Letters to the Editor for October 21, 2014

Transit plans should not exclude vibrant communities

For many Torontonians, transit is a huge concern, and the mayoral candidate with the best transit plan will win my vote. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the plans are any good. Not a single scenario includes a stop at the Beach. This is a vibrant destination for people across the GTA, but suffers from crippling traffic congestion, and parking is a nightmare.  By excluding the Beach, we are excluding a huge portion of Toronto’s southeast residents in need of rapid transit to the core.

So I created my own plan by simply modifying the Ford plan. I believe in subways because the best cities in the world (London, Paris, New York City) all employ robust subway systems. letters-ttc map

Instead of running a subway line down Pape Avenue and across Queen Street East, my plan runs the line down Woodbine Avenue.  By expanding the reach of a southeast loop, a far bigger portion of the city will be encompassed in the transit grid and destinations like the Beach become far more accessible by the entire city.

I believe we need to push all the candidates to think bigger in regards to Toronto transit … oh, and DON’T FORGET THE BEACH!

Bill Mantas


Campaign literature misleading

I’ve been quoted in the latest flyer by James Sears:

“James, it’s always nice to have a devil’s advocate because it makes you think.”  – Carmel Suttor complimenting Dr. James Sears at the Applegrove Community Complex all-candidates debate.

At the debate we were asked to choose which of the other candidates we would like to work with, and why. While most chose another candidate, I decided to name a good quality in each of them. Given the long odds, I believe that most candidates have entered the race with the intention of contributing ideas to the public discourse.

As I prepared to speak, I jotted down notes about the others, finding something positive to say about almost all of them. Beside James Sears was a blank space, as I was hard pressed to identify a good quality. His websites and campaign literature are untruthful and profoundly misogynous. I threw in something about him at the last minute so that he would not have another opportunity to grandstand, as he had done too much of it that evening.

Using a quote without my permission is unethical, like just about anything else this individual has done in recent years.

Carmel Suttor

Candidate for city council, Ward 32


Recent attack a reminder to beware of dog

After reading many articles about negative dog behaviour, I want to contribute this report about a disturbing attack by a Jack Rusell terrier and the resulting horrific death of a defenceless cat in its own family’s backyard.

Since I was absent from Toronto at the time of the incident, I can only relate the shocked and tearful account of my next door neighbour:

“The dog in question escaped from its Beach premises and ran into a private backyard, starting to maul the family pet. After hearing the commotion a concerned neighbour called for help and a police officer and an Animal Services employee soon arrived. These three strong men were not successful in tearing the little attack dog in its killing frenzy off its victim to prevent the killing. The owner of this dog arrived later to apologize, and – as an added affront – offered to pay for a new cat. She has to pay a fine and keep the dog muzzled in public.”

Rest in peace, Toby, you were a faithful companion for more than 15 years for your family.

Also, thank you to neighbour Bill for your efforts trying to save the cat. Luckily, no small child was in the backyard at the time.

This incident makes us all realize that, in spite of all the well-behaved dogs and responsible owners, there are also some aggressive, improperly socialized canines with a strong prey drive in our midst.

More than 13,000 human emergency room visits were related to dog attacks in 2011-2012 in Ontario alone, with a large amount of incidents going unreported. As the people in Rome and Pompeii said about 2,000 years ago, “cave canem.”

Elvira Theisen


Campaign coverage by Beach Metro News

In July, when I sent out a press release announcing my campaign, I was told it was not mentioned at that time because your press coverage was not starting until September.

However, since September, I have not been interviewed by your reporters, nor has my campaign received ANY coverage except for that extended to all candidates in the form of being on stage at the debate, and being able to submit a photo and text for a feature in which this was extended to all candidates.

In you coverage of the Applegrove debate, only 4 of the 10 candidates on stage were mentioned, and those 4 were covered in some depth. There was not even the obligatory mention at the end of the other 6 candidates who showed up.

I sent you a press release about how the Lick’s developer is trying to get $63,900 in costs, which in itself would be a huge story even if I were not a candidate, but there has been no mention of this.

I have run ads in your paper and others, and I have lawn signs and had volunteers out working for me, so my campaign is a credible one. Yet there has been no mention of my name at all.

As contrast, in October 2013 you ran a 900 word article about Sandra Bussin merely contemplating running again.

Councillor McMahon registered as a candidate in January, and since then has had ample coverage, including an “In My Opinion” piece on January 22nd.

Certainly, my name appeared in the [Beach] Metro many times since 2011 in regards to my work fighting the Lick’s condo development and on other planning issues, so like Bussin and McMahon, but unlike de Boer or Suttor, I had a public profile before the campaign. I had name recognition others lacked.

Like the Toronto Star, the [Beach] Metro is now extremely dependent on ads from condo developers, whereas nobody has risked more or spent more time fighting them.

I have complained in past about some of your coverage of development issues, and it makes me wonder if this is now a factor in the lack of coverage.

Brian Graff

Candidate for city council, Ward 32

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@Bill Mantas: The great cities you mentioned all have significant at- or above-grade rail transit. For London, it’s 55%, for New York, 40% is NOT underground. The thing is to fit the mode to the population density. That’s why you need subways where the density is heavy, LRTs where it is medium and buses where it is low.

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