What’s that, you say? Meet A Mayoral Candidate? Since when? Since today, silly. It’s our debut posting of Meet A Mayoral Candidate where we shine a light on the neglected and overlooked candidates who are aiming to replace David Miller as Toronto’s mayor.
There are 23 of them in the race at last count. Candidates, that is, not neglected and overlooked ones. Since the race officially started in early January we’ve heard plenty from the likes of frontrunners like George Smitherman and Rocco Rossi. Giorgio Mammoliti and Joe Pantalone have soap boxes of their own. No, this is for those not given a fighting chance and thus ignored so far by the mainstream media as well as by nobodies like us here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke. But today, that all changes.
First up, Sonny Yeung. Vote Sonny Yeung!
A seasoned municipal candidate with two runs for councilor in ward 41 under his belt, this time around Mr. Yeung is vying for mayor because the race is wide open with no incumbent to overcome. Incumbency is an obstacle many new candidates face and at the municipal level it is almost an insurmountable one. Points should be doled out to any newbie who gives it a whirl.
That is not to say that Mr. Yeung is in the race purely due to the fact there is no incumbent to try and unseat. Looking through his website and talking to the candidate, he has ambitious plans if he becomes mayor with priorities being on the environment, education, job creation and cross cultural diversity. He pledges a solid commitment to public services that are vital to a healthy city especially those for low income families.
How this kind of social program heavy platform gibes with his avowed fiscal conservatism caught our attention. When asked about this, Mr. Yeung responded with talk of improving work flow processes, small modules and Master Budgets, leaving us floundering far out of our depth of understanding. It was more detail than we’ve been given by the frontrunners so far. Having already read through the proposed city budget, Mr. Yeung said he had thoughts on how he would limit increases to a 1-3% range for the following year, his first as mayor if he wins in October.
No armchair candidate, he has blazed a hectic schedule so far including participating in such grassroots projects as ChangeCamp, a citizen led event with the stated goal to “re-imagine government and citizenship in the age of participation.” While jokingly referring to himself as the Mayor With Hair (let’s keep that one to ourselves so that Sue-Ann Levy doesn’t try and run with it), Sonny Yeung does not come across as a frivolous, fringe candidate. He is serious minded and genuinely appears to want to make his city a better place to live.
The only mayoral candidate hailing from Scarborough (which we won’t hold against him), Mr. Yeung is also so far the lone candidate of Chinese descent which, given the abysmal visible minority representation at City Hall, presents another uphill battle to his candidacy. When asked to answer our lame-ass generic question we’ll ask of all candidates (If the present mayor would like his legacy to be that of the Transit Mayor, how would a Mayor Yeung like to see his legacy written? – OK, bad but not If You Were A Tree, What Kind of Tree Would You Be? bad), Mr. Yeung responded: I would like to see the Mayor Yeung legacy ushering in a golden era of change following the almost Great Recession.
Not pithy perhaps but a grand plan from a candidate worthy of further consideration as mayor of Toronto. Hopefully, he’ll get a chance to show his stuff on a bigger stage as we get closer to election day. Sonny Yeung deserves that opportunity.
– dutifully submitted by Cityslikr