While the Mayoral winner, Rob Ford, was quite a surprise to most people living downtown, it wasn’t such a surprise to us that Mike Layton, with the powerhouse of the NDP behind him, took the council seat in Ward 19.
There was, however, some great debate and discussion during the race, in our debate at the Garrison, as well as the other debates in the ward. Karen Sun, who didn’t come with the family support, and Sean McCormick, who challenged from the right, as well as Jim Likourezos, Karlene Nation, Ted Footman, Ross Bruto, George Sawision all challenged for the seat on council. And some great arguments were heard, and hopefully Mike will take some of those to city council to keep a progressive movement alive in the city and to keep the Ossington area alive and growing.
We congratulate Mike on the victory, and wish him the best of success in the new position. As we’ve posted before, it’s important that he keep the local issues close at hand, and communicate with his constituents in a way that his predecessor failed in his waning years. In numerous discussions tonight with his supporters at his event, as well as in the other events, locals we talked to liked him but felt that it was important he become his own candidate at city council and move from campaign mode to community mode. We agree.
When we met Mike in person he was genuine, and very caring about the community. He wanted to listen and open channels with both people and businesses, so problems, especially those along Ossington, could be solved. He brings with him some experience in the foodservice industry, as well as an understanding of cultivating an entertainment and lively culture – something his father brought to the downtown core many years ago. These are the traits we hope he brings with him to council.
It was a good night in the ward despite many disagreeing with what happened in the mayoral race. We wandered along College visiting Ted Footman’s event at Bar Italia; Revival, where Joe Pantalone passed the family torch to Mike; and then to meet Karen Sun at Brass Taps, where her supporters congratulated her on a hard fought battle against a competitor with far greater resources. (then for some food at Lakeview!) We hoped to make it to Sean and Karlene’s events, but ran out of steam, but look forward to catching up.
Here are some pictures of the night: