The race in Ward 26 is now not only a rematch but a case of one candidate taking on her former boss.
Ishrath Velshi, former executive assistant to Councillor John Parker (now serving in the same role with North York councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong), filed nomination papers on July 2, a week and a half after Parker filed to seek re-election.
They are up against Jon Burnside, a former cop and current health food business owner who finished a close second to Parker in 2010, and actor Dave Sparrow.
Burnside and Sparrow both used their official campaign launch fundraisers to take swipes at Parker.
“For too long … we’ve watched a councillor who stands on all sides of an issue and then celebrates with the winners,” Sparrow told a cheering crowd of about 70 who filled the William Lea Room at Leaside Memorial Gardens on June 17. “We instead need to have an advocate who will stand with the community.”
Burnside spoke to his crowd of about 200 at Amsterdam Brewery on June 22, citing his efforts in starting a free hockey league for kids in Flemingdon Park as evidence of his commitment to the community.
“After police stepped up with coaches and referees — and sticks, pucks, shin pads and helmets were donated — it almost didn’t happen because my councillor wouldn’t help secure a few hours of ice time,” he said. “I worked around the councillor and I secured the ice time we needed.”
Parker, a fourth-generation Leasider, says his work in helping manage the city “speaks for itself” and it’s the way things need to be done.
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