It looks like it may finally be all over for Liberal do-nothing incumbent Tony Ruprecht. You have to think that even Libs in this heavily ethnic riding are getting tired of this long-time bit player's headline-grabbing antics. Ruprecht, who seems unable to avoid the whiff of scandal, has been spending more time luxuriating in Cuba lately than in his seat in the Leg. You know your political rep is a joke when political opponents are running Lucky the Cat. There's a better alternative: NDPer Peter Ferreira.
Gutsy NDP incumbent Cheri DiNovo - are we seeing a future party leader here? - should be a lock. What were the Libs thinking when they decided to run retread Sylvia Watson? She did nothing but run roughshod over residents' concerns when she represented the area (and we use the term "represented" loosely) on council.
Grit incumbent Mike Colle cruised in last time, largely on the strength of his Italian-speaking base in the west end. But his good name (yeah, right) has been tarnished after he was forced to resign over those millions in grants he handed out to Liberal special interests as citizenship minister. He's probably too arrogant to be nervous about his re-election chances.
The Libs seem to have thrown in the towel from the get-go here, running Joyce Rowlands, the daughter of a reviled former mayor, against NDP incumbent Peter Tabuns. Do the Libs think it'll be easier ramming their controversial transmission line project through a riding where they don't have a sitting member?
The Tories think they can steal this one from the Liberals, but they're dreaming now that John Tory has backtracked on his pledge to fund faith-based schools.
Don Valley West
PC leader John Tory has set himself up for the most inauspicious political exit in Ontario history. Funding all faith-based schools is proving a bigger-than-expected issue here in small-c Leaside, where more than a few voters send their kids to Catholic schools. The powerful OSSTF, which is bucking for Grit incumbent Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, may be the difference.
Former Lastman acolyte David Shiner, who represents part of this riding on council, is the lone PC star, besides leader Tory, running in T.O. Burning question: why would area residents want to vote for a former budget chief who ran T.O. into the ground? Until public pressure got to him recently, penny-pincher (or is that pinscher?) Shiner was continuing to receive his council cheque while campaigning.
NDP incumbent Paul Ferreira, who barely eked out a 300-voter win in a by-election earlier this year, is a credit to York South-Weston's working-class roots. But can enough Libs with Italian last names resist voting for TV personality Laura Albanese? You'd think voters would be tired by now of the long line of Libs who've represented the area over the years with little to show for it.