Suburban voters voice wide range of concerns

Compiled by Jeff Gray, Erin Pooley and Gay Abbate
Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - Page A19 The Globe & Mail

Windsor

City councillor and lawyer Eddie Francis, 29, who critics said was too young to be mayor, proved his opponents wrong last night, securing a majority over veteran city councillor Bill Marra and retired autoworker Ernie Lamont.

Despite former mayor Mike Hurst's support of a federal-provincial plan to improve truck traffic at Southern Ontario's busiest border crossing, Mr. Francis says he plans to revisit the controversial proposal, which has many constituents concerned about pollution, safety and noise.

Kitchener-Waterloo

Former MPP Herb Epp easily unseated incumbent Lynne Woolstencroft in Waterloo's tight four-way race, which was overshadowed by anger over a financing deal Ms. Woolstencroft supported when she was a councillor, before she took the mayor's job in 2000.

Mr. Epp is vowing to tackle cost overruns at city hall after a financing deal for a city-owned recreation facility cost the city $32-million more than it had expected.

In Kitchener, Mayor Carl Zehr won in a landslide over opponents Jon Huemiller and Ferenc Kulcsar.

Hamilton

In a blow to protesters fighting Hamilton's controversial Red Hill Expressway, councillor Larry Di Ianni defeated expressway opponent David Christopherson, a former NDP member of the legislature.

The mayor's seat was up for grabs after Bob Wade decided not to seek re-election.

Mississauga

Clifford Gyles, the disgraced former city councillor who was sentenced to 2 years in prison in September for soliciting $35,000 in bribes from constituents, was easily defeated in the race for a seat on Peel Regional Council in Mississauga's Ward 5.

He was defeated by former provincial employee and business owner Eve Adams, who is promising to oppose property tax increases and ease traffic gridlock. Mayor Hazel McCallion was a shoo-in, taking almost 92 per cent of the vote against four other opponents to win her 10th term.

Oakville

With just 12 votes between between them, incumbent Ann Mulvale narrowly defeated environmental activist Rob Burton to secure a sixth term as mayor.

Ms. Mulvale faced heated criticism from Mr. Burton throughout the campaign for her support of development on the Trafalgar Moraine. She is promising to increase Oakville's population and supports the addition of 100,000 new homes over the next 15 years.

Brampton

Mayor Susan Fennell easily defeated challenger Bill Cowie, garnering more than 60 per cent of the vote in a hard-fought campaign.

Vaughan

Despite controversy surrounding incumbent Mayor Michael Di Biase, who was appointed to the position last year after the death of mayor Lorna Jackson, he easily defeated opponent Robert Craig with more than 60 per cent of the vote.

Mr. Di Biase, who has recently had to deal with the defection of nine of his senior staff and a lawsuit against the city questioning its tendering practices, is vowing to ease gridlock problems, expand the Highway 427 and build an ambulatory care facility in Vaughan over the next five years.

King Township

The mayoral campaign in King Township again centred around the Big Pipe, a plan to hook King City's 4,800 residents up to the York-Durham sewage system that opponents fear will spur sprawling development.

Incumbent Margaret Black, who is in favour of the plan, won by fewer than 1,000 votes, defeating pipe opponent Leah Werry, a Schomberg councillor.

Markham

In what the town says was a North American first, Markham voters were able to cast ballots over the Internet in the days leading up to yesterday's election. Thousands signed up to receive secure ID numbers, and were then able to vote from Nov. 3 to Nov. 7 at the click of a mouse.

Both high-tech and old-fashioned voters in the town overwhelmingly gave mayor Don Cousens, a former Tory MPP, a fourth consecutive term.

Pickering

Dave Ryan, the chosen successor of long-time local politician Wayne Arthurs, won the mayoral race in Pickering and had a 17-percentage-point lead with most ballots counted.

Mr. Arthurs dropped out of the race after winning a Liberal seat at Queen's Park in the recent provincial elections, turning the race into a two-way battle between Mr. Ryan, a councillor and retired IBM employee, and Doug Dickerson, a local businessman.

Mr. Ryan's win is also a victory for developers who want to put houses on the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve, which Mr. Dickerson had promised to save.

Ajax

Incumbent Mayor Steve Parish, regarded by many as a fighter against runaway development, was able to fend off a challenge from Kip Van Kempen, winning more than 70 per cent of the vote.

Oshawa

Hockey was a campaign issue in Oshawa as regional councillor John Gray handily defeated 12-year veteran Nancy Diamond for mayor. The future of the Oshawa Generals, the town's legendary junior hockey team, animated the campaign.

Ottawa

Sitting Mayor Bob Chiarelli easily defeated his nearest rival, Terry Kilrea, with 56 per cent of the vote, compared to Mr. Kilrea's 37 per cent.

 

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