Sellors enters the Ward 22 race

Former executive assistant to Councillor Michael Walker goes after his dream job

Chris Sellors has decided to step out of the shadow of Councillor Michael Walker and try to take over Ward 22 from his retiring former boss.

“I will take his methods and build on them,” said Sellors, who started volunteering with Walker in 1997 and has the councillor’s endorsement. “I will remember what he has taught me, but I am my own man.”

Sellors was hired as the constituency assistant for the St. Paul’s councillor back in 2001 and became Walker’s executive assistant in 2005.

“I was over the moon,” said Sellors. “I was so honoured.”

Walker is known as a man of many motions and Sellors has constructed many of them in collaboration with the councillor, including motions pushing the federal government to ratify the Kyoto protocol and for Toronto to establish a lobbyist registry.

But most of the grunt work of a councillor and his staff is addressing inquires about snow removal, garbage pick-up, traffic, road repairs and developments.

Sometimes these communications forge important connections such as one with former prime minister John Turner, who is a constituent and called the office about a traffic issue.

“Three months after starting with Michael Walker, I was sitting in John Turner’s living room talking about a traffic issue,” said 35-year-old Sellors.

Turner is now a confidant and has endorsed Sellors as a candidate in this race.

Sellors is passionate about many local and city issues and is pushing for a subway rather than LRT across Eglinton and to protect the privately-owned open space at Yonge and Eglinton.

“All across the city we need to protect the city’s private and publicly-owned open space,” said Sellors. “You need places so people can congregate and meet or otherwise it is just another intersection.”

Sellors knows that to get anything passed at council you need support from your colleagues, so he said he’ll work collaboratively to find common ground.

“You have to rely on ideas, respect and communication to get things done on council,” he said.

“I have a very good shot at the best job in the world,” said Sellors. “I’ve done the ground work. I know the things councillors should know about every single issue.”

In order to run, Sellors had to step down as Walker’s assistant as city employees can’t be candidates. This means Sellors wife Elizabeth will be the sole breadwinner for now.

“My wife and I and two and half year old Jack run a tight ship,” said Sellors. “I have been preparing for this potential for a couple of years. We have savings.”

Finances aside, Sellors said that he needed to take his chance for a council seat in the upcoming election.

“I am blessed with this opportunity and I am grasping it with both hands,” he said.

“No one knows Ward 22 the way I do,” said Sellors who’s campaign slogan is Experience You Can Trust.

The only other registered candidate so far is St. Paul’s school trustee Josh Matlow, who Sellors knows well.

“Usually you don’t know your opponent this well,” said Sellors. “I respect (Matlow). I’m not going to get negative. We will have a respectful campaign focused on the issues.”

Sellors has already been incorporating Twitter, Facebook and YouTube into his campaign in ways Walker, who is a self-proclaimed computer illiterate, never did. Sellors’ campaign website is www.chrissellors.ca.


About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Mar 31 2010 3:08 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto
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