Kennedy's roots run deep here, all the way back to the mid-80s, when he headed up the Daily Bread Food Bank in its first location in the Junction. His rep for rolling up his shirt sleeves and getting down to business got him elected MPP in 96. But his failed bid in 2006 for the Liberal leadership has changed everything, leading to speculation about his self-imposed political exile. Kennedy's touting his record fighting the downloading of the Harris era, but out on the hustings he carries the distracted air of a spent political force - who also happens to be running against a hardworking and well-liked incumbent NDPer who deserves to be re-elected.
The Libs are trying to put one over on voters here by sending out political unknown Christine Innes, the "life partner" of former Grit incumbent Tony Ianno, a political fixer with a nasty streak who ruled the roost in the riding before the NDP's Olivia Chow beat him last time out. The mud's already flying, with the Libs sending photos to the media of Chow allegedly climbing into a "limo" to get to an all-candidates meeting in the riding. That "limo" happened to be the RCMP escort required for all spouses of party leaders. Meet the new Lib, same as the old Lib.
A slippery fish who should have been tossed when it surfaced that children of Big Pharma execs donated to his 2006 Liberal leadership campaign. A perennial backbencher who every time he was given more responsibility ended up getting lost in his own delusions of grandeur (see aformentioned over-before-it-got-started leadership bid). He's spent 20 years in office propping up the hated Port Authority. He's abstained or been absent from 31 of 47 major votes in the House. Time for this old fox to trot.
A riddle wrapped in an enigma, Mario Silva toiled on the margins as a Toronto councillor, but nevertheless attracted more political contributions from developers than anyone else. He's managed to distinguish himself by being perfectly indistinguishable - except for that brief moment after the last election when he came out of the closet. There's that item on his resumé about receiving his Certificat de Langue Française from the Sorbonne in Paris, but Silva's not what you'd call polished in public. He owes his political success to his Portuguese base and a little bloodletting at the expense of Trudeau-era Lib Charles Caccia, from whom he stole the party's nomination in 2004. He scores on the environment, but has shown he's only too happy to support Tory spending requests that have come before the Commons. Still trying to sell us those broken Liberal promises about a new deal for crumbling cities.
One of the motley Scarborough Group of Five who rode in on Chretien's coattails and never left. John Cannis's lacklustre political career reached its zenith more than a decade ago when he served as parliamentary secretary for the minister of industry. It's been straight downhill ever since, making headlines only when he's had to apologize for heckling former Tory environment minister Rhona Ambrose's hair. He's been absent or abstained from 29 of 47 major votes in this last session of Parliament. He ranks in the top 10 among MPs for total votes for which he was absent or abstained: 102. Shortest Wikipedia page for any pol on the Internet, including a total of two media references in 15 years in office, for calling for the arrest of the Khadr family.
"A monkey in a red suit can win this riding" is one assessment offered up by a watcher on electionprediction.com. That's not too far from the truth. John McKay has fit the bill since 93, voting more like a Tory than a Lib. He pushed changes to foreign aid to focus on poverty and human rights, but boasts a spottier voting record on human rights closer to home - breaking with the majority in his party to support the traditional definition of marriage, and the Tories' pseudo-abortion motion. McKay was absent or abstained from a vote on a bill to protect confidentiality of journalists' sources. Ditto for a bill to turn over income tax credits to new grads working in remote regions.
Click the hot issue button on Lee's website and all you get is the message "Coming soon, please check back." He can point to one concrete accomplishment in his 20-plus years as MP - that he helped save a chunk of Rouge Park back in 2002. His political career has been one big secret, serving as vice-chair of the CSIS oversight committee and the National Security Committee of Parliamentarians, which may explain why he voted against a bill requiring the minister of defence to notify the House before ordering a military strike. Lee served in the last Parliament as vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics at a time when more requests for information were routinely denied by the government.
Tonks is as old-guard as it gets, having served the area for three decades as councillor, mayor of York and later Metro chair before being elected MP in 2000. He bears at least part of the responsibilty for the lack of improvement in the lives of people living in one of the poorest ridings in the country. He kept a sweetheart deal for a private rail link to the airport hush-hush for Liberal friends who stood to gain financially from the project. No longer living in the area, Tonks has only managed to scrape endorsements from one fellow Liberal, a former mayor of York and the head of forest-destroying Irving Tissue.