There were 38 candidates running for Mayor of Toronto and 238 candidates running for 44 city councillor positions. To date, this represents the largest number of candidates to ever run in a Toronto municipal election. In contrast to the previous election (which had two acclamations), no candidates were unopposed.
Provincial legislation passed in May 2006 extended municipal council terms in Ontario to four years rather than three. The council elected in 2006 will thus serve until 2010 rather than 2009.
Local activist David Meslin created City Idol — an initiative and contest to encourage local citizens who were otherwise alienated from politics to seek office in this election. The contest ultimately selected four candidates to assist in their quests for city council seats. The contest ran from February to June 2006.
On 27 September 2006, former councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski filed papers to run in his old riding of Ward 14. However the next day he withdrew his nomination. This allowed him to retain a fundraising surplus of $21,742 leftover from his last campaign. If he had not (at least temporarily) run in this election, the money would have flowed into the city coffers.
Several incidents occurred during Ward 8 advanced polling on the weekend of 4–5 November 2006, leading to candidates Peter Li Preti and Anthony Perruzza accusing each other of dirty campaigning and the breaking of numerous election and criminal laws. Although no criminal charges were laid by police, the City of Toronto has (in a completely unprecedented move) hired off-duty police officers at a cost of approximately $23,200 to guard each of the ward's 40 voting locations on election day to assure voters will remain safe and free from harassment.
Michael Alexander was 42 years old, works as a filmmaker, and described himself as an eschatologist. His political hero is Pierre Trudeau. He promoted "city autonomy with a central bank, laws guided by eschatological principles from Scriptures, and a constitution based on the U. N. Declaration of Human Rights." His relatively strong showing may be explained, in part, by the fact that he appeared first on the alphabetical ballot.
Jaime Castillo was born in Peru, has studied mechanical engineering at Humber College, and has worked in construction and real estate. He first ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2003 as part of a pro-multiculturalism slate, calling for an increase in property taxes to support programs for immigrants. He received 1,616 votes for an eighth place finish. Castillo promoted multicultural issues again in 2006, also calling for improved tourism services and an environmental program to produce bio-gas and fertilizers from garbage.
Hazel Jackson previously campaigned for Mayor of Toronto in 1997 and 2000. Formerly homeless, she was a resident of Toronto's "Tent City" for a period. Jackson was a 45 year old student at George Brown College in the 2000 election and called for more popular involvement in politics, saying "If everyone had access to a hand-held computer that plugged into the Net, we could have instant votes on major issues." She worked at the Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre in 2006, and promoted green rooftops, windmills and "more community gardens".
Lee Romano is a successful businesswoman in Toronto. She created the Consumer's Guide to Insurance Inc. in 1996, providing telephone callers with advice on car insurance rates. She later moved her service online. Since 2005, she has written a column in the Toronto Star's "Wheels" section under the name Lee Romanov. Romano made a successful $9,000 bid at a "Mayor for a Day" charity event in 2002, and won the right to oversee activities at Toronto's city hall for 11 June of the same year (this did not confer any official responsibilities). She held a gala "inauguration" ball in May, with the proceeds also going to charity. She did not actively campaign for mayor in 2006.
Shaun Bruce was a 22 year old fourth-year media studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber. He decided to run for mayor after a class discussion on low voter turnout among youth, and following suggestions that a student candidate would bring more young voters to the polls. Many of his classmates worked on his campaign. Bruce wanted to introduce discounted public-transportation fees for students, improve community safety, and introduce an online directory of affordable student housing.
Monowar Hossain previously campaigned for the Toronto District School Board in 2000 and for Mayor of Toronto in 2003. He moved to Canada from India in 1983 due to what he describes as "political issues". He trained as a lawyer, later worked as a security officer, and was studying to be an investment adviser in 2003. Hossain's first mayoral campaign was highlighted by a promise to provide food and housing for Toronto's unemployed to bring them into the workforce. In 2006, he described himself as the "Dealienation Advocate" and said that he would rescue people from "traps" like psychologists and laboratory experimentation.
Joel Rubinovich was born in Montreal, attended and taught at McGill University, and moved to Toronto in 1968. He is a Life Member of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants, and joined the Board of Directors of Lung Cancer Canada in 2002. He favoured lower taxes and police foot patrols, opposed the St. Clair Right-of-Way, and called for a reconstitution of the Toronto Transit Commission. He was 73 years old in 2006.
