Ahead of the upcoming October 2018 municipal election, a pair of prominent Beachers are expressing interest in representing Ward 32 at city council.
“I am still considering it,” said Upper Beach resident Lisa Kinsella. “I consider running for council to be an incredibly important decision and one that must be weighed heavily.”
It wouldn’t be Kinsella’s first foray into politics. The Liberal is a managing partner of the Daisy Group, a political consultancy headed by her husband, Warren.
“I have a very good understanding of how things work and how to get things done,” she said.
The Kinsella’s also spearheaded successful legal action against controversial local publication Your Ward News.
Asked when she expects to make a decision, Kinsella said, “I’m hoping by the time we start hearing the birds sing I’ll have a better idea of what I’m going to do.” Candidates can’t officially register until May, she noted.
Having raised a family in Ward 32, Kinsella suggested she is familiar with the most important issues facing the community, including crime, housing affordability and an “ongoing discussion about bike lanes.”
Housing affordability was one of the key local political issues highlighted by Matthew Kellway, who said he is “very seriously” considering a run for council.
The former New Democratic MP for Beaches-East York and Upper Beacher pointed to his political background and ties to the community as qualifications for a potential council bid.
During his time as an MP, Kellway was also the opposition critic for urban affairs and infrastructure. “It’s a unique experience,” said Kellway, adding it allowed him to consult with mayors and councillors across Canada.
As well as drawing attention to housing affordability, Kellway noted transit “remains a critical issue” here and he stressed the importance of providing shelter for the homeless. Kellway is chair of the Out of the Cold program at St. Aiden’s in the Beach.
He also mentioned the importance of advocating for “contextually appropriate development” in the ward given strains to local social infrastructure.
“We have a lot of families in this ward that have struggles accessing recreational facilities for their kids, whether its ice time at Ted Reeve [Arena] or time for lessons at our local community centres,” he explained.
Kellway has not set any personal deadline for when he’ll decide whether or not to run.
Current Ward 32 Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon will not be running for a third team due to her self-imposed two-term limit, a promise she made during her inaugural campaign.
Over in Ward 31, Coun. Janet Davis said she has not ruled out anything in terms of the forthcoming election.