A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] On the import of Davenport riding in Ontario and Canada, even

David Rider‘s Toronto Star article examining the fight between the NDP incumbent and Liberal challenger in the provincial riding of Davenport where I live caught my interest. Given the thin margin of Jonah Schein’s victory last time, a swing away from the NDP could easily cost him the seat. All Toronto could well become another Liberal stronghold provincially.

This might even be of pan-Canadian interest, since the boundaries of the provincial riding of Davenport correspond to those of the federal riding of the same name. In the 2011 federal election, the NDP successfully displaced the Liberal incumbent there. I myself was part of the orange wave that swept urban Ontario. If the NDP suffers provincial losses, what happens at the federal level?

Davenport is home to many Portuguese-Canadians and a rising number of Vietnamese and Spanish speakers. Sharing an MPP are Queen Street artists, young professionals in The Junction, working-class tenants of Symington Place apartments, and old-world retirees strolling Corso Italia.

The vote here could signal which party clinches Ontario, predicts Lorne Bozinoff, president of the polling firm Forum Research and a Davenport resident. “I think this is the number-one bellwether riding in Ontario,” he says. “If the NDP doesn’t keep the seat, it means a trend,” and likely a Liberal government.

Working hard to ensure that does not happen is NDP MPP Jonah Schein, 39, elected in 2011 and now in a testy rematch with Cristina Martins, 48, whose Liberals are doing everything they can to retake their former bastion.

At Sandor-Kerr’s doorstep, Martins tells him the NDP supported the 2012 and 2013 budgets without making that support contingent on electrification of the contentious Union Station-Pearson link.

[. . .]

“That the person who doesn’t live here, who doesn’t ride transit here, is billing herself as the transit champion ….” Schein shakes his head. “That train line has been a disaster from the beginning in the way the Liberals have handled it.”

Despite west-end residents’ warnings of polluted neighbourhoods, the Liberal government announced diesel trains would run on the line when it opens before the 2015 Pan Am Games.

The Liberals recently switched tracks, however, vowing to retrofit the line for quicker, cleaner electric trains as part of a $29-billion, 10-year transit plan.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 30, 2014 at 10:07 pm

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