Rodney Muir holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration degrees, and worked for twenty years in the food and grocery sector. He is the founder of the non-profit organization Waste Diversion Canada and is a waste diversion campaigner from the Sierra Club of Canada. He ran on an environmental platform, opposing David Miller's plan to purchase a landfill near London. He said he would offer "free taxes, theatre tickets (and) hotel weekends to those who participate in recycling", while penalizing those who do not. He also criticized a plan to introduce recycling carts to the city, saying that it would be more cost efficient to bring in more blue boxes. Muir traveled to Australia during the election, to give speeches in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney on waste diversion. He was 52 years old in 2006.
Nicholas Brooks was one of the first four candidates to register for the 2006 mayoral contest. He is a prolific writer of letters to the editor, including one in support of legalized prostitution. He participated in the Toronto Star's 2004 online budget challenge, supporting cuts to the office budgets of municipal officials and calling for increased funds for public libraries. In 2006, he said that he would represent ordinary citizens against the better-funded frontrunning candidates. He promised affordable housing, more community centres, and a toll on the Gardiner Expressway. Toward the end of the campaign, he said "A vote for Nick Brooks would be a vote that says, 'I'm distressed, I'm upset and I'm disturbed.' And it's better than not voting at all."
John Porter called for Toronto to become a "transportation hub", and highlighted critical thinking and public safety.
Diana-De Maxted is the founder of the Society Community Association Network (SCAN), which assists low income persons and victims of crime and abuse. She previously campaigned for mayor in 2000, and for Toronto's 31st council ward in a 2001 by-election. When Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino organized a "meet and great" for Toronto's gay community in 2001, De-Maxted presented him with a pair of earrings. She wore a queen's gown, tiara and fairy wings to an all-candidates debate in 2006.
David Dicks did not respond to the Toronto Star's requests for information. The newspaper was unable to provide any details about his candidacy.
Duri Naimji was a high-school principal in Guyana before moving to Canada. His biography indicates that he has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees, and that he supported the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the 1999 and 2003 provincial elections. He first campaigned for Mayor of Toronto in the 1997 municipal election, at age 53, calling for a plan to bring the Olympics to Toronto and promising to assist people living on the streets. He finished last in a field of twenty candidates. He ran again in 2000 and 2003, with a platform calling for more grassland and trees on the latter occasion. He also said he would promote cricket, and compared the possibility of being elected to winning the lottery. In 2006, he promoted cultural diversity and affordable services. Naimji describes himself as a "cheap chap", to distinguish himself from "costly fop" rival candidates.
Peter Okatar Styrsky was a 49 year old reverend in the Assembly of the Church of the Universe, which he described as a "cannabis church". He was arrested in late October 2006 and charged with thirty-four counts relating to the production and sale of cannabis. Styrsky spent the latter part of the campaign at the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene. His supporters suggested that David Miller arranged Styrsky's arrest to remove a competitor from the mayoral contest. A spokesperson for Miller indicated that the mayor's office would not respond to "crazy theories".
Mitch L. Gold attended Queen's University, and was certified as a Chartered Accountant in 1968. He later became an international peace advocate following a thousand-day journey around the world. He is the founder of Homeplanet Alliance and a member of the International Association of Educators for World Peace (affiliated with UNESCO), which produced a video entitled "The Last One" in 1993. Gold unsuccessfully sought a seat on the Toronto Board of Education in 1994, saying that he wanted to challenge the school bureaucracy on outdated education methods. He first ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2003, promoting a local Toronto currency and a plan to move the United Nations headquarters to the city. At one fringe candidates' meeting, he encouraged audience members to "understand the new mind". He acknowledged he had no chance of winning, and said that he would personally vote for David Miller. In the 2006 campaign, however, Gold indicated that he no longer supported Miller. He spoke against the Toronto City Centre Airport, and advocated an anti-gun initiative wherein gangsters would be encouraged to toss their firearms into city swimming pools. Whichever team elevated the most water would be given a prize. Mitch L. Gold is not to be confused with another Mitch Gold in America, who was sent to prison for charity fraud.
Ryan Goldhar owns a casting facility, and was thirty years old during the election. He was at city hall getting his marriage license when he decided to run. He called for increased recycling, and making the Toronto Transit Commission an essential service.
Ratan Wadhwa lived in Mumbai before moving to Canada. He is an actor and Charlie Chaplin impersonator, and the owner of Charlie's Flower Co. in Toronto. He first campaigned for Mayor of Toronto in 2003 at age 48, calling for legalized prostitution and cannabis, free condoms and viagra, and the creation of a red light district. He said that he was trying to develop political contacts rather than win the election, and speculated that he could manage a decent showing if enough people in the sex industry voted for him. He received 121 votes to place 43rd out of 44 candidates. He promoted much the same platform in 2006, and also called for increased helicopter surveillance and bullet-proof vests for police.
