Yesterday’s Ward 6 Profile led to the lowest hit count this blog has received since its inception. Are you folks trying to tell me something? Nonetheless, I’m going to sally forth with this because I think its important.
Today’s profile features Pastor Wendell Brereton, the second candidate to respond to my questions.
I’ll have a third profile featuring Jem Cain soon.
So, here are the questions and Pastor Brereton’s answers
1. Why Ward 6? Do you have some history in this area? Please tell my readers a little about your background.
I grew up next door in Ward 13 in the Swansea Mews at Windermere and Queensway. I am a Canadian Citizen of Caribbean origins. I was raised by a single mother who was able to motivate me towards graduating High school and receiving a basketball Scholarship to an American University. I graduated with an accounting degree and played briefly in the NBA. I returned back to Toronto after university and worked in the Accounting field before becoming a police officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. I served over 12 years in this capacity being decorated by the Commisionner for bravery in 2002. I retired on a disability allotment in 2006 due to injuries suffered in a severe car accident while on duty in response to an emergency. I am currently the chair of a corporation that is focused on youth programs for at risk and autistic children. I am an ordained Christian Reverend of 4 churches two of which are located in the United States of America and two of which are in Toronto. I am currently the senior Pastor of a church in the Regent Park area. I have worked in the community as an activist for social reform for 18 years. I am a father of five children and a husband and pet owner.
2. What are your top 3 priorities for our neighbourhood?
1/ Economic development, ensuring that businesses in the Ward are sustainable and the Ward is attractive to new business. Respecting our tax payers and causing transparency in city hall especially in government spending.
2/ Ensuring the crime rate of Ward 6 continually declines by a tiered effort of police presence, youth programs, and job creation in the private sector.
3/ Transportation express routes to ensure the residents of the Ward can rapidly get into the down-town core in peak hours.
3. This year, we’ve experienced a large number of break-ins in Longbranch. Can you influence change and improvement in this area?
I will do a target study of what type of criminal we see in the area. I regularly consult with security companies in this capacity. This way we will be able to target what we are able to do to maintain a crime free Ward. Is police presence an issue, unemployment an issue, lack of programs or is it crime from out of the area. I will do an assessment myself of the criminal element and the vulnerable sectors of the Ward for free. I will hit the ground running with real solutions how to cause criminals to know Ward 6 is the last place in Toronto to attempt any form or criminal behaviour. My relationship with the Chief of Police and other local law enforcement officers carries weight now and will carry even more weight as a Councillman for Ward 6.
4. What is your position on the proposal to run a dedicated TTC LRT line through our community? Do you have alternative ideas?
I believe that we should be very careful about transportation construction that might cause a greater determent to the struggling business community. I do believe an express bus in peak hours is advisable inorder to avoid the Humber loop delays. Our listening tour in the coming weeks will allow us to hear from you and see what you want.
5. Do you think we have adequate community consultation currently in our area? If not, how would you improve this?
My first role as the Councillor of Ward 6 will be to form a diverse accountability committee. A committee of Ward 6 residents of various backgrounds which will speak to the plethora of concerns and be able to give me advise and insight as to the totality and continuity of real issues in our Ward.
6. What is good development and what is bad development? Ward 6 is an unusual treasure in the city. What should be preserved and what should be changed?
Bad development is capital and infrastructure development that punishes the business owner. Good development is development that creates jobs, develops our amazing lake-shore, improves the liveability, and revitalizes both buildings and people.
We need to maintain the affordable housing in our Ward. We need to encourage restaurants and water sport recreational businesses. We also need a face-lift of certain storefronts. Continuing developing recreation and parks and identifying if the Ward wants to increase its bike lanes are a focus of my bid for Ward 6 Council chair.
7. Who do you support for mayor?
We have endorsed Rob Ford for Mayor.
8. We’ve seen councillors spend their office budgets on all sorts of creative things from French lessons to retirement parties, and we’ve seen others spend nothing at all. What is appropriate in your view? How will you be accountable as a councillor?
My councillor budget is first for the proper administration of the office of my Ward 6 constituents. You will know my expenditures because you will see that what my office spends money on is for you.
9 Our City Council has been dysfunctional for a number of years. The behaviour of councillors has often been childish at best. How will you contribute to improvement in this area?
A fragmented city council is the sign of a fragmented city. We need to reach across the table and cooperate with each other and support the Mayor who the residents of the city of Toronto votes into office. I will be the voice of reform and a bridge maker in city hall. I will stand up for my constituents and not allow corruption in municipal government.
10. What are the top 3 reasons why we should vote for you for Ward 6 Councillor?
1. I am the one councillor who has the portfolio of neighbourhood policing, business acumen, and community programming for at risk and vulnerable persons especially our elderly community. I can make connections with community youth, community leaders and professional athletes to make sure our youth are motivated to succeed.
2. I have the negotiation and partnership skills to make city hall work and invite private investors and development to our ward. I will work with the mayor to make sure you are heard at City Hall. The taxpayer is my number one concern. Your homes, your businesses your families must be safe, successful and prospering. I will make sure big business and small business alike thrives in Ward 6.
3. I will be side by side with you in any issue, answering my phone calls meeting with constituents and solving problems as they arise. I have lived at every economic level and understand the concerns of all socio economic income levels. I will not hide from you I will be an active member of Ward 6. Ward 6 we will be the envy of the city in my first term, we will be the template of transformational success. We will be the apple of Toronto’s eye. Residents of Ward 6 elect Wendell Brereton for Councillor on October 25 2010 help is on the Way