VoteTO candidates’ responses on the G20

So, after all this G20 craziness, I’ve set out to find out what all the people that want me to vote for them have to say about it all.  Going into this, I’ve been undecided both at the city councillor level and the mayoral level.  At the mayoral level I’ve been disappointed by the lack of anyone worth voting for, and at the councillor level I’ve been struggling with how many amazing options I have.

To narrow it down, I sent the following email to all of the candidates, because what happened at the G20 has become an incredibly important issue to me:

NAME,

I’m writing to you today as an undecided voter.  I’m emailing these same questions to all 14 Ward 27 candidates [or 34 mayoral candidates, as the case was], and a big part of my vote hinges on the response – this is an issue that has affected me deeply over the last few weeks and I hope that you can answer me sincerely.  I apologise in advance for the length of the email, but I think it’s important you understand where I’m coming from.

As you know, over the weekend of June 26th and 27th, Toronto hosted the G20, and along with it massive demonstrations supporting and opposing countless causes.  While I was not a participant in any of these demonstrations, as an interested citizen and as a local resident I did spend a lot of time following and observing them.

Sparing the details, over the course of the weekend, I witnessed:

-peaceful protests being prohibited by the police from travelling freely through the streets.

-violent protestors (more appropriately, vandals) attacking small groups of police that had insufficient backup or support to help them defend themselves.

-Yonge Street businesses, recently damaged by these vandals, being looted by various passers-by while not one of the reported 5,000 police officers that were in town appeared to be anywhere nearby.

-a peaceful group of people being charged at (and occasionally trampled on) by police on the South lawn of Queen’s Park, with no communication from the officers regarding why they were doing so.

-hundreds of riot police preventing demonstrators from entering the North lawn of Queen’s Park, which was designated as the ‘free speech zone.’

-countless police searches (including one on myself) and seizures on public streets, nowhere near the barrier fence, usually with no explanation of why those affected were being stopped.

-a group of people singing O Canada being charged at by riot police; at least one young woman had her finger broken either by an officer or in the ensuing stampede.

-The public detention, by ‘kettling,’ of various groups of people, most peacefully protesting and many just gawking at and photographing what was going on.

Besides these things – all of which I witnessed myself, and am not reporting on hearsay –there was also a now well-documented multiple-hour detention of hundreds of people at Queen and Spadina on Sunday night who were ultimately not even arrested, the arrest of dozens of journalists who were documenting the weekend’s events, and the also well-documented abuses and conditions at the Eastern detention centre.  I should not have to explain why any one of these things – let alone all of them in combination – was a complete and systemic failure of our police force.  Not to mention violations of the Charter that we Canadians expect our governments to abide by.

My question is this: if elected to office, what will you personally do (with your vote in council) to ensure:

1 – that the officers who abused their powers over the course of the G20 weekend are brought to justice, and/or that the oversight bodies are given the ability to do so

2 – that a formal inquiry be performed and, if (and when) any responsibility is determined to rest at the level of the City of Toronto, a formal apology be issued

3 – that the local businesses affected by G20-related damage be fairly compensated.  While this may belong to other jurisdictions, this is a wrong that must be put right, and I would like to see the City take a lead on this regardless of what the other levels of government do

4 – that this sort of thing never happen again.  A response that we should not have held, nor should in future hold, events of this nature is not what I’m looking for as the City of Toronto didn’t want the G20 in the first place – I would like to know what specifically you would do to ensure our police force is properly trained, equipped, and directed to uphold the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech while also ensuring that laws are enforced.

To give full disclosure, while I am genuinely asking this on my own behalf (since this has become the number one election issue for me), I do intend to share the responses I receive with others who are interested.

I thank you in advance for your time, and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Neal Jennings

[my address]

I went into this with a few basic principles: first, I would try to find a way to email each of the candidates in as many ways as possible. My general approach involved the toronto.ca website that does provide some candidates’ email addresses, followed by Google, facebook, and Twitter searches, along with a couple blogs I found that linked to a bunch of different pages for candidates. If none of those worked – I stopped trying because, frankly, if all of that didn’t yield one working email address, the candidate clearly doesn’t want me to vote for them.

I contacted, where I could, every candidate that was registered (according to toronto.ca) at around 10PM July 20th.  I’ve documented those I was unable to contact and/or anything of note.

My other major principle was that I would not waste time with multiple follow-ups: I intentionally wrote my request email with very specific requests so that the candidates could respond to such requests.  If they chose to dodge the question – that was their prerogative and I did not follow up further.  I did make a point of sending a brief “thank you” to those who did reply.  I also did not further prod those who I disagreed with – this was not an exercise in convincing anyone of my views, but a way to gauge their real views so I could have an informed vote.  Finally, I spent little to no effort to follow up with people who didn’t respond – if they can’t respond while only a candidate, that speaks to their responsiveness as an elected official.  I’ve arbitrarily decided that today, August 2nd, is more than enough time for a response.  I sent my emails late in the evening of July 20th.

The questions are pointed and specific – intentionally so.  There is somewhat of a trend in some of the responses suggesting I’ve already made up my mind on the issues – which is precisely true, I have made up my mind about what I would like to see happen as a result of all this, and was only trying to find out who, if anyone, agreed with me enough to give a response I liked.  It was nice to see some candidates give well-thought-out, albeit sometimes disagreeable, responses that clearly outlined why I should not vote for them.  There’s an immense lack of that in politics these days, and a little honesty goes a long way. I also wanted to know how they, in their role as councillor or mayor, would actually accomplish the changes that were needed and not just pay lip-service.  Some candidates have done that better than others.

So, the following is a summary of the results of this little experiment.  I have not edited the responses except as noted or to remove contact information that seemed too personal to publish.

Candidates for Mayor

Achampong, Rocco

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Andrews, Don

Mr. Jennings:

Than you for your e-mail.

By way of reply, I feel that there should be a full enquiry held into the G20 incidents and arrests, with participation from all levels of government — municipal, provincial and federal and answers found out from this uinprecedented abuse of Canadian civil rights.

I have written to Queen Elizabeth II on this matter and am awaiting a response from Buckingham Palace.

