Getting ready for the October 27 municipal election

Ah, autumn. The cooling temperatures, the shortening daylight hours, the transformation of flora and fauna as they prepare for the coming winter, and the smell of blood in the air.

Oh right, it must be an election year.

At Beach Metro News we have always prided ourselves on our fairness. In fact, being nonpartisan is written into our constitution and our mandate – we have no other choice.

Don’t get me wrong, we are human beings, and as such, we are subject to having opinions like everyone else. The difference is, aside from office talk, we try to keep our political leanings to ourselves.

With that in mind, I’d like to let readers know what our plan is for coverage of the upcoming municipal election.

First off, it should be mentioned that we have quite a bit of ground to cover. Beach Metro News is distributed through most of Ward 32, but also through the southern section of Ward 31 and a pretty large amount of the western end of Ward 36.

As of press time, that included a combined 27 candidates for council (six in Ward 36, nine in Ward 31 and a dozen in Ward 32). Add to that two separate school and four public school trustee candidates, and we’ve got more than 30 would-be politicians vying for our – and your – attention. (And that’s not counting the 13 public and separate school candidates east of Victoria Park).

Our goal is to ensure fair coverage for all of our local candidates. While we realize that many of them are not likely to garner enough votes to be serious contenders, that doesn’t make their efforts in running for office any less serious, and the fact that these 30-odd people are willing to put themselves under public scrutiny for the dubious honour of serving a usually critical or indifferent public is deserving of at least some respect.

What we plan to do is offer a snapshot of all of the candidates in each race. We will be asking all the candidates of a particular riding a set of questions, with the same word limits for responses. We will then present those answers in as unedited a manner as possible.

In our next issue, on Sept. 23, we will present answers from Ward 16 public and Ward 11 separate trustee candidates, as well as responses from city council candidates in Ward 31. In our Oct. 7 issue, we will cover the candidates in Ward 32, our main coverage area. And in our Oct. 21 issue, Ward 36 will be covered.

We will also, as is customary, be co-hosting with Community Centre 55 an all candidates debate for Ward 32. That is set to take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church, on the northwest corner of Kingston and Woodbine. Video of the debate will be on our website in the days following the event, and our story about the debate will be included in our Oct. 21 issue.

Hopefully in this way, we can inform our readers of all candidates’ views on important issues in each riding. Which brings me to one of two requests.

First, if there is a burning issue in your riding which you feel absolutely must be addressed, please let us know. We have been speaking with readers and leaders throughout the East End to get a sense of what’s at stake in this election, but if there are issues you’d like to see addressed, please email them to editor@beachmetro.com (or tweet, comment on Facebook, or call the office) and we will take the most common issues and ask the candidates for their positions.

The second request I have is simply this: please vote on Oct. 27.

It doesn’t matter, at least to me, who you vote for. But I firmly believe that passing on your right to vote also means you give up your right to complain about taxes, politics, dogs, condos, or the TTC for the next four years, and all that really leaves you is the weather.


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