NEWS

Rob Ford's old ward has many other hopeful candidates

10/08/2014 10:25 EDT | Updated 12/08/2014 05:59 EST
There are currently 14 candidates vying to be councillor and represent ward 2 in the upcoming election, including Mayor Rob Ford.

Many of those in the running are worried about violence in the area and think it's time for a change in leadership. 

History of ward 2

The ward belonged to Ford, who served three terms as councillor there from 2000 until 2010, until winning the race for mayor of Toronto.

Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor's brother, then stepped in and won the seat as councillor for Etobicoke North. 

Mike Ford, the mayor’s nephew, was originally running for ward 2 councillor this election but all that changed after the mayor’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent withdrawal from the mayoral race (where his brother then replaced him.)

Rob Ford then replaced his nephew Mike — now running for school trustee — as the name on the Ward 2 ballot once again.

But the area belongs to more than the Fords.

'Lack of service... is abysmal'

Munira Abukar, 22, grew up in the area in community housing with her parents and eight siblings.

“I’ve never left, I’ve lived here my entire life,” Abukar said.

Among her brothers and sisters, one is a doctor, another a military commando and others are university students.

She has also seen the violence that has plagued some of this area firsthand and feels the community has been abandoned.

“When we call Rob and Doug they didn’t show up,” she said. “They didn’t show up to this community meeting.”

“They’ve been here for 14 years as representatives and the lack of service we’ve had is abysmal.”

The most recent shooting deaths have brought more unwanted attention to the neighbourhood which is rallying many residents who say it is now time for change.

Andray Domise, a financial planner, is also running.

“The part I found irresponsible… no platform, no new ideas especially in light of new incidents,” Domise said” Doesn’t that ward deserve better than that?”

Urban planner Luke LaRocque has been canvassing for the last half a year.

“I don’t want the city to have a bad reputation,” he said. “Our office is right next to those buildings where the shootings happened.”

LaRocque said the ward has been neglected for too long.

“For us, violence is going back to the root causes of violence and that has to do with issues of poverty, adorable housing and youth.”

Ford was asked for a statement but on Wednesday was in hospital for ongoing cancer treatment.

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