Wishing you the best,

DON ANDREWS
Candidate for Mayor
2010 Toronto Municipal Elections

Babula, George

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT 2010/08/08 – I received the following e-mail from this candidate today:

Hi Neal
My apologies for taking so long to get back to you on this matter. I’m a small business man, a single father to a 16 year old young man, and am also trying to run a mayoral campaign against all odds.
The weekend that all of this insanity happened my son and I decided to heed the advice of the police to avoid the downtown area all together. As such I have no first hand experiences but can only go by what I saw and heard through the media.
I have great problems with the events of that weekend but I don’t feel that all of the blame lies at the feet of the police. As such I would like to present my replies to your questions:
1) Any officer who abused his/her power must be charged or reprimanded as suitable for the offence. As citizens we must have full confidence in our police force to protect us.
2) Without doubt a formal inquiry is required and it is my understanding that at least a couple such inquiries are under way. The core of my election platform is Transparency in the operation of City Hall so its critical that all citizens clearly understand who did what to who and under who’s orders. If any responsibility is traced back to the City then an apology is not nearly enough. I want names named and people reprimanded as suitable for the actions taken.
3) Compensation to local businesses is mandatory. My position is that the City’s insurance provider should be working with the insurance providers for the individual businesses and federal reps to cover all losses. On the flip side its also critical that anyone found guilty of doing damage must also be punished appropriately. Remember, whether its the city, the province, or the feds, its all our money and the criminals should not be allowed to just walk away. There must be repercussions on all sides.
4) With respect to training the police to be better prepared for other such events I feel that they already are. Circumstances change when there is wanton violence and destruction and this is not a normal situation. Special forces are required for special circumstances. Peaceful protests are just that, peaceful so by definition no special training is required. I did not read anywhere what efforts the city made to try and prevent this function from taking place downtown but to an outsider like me I have to assume that the feds have very little, if any, respect for the current leadership of our city. It is my intention to mend the problems that seem to exist by being completely open and honest regarding the state of the city’s finances and thereby ultimately gaining respect from the feds. Once there is mutual respect then open discussions can take place and this type of activity is not shoved down our throats.
Please feel free to ask any other questions regarding this issue or any of my Platform that you can read at http://www.parkdaleparty.com
Best regards
George Babula
Candidate for Mayor of Toronto
info@parkdaleparty.com

Ball, Christopher

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Barton, Andrew

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Brereton, Wendell

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT 2010/08/14: This candidate withdrew his nomination for this seat today.

Campbell, Douglas

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Castillo, Jaime

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Clarke, Kevin

I contacted the only email address for Kevin through the toronto.ca website, and the message was returned “mailbox unavailable.”  The domain name registered for him does not exist.

Cole, Keith

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Cottle, Charlene

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Firth, Selwyn

Props go to Selwyn for responding before I even had the chance to finish emailing the remainder of the candidates.

Dear Neal.

If elected mayor I would ensure that there is a full and complete

public inquiry. I would see to it that Bill Blair be fired for cause

along with his advisers.

I will be filing a lawsuit seeking damages as well as punitive damages

for what happened to me.

I think that it is time for the people of the city to take back our

city from the council that unanimously applauded the police for the

job they did.

This whole thing seems to have been a setup to justify the 1.2 billion

dollar expense. The use of the inhumane Eastern avenue detention

center was without justification and unjustifiable.

If you want to see my account of what happened to me see my website

http://www.selwynformayor.com

Send this out to whomever you wish.

If you or your friends can donate as little as $25.00 to my campaign

the city will reimburse you 75 % or 18.75. This is a way to ensure

that there are fewer problems with fundraising issues relating to

large donations.

The city has limited the maximum donate to be $ 2500.00 from a single

donor and the maximum rebate is $ 1000.00

I am a small player in this race but building a grassroots following I

can peak in time to win.

If you really want to see changes I believe I am the only one who will

be able to ensure they happen.

I really think  the city is  overdue for a serious shakeup at city council.

Sincerely yours

Selwyn Firth

Flie, Michael

Dear Mr. Jennings,

First, let me state that I appreciate your input and feedback on the city of Toronto.  The G20 and G8 meetings are and always have been intended to be peaceful meetings by our elected officials to set new policies and procedures on issues such as environmental concerns, the global economy and matters dealing with the military.

I for one was shocked by the number of protestors. This is not an event that should be protested when so much good as come from these meetings. It seems that in recent years these events have become less peaceful and more violent and usually by people who don’t even live in the city of Toronto.

Answers:

1: Being a police officer is often a thankless job and they are  often faced with situations where they are ill equipped or in some cases not experienced enough to properly deal with situations like the G20.  I for one, would prefer to give the police better equipment and training to deal with these situations so that any events like the G20 can be properly handled in the future.  However, in situations where there are bad cops that do abuse their powers, that they be properly disciplined and therefore set a better example for those police officers that do their job and do not abuse powers.

In addition to the protestors for the G20 or any other happenstance, I believe if the city were to implement  police helicopters for crowd control, search and rescue, high speed pursuits, monitoring and research. These helicopters would have to be a Utility Helicopter which is lightly armored, capable of long distance flights, being able to transport people or supplies and have low maintenance costs attached to it.

2.  A formal apology should always be issued if and when the city has failed to protect the innocent.

3. Most businesses are protected by insurance for any type of vandalism.  However, I   would be inclined to compensate any business that was shut down for any period of time because of this and more than willing to take the lead on any such occurrence that should happen in my city.

4.  Toronto is hub for our great nation and as the focal point of Canada, Toronto is the stage for many events like the G20 and should continue to be so in the future. I have and always will support these events because they are productive for the greater good of the people.

However, in the future if elected, I would vow to ensure that anyone who wishes to vocalize their concerns about these events may do so in a peaceful demonstration. Any riots or violence will be met with the same response from Toronto Police.

In regard to training, as I mentioned before I am supportive of better training in all areas of government, not just Toronto Police. In terms of better equipment the only concern that has been brought to my attention thus far is in regard to better bullet proof jackets.  I have done some research and found a military development of bullet proof jackets called Dragon Skin. These jackets can stop a shot gun blast at close range, or a .445 Magnum.  Any other concerns that may be active has not been brought to my attention.

I welcome any additional contact from you in regard to your vote and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Michael Flie, B.A.
Marketing and Advertising Specialist

michael.flie@featherofconfidence.ca
www.featherofconfidence.ca

Ford, Rob

Hi Neal,

Thank you so much for your email; I truly appreciate you sharing your concerns with me. Listening to the concerns of Torontonians is very important to me, and will remain important to me, should I be elected Mayor of Toronto.

The events that took place at the G20 summit this weekend were clearly unacceptable, and I’m glad we had some of the world’s finest police officers on duty keeping Toronto safe. Some of their actions have been criticized, and I think it’s healthy that we have this discussion.  The police are undertaking a review of how security for the summit was handled, and I’d like to give them the opportunity to answer the questions raised about this weekend before jumping to any conclusions.

Please take a moment to fill out this brief questionnaire on your views. I will read and consider your answers, but I pledge not to make any of your individual information public. Do you have any other comments or suggestions for me or my campaign?

http://dcmscripts.com/robford/cgi-bin/ciwweb.pl?studyname=robford&email=...

Thanks again. If there’s anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Rob Ford
rob@robfordformayor.ca
www.robfordformayor.ca

Ghazi, Abdullah-Baquie

Neal Jennings,

Thanks for writing me.

I am running for Mayor and not covered by those Medias.

However,  I feel your deep concern about G20 protest.

I think same way like you that peaceful protest should not be disturbed & prohibited by Police.

And of course, the situation went beyond expectation – it is complete failure of control of Police and government.

