October 27, 2014
Voters in Ward 22 (St. Paul’s) have returned incumbent councillor Josh Matlow to council as their local representative.
Matlow easily outpaced a slate of candidates that included challengers Sarfraz Khan, Bob Murphy and James O’Shaughnessy.
The popular councillor, first elected in 2010 after serving as the local public school trustee, tweeted “I love you Ward 22. And congratulations Mayor-Elect Tory! It’s a new day in Toronto.”
The returning councillor was confident going into the election, but still spent eight to 10 hours a day canvassing in the days leading up to the election.
His first order of business, he said, was to reach out to his fellow council members and new mayor-elect John Tory.
“We have to bring back a more thoughtful and respectful working environment at City Hall,” he said. “That’s what Torontonians want.”
As for Ward 22, Matlow vows to place transit issues first and foremost on his agenda while still focusing on other key issues such as tenants’ rights, development and improving playgrounds and the public realm.
“The top issue is transit and gridlock, and I want (council) to look at an evidence-based approach to dealing with that,” he said. “One key priority is relief for the Yonge subway line; residents in my ward have to wait several trains just to get on (the subway) and when they do, they’re crammed in there.”
He supports Tory’s SmartTrack plan in theory, but admitted there is work to be done in hashing out details.
“We certainly have to look at exactly where the stations will be,” Matlow said. “How far the (tax increment funding) tool will get us will have to be explored.”
Matlow also supports Tory’s plan to electrify GO rail lines in order to improve the city’s transit options.
“Our transit system just hasn’t kept up with the population,” he said.
The returning councillor said he will continue to be active both at council – he was one of the most involved councillors over the last term – and in St. Paul’s.
“One of the great things about going to every street in the ward (while canvassing for the election) is that you learn about specific priorities street-by-street and neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood,” he said. “Every neighbourhood has a specific concern, whether it’s Yonge and Eglinton with development or Rathnelly with crude oil being freighted on the (adjacent) rail line.”
Matlow’s dedication to working with the community served him well at the polls. He received 86 per cent of the vote in St. Paul’s, followed a distant second by Bob Murphy with 5 per cent.
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