Adam Sit was a 22-year-old fourth-year student in Retail Management at Ryerson University. He called for Toronto's youth to have more of a voice in municipal politics, and supported a TTC discount for all post-secondary students.
Paul Sheldon is a rabbi. He studied professional voice training in the United States of America, spent seven years working at synagogues in Toronto, and was a founder of the Lodzer Holocaust Memorial Centre. He attracted controversy in 1990, when his marriage business was criticized by members of the Toronto Board of Rabbis. Sheldon often performed interfaith marriages unrecognized by Jewish law, for which he was strongly criticized by others in the community. Rabbi Joseph Kelman, chairman of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, said that he did not know of any national Jewish organization that recognized Sheldon's rabbinical credentials. Sheldon dismissed his critics, saying "I'm not a rebel, I'm a leader. Doing things differently is a sign of a leader and a good one." He has overseen many unusual weddings, including a ceremony in Muskoka where the couple wore only see-through plastic. Sheldon was also president of the provincial York SouthProgressive Conservative riding association in 1990. During the 2006 campaign, his primary issue was free rides for seniors on the TTC. He also called for more wedding chapels, said that he could reduce crime in Toronto by licensing bullets, and promised to provide housing for 60,000 people in three years.
"Sonic" Dave DuMoulin is an Aboriginal Canadian, and was previously a candidate in the 2000 mayoral election. He appeared at one 2006 all-candidates debate draped in a Mohawk Warrior flag, and said that he was organizing a "world peace festival cyber-pow wow" with rock star entertainment. He also criticized health workers for dispensing "carcinogenic chemo-therapeutic drugs".
Gerald Derome was previously a mayoral candidate in 2003. He described himself as the "Global Social Engineer", seeking to "unite all of mankind on to the same destination path" and calling for North America's wealth to be distributed to the world's poor. He also proposed splitting Toronto into smaller cities of one million residents each. His 2006 campaign was similar: he sought to make people aware of Toronto's "economic wars", and to redistribute the city's wealth. He runs a blog, available here.
Thomas Shipley first campaigned for Mayor of Toronto in 2000, and finished last in a field of 26 candidates. In the 2006 campaign, he endorsed trash incineration and called for harsher penalties against criminals.
David Schiebel said that his top priority was solving Toronto's homeless crisis.
David Vallance, a retired financial planner who had studied economics at the University of Toronto, , was a former leader of the Bloor-Bathurst-Madison Business Association, and formed the Bloor-Annex Business Improvement Area in 1996. He has written several Letters to the Editor over the years on various matters, including reforms to employee health benefits and the state of Toronto's provincial tax burden. He was a vocal opponent of the old City of Toronto's amalgamation with neighbouring municipalities in 1997, and led the group Taxpayers Against Megacity. He campaigned for city council in the 1997 municipal election as an extension of his anti-megacity campaign, and also advocated for property tax reforms. In 2006, he argued that Torontonians should "take control of our own taxes and control our own destiny".
Last-place candidate Mark State was born in the Northern Ontario community of South Porcupine, and raised in Hamilton. A former marine engineer and naval architect, he was 64 years old in November 2006. He had previously campaigned for the North York Public School Board in the 1974 municipal election. In 2006, he argued that the past city regime were unable to meet their budgetary requirements because of an established dependency on Queens Park for cash supplements; and that because of its shortage of cash, little forwarding action on the city's pressing issues had been taken. Actions to serve the public had been replaced with a preference to manufacture committees to avoid having to undertake reform. His own campaign addressed several different issues.
Hau Dang Tan holds a Master of Business Administration degree, and has thirty years experience as a management consultant. An immigrant to Canada, he supports increased multicultural services and called for housing policies that would benefit residents instead of developers.
Ramnarine Tiwari was born in the Caribbean, and moved to Canada at age twenty. He attended York University and the University of Western Ontario, and founded the first Caribbean Cultural Organization in 1972. The following year, he received a licence to perform marriages. A 2003 media release lists him as president and priest of the Toronto Shiva Satsang Sabha Temple. During the 2006 campaign, he called for counselling centres for teen mothers and at-risk youth.
Abdulhaq Omar supported more visible policing and programs for at-risk youth. He was previously a candidate in the 1997 municipal election.
