News & Opinion

The Maven’s Election Diaries | The Liberals and NDP battle for Trinity-Spadina

In Election diaries, The Maven on April 22, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Image credit: Michael Loudon

By The Maven | Thankfully, this is a riding where we don’t have to worry about the Conservatives winning. We can vote as we wish without having to worry about voting strategically.

Or at least so we thought.

Olivia Chow has held the riding for the NDP since 2006. Before that Tony Ianno held it for the Liberals between 1993 and 2006. Although Chow won in 2008 with a 3500 vote lead over Liberal Christine Innes, the latter ran a terrible campaign. She doing a better job this time around. Rumour has it that this riding is a toss-up right now.

I was at the Trinity-Spadina all-candidates meeting on Wednesday, April 20, and some of my thoughts follow.

What I find interesting about Innes’ campaign is what isn’t being discussed, or at least not by her.

For instance, I feel strongly that a candidate be judged on her own merits. The fact that she is Tony Ianno’s wife should theoretically not be held against her. However, I do find it interesting that she has made no mention of their relationship at all in this election. In fact I cannot find out much of anything about her. Aside from having four children and being involved in the Annex Residents Association and her church, she is a self-described community leader of whom very few people seem to have knowledge.  The bio she provides on her website suggests she has a long history of political backroom activity within the Liberal Party and works now as a political appointee to a provincial Liberal cabinet minister.

She really sounds like the proverbial backroom boy. Not a lot different from our previous Liberal MP, her unspoken husband. You may remember he was called out for having the worst participation record of any Toronto MP in the House of Commons and for supporting causes–like the Toronto Port Authority–hostile to Torontoians’ interests.

There are some questions that some people in this riding would like addressed:

  • Given that Mr. Ianno, your husband, is under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission, what is your stand on ethics in government. Debate moderator Gus Sinclair didn’t do you any favours when he called this question out of order at the debate. Yes, I know that you and your husband are two different people, but I think the voting electorate has a right to know if there are ill-gotten gains involved.
  • Given the legacy of the sponsorship scandal and the concerns around your husband’s trust funds to get around Elections Canada rules about campaign financing, would it not have been better to let someone fresh carry the banner for the Liberals locally, rather than pursue an Ianno/Innes dynasty?
  • How can we trust  your commitment to public education given your choice to send your children to private school? In fact, what then is your commitment to Medicare given the context of the choices you make in your private life?
  • What is your stand on same-sex marriage  as well as access to abortion?

Well fellow Trinity-Spadina-ites, without those questions answered, I don’t feel comfortable with Ms Innes. The previous Liberal government left power with an unfortunate reputations for sleaze. It’s important that all Liberals make a clear break from that era. Innes’ close ties with the last Liberal member don’t do much to dispel old perceptions. I think people can be  judged by the company they keep and it’s company I am not comfortable with.

Frankly, from what I saw at the debate of Rachel Barney, the Green Party candidate, I quite like her. But while I would love to see Elizabeth May have a seat in the House, I am not going to vote Green and take a chance that the Liberals will take this seat, much as I would prefer to see the Liberals form a government. This last statement is based on my belief that only the Liberals can get enough seats nationally to have a realistic chance of unseating the Conservatives.  New opinion polls just out this week may change this scenario. More in the days to follow.
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In Election Diaries, The Maven comments on the leaders, the parties, the issues and the campaigns for Canada’s 41st federal election.

Read more of The Maven’s Election Diaries at www.tomaven.wordpress.com.

For past articles by The Maven on the West Annex News, visit The Maven archive.

Visit Michael Loudon/thorneypup’s photostream on Flickr.

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  1. The Christine & Tony coup in Trinity-Spadina is disgraceful. Who do they think they are kidding. Everyone in the riding knows Christene is Tony’s wife, even though she does not mention him anywhere on her website. The two of them even erased mention of Tony’s pending charges fronm his wikipedia entry. Most gauling, Christene threatend to sue an attendee at one of the all candidate meeting for inquiring about Tony’s legal woes.

    Everyone in the riding knows about Christene’s coverup. They did not know in 2008, but this time its difficult for someone not to mention it.

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