Last Friday, community activist Michelle Garcia went down to City Hall, paid one hundred dollars and signed up to enter the 2018 municipal race.
Garcia, a longtime resident of Etobicoke, is now officially a candidate for Toronto City Council in Ward Two.
The elections are due to be held on October 22.
But Premier Doug Ford’s recent shocking announcement to slash the size of Toronto City Council almost in half, has left Garcia confused and angry.
Now she doesn’t know what will become of Ward two after the major restructuring.
However, the Trinidad-born activist plan to move ahead with her campaign which she said will “start in earnest” shortly after Saturday’s grand parade of the Peeks Toronto Caribbean carnival.
She will be “playing mas'” in Louis Saldenah’s Wonders of Spring.
Garcia who ran in the last municipal elections in Ward Two against former mayor Rob Ford (she picked up only 254 votes), says she is better prepared this time.
” My work as an activist has prepared me for municipal politics and I have no doubt that I be of greater service to my community as a city councillor,” she told the Caribbean Camera.
“Look, I am better known as a candidate this time.” she added.
Garcia noted that although she is a proud member of the Caribbean community, she is not running as “just a Caribbean candidate” but as a candidate ” for all the people.”
She said, however, that she was heartened to see several Caribbean candidates running in the 2018 municipal elections.
” But we would like to see more black and Caribbean people ” getting involved in the political process.”
“If we, as Caribbean and black people do not run for political office or do not even bother to vote, who can we blame when the wrong people get elected?”
Garcia noted that many Black and Caribbean people are deeply disappointed with the newly elected Ford provincial government.
Another Trinidad-born candidate, Chris Noor, who is running in Ward One, agrees that the city council restructuring plan is confusing.
“But perhaps it was intended to be confusing,” he said.
” They call Trinidad and Tobago a Third World country but this kind of last minute restructuring just before an election would not have happened in Trinidad and Tobago, he told the Caribbean Camera.
Noor , a community activist, ran unsuccessfully in the last three municipal elections.
Jamaica-born Michael Thompson who represents Ward 37 on the Toronto City Council and is running for re-election, said that the proposed restructuring of the council is very perplexing and confusing and it’s confusing for everybody.
“But the Premier has the authority to make the changes.”
” Ideally one would have liked to have had sort of consultation process before the restructuring but we don’t have it.
” So I can mope about it. I can complain about it and waste my time or I can just deal with it I choose to deal with it by preparing for my reelection in Scarborough Centre.”
Thompson has been a city councillor since 2003.