You know – in City Council – mayor and all Councillors have one vote for each. Alone – nobody would be able take any decision about future of those Police officers. But City council should held a special session talk on this G20 serious matter and should also bring majority peoples concerns in that forum.

The newly elected Mayor & Councillors would not be taking the blame of present council but still bring the issue in that discussion forum whether present Council have done right or wrong.

Then proceed forward together with the whole Council.

I think this forum and action is necessary for future as lesson.

I appreciate again and thank you – I shall be always with people ! that i can ensure you.

You can read my Platform at: http://twishort.com/aaprf ,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33726620/Mayor-Baquie-Ghazi-Platform

cheers

Abdullah-Baquie Ghazi

Gomberg, Howard

hail citizen jennings   as a senior citizen who has been around many blocks, i have learned this.  almost all questions have within them the answers that the questioner seeks . to that end i am in complete agreement with your  concerns. in fact if you ran for mayor i would vote for you.  for decades i have  been involved with an endless array of social justice,peace and ecological issues. i will gladly compare my  green ,red  and rainbow  credentials with any of the other  mayoral candidates. in the 60s i was in  the trubadour for the socialist labor party  involved with the civil rights movement in the u.s. i stood shoulder to shoulder with my lesbian sister in thiere struggles.. i left the u.s.a. during the calamity known as viet nam. i in fact have worn out  countless running shoes in demo after demo. on the weekend  of the summit i made another choice. instead of protesting i joined with a couple of hundred of  others  in woodbine park  in what we called   the human summit   to visualize and meditate on a higher  ideal for those who came to toronto . at this time in my life i am much more committed to be as Ghandi  suggested    be the change you wish to see in the world.  my campaign  calls upon us to develop  a new mind. ,so that we may begin to address the myriad of complex  issues which assail us. in so far as i have neither  money  or staff ,all i can do is hope to appeal to citizens like you to join me in  the campaign for the new mind. do not despair there are sparks of light in the darkness. dare to see a brighter  future for toronto. that i believe is the starting place, your mind joined with  others.   thank you for your love of justice       your humble servant   howard gomberg

416.538.1085
gombergformayor.com

Hossain, Monowar

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Lee, Dewitt

I could not find any contact information for this candidate. I did send an @reply tweet to him on Twitter asking for an official campaign email address, but received no reply.

Letonja, John

Hi Neal

My name is John Letonja the G20 was a mess.

On questions that you gave the police should be accountable I say yes and the provincial and federal government should as well be accountable it was not handled properly and No there will not be G20 in Toronto anymore.

Thanks from John Letonja

Magee, Colin

Colin did not have an email address posted anywhere, but I tweeted at his official Twitter account and he sent me his email address the next day, July 21st.

He responded later on the 21st with:

Hello Neal, may I say we need more people like you in this city, it is
great see your passion.
I would much rather meet with you face to face than send you my
answers, I just don’t think the written word would give my viewpoints
justice. If you are free to meet for a beer or a coffee to discuss the
issues let me know, if you do not have the time to meet I will gladly
send you my opinions regarding your concerns.

Thanks
Colin Magee

[after I requested a written response:]

Hello Neal, sorry I didn’t get back you yesterday I had a pressing matter that couldn’t wait.

The events of that weekend were quite disturbing, I think my friend’s response  when I showed him the video of the security forces rushing the crowd after the singing Oh Canada, sums up the feeling a lot of us had regarding that weekend. He had a look of shock on his face and simply stated “In my city?”. The events that occurred reminded me of my visits to Belfast in 90’s when it was war torn and essentially a police state. This is what scares me the most, many of the people in the Belfast that I talked to at that time had a total mistrust of the police and security forces due to suspension of civil liberties (such as imprisonment without crime and without trial, it kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it?) and the heavy handed actions of the security forces. I do not want that to happen to our city, I have heard people say that they feel a little more on edge when they see a police officer, so it seems the seeds have already been planted. I do think we can stop the mistrust from continuing, but it will take the co-operation of all levels of government for this to happen.

1. I will support the prosecution of those responsible for the assault on the peaceful protesters over the course of that weekend.  Whether it be the the leaders of the security forces or the officers themselves.

2. I think there should have been a formal apology from Mr. Miller already. When the vandals destroyed property on the Saturday Mayor Miller was speaking to the press that evening, but when people were being detained in the rain for hours on the Sunday he was nowhere to be found and did not make a statement until the next day. So I can only assume that he thinks property is more important than people. In other words yes I would back a formal apology.

3. The city should take the lead, this is the property of their citizens. If we do not take care of the people and the property of this city what is the point of having a municipal government? We may have to be creative with this one, maybe find a legal way to get compensation. I am just writing from the top of my head, but didn’t the federal government basically rent out Toronto for their party? If they did wouldn’t they be held legally liable for any of the damages?

4. What I would suggest is that we not only have police involved in planning and deployment of security, but have outside individuals such as the CCLA involved in the planning and deployment, this way the security will be fair and balanced.

I hope this has answered some of your concerns, if you have any other questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely

Colin Magee

McMillan, Jim

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Pampena, Joseph

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Pantalone, Joe

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Update 2010/08/04 – I received a tweet from @jpantalone asking me to resend the email as they claimed it was not received.  I have done so and been notified by email that Joe is currently on vacation so a response can’t be guaranteed this week.  I will edit this post to include it if a response is received.

Update 2010/08/16 – received this email today:

Hello, Neal.
Mr. Pantalone has made a statement clarifying his earlier remarks on the G20 incidents. Having read it just now, I believe it addresses each of your questions. Please let me know if you need anything else.
Thanks
Mike Smith
Press Secretary for Joe Pantalone

The shocking events of the G20 summit in Toronto this June were quite apparently at odds with the Toronto we know and love. Many people were rightly dismayed, and are now calling for restorative action.

In Toronto, we have hard-won civilian oversight of the police force. The creation of the Toronto Police Services Board was a victory for civil libertarians, and if respect for civil liberties is to be rebuilt – and it must – then the process must begin there.

The Toronto Police Service sets its own procedures, which cannot be dictated by the Board. But the Board sets overall policy. If procedure or the failure to follow procedure is found to have infringed on civil liberties, the Board should enact policies which set out clear directions and, where possible, restrictions to prevent this in the future. Any individuals deemed responsible for any such failure must be held accountable. And where clear procedures for balancing security needs with basic freedoms are lacking, the Board must ensure their creation, as well as the creation of procedures for regularly re-familiarizing all officers with the importance of Charter rights.

This is where we begin. Given the involvement of three levels of security forces, calling for an inquiry before it has been determined where breakdowns occurred is to make restorative action less likely. We cannot serve anyone who was treated carelessly and denied due process by carelessly dispensing with due process. Preempting the City’s efforts to find answers for itself would be just as harmful as the federal government preempting Toronto’s involvement in summit plans.

We must consider the Board’s investigation to be the first step in gaining a wider picture of any possible procedural breakdowns, determining how much of that picture lies inside the Board’s purview, and how much lies outside.

