Candidates in final phase of campaigning in Scarborough-Rouge River

By Judy Pham

Knia Singh Bev Dixon Kevin Clarke

Three candidates from Toronto’s Caribbean community  are among 29 now in the final phase of campaigning for city councillor in the byelection  in Scarborough- Rouge River.

Advance polls open this weekend.

The three from the Caribbean community are Jamaica-born Bev Dixon, a retired social worker, Kevin Clarke, a community activist and  interim leader of  the People’s Political Party, who was also born in Jamaica, and Knia Singh, an articling lawyer and human rights activist who was born in Toronto to Bermudian and Guyanese parents.

The candidates are scheduled to take part in a debate today (Thursday) at Mother Teresa Catholic school on Sewells Road.

Dixon told the Caribbean Camera that in her campaign she is relying “ mainly on door-to-door canvassing.

” Voters remember us better when we have a conversation with them. I get to hear their concerns and take them into account.”

She said her campaign is funded mainly by herself, church members, former co-workers and “the kindness of strangers” who believe in her efforts.

Dixon spoke of her focus on the youth.

“After all, they are our future teachers, entrepreneurs, prime ministers, counselors. I will create programs of excellence to empower youth.”

Clarke who has been a candidate in federal, provincial and municipal elections in Toronto, said he  is running with the intention of utilizing his experience to tackle community issues.

“Investing in humanity is what my campaign is about,” he added.

His said his campaign has been funded mainly by himself, some close family members and

friends  and “many volunteers have come forward to assist me.”

He hopes to access “the humanity of all people.”

“I know the Black community has it extremely hard. But if we believe ourselves to be less, then we will only enforce that in society. I want to be voted in because I am most qualified, not because of my skin,” he said.

Liberal Party candidate Knia Singh has been campaigning on social media but also goes door-to-door.

He said funding for his campaign comes mainly from donations through his website.


Singh would like to develop programs “to  provide jobs for young people.”

He is also hoping to ” bring back Caribana.”

“I want to bring the festival back and hope it generates funds for the city.”

Several Caribbean residents in Scarborough- Rouge River  said they are looking forward to the byelection.

Guyana-born Lance Lyned, owner of Two-Lined Music.  said he plans to vote “during advance polling. ”

“I think it (the byelection) is good It keeps people on their toes. It keeps things fresh with a new councilor,” he remarked.

Grenada-born Darren Pierre, said: “I just want to vote for the one that is against the road tolls. If it’s anything like in the United States, I don’t want it.”

Maxwell Butler who hails from Saint Vincent,  hopes the new councillor will get to work for Scarborough -Rouge-River.

“All the resources go to the downtown area and we only get the leftovers. I hope our new councillor really fights for us and helps us get something, ” he said.

Election Day will be February 13.

Voters in Scarborough -Rouge River (Ward 42)  are returning to the polls to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Cho’s departure to Queen’s Park.

A city councillor for 25 years, Cho successfully contested the provincial riding of Scarborough -Rouge River as a Progressive Conservative candidate.