Candidates have their say

Shawn Ali

Shawn Ali is currently a store manager at Toys R Us Canada and, prior to this, was an assistant manager at EB Games. Throughout his career, Shawn has been a member of several committees, and is currently the management chair of his store’s health and safety committee. In addition to playing an active role in educating all his employees about workplace safety, Shawn is also a key player in his store’s environmental program – a program that includes the use and distribution of green cleaning products throughout the store.
Shawn has always put his family first. Though he does not have kids of his own, Shawn has a beautiful niece.
“She means the world to me,” he says. “She is my inspiration. Because of her, I have recently become involved with ‘Because I’m a Girl,’ a charity that works to empower girls worldwide. My niece is also the reason I have chosen to become involved with the Green Party of Ontario.”
Shawn has a background in and a passion for art and art history. He loves to paint in his spare time and, motivated by a desire to inspire the next generation, has recently begun teaching art to his niece. Shawn also has a love for sports and has coached in the George Webster baseball league here in East York.
As Shawn has been dealing with a health issue and has been in and out of hospital many times in the last three years, he has a unique, firsthand perspective on health care.
“It has reminded me of how lucky I truly am,” he says. “I have seen both the good and the bad, and I am dedicated to improving healthcare.”
Having lived in Beaches/East York for most of his life, Shawn has had the privilege of experiencing the richness and diversity of his community and has seen it become even richer and more diverse over his lifetime.
“At the core of this community are the hard-working people who call it home, and I am proud to work with them and to call them friends and neighbours,” Shawn says. “I firmly believe we are judged on what we leave behind, our footprint on the planet, and our impact on one another. For this reason, I am compelled to act – compelled  to run as Green Party candidate for Beaches-East York.”
Hard work has always been important to Shawn. Having worked for many years in retail, he understands what it is like to live paycheque to paycheque.
“I have come a long way since then; my first job was as a part-time labourer in a plastics factory,” Shawn reminisces.
That factory has long since closed; its workers left to fend for themselves. Another company gone, along with jobs. Shawn has never forgotten the value of a dollar and the importance of doing a good job.
“It is one thing to have a job, but another to have one that allows you to support your family and to live with dignity,” he says. “The Green Party of Ontario has a realistic plan to create jobs, improve healthcare and public transit, and to reduce the debt. It’s time for a change; it’s time to go green.”
You can reach Shawn at 416-918-9101 or email:

Helen Burstyn

I’m Helen Burstyn and I’m running to be your MPP for Beaches/East York.
This is my first time seeking public office, but I have a long career in public and community service.  I began working in provincial government in 1982, and have been actively involved in public service, community building, and advocating for social causes and the arts ever since.
I’m also a mother, grandmother and a daughter of immigrants who came to this country in 1949.  So I know how much is at stake in this election – for all Ontarians.  This is a time when we need to move forward, together.
I’m proud of a Liberal government that has invested in health care and education, green energy and a strong economy.  Those investments are paying off.  Our publicly funded health care and education systems are the finest in world.  And while other economies faltered during the recession, Ontario weathered the storm and has created more jobs than the rest of Canada combined.
That’s why we have to keep moving forward, together.
I’m running to be your voice in a Liberal government that will expand full-day kindergarten to 250,000 spots, create 50,000 new jobs in clean energy, reduce the cost of energy bills by 10%, bring back medical house calls for seniors, and cover up to 30% off the cost of college and university tuition.
During my time as the chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, I oversaw millions of dollars in vital funding to non-profit organizations that serve our community, including:
• Community Care East York
• WoodGreen Community Services
• Crescent Town Community Centre
• Massey Centre for Women
• Danforth East Community Association
• Second Base Youth Shelter
• York-Fairbank Centre for Seniors
• The Blue Flag Program for the Toronto Beaches and others across Ontario
I have also seen the strength and resourcefulness of our communities in my work as the Vice-Chair of CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), a Director of TIFF and Luminato (the international arts festival co-founded by my late husband David Pecaut), a founder of Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto (a cancer support organization) and a founding member of Equal Voice.
Having worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors, I know how to work very effectively with others to get things done.  I’m ready to make a real difference here in Beaches/East York as your strong voice in government.
Together, we can make Beaches/East York an even stronger, more vibrant community.  We will revitalize our main streets, protect our green spaces and waterfront, celebrate our cultural diversity and ensure continued investment in transit and infrastructure projects, such as Toronto East General Hospital.
Beaches/East York is a special community.  It represents the best that our province has to offer. It’s where people know their neighbours, where you see young families pushing strollers, and people shopping at local stores.  It is also one of the most diverse communities in the province, perhaps in the country.
As your MPP, I’ll make sure that I represent and engage all parts of our community — whether you live in Crescent Town, East York, the Danforth, or the Upper Beaches.
And together, we must ensure that we continue to have a provincial government that cares as much about our communities as you and I do.  That’s why I’m working hard to earn your support on Oct. 6 and why I will work hard after I’m elected to represent you in government.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you.  I look forward to serving as your MPP.
Please feel free to call my office any time at 416-423-6006 or email me at  I’m there for you.