Where failures are found to have occurred outside of municipal jurisdiction, the Board and the City must press other levels of government to open up all appropriate avenues of investigation, and to publicly act on all findings.

The City must also redouble its insistence that the federal government offer compensation for all businesses harmed during the summit.

In the meantime, the Board’s investigation does not in any way impair or influence the civilian complaints process. Anyone who feels they were mistreated by officers should be encouraged to engage in this process, and the relevant governing bodies must see all complaints through.

What happened that weekend must never happen again. But any responsible parties cannot be held responsible until we have all information at hand. I ask Toronto’s residents to support Toronto’s government in leading the careful work of restoring the crucial trust which was so suddenly bruised.

Joe Pantalone

Rossi, Rocco

Hello Neal,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the issues surrounding the G20. This election is about change.  We have a terrific opportunity to re-imagine our city and realize our potential.

The grim scenes on the streets of Toronto during the G20 were disturbing to everyone. The violence was totally unacceptable. That was not our Toronto. I believe the police did a good job under very difficult circumstances. But we are Canadians, and anytime something big happens, it?s important to take some lessons from it and this is no exception.

What took place raises questions and because we live in a democracy, those questions are appropriate.  In seeking answers, I would urge that it be in a third-party forum to ensure the process has credibility.

For those citizens that feel their rights were infringed upon, they should seek legal advice and lodge any complaints with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.www.oiprd.on.ca/cms

Finally, small businesses should not shoulder the burden of out-of-pocket expenses for violence perpetrated during the G20 and should receive compensation from the federal government.

I also hope you will consider getting more involved in the campaign. Click here to learn more. Your thoughts, ideas and questions are always welcome.

– Rocco Rossi Campaign for Change

Smitherman, George

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

State, Mark

Neal:

You wrote,

While I was not a participant in any of these demonstrations, as an interested citizen and as a local resident I did spend a lot of time following and observing them.

My question is this: if elected to office, what will you personally do (with your vote in council) to ensure:

1 – that the officers who abused their powers over the course of the G20 weekend are brought to justice, and/or that the oversight bodies are given the ability to do so

2 – that a formal inquiry be performed and, if (and when) any responsibility is determined to rest at the level of the City of Toronto, a formal apology be issued

3 – that the local businesses affected by G20-related damage be fairly compensated.  While this may belong to other jurisdictions, this is a wrong that must be put right, and I would like to see the City take a lead on this regardless of what the other levels of government do

4 – that this sort of thing never happens again.  A response that we should not have held, nor should in future hold, events of this nature is not what I’m looking for as the City of Toronto didn’t want the G20 in the first place – I would like to know what specifically you would do to ensure our police force is properly trained, equipped, and directed to uphold the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech while also ensuring that laws are enforced.

To give full disclosure, while I am genuinely asking this on my own behalf (since this has become the number one election issue for me), I do intend to share the responses I receive with others who are interested.

That you were actually on the spot to witness as much as you did, were at most of the major G20 protest ‘events’, are looking for Mayoralty candidate endorsement of your anti-G20, anti police-action views by emailing us, and yet claim to be merely “an interested citizen” stretches my credulity about the nature of your inquiry’s ‘stronger-than-merely’ energy source.  Forgive me for disclosing that you are not, as you claim to be, just an interested citizen, but rather one who has assumed vested interests illustrated above by your transparently one-sided sentiment.

The number one election issue has nothing to do with the G20, the protest activities around it, or the actions of the police.  Let me correct you in no uncertain terms that you are electing a Mayor and council whose business it will be over the next four years to try to resuscitate a city labouring under an enormous multi-billion dollar deficit that must be paid off and will be paid with your tax money, and you will be taxed more and more in more and more clever ways until it is; and because that amount will near 10 Billion over the next couple of years, so will your children and your grandchildren.  That’s the number one issue.

If you believe that the G20 protests and their various ramifications and outcomes are the number one issue for the upcoming election, you are thinking shallowly; and since I’m only after the thinking person’s endorsement, I’m not interested in whether you in particular vote for me or not until you clearly understand what this election is really all about.

However, I will be pleased to respond to your questions since they are topical, and many people who have not kept abreast of my comments in the web media might be interested in reading them as well.  The questions are above, and I shall number my responses below to match.

1.  We hire the police officers on our force with care.  We look for community-minded persons who will be dedicated to protecting us.  It’s a very pragmatic system:  we depend upon them, and we must trust them to be dedicatedly on our side.  When any police officer is found through due process to have betrayed that trust, I believe that officer should be removed from the force because his or her remaining on it undermines the faith we must have in our policing in order for it to work efficiently.

2.  Currently, an inquiry is being held into the behaviour of the police in general and certain officers in particular during the G20 events by the Toronto Police Services Board.  This is a completely inadequate and misdirected attempt at resolving the issues raised by a (in my mind) sufficient number of concerned, involved, and media-informed citizens to warrant an independent judicial inquiry into those events led by a prominent jurist.  I would be prepared as Mayor to lend my weight and influence to effect such an inquiry.  The best use of the current inquiry is as a preliminary hearing to assemble all the available evidence for a proper investigation…no more, and hopefully at the earliest possible juncture.  If such a proper judicial inquiry results in questioning the legality of activities of any police officers who served in that event, an apology is not appropriate follow-up.  The next stage of action must be a fair trial during which the normal course of justice is pursued so that all persons who have an interest in the matter can have their rights protected under law and due course, the same as those who were arrested and charged by police will have theirs cared for by our judicial system.  The net result, whatever it is, will have nothing to do with my (or anyone’s) vote in council.

3.  Compensation will be provided by insurance carriers where it can, and in some instances by the city where insurance does not apply and it can be shown that the city is culpable in some regard for the damage because it was caused by unidentified persons who most likely (lacking any other evidence to the contrary) were Torontonians, and thus their behaviour and policing at any given time regardless of the nature of the event were a Toronto responsibility.  Quite probably a special compensation fund has already been set up; and if it is not, then the federal government –who ultimately bears responsibility for any remiss policing that resulted in wantonly inflicted property damage, since the officers responsible for protecting the city was a federally-assembled and led force at a federally sponsored event– will be informed and requested to establish one.

4.  “This sort of thing” will happen again.  It has a recent history of happening at every city where the G8 and G20 (22) meet.  Do not rest the blame for the civil disobedience and disorder on those whose job it is to maintain order, but rather on those who attend specifically to cause upheaval and who thrive on civil unrest.  Had there been no history of those elements using terror tactics and violent anarchistic behaviour typically at international events such as these, the citizens of Canada could have been spared a Billion dollar security expense, police officers could have spent the week more or less peacefully on ordinary duty or at home living a normal existence; and a great many citizens have been spared the trauma of negative interaction with them.  That the event was held in Toronto was enormously fortunate for this city in terms of publicity and eventual commerce.  We did nothing specifically to earn it other than being a center of trade and commerce in Ontario and Canada.  While the occasion was a publicity gift from the federal government, the unfortunate events surrounding it were a gift of the rowdies, hoodlums, and criminals who came bent on spoiling what could otherwise have been an orderly event.  In general, and given the circumstances under which they were employed during the G20, and possibly with a few misguided exceptions we all will eventually receive an explanation for, the Toronto police force carried out their extremely unenviable task with professional reserve, steely resolution, minimal direct force, and dedication to preserving the peace in the face of what I can only describe as menacing and perilous anti-police-focused civil disobedience that we can safely identify as coming from a criminal element in society.

