Portuguese descendants hope to be elected in the local councils in Ontario

The Canadian province of Ontario will hold municipal elections on Monday and several Portuguese descendants are expected to be elected.

Local elections have been very troublesome after the decision by Ontario’s new prime minister Doug Ford, already in the midst of an election campaign, to reduce Toronto’s constituencies from 47 to 25.

Ana Bailão, a councillor since 2009 and vice president since 2017 in Davenport (Ward 9), will seek re-election, focusing on areas such as affordable housing and traffic.

In Toronto, two other Portuguese descendants, Joey Carapinha, York South – Weston (Ward 5), returns to compete and Michael Barcelos, Spadina – Fort York, competes for the first time.

John Tory, current mayor of Toronto, seeks re-election and among several candidates, includes his former chief of municipal planning, Jennifer Keesmaat.

In one of the latest polls, conducted by Forum Research, released Oct. 9, Tory led the vote with 56 per cent, followed by Keesmaat with 29 per cent.

Traffic congestion seems to be one of the main concerns of voters, and a recent analysis by a British organization reveals that Toronto is one of the worst cities in North America to travel on a daily basis.

The Toronto Chamber of Commerce estimates that congestion has an impact of about six billion Canadian dollars (four billion euros).

The problem appears to be greater when the Ontario government expects the Toronto Area GTA to increase by 116,000 a year by 2041, raising the population to almost 9.7 million.

Currently, the city of Toronto has 2.7 million inhabitants (data for 2016) and 5.9 million in GTA.

In Brampton, where there are a city council and a regional cast, there are three Portuguese descendants who look for a place in the cast of the autarchy.

Elected in 2014, Martin Medeiros will try to re-elect him by the regional electoral circle 3 and 4. The Luso-Canadian in the last years has worked in the transparency and fiscal responsibility of the city council.

In electoral district 1 and 5, Paul Vicente (regional) returns to run in the elections, while Joe Pimentel competes for the same constituency, but for the municipality.

The city of Brampton, with about 600,000 inhabitants, is one of the youngest and most diverse cities in Canada and faces major challenges such as the construction of a surface metro (LRT) and will receive a pole from Ryerson University, which should start operating in September 2022.

In the run for mayor, Linda Jeffrey is led by former Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown.

In a poll released this Saturday by Mainstreet Research Brown has a slight advantage of 43.9% compared to 39.9% Jeffrey.

Farther south in Cambridge, city councilman Frank Monteiro is seeking re-election, and in the small town of Kingsville, Nelson Mayor also tries to hold office.

In local councils Monday, residents of Ontario, in addition to choosing mayors and city councillors for the next four years, will also elect school counsellors in various constituencies.

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