By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
GreekTown BIA executive director and former city councillor Mary Fragedakis has been named the Ontario Liberal Party’s official candidate for the Toronto-Danforth riding in the next provincial election set for 2022.
Her nomination was announced at a Toronto-Danforth Provincial Liberal Association (PLA) meeting on March 17 attended by Ontario Liberal leader Steven Del Duca, Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin, Ontario Liberal Party regional vice president for Toronto Li Koo, and Toronto-Danforth PLA president Karen Somerville.
Fragedakis served as Toronto city councillor for Toronto-Danforth (Ward 29) from 2010 to 2018. Since then she has served as executive director for the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA.
Upon her nomination, Fragedakis offered her motives for running under the Liberal banner.
“I’ve lived here all my life,” she said. “I’ve fought and continue to fight every day for people in this community. It’s been a hard year, the hardest year most of us have ever known, and it was made harder because we have a government that doesn’t understand what people are going through.”
“We want change, we need action, we want to see our government do something to help us, instead of shrugging their shoulders and hoping for the best,” Fragedakis added.
It was an obvious reference to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, who the Liberals aim to defeat in the 2022 election.
Del Duca called Fragedakis a “champion for Toronto-Danforth, and for progressive politics.”
He added that Fragedakis is part of an OLP team consisting of 60 per cent women. Fragedakis also explained why she chose to run for the Liberals over the NDP.
“The NDP mean well, but they struggle to deliver,” she said. “They are not the party to defeat Doug Ford.”
She explained that the OLP’s track record of “getting things done” convinced her to join.
Having worked with the local business community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she noted her priorities as ending the pandemic, moving on with economic recovery, and ending the “suffering and indignity” in long-term care homes.
She served on Toronto City Council when Doug Ford was also a councillor.
“I know how he operates,” she said. “He doesn’t know how to look out for anyone else, you can’t bulldoze your way through important decisions and pretend the mess you made isn’t your responsibility.”
While the provincial election is still more than a year away (slated for June 2, 2022), the Ontario Liberal Party has announced Fragedakis as the candidate for Toronto-Danforth and former city councillor Mary Margaret McMahon for Beaches-East York.
Qadira Jackson is seeking the Liberal nomination for the Scarborough Southwest riding.
Provincially, the ridings of Beaches-East York, Toronto-Danforth and Scarborough Southwest are currently held by New Democratic Party (NDP) Members of Provincial Parliament.
Rima Berns-McGown is the NDP MPP for Beaches-East York, and was first elected to Queen’s Park in 2018. She defeated Liberal incumbent Arthur Potts in that election. Potts served as MPP from 2014 to 2018. Prior to that, the Beaches-East York riding had been held by Michael Prue of the NDP from 2001 to 2014.
Peter Tabuns is the NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth and has been since 2006. Doly Begum is the NDP MPP for Scarborough Southwest. She was first elected to the seat in 2018. Prior to that, the seat had been held since 2003 by Liberal Lorenzo Berardinetti.
Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.