I do understand that even if you were not directly involved but chose to participate as an observer, you carry a very strong feeling about the actions of police during the G20.  So I’m asking you to imagine the shoe was on the other foot.  Doubtlessly, you have seen plenty of videos of the crowds interacting with police and the lawless terror tactics employed by the black bloc.  In those instances as a police officer, a normal, dedicated human being hired and trained and vested with special trust and powers specifically for the purpose of keeping the public safe and entrusted to uphold the law and remove the lawless on behalf of the citizens of this city, what kinds of actions would you have taken under the same threatening and rowdy circumstances?

It would be nice if, as promised, you are actually going to publish this as a statement from me, even though it is a disagreement with your point of view in many respects.  Thanks for asking my opinion.

Mark State

[After my brief response thanking him:]

Thanks, Neal.  Please repair the word “have” which shows up as “hae” in #4, line 8 before you publish.  I repaired your “happen” to “happens” in your question 4, so fair is fair LOL.  –M.

Note: I stand behind my choice of the word happen, in the context of the sentence that precedes it.

Steinberger, Tibor

This was a new type of protest that Toronto hardly experiences where terrorists are mixed in with the protesters.

It all started with the terrorist bombing of a bank in Ottawa and the threat of more severe violence at the G20 in Toronto.

There was a lot of chatter leading up to the G20 protests so the police were bracing for the worst.

I have seen mob mentality so pulling out a few terrorists would have made the other protester mad and they would have attacked the police.

Remember that Toronto does not allow violent protests only peaceful ones.

If you look at my web site http://tiborsteinberger.ca/police_inquiry when I am elected Mayor of Toronto I will have a police inquiry.

Tibor Steinberger

A Vote For Me Is A Vote For You

Syed, Himy

Neal,

Thank you for giving a damn.

Thank you for asking me from your heart.

We are on the exact same page on this one.

Your email puts into words much of my feelings, thoughts, and the inklings of the required remedy.

We as a city must not allow what you are asking to fall into any distant memory, filed away by way of a forced civic amnesia.

Please accept this short note as acknowledgment of receipt of your questions.

You will receive from me answers on your questions within a week’s time, if not sooner.

You may understand, I wish to properly invest due diligence in responding, what will become public answers you will be sharing with other undecided voters. A leader must do this.

Disclosure: I was at Queen’s Park on Saturday, until circa 7 p.m.

On Sunday, I was IN Queen & Spadina before the Rain, the police ‘let’ me go but not others. I kept tweeting until my blackberry died. I stayed nearby in the Rain until the ISU(or whoever) released the Queen&Spadina detainees circa 10 p.m.

Again Thank you Neal,

HiMY

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, Himy has not provided a further response but has since promised it again. I will post here if one is received.

Taylor, Phil

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Thomson, Sarah

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT: 2010/08/22 – I received the following email today after a rather long Twitter exchange with @ThomsonTO, the back-story of which I’ve documented here.

Sarah Thomson <publisher@womenspost.ca>
sender-time Sent at 9:31 PM (GMT-04:00). Current time there: 10:57 PM. 
to Neal Jennings
date Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 9:31 PM
subject Re: Police
mailed-by womenspost.ca
hide details 9:31 PM (1 hour ago)

Hi Neal,

Yes my staff at Women’s Post corroborate all the things you have mentioned. They and hundreds of others were detained at Queen and Spadina caught on there way out to dinner. One of them was taken by police and his things put into a plastic bag. The police officer held the bag out in the rain until it filled with water and then handed it back to him. His cell phone was ruined. They then took him up to Finch and dropped him off on a street corner.
This is not civil, nor does it reflect the behaviour that our police service can be proud of. The officers involved in these incidents must be made accountable for their actions otherwise this abuse of power will go unchecked.
1 – I will do everything I can to make sure that the officers who abused their powers over the course of the G20 weekend are brought to justice, and/or that the oversight bodies are given the ability to do so — this will require open and transparent communication between all police forces – municipal, provincial and the RCMP — and the public.
2 – I will push that a formal inquiry be performed and, if (and when) any responsibility is determined to rest at the level of the City of Toronto, a formal apology be issued and  those officers who were accountable be made to go through a retraining program that teaches them the ability to be civil under pressure.
3 – I will work to rebuild relationships between the municipal and federal government and push to see that the local businesses affected by G20-related damage be fairly compensated.
4 – By rebuilding the relationship between the city and the federal government we can try to ensure that this sort of thing never happens again.  I will also push the Federal government to create a program to teach officers how to remain civil under extreme pressure and require all those who demonstrated poor use of their power at the G20  take the course as well as officers wanting to work at other public demonstrations.
I hope I can earn your vote over the next 9 weeks.
All the best,
Sarah Thomson
[my original email]


Sarah Thomson
Candidate for Mayor Toronto
www.sarahthomson.ca

Vallance, David

Neal,

I’m not going to answer in detail (for one vote) Generally I agree with you. I watched the events on TV and it confirmed my long held belief that the police are out of control. It’s not their fault, they are only doing what all powerful groups do, expand their authority. Toronto is out of synch with most of the country. I heard from a good source that part of the problem was that Julian Fantino took over the command on Saturday night which led to change in approach. Politicians fawn over Fantino and that is a large part of the problem.

David Vallance
31 Dalton Road, Toronto
416.962.2786

Wadhwa, Ratan

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate. However, according to http://wapedia.mobi/en/Toronto_municipal_election,_2006 “He promoted much the same platform in 2006 [as in the previous election], and also called for increased helicopter surveillance and bullet-proof vests for police.”  I’m going to assume he was totally in favour of giving the police all sorts of powers.

Walker, Daniel

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

EDIT 2010-08-03 – Daniel has left his comments below in the comments section.

Yeung, Sonny

You should read some of my posts on my website about attending the rallies and marches.

I support an independent inquiry into the policing and spending.

The root of it was Harper’s decision to hold it at the MTCC to show case our financial district.

The Federal Gov’t is being pressured by council and some mayoral candidates to compensate the 46 stores that were vandalised, broken glass & spray painted etc…

The next G8 in Canada will be in 2018 so it depends on who is Mayor in 2014.

Sonny Yeung:Mayoral Candidate

P.S. two thirds of the candidates are right of center

——————————————————————————–

For Ward 27

Anderson, Enza

Neal

thank you for your email and my apologies for the late reply. My campaign
is about putting people first. That means defending the rights of ordinary
citizens.

