About the Ward

Scarborough-Rouge Park, on the easternmost edge of the city, includes the neighourhoods of Centennial, Highland Creek, Malvern, Morningside Heights, West Rouge, and Port Union. With sprawling suburban neighbourhoods of residential houses, it is one of the few Toronto neighbourhoods to have a negative growth rate between 2011 and 2016. The ward has a high proportion of visible minorities, at 72 percent, and household income that’s on par with the city average. Incumbent councillor Jennifer McKelvie was elected in 2018.

Where the Candidates Stand

There are three candidates in the race for the Scarborough-Rouge Park city council seat, including incumbent Jennifer McKelvie. A newcomer in the 2018 election, McKelvie narrowly won the seat with 40.21 percent of the votes, ahead of incumbent Neethan Shan’s 39.68 percent. McKelvie is facing two challengers, ​​Ashan Fernando and Jacinta Kanakaratnam, both relatively new to municipal politics (see their fact-checked bios in the next section).

The matrix below provides a head-to-head comparison of where council candidates stand on key issues. The Local combed through city council records to review all the decisions made over the last four years and identified a dozen votes that are the most telling on different issues: homelessness, transportation, housing, policing, taxes, and the environment. We then sent the challengers a survey asking them how they would have voted on those same 12 motions, adding the results to what we already know about how McKelvie voted.

Firstly, we had full participation in the survey—permitting a head-to-head comparison among all three candidates.

Here Are the Takeaways

  • Incumbent Jennifer McKelvie consistently voted with Mayor John Tory (and other right-leaning councillors), and took conservative positions on taxes and policing.
  • Ashan Fernando, who had previously sought the Liberal nomination for the riding in 2016 but indicated to The Local that he would align himself with the provincial and federal NDP, took conservative stances on a number of votes, particularly on fiscal and policing issues.
  • Jacinta Kanakaratnam, whose votes signal more progressive stances on issues, is the only candidate to support the motion to cut the police budget in order to help pay for rent supplements; in contrast to McKelvie, Kanakaratnam supports a judicial inquiry into encampment clearings, more affordable housing units for the Housing Now initiative, and a restriction on above guideline rent increases for those units.

Information in Candidate Tracker was compiled and written by The Local’s team of journalists and fact checkers. City council candidates were emailed a questionnaire asking for information about their history, experience, and plans. They were also surveyed about their stances on twelve key votes that took place in the 2018-22 council term. Not all candidates were reachable or responded. The Local also conducted its own research to independently source and verify information about each city council and school trustee candidate. If you’re a candidate whose information is not here, please email us at elections@thelocal.to. Last updated: October 22, 2022.

Contributors: Inori Roy, Ann Marie Elpa, Nikky Manfredi, Danielle Orr, H.G. Watson, Emma Buchanan, Dhriti Gupta, Zeahaa Rehman, Neville Park, Nicholas Hune-Brown, Tai Huynh, Craig Madho, Steve Combes, and Lia Mattacchione.