Chris Menary

It is time for change in Beaches/East York.  For too long, the families of Beaches/East York have seen their taxes go up, their hydro rates sky rocket, all the while living costs continue to rise. It is time that you and your neighbours got some relief.
My name is Chris Menary. I was born in the riding, and I have lived here all my life.  My mother instilled in me the notion of public service at a young age, and I have been deeply involved in the community ever since.
Our community is important to me. I raised my four kids here.  I founded the East York Basketball association in 2005 and have coached teams for the East York Baseball Association.  Each year the EYBA gives the children of our community the ability to stay active and have something positive to do with their free time.
I have always worked to have a positive impact on my fellow community members. I started a private security training facility that has grown to become the largest in Canada.  Through this school I have focused on helping single parents and new Canadians find meaningful and rewarding careers. The training facility has been very successful at helping people move from Ontario Works to gainful employment as investigators, security workers.
I have decided to take the next step towards serving our community, this time in a different capacity. Over the last eight years, Dalton McGuinty’s  Liberal government  has governed with the interests of our community on the backburner. Taxes have gone up, hydro rates are higher than ever, and Ontario is struggling.
This is why I decided to run as the Ontario PC candidate to be your MPP.
There are important things we have to do. We must get hydro rates under control. We will remove the HST off the cost of heating your home in order to relieve the burden it has placed on your pocketbooks. We will also remove the debt retirement charge from your hydro bills, and make mandatory smart meters a thing of the past.
As we all know, small and local businesses are the heart of this community. Unfortunately small business owners have struggled in recent years, partly because of the sea of red tape that they must jump over on a daily basis. We will reduce red tape in government by a minimum of 30% so that small business owners will be free to create jobs and invest in our neighbours. I want our community, and our province, to be the best place in the country to do business, hire employees, and to get a well paying job.
Health Care is also very important to me. We need to continue investing in it for our future. We will invest more into Health Care –$ 6.1 billion more by 2015 – while making things more efficient. This is especially important in Beaches/East York where Toronto East General Hospital represents the pride and joy of our community. I was born there, my kids were born there, and I am committed to supporting The TEGH through its revitalization efforts.
A PC government will deliver immediate relief on home energy bills, lower the tax burden on middle class families, invest in the healthcare and education systems, clean up waste in government and keep our neighbourhood safe. I believe that this is the best direction for our community, the community I love and have lived in all my life.
On Oct. 6, I hope to count on your support. Together, I know our community’s best days lie ahead.

Michael Prue
When my wife Shirley and I bought our first home nearly 30 years ago, we wanted to live in here in Beaches/East York. From the small town feel of East York to the charming and vibrant Beach, our community is a very special place.
I have proudly served as a Councillor, Mayor of East York and since 2001, as your MPP.
I am seeking re-election to continue my service to the people of this riding.
The next four years may be difficult ones given the fragile state of the economy and the need to improve programs and infrastructure.  At the same time we must be mindful of how our public dollars are spent.
In my tenure as Mayor of East York, I proved that public money can be spent wisely without sacrificing public services. During those years we did not raise taxes, but we did pay off our debts and built much-needed infrastructure – including  a child care and recreation centres as well as roads, sewers and sidewalks.
Ontario needs to behave in the same responsible manner.  Below are some highlights of our NDP plan that puts people first.
Health Care:
Reduce wait times in hospital emergency rooms by 50%, following the successful Toronto East General program. Eliminate the waiting list for long-term care for people with complex medical needs. Guarantee access to high quality home-care when it is needed and provide support to informal caregivers who are keeping their loved ones at home.
Child Care:
Stabilize child care operations to ensure that high quality, not-for-profit child care is available to parents who need it. Strictly enforce safety standards and publically post any centres with violations. Freeze child care fees and keep centres from closing down.
Municipal Affairs and Transit:
Restore operating funding to Municipal transit systems on condition that fares are frozen to encourage ridership and reduce gridlock. Give municipalities the final authority in planning matters, thus making the Ontario Municipal Board redundant.
Job creation and protection:
Our Job Creation Tax Credit will reimburse employers 20 per cent of the wage for new hires for one year, up to $5,000 per Ontario worker. This will create 80,000 jobs over four years. Lower the small business tax rate. Implement a ‘Buy Ontario’ program so that tax dollars are spent in Ontario to create local jobs. Process our resources right here in Ontario.
Making life more affordable:
Take the HST off home heating and hydro. Crack down on price gouging at the gas pumps. Cut wasteful consultant fees which now cost taxpayers more than a million dollars a day. Cap executive salaries in the public sector.
Ensure that our schools are adequately funded to provide students the programs and services they need. Limit parent fees and fundraising appeals for essentials. Put students first by ensuring high-quality, affordable post-secondary education. Tackle Ontario’s high tuition rates and help Ontarians deal with rising student debt.
Implement strict minimum standards for energy efficiency for new buildings, appliances and electric motors. Make home retrofit renovations more affordable. Ensure large-scale electricity is publically owned and give priority to small scale renewable and non-profit energy projects that benefit local communities.
Together we can make the improvements that will make our lives better and more affordable. That’s why I ask for your support so I may continue to provide leadership that puts people first. For a complete NDP platform, please visit

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