A public inquire into the actions of the police is the only way to get to
the truth of what happened.

It upset me very much that our city politicians were not there to support
their own citizens and yet passed a motion in support of police actions.
I’ve always believed that city councilors should be there to support their
constituents, not the big unions.

I know what’s it’s like to be harassed by the police for simply walking
down the street. I can sympathize with what happened to you. Any unlawful
actions by the police need to be addressed and those responsible brought
up to explain their actions.

Enza Anderson…

Chan, Ken

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate.  I ran into Ken earlier this week at an unrelated event and he did promise that one was on the way.  If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT: I received the following email from Ken on August 3rd:

Dear Neal,

Thank you for your email dated July 20th regarding the G20 public order
policing.

It is my firm belief that for public confidence in our police services to
be upheld, there needs to be effective and efficient civilian oversight.
There must also be a credible and independent system for public complaints
about the police.

Should you or anyone else have complaints about the conduct of a police
service or specific officer(s) over the course of the G20 Summit, please
write the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) at 655
Bay Street, 10th Floor, Toronto, ON, M7A 2T4. Complaints can also be filed
online at https://www.oiprd.on.ca/CMS/Complaints.aspx.

On July 6th, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) established an
independent civilian review of the oversight of G20 Policing. On July 9th,
Ontario’s Ombudsman commenced an investigation into the origin and
subsequent communication of the security regulation made under the Public
Works Protection Act. And on July 22nd, the OIPRD Director announced that
he found it to be in the public interest to conduct a systemic review of
police actions over the G20 weekend and will be examining issues related
to allegations of unlawful searches, unlawful arrests, improper detention
and issues related to the temporary holding facility. It is also my
understanding that the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Special
Investigations Unit is probing several allegations stemming from the G20.

I have confidence that these arms-length bodies will carry out thorough
independent inquiries into police conduct over the G20 Summit weekend. It
is my hope that the review by the OIPRD and TPSB will result in
recommendations which can contribute to the overall improvement of public
order policing in our city. If elected to City Council, I will support the
TPSB on overseeing implementation of recommendations from the reviews to
ensure public confidence in public order policing.

As for property damage, I believe that the federal government should
compensate those businesses whose properties were damaged as a result of
criminal acts during the G20 Summit weekend.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to
contact me at (416) 848-6084.

Sincerely,

Ken Chan
Candidate for City Councillor
Ward 27, Toronto Centre – Rosedale

Dean, Evan

This candidate did not have a publicly-available email address, however I did email through his web form.  As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Dick, Joel

Hi Neal,

Thank you for taking the time to write.  I have also been deeply affected
by this issue. I spent the Saturday of the G20 weekend downtown.  I spent
Sunday in Bail Court – the son of out of town friends had been detained
and they had asked me to help because I am a lawyer.

Like you I was deeply troubled by some of the things I saw and some of the
allegations I heard.  It was for this reason that I used my campaign
facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/joeldick.ward27) to call for a
public inquiry within the first week after the G20.

With respect to your specific questions, as your councillor I would work
hard to make sure that the Toronto Police Services Board exercises its
authority and responsibility to investigate specific allegations of
misconduct.  The primary tool for investigating complaints is the Office
of the Independant Police Review Director, who has the jurisdiction to
deal with complaints against individual officers.  This a relatively new
office and I believe we should give it the benefit of the doubt and some
time to do its work.  We should, of course, keep tabs on this process and
I would use my position as councillor to do just that.

All of us deserve answers that will help us to fully understand what
happened and to avoid some of the mistakes in the future. As I mentioned
above, I have already joined Amnesty International and the Canadian Civil
Liberties Association in calling for an inquiry.  I fully agree with you
that a public inquiry is necessary.

In particular, I am very concerned about the confusion around the Public
Works Act.  The misinformation about the powers of the police to carry out
searches etc not only undermined the rule of law but put individual
officers in a terrible position.

Local businesses deserve to be compensated.  The primary responsibility
for this lies with Stephen Harper and I will fight as hard as I can to see
this is done. Many of the affected businesses are in Ward 27. As City
Councillor I would support using City funds to compensate businesses that
are not otherwise compensated by insurance or Ottawa.

With respect to your last question, I think we need to learn from the
experiences of other cities.  For example, Washington D.C. has banned the
practice of kettling demonstrators. This grew out of a history of dealing
with protests at the World Bank and many other international institutions.
Toronto needs to learn from the difficult lessons learned in other
cities, and a public inquiry would be in the best position to make those
kind of recommendations.

My office is at University and Dundas and last summer I witnessed the
Tamil protests that shut down University Avenue for a week.  The Toronto
Police handled that protest with restaint and good humour.  Our shared
values of free speech and peaceful assembly were respected even though it
inconvienced the city.  Contrasting that experience with the G20 leaves me
to wonder who was really in charge.  Was it our Chief or was it the ISU
based in Barrie?  First we need an inquiry and then we will know what
concrete steps we have to take.

Our city has a lot of healing to do on this issue and that healing starts
by getting the facts.

Thank you again for taking the time to write. If you have any further
questions, I would love to talk further. You mention that you have other
interested friends you may be sharing this email with. Please also invite
them to contact me if they have any questions that aren’t answered by this
email.

Sincerely,

Joel Dick

Gapka, Susan

Initial attempts to contact Susan failed as her contact information on the city website was incorrect. I forwarded the email mentioning as much.  She posted on an unrelated facebook wall post the following: “Got your email message & will respond. My position on G20 has been clear as I marched the streets with others in the front-lines.”  I responded “thanks! and I know, but I’m trying to give everyone equal opportunity to respond to the same specific questions.”  Her response was “Neil, glad you know my position. Tomorrow is TPS Board meeting on Terms of Reference of Civilian Inquiry. I will be attending until my 3pm meeting.”

I received this email reply July 26th and have not heard further.  Susan was amongst those demonstrating during the G20 weekend and has since been advocating at the TPS board as well as online and through her campaign that there should be a full inquiry.

Neal:

Thank you for informing me the incorrect email address. It should be corrected now.

Susan Gapka Campaign

Ward 27 Toronto Centre Rosedale

Website: www.susangapka.org

Twitter: SusanGapka

Facebook: Susan Gapka Campaign for Ward 27 City Councillor

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=263602558849&ref=mf

— On Tue, 7/20/10, Neal Jennings wrote:
From: Neal Jennings
Subject: Re: Police
To: gapkacampaign@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 8:48 PM

[see email below – you may want to ask the city to correct your email address on http://app.toronto.ca/vote2010/candidatesInfoAction.do?cid=841 as it lists it as @yahoo.ca ]

Jacobs, Steve

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Meynell, Robert

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT 2010/08/06 I received this email from Robert today, and will post his full reply when received:

Hi Neal,

Thank you for your interest. This is just an ultra-quick reply to say that I am sorry I have not replied sooner. My email server had a glitch and I haven’t been receiving email through it for over two weeks (yes, I did think the silence was odd).

