I met Sean a week or so ago to talk about issues in Ward 19, and why he decided to run for office in this area. If you are a sports fan you’ve probably heard his name as he was a broadcaster for Rogers Sportsnet for 15 years and host of a program called Connected.
While in that career Sean got connected to a bunch of charities including Right to Play, as well as the St. Joseph’s Health Centre, which is the benefactor of the fundraising from Queen Street Music Festival, so giving back to the community is part of Sean’s life in Toronto.
After recently leaving leaving Rogers Sportsnet, Sean told me he was looking for something new to do which would make an impact on his neighbourhood, where he’s lived since moving from Vancouver about 8 years ago. Sean lives on Queen St and has seen the great change that has happened to the area and wanted to keep that change moving in the right direction as well as impact larger issues such as improving the TTC and cleaning up parks in the city.
His background also contains a number of entrepreneurial ventures when he was younger, which seemed to be much of the basis for his platform – which is focused less on environmental and transit issues, and more on ensuring accountability in spending and reducing taxes for homeowners. His discussion on issues revolved a lot on making sure money is spent correctly in the city so that local homeowners can have their taxes reduced. His approach to most issues is very practical and business oriented, and the lack of his connection to the more political approach to issues may prove a great advantage in getting things done, but also will be a challenge.
Like the other candidates in the race, Sean is obviously well connected. The Queen West Music festival, which he organized, had a number of high profile sponsors including Rogers, TD and Molson, and it takes some influence to get them involved in a local music show. It shows a determination to make things happen and change the community, which the music festival does.
The Ward 19 race involves a lot of young candidates, and some names we know. Sean is a welcome addition and is going to provide more visibility to the issues of the neighbourhood. Let us know what you think of how the Ward’s election is shaping up.