms of secularism, science, reason and so on. I also agree with him on other fronts, too. But above that, I've always found him to be a very good, honest, well-intentioned and thoughtful guy.

If I were in his riding he'd have my vote.

deathbytrolley said...

Ah, you cited Justin's background. Didn't see that before I commented.

deathbytrolley said...

Just endorsed Justin: http://deathbytrolley.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/endorsing-justin-trottier-green-party-of-ontario-candidate-parkdale-high-park/

bazie said...

Thank you guys for your comments and endorsements!

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