There are several emails in my box like yours that require a thoughtful reply and I will try to get back to you early next week.

Many thanks,
Robert

EDIT 2010/08/14 received a follow-up today:

Neal,

This is just to say that I haven’t forgot your email.

Best,


Robert

Missal, Perry

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Rebanks, Ella

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.  Ella did follow me on Twitter last week – though I’m not sure if that was in any way related.

Salerno, Rob

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT 2010/08/14: This candidate withdrew his nomination for this seat today.

Spence, Paul

Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find any email address or web contact form for this candidate.

Tindal, Chris

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate.  I ran into Chris earlier this week at an unrelated event and he did promise that one was on the way.  If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

Wong-Tam, Kristyn

[Kristyn’s team was the first for the Ward 27 candidates to respond]

Neal, thank you for you email.

The police conduct during the G20 is something that Kristyn has been very vocal and concerned about. She will respond personally to your email this evening.

Thank you again for writing in and we wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Kristyn Wong-Tam team
Your City Councillor Candidate
Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale
www.kristynwongtam.ca
facebook.com/iamwithkristyn
twitter.com/kristynwongtam

Follow-up, Monday July 26:

Neal, thank you for raising these important issues.  Set forth are my answers to your thoughtful questions.  Should you want further elaboration, I would be happy to meet up to discuss further.

1. The police are ultimately responsible to the pubic and as such should be held accountable to civilian oversight.  After all, they are called the Toronto Police Services and not the ‘Toronto Police Force’.  I believe that city council erred when it voted to commend the TPS without an independent public inquiry and as such, the gesture rings hollow for many fair-minded Torontonians.  I would use my authority and vote at city hall to ensure that our police officers live up to their public pledge of “to serve and protect” and support the call for an independent public inquiry into the police actions of the G20 weekend before and after the summit.

2.  If the police and private security companies hired to protect the world leaders and Torontonians committed no wrongs and acted within the limits of the law then an independent public inquiry will reveal that and we can create mechanisms to move forward from there.  If there was a breach of security or and improper police conduct, then I hope that the inquiry will give us some pragmatic solutions that we can implement to ensure that we can improve our policing systems.  This is the best way to re-confirm public trust that binds our society together.

3.  I personally inspected the streets where the vandalized businesses are clustered on both Saturday night and Sunday morning.  The shop owners told me that they were terrorized and threatened while their windows were smashed and merchandise was looted. They also told me that the police were not there to not stop the acts of violence despite their heavy presence. For this reason and others, I confirm that the businesses should be compensated for their loss.  As city councillor, I will take the lead in support of residents and businesses and demand that the businesses be compensated. It is gesture of good faith and the right thing to do.

4.  Proper civilian oversight must be respected and from the recent G20 events I am not assured we have the best mechanisms currently in place to improve police practices in our city.  There were obvious failures in security and police intelligence.  After spending $1.2 billion dollars, shutting down for city for days before and after the summit, and allowing some vandals to destroy our important commercial areas, this is not what I call a successful policing operation.  This is why we need to have an independent public review of the G20 weekend followed up with implementation of the recommendations with tangible deliverables by target dates.

Again, thank you for your email and kindest regards,

Kristyn Wong-Tam
Your City Councillor Candidate
Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale
www.kristynwongtam.ca
facebook.com/iamwithkristyn
twitter.com/kristynwongtam

Wookey, Simon

As of 5:30PM on August 2nd, no response has been received from this candidate. If I receive one after this point I will edit this post to include it.

EDIT / NOTE: I’ve been told by non-Wordpress users that GoogleAds appear on this page immediately following the post… anything immediately below this statement and above the comments is placed by Google / WordPress, and is not endorsed by me in any way.

Advertisements

29 responses to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Neal Jennings and Lady Green, JM. JM said: RT @nealjennings: thanks to @ivanvector for the tip, a WordPress version (complete) of #VoteTO #G20 reponses #Ward27 http://wp.me/p10XZh-5 […]

    Reply

  2. Posted by Lady Green on 2010/08/03 at 12:44 am

    This is an excellent blog to demonstrate effectively candidates’ views on Neal J.’s questions.

    Selwyn Firth & Him Syed would definitely get my votes.

    Mark State should go and live in a dictatorship run country … not here. He is just a true ignoramus and with his response, most definitely put the nail in his mayoral wanna-be coffin.

    Thank you for this, its a most fabulous way to get a better insight into those that wish to help lead Toronto forward.

    Sincerely, Lady Green

    Reply

  3. Thank you so much for doing this, Neal. It is so refreshing to see the true democratic process in action, and enlightening to see not only what the candidates’ opinions are without the media filter, but also who respects the democratic process enough to respond, and who couldn’t be bothered. Mr. State has made an elaborate and compelling argument, and although I disagree with him thoroughly, I respect the crap out of him for writing what he must have known would be an unpopular response to your question, given your audience. If we had more politicians like these that could form, present and stick to their own opinions, then we the citizens would be able to make informed voting decisions, and just maybe we’d get governments that truly represent us.

    At any rate, I’ve learned more in the last 5 minutes reading your blog than I’ve learned in the last month from the popular media about candidates’ thoughts on the G20 fiasco, or about any specific issue. Thank you again, and keep up the good work.

    Reply

    • Posted by reed bellet on 2010/08/05 at 7:36 am

      “If you believe that the G20 protests and their various ramifications and outcomes are the number one issue for the upcoming election, you are thinking shallowly; and since I’m only after the thinking person’s endorsement, I’m not interested in whether you in particular vote for me or not until you clearly understand what this election is really all about.”

      Focusing solely on finances, ignoring human rights and apparently completely oblivious to the multitude of very rational and well-informed reasons to protest the G20. Methinks State is the shallow thinker here.

      Reply

  4. Posted by Tyson Vickers on 2010/08/03 at 1:53 am

    This survey is very useful in weeding out candidates, but not a substitution for doing your own research into the candidates.

    For example, I was considering Don Andrews based solely on his response to the survey. Then I simply put his name into google, and discovered this page on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Andrews

    So voters, be sure to do your homework.

    Reply

    • Posted by Morgan on 2010/08/04 at 4:29 pm

      Geez, a white supremacist. Good to know. I didn’t like his response anyway. What good is writing a letter to the Queen going to do us, she is not Canadian and is far more likely to be part of the problem as a whole then a remedy. G-8’s and G-20’s are a global problem not just a Toronto one and I am sure the Queen’s interest don’t lie with the common folk. Don Andrews off the list, check mark.

      Reply

  5. agreed Tyson. I had to do much of that research in the first place just to find these people so I already knew about Andrews’, uh, let’s say party affiliations, and frankly was startled at what a positive response he gave. There’s a lot more to a candidate than any one issue – this is a big issue but one also has to look at the bigger picture.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Lady Green on 2010/08/03 at 2:00 am

    Greg: your commentary on Mark State was well put, I just have to add that for myself, I cannot abide by fearmongers, which in his arguments he exposes himself.

