Adrian Heaps

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Adrian Heaps
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 35) Scarborough Southwest
In office
December 1, 2006 – November 30, 2010
Preceded by Gerry Altobello
Harvey Barron (interim)[1][2]
Succeeded by Michelle Berardinetti
Personal details
Born 1954
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Karen Albertson
Children 3
Residence Toronto, Ontario

Adrian A. Heaps (born c. 1954) is a politician in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was the member of Toronto City Council for Scarborough Southwest Ward 35 from 2006 to 2010.


Heaps is the grandson of Abraham Albert Heaps, a leader of the Winnipeg General Strike, left-wing Member of Parliament in the 1920s and 1930s, and founding member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Heaps' father, Leo, received a military cross for service in World War II and was a New Democratic Party candidate in the 1979 federal election in the riding of Eglinton—Lawrence, while his son Toby was a senior staffer in Ralph Nader's 2004 US presidential campaign.[3]

Heaps is a former vice-president of an independent music label. In the mid-1990s he worked on a First Nation reserve near Penetanguishene, Ontario. In 2004 he worked in Colombia as a volunteer for the Canadian International Development Agency helping several municipalities with development projects.[3]


In 1999, Heaps ran as the Liberal candidate in the 1999 provincial election in the riding of Scarborough Southwest]. He finished second behind Progressive Conservative Dan Newman with 33.66% of the vote.[4] He attempted to run again but failed to win the Liberal nomination for the 2003 provincial election. The same year he ran for Toronto City Council but came in second behind incumbent Gerry Altobello.[5]

In 2006, he ran again for City Councillor after Altobello was appointed a justice of the peace. Heaps ran his campaign based on delivering better services by the city. He said, "The quality of services you receive is related to the quality of the representative you have."[6] He defeated Michelle Berardinetti by 89 votes.[7]

In early 2007, Berardinetti sued him for defamation due to an incident during the campaign. Berardinetti claimed that Heaps defamed her by distributing copies of a Globe and Mail article that endorsed him two days before the election. The article by columnist John Barber who described himself as a classmate of Heaps endorsed him while belittling Berardinetti as little more than a nepotistic "pillow talker" of her MPP husband.[8] Heaps and Berardinetti eventually settled out of court. In December, 2009, City Council voted to reimburse Heaps for both the settlement and legal expenses which amounted to $65,680. In January, 2010 Heaps elected to refuse the reimbursement.[9]

In a related matter, City Council also decided to reimburse legal fees incurred by Heaps when a group called the Toronto Party for a Better City (TPBC) requested a compliance audit on Heaps' campaign expenses. The audit committee reviewed the expenses and found no evidence of improper financing but the group appealed the decision to a higher court. The legal fees for this process amounted to $45,330. City Council also authorized an additional payment since the reimbursement was deemed a taxable benefit. TPBC and fellow councillor Doug Holyday launched a second legal action to force Heaps to repay the money. Heaps had refused the reimbursement for the defamation lawsuit but still accepted the reimbursement for the compliance audit action. In July 2010, the Divisional Court ruled that City Council had no authority to reimburse Heaps since he was a candidate at the time and not yet a councillor. In August 2010, City Council appealed that decision and went further by declaring the money to be a 'grant' rather than a 'reimbursement'. Mayor David Miller argued that anyone running for office should not be forced into paying large legal fees. He said, "Nobody in this city, unless you're really rich, can afford to run for public office and be subjected to $70,000 in legal fees." In December 2010, the court refused the city's request for an appeal. However, the court did not force Heaps to return the money.[10][11][12]

During his time in office, he served as chair of the city's Cycling Advisory Committee. He also served as chair of Disabilities Issues for Toronto and headed up committees involved in sports related activities such as the 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay and the 2015 Pan American Games.[13] Citing workload issues Heaps declined an offer by Mayor David Miller to sit as a councillor-at-large on the city's powerful executive committee.[14]

In the 2010 election, Heaps and Berardinetti again competed for the ward. One of the major issues was bike lanes in the ward. Berardinetti claimed that unconnected bike lanes on Pharmacy Avenue and Birchmount Road were leading some residents who lived on those streets to move out of the ward. Berardinetti, who described them as "bike lanes to nowhere", said that she would replace them with sharrows. Heaps said that the bike lanes were put in place by the previous councillor. He said that the best alternative was to link up the existing network rather than approve any more stand alone bike lanes.[15][16] Heaps lost the election to Berardinetti by 2,203 votes.

In 2014, Heaps applied to be appointed by Toronto City Council to fill out the term of Ward 20 Councillor Adam Vaughan after the downtown councillor resigned his seat to successfully stand for parliament.[17] Heaps received a single vote and was eliminated on the first ballot.[18]

Election results[edit]

2010 Toronto election, Ward 35
Candidate Votes  %
Michelle Berardinetti 8,293 50.46%
Adrian Heaps 6,020 36.62%
Malik Ahmad 850 5.17%
Victoria Doyle 429 2.61%
Ed Green 253 1.54%
John Lewis 183 1.11%
Jay Burnett 173 1.06%
Peter Tijiri 90 0.55%
John Morawietz 76 0.46%
Jason Woychesko 70 0.43%
Total 16,437 100%

Results as of October 26, 2010 03:55 AM. 42 out of 42 polls.[19]


  1. ^ Note: Barron was appointed by council to serve out the remaining term July - November 2006 after Altobello resigned.
  2. ^ David Nickle. Barron appointed Ward 35 councillor. Scarborough Mirror. July 26, 2006. pg. 1.
  3. ^ a b Donovan Vincent. Are Heaps' ideas novel or naive?; Rookie politician's proposal that councillors 'swap wards' occasionally is one example of his outside- the-box thinking. Toronto Star. November 25, 2006. pg. B3.
  4. ^ Elections Ontario. General Election of June 3, 1999. Results for Scarborough Southwest. [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Toronto votes 2003 election results. Councillor: 2003 poll by poll results. Ward 35. (pg. 46) "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  6. ^ Jennifer Lewington. Fresh faces abound in wild, wild east. The Globe and Mail. November 10, 2006. pg. A14.
  7. ^ Toronto votes 2003 election results. Councillor: 2006 poll by poll results. Ward 35. (pg. 79) "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  8. ^ Barber, John (November 11, 2006). "Wise Council: In these wards, the choice is clear". The Globe and Mail. pp. M1, M4. 
  9. ^ "Councillor refuses legal-fee reimbursement". The Globe and Mail. January 26, 2010. p. A11. 
  10. ^ Citizens challenge councillor payments, Toronto Star, January 19, 2010.
  11. ^ Daniel Dale. City can’t appeal ruling on payments to Heaps and Mammoliti. Toronto Star. December 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Councillors’ legal fees: Problem still not solved. Toronto Star. December 30, 2010.
  13. ^ Former City Councillor A.A. (Adrian) Heaps: Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest, City of Toronto, Last accessed December 14, 2010.
  14. ^ Jeff Gray. Heaps turns down mayor's executive offer. The Globe and Mail. August 16, 2007. pg. A9.
  15. ^ Don Peat, Bike lanes irk councillor, Toronto Sun, November 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Kristofer Baker. Ward 35 candidates spar over unconnected bike lanes, The Toronto Observer. September 30, 2010.
  17. ^ "City council to vote on candidates vying to fill vacated seats". Globe and Mail. July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Councillor, Ward 35 Archived March 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Toronto Vote 2010 election results. Last accessed December 14, 2010.