By Gerald V. Paul
Mayor-elect John Tory has started on the right foot when it comes to the Caribbean community with Jamaican-born veterans of government Joe Halstead and Dr. Alvin Curling on his transition team.
Curling, former Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly and co-author of the landmark report The Roots of Youth Violence released in 2008, was selected to serve on Tory’s transition team as the Mayor Rob Ford administration comes to an end this month.
Tory will take over in a city that split significantly on election night between the core – which chose Tory – and the Etobicoke northwest wards and Scarborough northeast suburbs, home to many of Toronto’s ethnic minorities, which chose Doug Ford.
Foreshadowing what kind of issues Tory’s term as chief magistrate may embrace, his spokesperson Amanda Galbraith has been quoted as saying that the mayor-elect will push for a federal crackdown on the flow of illegal guns coming in from the U.S., and work to create opportunities for at-risk youth.
According to Galbraith, “We will no longer look at the gun violence occurring in our city as being isolated only to ‘some’ communities. This is one city and when someone is killed or seriously injured in a gun violence incident, it affects all of us.”
In an interview with The Camera previously, Curling said The Review of Roots of Youth Violence Report set out four pillars to support its 30 major recommendations. The pillars are:
A repaired social context with social opportunity and anti-racism
A youth policy framework
A neighbourhood capacity and empowerment focus
Halstead, who served the city as commissioner of economic development and is prominent in the community, told The Camera, “I am delighted to serve on the transition team.”
Halstead said that his responsibility is to ensure that everything works smoothly. “My contribution is to ensure that the right people are in place.”
Tory has reached out to Olivia Chow, who ran third for mayor, in an effort to embrace her supporters. However, Chow has indicated she may retire to private life.
Doug Ford has suggested he may run for leader of the provincial Conservative Party. Rob Ford was elected as councilor in Etobicoke, ensuring that he retains a pulpit from which to spar with Tory.
On March 19 of this year Tory said, “ I love Toronto. It’s been home my entire life. The love of this city is what my campaign is all about.
“Running for mayor is an opportunity for me to do something I love, with people I love, for a city I love and care deeply about.”
One Toronto and ethnic diversity, Pg. 7