    Canadians, especially Torontonians, are some of, if not, THE most peaceful people, and I am a well travelled individual. Toronto has had a fantastic history of peaceful protests, open discussion & freedoms. The G20 policestate antics and 3 hour car burning media frenzy exposed to us that ‘outsiders’ were to blame & we could have truly protected ourselves. In fact, there are many (in online videos) who clearly took out some of the perps without any $1.3B protections, and many who verbally expressed to the perps what they were doing was wrong and that it did not help the true intentions of peaceful protest.

    Phew, had to get that off my chest.

    Once again, I think this blog is an amazing way to help many understand where these candidates come from and if they truly care to answer or not, valid & important questions that are still burning in many of our minds.

    Thank you. Lady Green.

    Reply

  7. A well thought out, written and executed plan to get responses and deliver them to the public. I’ve seen too many articles, tweets and media outlets take what a candidate has said and twist it around and you have cut through that and gone straight to the source.

    This is what I have been attempting to by following the mayors twitter accounts, in one list, http://twitter.com/torontovote/mayor-only
    and both the mayors and their campaign team in another. http://twitter.com/torontovote/mayor-all
    and have been trying to ignore the media articles unless they are endorsed (retweeted) by the candidate themselves.

    Reply

  8. […] there’s the ongoing call for a full inquiry into the G20 debacle. (Neal Jennings does a great job here gathering mayoral candidates’ responses or non-responses as the cases may be to how they would […]

    Reply

  9. Posted by B. Ross Ashley on 2010/08/03 at 11:40 am

    Thank you, Neal; I for one would love to see the responses of th candidates in my own ward (I’m in 22) but I already know William Molls’ position & he is the only one running I could possibly vote for.

    To say I am disappointed in Pantalone would be an understatement. I don’t know who is going to get my vote for Mayor but I was committed to working in Joe’s campaign … he has alienated me and a whole layer of his old supporters by waffling on this and other issues.

    Reply

  10. Hey Neil,

    Great job compiling so much information on this issue.

    I managed to corner Joe Pantalone and get him to comment briefly but he was very reticent to discuss the matter and ended up walking away from the conversation quite abruptly.

    It’s unlikely you will get a response from him.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Vote Daniel Walker on 2010/08/03 at 7:48 pm

    Vote Daniel walker for mayor of Toronto.join facebook group.cp24 didn’t put my interviev up thet gave me a black like the blue head on facebook.Will try my own video soon .I want G-20 inquire.I will be at 25 Cecil st. on Aug 8 2010 for human right’s process-police complaints process-how you can sue police-possible class action iawsuit(s)Post G-20 legal action.more people the better join us there.near collage and spadina United steelworkers hall.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Daniel Walker on 2010/08/03 at 8:42 pm

    Iam for a G-20 inquiry.We had a G-420 protest at dundas sq. Marched to Queens park.To meet the other protester coming back from there march. I was there at Queens park when the fires where on .Cop threaten me. He said if I didn’t leve I would be arrested .I left the protest after we got to the fence that night.Sunday went to jail got there just after girl got shot .They made the people prisoners in there own homes.Swat cop told undercover cop to take my picture at Queen and pape have video.Then went to the bike bloc protest found them after first bust.I ride blue e-bike this finished at the jail. I was at the jail the last night the cops had the god powers from Harper when the last 2 girls got out..I was there on Friday poverty protest.My flag pole was stolen by cops at Bay and Collage that day.My group was Stopped 2 times befor Friday handing out G-420 fliers.Face group vote Daniel Walker for mayor of Toronto.Iam here for G-20 inquiry.And more.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Wayne on 2010/08/04 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for this work. My comment is directed toward Mark State who will not get my vote. I’m not saying this because he doesn’t agree with you views, rather because he doesn’t listen. You declared G20 policing issues to be your number one concern and he seems to miss that point. If he can’t listen now… By the way, it’s my first concern too.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Rachelle on 2010/08/05 at 5:01 am

    I’m rather surprised how many candidates replied with flippant comments about the lack of detail they would provide or “caring” about _only_ one vote. It would seem to me that if you’re running for public office, you would continuously try to be putting your best foot forward — even in the face of disagreeing on an issue. It should not be difficult to reply or to disagree in a respectful manner.

    Reply

    • Posted by reed bellet on 2010/08/05 at 7:49 am

      “I’m not going to answer in detail (for one vote)” – David Vallance

      It’s really funny because the internet is not a new phenomenon and Neal was quite clear that he would be providing these answers to other voters. Given that very basic understanding, commenting that it’s not worth your time to provide complete answers “for only one vote” demonstrates ignorance of the information age. If the politicians had expended the effort to read everything they probably would not be flippant. To me it speaks to an even greater problem with those candidates, extreme laziness. You can’t be bothered if the potential return in votes isn’t high enough? How old are you, grade 6?

      Reply

  15. Posted by Mr. Agnew-Iler on 2010/08/05 at 7:48 am

    excellent work neal

    Reply

  16. Posted by Rose on 2010/08/05 at 11:37 am

    Well done! Makes it simpler to decide who to vote for!

    Reply

  17. Thanks for this Neal. Very helpful. It would be even more helpful if the major candidates responded though! Do you know about this helpful project? http://bit.ly/voteTOgrid

    Reply

  18. Posted by hah on 2010/08/05 at 4:09 pm

    i find it amusing that this post has a googlead for Rocco Rossi for mayor. even if i had remote interest in clicking on the link to his website, i don’t think i’d be more inspired.

    Reply

    • I think short of paying for this site I can’t get rid of the ads… though I do wish I could. I had to add the disclaimer at the end of the entry because originally it was the same font style and size as the entry itself and looked like part of the original. He’s cornered the market on #VoteTO GoogleAds, that’s for sure.

      Reply

  19. Was asked recently for an ‘update’ — any updates that I have are posted here as soon as I receive them. In other words, anyone who was showing as not having responded has still not responded. I’m making a point of documenting things as they happen – anyone who submitted after the original post is noted with the date that they responded to me (including updates that were non-responses).

    Reply

  20. […] bed, I followed up with a tweet to contextualize the exchange for those who were unaware (see here for the original G20 […]

    Reply

  21. […] up in City Hall to congratulate the police on a job well done. Stunningly to me and many others, Pantalone continues to defend the police and the money lost, by refusing to call for a full & transparent public inquiry. Pantalone has repeatedly […]

    Reply

  22. […] The busiest day of the year was August 4th with 388 views. The most popular post that day was VoteTO candidates’ responses on the G20. […]

    Reply

  23. […] using regularly after getting frustrated with Xanga… but then when I went to post my G20 blog entry of the VoteTO candidates’ responses, it was a disaster. I couldn’t put it all in one […]

    Reply

  24. […] written to buckingham palace g20 toronto” – this was part of an actual response to my emails to mayoral candidates in the Toronto election last year.  The fact that anyone actually searched it is hilarious to […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: