While they live in a new electoral district, University-Rosedale residents will still have an incumbent in the race. Toronto Centre MP Chrystia Freeland is moving to the new riding and running as the Liberal candidate.
University-Rosedale is a new electoral district, stretching roughly from Dupont Street and the Beltline Trail in the north to Bloor Street East and Dundas Street West in the south, and from Ossington Avenue in the west to Bayview Avenue in the east. It comprises parts of the former Toronto Centre and Trinity-Spadina ridings.
An author and journalist, Freeland was elected in a 2013 by-election, and has served as co-chair of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s economic advisory council since 2014. She calls the opportunity to develop what she considers “the most progressive economic platform for jobs and growth” one of her two proudest achievements during her two years in office.
The other came as a result of speaking out against Russia and in favour of Ukraine.
“I was surprised, but honoured, to be one of 13 Canadian politicians who are on Putin’s banned-from-Russia list,” Freeland says. “It must be because I’m an effective voice for democracy.”
Since launching her campaign in late May, NDP candidate Jennifer Hollett has been keeping busy, knocking on doors, trading help with chores for promises to vote, and debating with undecided voters.
“We need a strong voice in Ottawa,” the former television reporter says. “But also one that’s attentive to local issues here in Toronto, and I offer both.”
Hollett says many of the residents she meets tell her they’re casting their first NDP vote because of bill C-51, while others have become disillusioned with the Conservative establishment. Still others believe that between promises to increase the Canada Pension Plan, provide affordable childcare, and reduce small business taxes, the NDP has the most viable economic plan of the three main parties.
“There’s something really special happening with the NDP right now,” Hollett says. “It’s in a position right now to form government and repair the damage that Stephen Harper has done, and University-Rosedale is a big part of that momentum.”
Karim Jivraj says he decided to run as the Conservative candidate for University-Rosedale because he “could not sit this one out.”
“Frankly, the choice has never been starker… stability and experience versus politics becoming showbiz,” he says. “As a small-c conservative I’m very happy to defend a record of free trade, free markets, and to bring back the national conversation to growing the economy.”
The son of an immigrant small-business owner, Jivraj is coy about his age, but the breadth of his life experience would be the envy of many retirement-age politicians.
After graduating from TFS just over a decade ago, Jivraj spent five years in Paris, earning an undergraduate degree in international law and a master’s degree in public law from Sorbonne, one of the oldest universities in the world. He also studied American law for two years at Cornell University, and since graduating has worked on international disputes involving millions of dollars.
“Of the three major candidates, I’m the one who had to fight my way in. I had to knock on doors. I had to beg and plead and twist arms and ask people and hustle,” he says. “Agree with me, disagree with me, people know where I stand, and they know that I’m not entitled and that I don’t take anything for granted.”
The first Green Party candidate to be named in any of the four midtown ridings, Nick Wright is no stranger to politics.
Born and raised in Toronto, Wright earned an MBA/law degree from Dalhousie University, where he first joined the Green Party and ran as a candidate in the 2006 federal election.
“I am a strong proponent for standing up for civil liberties,” he said. “After I turned 18, I started researching the political parties to decide who I wanted to support and found the Green Party was the only one that took a strong stand.”
Though it shares a pledge with the NDP to reppeal anti-terrorism bill C-51, few elements of the Green Party’s platform appear among its rivals’ campaign promises.
Wright calls that a shame, saying the Greens are the only party that recognizes and plans for the need to shift the economy to a model based on sustainability.