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NEWS: Saxe victorious in Ward 11 (Nov. 2022)

November 22nd, 2022 · 1 Comment

Razor thin win over Norm Di Pasquale 

By Brian Burchell

Dianne Saxe won with a margin of just 123 votes.  She replaces Mike Layton who chose not to run in order to spend more time with his young family. The Gleaner approached Councillor-elect Saxe and asked about her reflections on the campaign, the riding, and what University—Rosedale residents can expect.

Now that you are elected and soon to be sworn in as a city councillor what is your first major priority?

Saxe: Getting the office set up to provide good service to constituents and beginning a methodical program of outreach to residents’ associations, BIAs, and other stakeholders.

How will being a former Green Party candidate differentiate you from the other councillors? 

Saxe: Key factors that may distinguish me include:

I am a determined climate and environmental champion.

I am proudly independent.

I have 46 years of experience in government, law and business, and in holding government to account.

In that work, I have developed subject matter expertise on many of the city’s core services, including water, wastewater, waste management and recycling, energy, and transportation.

I am proud of my past work with the Ontario Green Party; however, my experience as a public servant, as a lawyer, as a small businessperson, as a board member and as the environmental commissioner of Ontario are far more relevant to my work at Toronto Council.

What did you learn about the University–Rosedale ward during the election?

I have learned, worked, shopped, eaten, volunteered and played in Ward 11 for many decades. I felt I knew it well, but the last two years of campaigning took me to streets, stores and restaurants that I had never visited before.

Knocking on thousands of doors year round gave me a closer look at people’s homes and lives. This ward contains extremes, both great wealth and much poverty. There are beautiful homes cared for by passionate gardeners and others in desperate need of repair, sometimes side by side. I enjoyed seeing the pride so many people take in their homes and the beautiful decorative touches that people put on their front doors or porches, including hand-painted tiles and stained glass. I also met a lot of enthusiastic dogs.

It is worrisome that so many residents of this exceptionally well-educated ward feel too busy and too disconnected to pay much attention to politics. It can also be challenging to reach voters. Many homes have no working doorbell and no way to reach the inhabitants by knocking, while fewer read local media. It is encouraging, on the other hand, that many of those who are not permitted to vote are anxious to do so.

In the recent provincial election, you ranked fourth. In this election, you won. It’s the same electorate. What do you deduce about democracy from these disparate results? 

Saxe:

It is very difficult to unseat an incumbent.

People are more willing to judge a candidate on their merits when there is no party affiliation listed on the ballot.

It takes people a little while to feel comfortable with a new person. A second election gave me more time to introduce myself.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next four years to consider your term a success?

Saxe: Efficient oversight of the services that residents need and which make Toronto a good place to live.

Serious progress implementing TransformTO, especially in terms of a carbon budget, city procurement and how we get around.

At the end of my term, I hope to see Ward 11 flourishing with “15 minute neighbourhoods,” better sidewalks, more transit and more bike infrastructure so that far more local trips are made without requiring a personal motor vehicle and so that fewer pedestrians and cyclists are killed or injured.

Together with more trees and better green space, that will mean better air quality, less noise, more customers for local stores and a better quality of life.

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Tags: Annex · News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Christopher King // Nov 22, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    For some reason, 250 Davenport Rd, a Toronto Community Housing building, never saw Dianne, or any of her outreach volunteers.

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