The provincial election is coming up fast – On June 12th, 2014 and Ontarians have a very tough decision on their hands. Stuck with 3 underwhelming candidates for Premier of Ontario, the field would appear to be wide open as to who will win and whether the government will be a majority or a minority.
Expect another coalition government, propped up by the NDP again, but expect this time that PC leader Tim Hudak (if he’s still there and not replaced by Doug Ford) will actually force the Liberal government to add some Conservative goodies into the budget as Premier Kathleen Wynne did for the NDP every time.
But I wanted to take a look at the riding I live in, St. Paul’s, an affluent Toronto riding almost completely residential and includes both the mansions of Forest Hill and the multicultural neighbourhoods that straddle St. Clair Avenue west of Bathurst Street.
Thank you to the CBC for all of this data below;
The population in this riding from the 2006 census is 111,131, down 1.2% since the previous census taken in 2001. Politically, Liberal Dr. Eric Hoskins has held this seat since beating PC Sue Ann Levy in a by-election in 2009 by 5,330 votes. The seat had previously been Liberal, held by Michael Bryant since 1999. Bryant relinquished his seat in May 2009 to lead Invest Toronto. Bryant quit Invest Toronto after being charged in the death of bicycle courier Darcy Allan Sheppard in downtown Toronto (the courier you may recall grabbed a hold of Bryant’s car and was threatening him when Bryant sped away and Sheppard flew off his bike on the street where he died).
You could say this riding is somewhat of a Liberal strong hold, which is interesting considering this riding contains the second largest amount of wealth in all of Canada, and typically wealth = Conservative, and that south of St. Clair is very left-wing. For this reason I am constantly amazed that there is no strong Conservative candidate in the area campaigning for the removal of Hoskins.
Take the last provincial election from 2011. Dr. Hoskins easily won after garnering 25,052 votes, or 58.41% of the vote. Second was PC Christine McGirr with only 8,971 votes, or 20.92%. The NDP candidate David Hynes came in right behind McGirr with 7,121 votes, or 16.60% of the vote, and votes were given to the Green Party candidate, Judith Van Veldhuysen (1,172, 2.73%), the Libertarian candidate John Kittredge (332 votes, 0.77%), the Family Party candidate Mike Rita (88 votes, 0.21%) and these two parties; SPO Keith Pinto (83 votes, 0.19%)
and NOH David Vallance (73 votes, 0.17%).
A Liberal landslide, and having just moved into the riding, I did not see or hear from or of McGirr at any point in the campaign, but did receive tons pricy, glossy flyers from Hoskins. The same held true this year – more on that later.
Let’s take a closer look at the riding’s demographics, and compare the rate in the riding to the provincial average and the average in Canada. Of note will be the extremely low unemployment, the above average number of seniors but what should really jump out at you is the average annual household income figure and the percentage of people in this riding with a post-secondary degree. It’s outstanding and a really good reminder for kids to stay in school!
From 2006 census:
St. Paul’s 6.2%
St. Paul’s 15.67%
St. Paul’s 20.11%
Average Family Income:
St. Paul’s $166,814
St. Paul’s 48.41%
This riding is pre-dominantly Jewish, followed by Philippino, then Caribbean, and Native Canadian.
The 2014 Candidates
So let’s take a closer look at the candidates:
Deluce, being the newcomer and with very little literature on the street and no buzz, she is the candidate people will vote for if they do not vote for Hoskins, so she is playing the come and find me game. So I did.
Justine believes in fiscal responsibility, transparency and being accountable for the management of taxpayer dollars. SCORE!Being in real estate, Justine already has the proven experience of working in an industry where success is synonymous with trust, accountability and knowledge. SCORE!
1. Focus on your job by lowering payroll taxes for small businesses
2. Get you home faster by paying for the transit infrastructure we need
3. Invest in your home to help you save money by saving energy
4. Improve your children’s education by merging the public and separate school boards
5. Make good on our promises to address child poverty
6. Give young adults a chance to contribute to our world
7. Putting your food and water first by protecting farmland and water
8. Getting our fair share by making industry pay a fair price for our shared resources
9. Restore your confidence that our communities & natural heritage will not be damaged by development
I honestly have no idea what the first point entails and I worked at Revenue Canada (Canada Revenue Agency for 11 years, most of them handling payroll, and I believe the only reduction employers can make is to reduce the actual tax component of the payroll source deductions because a reduction in CPP reduces the amount employees have for retirement and a reduction in EI reduces the amount employees pay into the system, thus the amount they are able to take back out should they need to.
Numbers 2 and 3 are great, although a little vague, while number 4 is a brilliant idea to reduce costs and increase service. Number 9 is also a great initiative.
So while I would like to see a little more detail in their platform, I believe the Green Party needs to take the next big step and either merge with an existing party, or force the issue and start getting candidates into parliament.
All-in-all, voting is your democratic right! So get out there and vote!
As a father of 3 young children, we are always looking for fun, exciting things to do on the weekends with them which are hopefully mentally and physically stimulating, educational and hopefully interesting for us as well. After 8 years of being a dad, we’ve been just about everywhere here in Toronto and surrounding area and I thought we had visited, heard of, or knew of all the great places to visit until I came across Safari Niagara.
Have you heard about Safari Niagara before? Have you been there? Did you know it is only 10 minutes from Niagara Falls in Stevensville, Ontario, and did you know that Safari Niagara is for visitors of all ages and all abilities and not only are there animals on a 150-acre, privately owned and operated nature park, which is home to more than 750 animals of native and exotic mammals, reptiles and birds.
