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FORUM (DECEMBER 2016): How our politicians celebrate the holidays

December 20th, 2016 · No Comments

Favourites include carol singing, winter solstice

We asked our local representatives how they spend the holidays. Councillors Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) and Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), Toronto District School Board Trustee Ausma Malik (Ward 10, Trinity-Spadina), and our MPP Han Dong (Trinity-Spadina) shared their favourite traditions, their proudest achievement of the year, and what they are looking forward to working on in 2017. Also, the book they’re looking forward to reading in 2017! Answers compiled by Noelle Defour.


Do you have a favourite December/holiday tradition?

Joe Cressy: Dressing up as a horse in the Kensington winter solstice parade.

Han Dong: My favourite holiday tradition is taking our family group photo each and every December!

Mike Layton: My favourite holiday tradition is the annual Christmas Eve Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto carol singing at Roy Thompson Hall. I’ve been going for a decade with my family and look forward to the beautiful music and message of love.

Ausma Malik: My favourite holiday tradition is watching It’s A Wonderful Life with my family!


What are you most proud of achieving for the community in 2016?

HD: Convincing the government to adopt my private member’s bill, the Licensing Home Inspectors Act, which calls for all home inspectors in Ontario to be regulated; securing a Go Transit Station for the residents of Liberty Village and a Smarttrack station near CityPlace; and securing funding to support the expansion and consolidation of schools in Trinity-Spadina.

ML: The Bloor Street pilot bike lane. It has been four decades in the making.

AM: Working together with parents, students, schools, and community members is how I believe we achieve success for all of us. Over the past year, I have been really proud to support our school communities in their efforts to welcome refugee families. Students have been inspiring leaders and set an example for building understanding.

JC: Getting city council to approve three safe injection sites.


What are you looking forward to working on in 2017?

ML: My daughter just turned one and she has brought so much joy to my life. I look forward to another beautiful year of watching her grow up.

AM: Schools are at the heart, and a key part, of our communities. Together, I’m looking forward to ensuring that local schools and public education in our city have the resources to help students thrive, and that public schools are hubs for the community.

JC: There are many things, but the biggest thing is continuing to work on turning the rail deck park into a reality.

HD: I’m looking forward to working on local poverty reduction initiatives with regard to affordable housing, the Ontario Place revitalization plans, the review of the Ontario Municipal Board, and making lives easier for condominium dwellers.


Is there a book you’re hoping to read during the holidays? Which one? Why?

AM: I’m looking forward to reading Ann Y.K. Choi’s book Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety. Set in Toronto, the book comes to me highly recommended.

JC: My partner Grace O’Connell’s latest novel (Be Ready for the Lightening) will be coming out in June 2017. I’m looking forward to reading the final manuscript over the holidays.

HD: The book I’m hoping I get a chance to read is a Jules Witcover book called 85 Days about the last campaign of Robert Kennedy.

ML: The only books I’ve read this past year have been baby board books with my daughter and our time together is what I look forward to most in my day.

Tags: Annex · Opinion