York Centre Trustee By-Election is July 25th

The sudden death of former TDSB Trustee Howard Kaplan has prompted a by-election call in York Centre. The election will be held on Monday, July 25th.

To find out where to vote you can go to the following website www.toronto.ca/elections

At the time of publication 10 candidates signed up for the by-election and The Downsview Advocate contacted them in order to provide a profile on each one to our readers. The following are the profiles for the candidates that responded.

Name: Sue Mathi
Email: info@suemathi.com
Website: www.suemathi.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/suemathiward5trusteecandidate/

I am eager to serve this diverse community. A trustee should be interested in advocating for the needs of the entire community and I will do that with vigor. I do not have a personal agenda, nor am I using the role as a gateway into politics. To show my commitment to service, I have promised that if elected, I will donate my entire first year’s salary directly to the schools in Ward 5 to be used at their discretion. I value education, children, and proper use of tax-payers money. I am eager to give back and help the children in our community get the best out of our education dollars.
Name: Jordan Glass

Email: glass4yorkcentre@gmail.com

Website: http://glass4yorkcentre.webs.com/

Twitter: @Glass4YorkCen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlassInYorkCentre/

I believe I can help make our school system better. As a parent of a child with special needs, I’ve spent years trying to navigate my way through the obscene red-tape in the TDSB. Dealing with our school board should not be this hard. My priority would be to create a parent facilitator to guide parents through a system that was not built with the concerns of them or their children in mind. This individual would assist families by empowering parents to speak for the needs of their children, especially those with special needs.


Name: Erica Shiner

Email: info@ericashiner.com

Website: ericashiner.com

Twitter: @ericashiner

Facebook: facebook.com/ericashinerTO

My son’s first experience in kindergarten this year was a real eye-opener to the challenges that children and parents face when navigating the system. Classes are overcrowded and repairs are woefully underfunded. I love being of service by amplifying the voices of others, and I’m passionate about implementing the changes necessary to better our school system. If elected, my priority would be implementing better planning to avoid overcrowding and the short-sighted sale of schools. I’m also committed to creating a more effective system of parent engagement to resolve issues at schools. Whether there are concerns with special needs, bullying, health issues, or anything else, parents need more accessibility to work with their schools.

One way tickets to Mars

Matt Damon is so cool that he makes a movie entertaining, even when most of it is about getting stuck alone on a planet for a year. The number one activity for a good twenty minutes of the movie was planting potatoes with human feces (he was running out of food and he needed fertilizer), but you were still glued to your seat, fascinated about what came next. If you have yet to watch The Martian, do so. There is enough Matt Damon and enough science in this fiction to make it worthwhile, but it is also a movie that will seem dated in 10 years.

That is because by 2016 there will already be astronauts chosen for the first trip to Mars. By 2023 we could have a base in Mars. By 2027 we could have people there (potato farming could really happen in Mars by then!). If you would like to apply click here. Just be aware that they can fly you there, but you are not coming back. The technology to bring people back isn’t here yet. Unlike the movie, you would be signing up for a one-way trip.

When the not-for-profit leading the project, Mars One, made their first announcement two years ago, 10,000 people emailed asking to apply. Seems farfetched, but in reality this would be the greatest adventure humankind has ever undertaken. Even if it meant never seeing your family or maybe anybody else—ever again. If you are that first lucky human to step on Mars, your name will be etched in stone for all of history.

To put it in perspective, Cristopher Columbus travelled 5,000 km to cross the Atlantic. The first Apollo mission travelled 384,000 km to go to the moon. The distance to Mars is 54 600 000 km. Going to Mars is a big deal.

Nobody will remember Matt Damon in 50 years, but everyone will know the name of the first person to set foot on Mars. Apply while you still can!

Graphic for article: Courtesy of Nasa.gov

Link to graphic: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html?id=367277

This article was originally published on www.discoverdownsview.ca

School Trustee Howard Kaplan Dies at 72

Flags in local schools were flown at half-mast when news broke. Howard Kaplan will be remembered as an activist in the local community that cared deeply about public education and issues of equity. He was first elected TDSB Trustee in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. He fought for early childhood education programs, equity in education and was a very active member in the community.

Howard became ill recently and was waiting for a liver transplant.

He wrote on Facebook in November:
“I’ve been diagnosed with an auto-immune condition: IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis. Look it up, it’s too complicated to explain it here. What it means is that I will eventually need a new liver. I am currently undergoing a battery of tests to see if I am a suitable candidate for a transplant: I have to be healthy enough — good heart, lungs, kidneys, etc; and I have to be sick enough — my liver has to be really bad. Accordingly, my energy level fluctuates day-by-day. I don’t know from one day to the next how much work I can do. It will get worse as time goes on until I get a new liver… if I’m a suitable candidate. As far as my work as a Trustee goes, I’m doing what I can, when I can. Staff are aware of my condition, and are taking on some of my constituency work.”

On behalf of The Downsview Advocate we send his family our deepest condolences during this difficult time -he was a great man that did very good things for this community.