Residents in Parkdale-High Park’s Ward 14 gave Gord Perks a strong vote of confidence on Election Day, a far cry from the 2006 election, when he squeaked with 30 percent of the vote over the runner-up’s 24 percent.
Even with a whopping 10 candidates, Perks received 52 percent (8, 542 votes) of the pie this time around. Ryan Hobson finished a distant second with only 17 percent (2,798 votes).
“I was relieved to find out I won because my daughters are doing their exams right now,” Perks quipped at his victory celebration at the Inter Steer Tavern in Roncesvalles Village. “And I know they would have flubbed them if I’d lost.”
But winning is only half the battle, and the challenge of being a councillor is even greater now for Perks.
The left-leaning rep will have to work with council colleague Rob Ford, a mayor-elect who is likely to have an agenda very different from what Perks is accustomed to. Perks, who endorsed mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone, says he is determined to fight for his plans for the city and the ward.
The councillor has a long history of environmental activism with organizations such as Greenpeace Canada and the Toronto Environmental Alliance, where he helped bring composting and the pesticide bylaw to Toronto.
Perks also used to write the environmental column for Eye Weekly and host the show “Earth Matters” on City TV.
“I’m really happy that this community supports my ideas,” he said.
For his part, runner-up Hobson was proud of his efforts.
“I think … we’d did as much as we could,” he said on election night. ” I think we gave him a bit of a scare. They were worried about the number of signs. I think he knows he can’t take people here for granted. I hope that we all see a lot more of him.”
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