Progressive Groups Set New Vision for Toronto
September 24, 2010, 8:20 AM EST
A newly formed network of Toronto-based environmental, arts, student, labour and social justice groups officially launched the OneToronto campaign at a press event held at the Church of the Holy Trinity in the city's downtown core on September 22.
OneToronto is a campaign that offers an alternative vision of the City to the one that is dominating the current municipal election debate, said Winnie Ng, coordinator of the Good Jobs for All coalition and emcee of the OneToronto press event.
"Our aim is to help voters realize what's at stake in this important election and get them engaged in the process. Together, we have to help elevate the debate beyond slash-and-burn politics and start articulating the type of quality public services we need and quality of standard of living we deserve," Ng said.
Speaking on behalf of the OneToronto campaign were Kay Bisnath, national board member of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN-Canada); Janice Price, CEO of Luminato (Toronto arts festival); Sandy Hudson, Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and Dr. Joseph Wong, past chair of the United Way of Greater Toronto, who argued that the current Toronto mayoral debate has fueled unwarranted antagonism among city residents.
"Our municipal candidates must turn their attention toward building a city that fosters generosity and assists those in need, not one that creates divisions," Wong said.
Speakers stressed that OneToronto is a non-partisan campaign and will not be endorsing any individual candidates for the upcoming city elections on October 25 - a move the mirrors another recent non-partisan community-based initiative in Windsor, Ontario by the Windsor and District Labour Council entitled Moving Forward.
To date, two dozen organizations - including the CAW - have signed on as supporters of the OneToronto campaign along with a growing list of prominent Toronto residents including award-winning Canadian writer Michele Landsberg.
The OneToronto organizing committee is planning a major public event on Monday September 27 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, where hundreds of residents and campaign supporters are expected to attend.
For more information on the OneToronto campaign, and to read the vision statement, visit: www.onetoronto.ca