- educational guided walking tours (free)
- an educational, narrated tram ride/tour
- interactive, educational demonstrations including birds of prey and threatened species presentations
- petting farm-yard
- catch-and-release fishing
If that is not enough fun, there is also other activities including ropes course*, bungee*, Safari Rides*, paddle boating, kite-flying and playing at the large playgrounds, sandbox and animal-themed splash pad. (* June 1st to labour day). Forget visiting for one day, we could live here!
Here is what you might not know about Safari Niagara is that their vision;
Safari Niagara’s vision is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to meet animals and birds up close. It is hoped that such interaction with nature will inspire future conservationists and naturalists. In a world where children experience fewer exchanges with nature, Safari Niagara provides an unprecedented opportunity for kids to view, experience and learn about many animal and bird species that share our planet while engaging in a fun and rewarding adventure.
Safari Niagara is also home to one of Canada’s largest steel sculpture exhibits, on loan by artist Rod Dowling and the park includes an outdoor 90,000 square-foot outdoor amphitheatre which hosts the annual Safari Niagara Summer Concert Series of live concerts (check out the current list of concerts here), and the park also offers plenty of shaded picnic areas, a counter-service restaurant and gift shop.
Safari Niagara is open to the public on May 11, 2013 and closes October 14, 2013 (It is closed August 14th for a private event).
From June 1st to Labour Day, your 2013 Season Passes and Day Admissions included unlimited use of the Adventure Zone Activities: Ropes Course, Bungee, Safari Rides, and our newly expanded Gator Tram Ride*!
Read about Safari Niagara’s amazing history here.
The kind folks at Safari Niagara have given me 2 family day passes – good for 2 adults and 2 children – to give away, for the 2013 season.
How to win: Get the word out! Share this post, like the link, and post a comment on this blog, through Twitter, or Facebook. The more social media places you share this post on, the better are the chances of winning!
It’s that easy.
How will you know if you won?
Well starting today, July 24th, I will be taking down the names of everyone who posts, likes and shares this article and at the end of 2 weeks, I will put all those names into a hat and let my kids pick the 2 winners. I will then arrange and mail out the passes to the winners ASAP so the winners can get out and enjoy the park with their family.
Needless to say, it’s the perfect way to wind up a summer!
So check out their website, and get posting / sharing and linking Safari Niagara and get ready to win with The Urban Daddy. Who knows, we might even see you there!
Did you know that today, May 1st, is Doctors’ Day here in Ontario.
The Ontario Medical Association is asking Ontarians to help celebrate this day by sending a personalized thank you card to their doctors. The cards can be created on this website, http://thanksdoc.oma.org/. Once submitted, the OMA will deliver your thank you card directly to your doctor.
When was the last time you thanked your doctor?
As an added incentive, everyone who submits a thank you card is eligible to win an iPhone5 and Fitbit One™ Wireless Activity & Sleep Tracker.
You can even thank you Doctor on Facebook, or send a kind note to the OMA through Twitter for taking care of their members. I have spent numerous hours on their Facebook page reading articles which as a parent are important to me, such as the OMA asking to have antibiotics removed from livestock feed in Canada and the alarming amount of sodium in restaurant food.
As a special thank you for posting about a wonderful cause, the OMA is offering you, the reader, and opportunity to win a $25 Sport Chek gift card. All you have to do to have an opportunity to win is post a comment on my blog or Facebook page of the direct link to their thank you on the website (example: http://thanksdoc.oma.org/#367) just to be sure that you have actually participated in this day of recognition.
On May 15th, I will take down the names of all of you who took the time to comment, put them in a hat and have one of my children draw a winner. The winner will be notified via email.
I’m off now to send a thank you to our family doctor of 13 years who adapted her style to meet our needs when she realized that we prefer to try natural remedies first before getting to the antibiotics for us and our children. As a result, she offers us all solutions and we greatly appreciate that!
During this long Passover break, we sent our boys to an outdoor camp north of the city for 3 days, and of course it was the three coldest days of the spring. Being my typical children, Stewie brought his hat and mittens, while Linus brought neither and boy, was Linus cold! He was so cold that he could not take more than 2 turns at the archery course. Poor kid.
But after 2 days there, I finally found out something of interest when hanging out with Stewie last night in bed for a few minutes after the three of us watched a couple of innings of the Toronto Blue Jays home opener. (They wanted to see Grampa who was at the game. lol).
The conversation went like this;
Stewie: “Oh! Next summer I want to go back to this camp!”
Me: “Great, why? You really liking it?”
Stewie: “Yeah! Today we saw
a dead raccoon, and if we go back next year, then I’ll get to see the raccoons skeleton!”
Me: “Errr, okay. We can see skeletons at the Museum, if you would like.”
Stewie: “I know. But I want to see this raccoon… or maybe it was a duck…”
Me: “You couldn’t tell what it was???”
Stewie: “Not really… We thought it was a raccoon. Our teacher told us that, but some people thought it was a duck. The other teacher said that too. But then someone said it was a moose. And can you believe that someone actually thought it was an elephant… They’re so silly.”
Me: “Was that your brother who said it was an elephant?”
Stewie – smiling. “No, but your right. If anyone was going to be silly about that, it probably would have been Linus. But it was a small child who said that. Linus thought it was a raccoon.”
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