Ron Singer is a financial advisor and critical illness insurance specialist, and chairs the 13 Division Community Police Liaison Committee. He had previously challenged Moscoe in the 2003 municipal election. Singer endorsed several policy initiatives associated with mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield, including garbage incineration and support for the Guardian Angels vigilante group, and his campaign site featured Pitfield's pledge on spending. He called for the number of Toronto City Councillors to be reduced from 44 to 22, and supported two-term limits for councillors. He was endorsed by the Toronto Star newspaper.
Rosina Bonavota was born in Italy, and moved to Canada with her family at age seven. She is a co-owner of Bonamico Café and Grill, a family business, and was forty-nine years old during the campaign. She called for more active-duty police officers and programs for at-risk youth.
Howard Cohen was born and raised in Toronto, and has degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor Law School. He has been a motivational speaker, mediator, small-business owner, agent and professor of law. He says that he ran because of his dissatisfaction with Howard Moscoe, whom he accused of neglecting the ward.
Eva Tavares is a community developer, and has volunteered with the North York Harvest Food Bank. She called for the revitalization of the Eglinton-Oakwood area in an environmentally-sound manner.
Dino Stamatopoulos did not provide information about his campaign, and did not respond to requests for interviews.
Alex Papouchine is an information technology specialist who moved to Canada from Russia. He supported Howard Moscoe's work on council, but said that Moscoe "is older and may not be aware of some of the issues". He called for improvements in public transit and more extracurricular activities for students.
^Neil Dunlop, "The telephone is new media too", Canadian Underwriter, 11 October 1997, Vol. 64, No. 10, p. 75.
^Lee Romanov, "New rate due to age may not take effect mid-term", Toronto Star, 9 September 2006, G6.
^Bruce DeMara, "24-hour mayor plans to have a ball", Toronto Star, 5 May 2002, A8; Philip Quinn, "If I were mayor for a day ...", National Post, 15 November 2002, AL2; Sharon Dunn, "Mayor for a day is pretty savvy", National Post, 3 June 2002, AL2.
^Vanessa Lu, "Mayor of Toronto at 22?", Toronto Star, 5 October 2006, A20; Adrienne Robertson, "Candidate drives zamboni: Young politicos, Part 1", National Post, 28 October 2006, TO12; "Toronto Mayoral Race", Toronto Star, 9 November 2006, G1.
^Brian Borzykowski and James Cowan, "They would be king", National Post, 4 October 2003, TO11; "Who's got what it takes", Toronto Star, 6 November 2003, G3.
^ abcdef"Toronto mayoral race", Toronto Star, 9 November 2006, G1.
^Katherine Harding, "In front, on fringe, 45 vying to become mayor", Globe and Mail, 27 September 2003, A20; Brian Borzykowski and James Cowan, "They would be king", National Post, 4 October 2003, TO11; Garnet Fraser, "A bid for mayor; Ratan Wadhwa wants votes, and to sell you a rose", Toronto Star, 4 November 2003, C4.
^David Vallance, "Taxing health care" [Letter], Globe and Mail, 22 April 1996, B2; David Vallance, "Curing health care" [Letter], Globe and Mail, 13 February 1999, B2.
^David Vallance, "Province must stop its tax grab" [Letter], Toronto Star, 19 December 2003, A31.
^Peter Small, "Property taxes hit women who rent, mayor is told", Toronto Star, 30 June 1995, A10; Caroline Mallan and Theresa Boyle, "Megacity is hot topic at levees", Toronto Star, 2 January 1997, A7; Tanya Talaga, "Megacity foes rush to barricades", Toronto Star, 25 January 1997, A1.
^John Sewell, "Midtown licks wounds and gets ready to vote", Now Magazine, 30 October-5 November 1997.
^"Toronto Mayoral Race", Toronto Star, 9 November 2006, G1. He was 67 years old in 2005. See Stephen Wickens, "A separate peace: Could Toronto go it alone?", Globe and Mail, 5 March 2005, M1.
^, Mark State: Toward a Bright Future, 22 January 2007.
^, Mark State: Toward a Bright Future (Referred website now discontinued). Retrieved 22 January 2007.
^"Toronto council", Toronto Star, 9 November 2006, G4; About Hau Dang Tan, Campaign website. Retrieved 15 November 2006.
^"Man facing charges is not Hindu priest" [media release], Canada NewsWire, 5 February 2003. The title refers to a different figure, who was erroneously described in the media as belonging to the Shiva Satang Sabha Temple.