Candidate wants to be accessible 24/7

Interaction with residents key to being a good rep

Mark Dewdney promises to be accessible to constituents if voted in as the next Toronto-Danforth Ward 30 rep.

And starting now as a candidate he’s giving out his home number.

Dewdney’s philosophy about being available to help around the clock is personal to him and stems from the fact others were there for him in his own life.

Born and raised in Cambridge and Kitchener, he was adopted at birth, lived in various group homes and credits others for making a difference in his life. Now he wants to give back and get voters more involved so city hall works for them.

“Something for me to guard against is complacency,” said Dewdney, who’s lived in East York most of his life. “You better give out your home number and have dinner in the ward with your family.”

While the police are there to respond to emergencies and the city’s new 311 line is available 24/7 for people to report non-urgent issues, that doesn’t deter him from wanting to be available all the time.

“If there’s a fire at 4 a.m. I want them to be able to call me at home if they are (now) homeless so I can help,” he said. “I can’t turn off the care button.”

This is his first campaign but he doesn’t see that as a drawback as even seasoned councillors started out as rookies themselves, said Dewdney.

“I have a family. I know what it’s like to look at the bankbook and say can we afford this,” said Dewdney, who’s married with two young children.

He was trained as a police officer but decided it was not for him and now runs his own first aid business.

Everywhere he goes whether it is the Beach Easter parade or coffee shops, he stops people to ask them what issues concern them.

He mentions under-enrolled schools that could close and the new TTC barns storage yard at Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East as two issues.

Dewdney has many plans laid out on his website regarding how to stay on top of ward concerns.

One of the components of the website is a listing of places he’ll be having breakfast every Sunday over the coming months. He invites residents to come out and share their concerns.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Apr 13 2010 10:57 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto