Ward 7 — Humber River-Black Creek
About the Ward
Humber River-Black Creek is in northwest Toronto, bordered by Humber River on the west, Keele Street on the east, Steeles Avenue on the north, and Highway 401 to the south. It is one of the poorest wards in the city, with an average household income of $65,458, well below the city-wide average of $102,721. The ward is also home to a large immigrant community—58 percent of residents are immigrants, 29 percent of which are refugees. Incumbent Ward 7 Councillor Anthony Perruzza has served on city council since 2006.
Where the Candidates Stand
It’s the battle of York Region stalwarts. Longtime councillor Peruzza is running against the son of the man he defeated in 2018, Christopher Mammoliti. But they aren’t the only two in the mix: offering a progressive alternative is Amanda Coombs, who is running on a platform that prioritizes affordable housing, tackling gentrification, making child care and mental health services accessible, and creating safe and inclusive recreational spaces to engage youth and seniors.
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 identify a dozen votes that are the most telling on different issues: homelessness, transportation, housing, policing, taxes, and the environment. We then asked all candidates to participate in a survey on how they would have voted on those same 12 motions. Only Coombs responded to The Local’s survey.
Here Are the Takeaways
- Peruzza’s support lines up perfectly with Tory’s, save for one motion: he did not vote on whether to make ActiveTO bike lanes permanent.
- Coombs only mirrors Tory and Perruza on two issues: she would not hike property taxes at all, even to fund a TTC fare freeze.
- However, on everything else, her votes are much closer to left-leaning councillors. Coombs supports more affordable units for Housing Now, and putting bathrooms in encampments.
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City Council Candidates
Amanda Coombs is a mental health advocate, community worker, and the founder of Back2Basickz Youth Support, an organization that provides rehabilitation and support services for youth involved in the criminal justice system. She was on the board of directors for Toronto Community Housing from 2018 to 2021 and currently works as a Toronto Community Crisis Service access facilitator for the Gerstein Crisis Centre, where she provides training for crisis intervention and occasionally accompanies its mobile response team. She is also a facilitator at Mental First Aid Canada, where she has certified over 500 students as mental health first aid respondents since 2017. Coombs previously ran in the 2018 municipal elections where she placed fifth out of eight candidates. Coombs’ current platform prioritizes affordable housing, tackling gentrification, making child care and mental health services accessible, and creating safe and inclusive recreational spaces to engage youth and seniors.
Christopher Mammoliti is the incumbent TDSB trustee for Ward 7, currently sitting as vice-chair, before which he was a manager at Seal & Design Canada. He is also the son of former controversial city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, who represented the old Ward 7, York West, for 23 years. Mammoliti graduated from Seneca College with an advanced diploma in business administration as well as a bachelor of commerce in business management. He sits on their program advisory committee for the international business and management program. Mammoliti’s platform includes improving transportation and transportation infrastructure, focusing on senior and youth services, ensuring community safety, and prioritizing mental health and wellbeing.
Anthony Perruzza - Incumbent
Anthony Perruzza is the incumbent city councillor for Ward 7, and served as the councillor of Ward 8 from 2006 to 2018 before it merged with Ward 7. He previously served as an NDP MPP from 1990 to 1995 and was a North York councillor from 1988 to 1990. Perruzza sits on several of the city’s boards and committees, including the infrastructure and environment committee and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. During his term, he advocated for several improvements to public infrastructure, such as upgrading local watermain systems to handle harsh weather through the basement flooding protection program and served as the city’s anti-poverty advocate. Perruzza also helped launch the Let’s Talk Child Care campaign to seek parenal input on childcare, proposed motions to wrap TTC cars in the Ukrainian flag, to strengthen a Black youth employment strategy, to ensure the quality of Toronto’s drinking water, to prohibit payday lenders from advertising on city billboards, seconded a motion to allow drinking in parks, and supported motions to explore a municipal land transfer tax on houses sold for more than $3M (though he voted against a motion to increase property tax rates almost a year later) and to put bike lanes on North Yonge street (though he voted against reinstalling bike lanes on Jarvis street). He voted against motions to launch an inquiry into the city’s encampment clearings. Perruzza has been endorsed by the Toronto & York Region Labour Council and the Toronto Star.
School Trustee Candidates
Nicole Dason is a graduate of York University’s Schulich School of Business. According to her website, she currently works in the banking industry and is passionate about women’s rights and community involvement. Dason is the Innovation and Research Co-Chair for the Women in Capital Markets Ontario Steering Committee, and she was given the Women in Capital Markets Emerging Leaders Award in 2017. Her priorities if elected include collaborating with parents, trustees and community members on crucial community decisions for consensus and ensuring that funding is put strictly towards bettering schools and learning experiences for students.
Matias de Dovitiis
Matias de Dovitiis is the Chief of Staff for incumbent city councillor Anthony Perruzza, and the former Executive Director of the Duke Heights BIA. As the Executive Director, de Dovitiis helped lead infrastructure improvement initiatives in the neighbourhood. He previously ran in the 2021 federal elections as the NDP candidate for Humber River-Black Creek, placing third out of six candidates. In this election, the Toronto & York Region Labour Council has endorsed his candidacy. As part of his campaign for Ward 4 TDSB trustee, de Dovitiis says he wants to work alongside advocates fighting anti-Indigenous racism, sexism, ableism and homophobia to build an equitable system with quality education for all. He is interested in improving school infrastructure and wants to continue working with parents and community members to ensure there are equitable resources and programs for students.
Kim King previously ran for the position of TDSB trustee in 2014 and in 2018 for Ward 1 and placed sixth (with 1046 votes) and third (with 1968 votes) respectively. According to her LinkedIn profile, King is currently a Food Access Coordinator for Rexdale Community Health Centre, and an Advocate at Advocates for Youth. She notes she is also a long-time volunteer for the Community Police Liaison Committee of 31 Division, where she served as treasurer. While details about her campaign are limited, King believes that students’ success should not be determined by their level of access to opportunity or food, where they live or their background.
Information about this candidate could not be found at time of publication.
Pragneshkumar Patel is a realtor with Homelife Miracle Realty.
Ida Li Preti - Incumbent
Elected in 2018, Ida Li Preti is the incumbent TCDSB trustee for Ward 3 (Humber River-Black Creek). A mother of three with over twelve years of human resources management experience, Preti is also a member of the Toronto Board of Health. According to her bio on the city’s website, she is passionate about social justice and closing the poverty gap. In 2019, she voted in favour of changing the Toronto Catholic School Board’s Code of Conduct to include the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression” and to declare June as Pride Month. In 2021, Preti wrote a letter of support for councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s city council motion that labelled several articles in an Italian-language newspaper “homophobic and transphobic.” She also ran for MPP for Humber River-Black Creek in the 2022 Ontario general election as the Ontario Liberal candidate, placing second behind Ontario NDP incumbent Tom Rakocevic.
Information about this candidate could not be found at time of publication.
Geneviève Oger - Incumbent
Geneviève Oger is the incumbent trustee for Conseil scolaire Viamonde Ward 4 – Ouest. She was elected in 2018 and has won the election by acclamation for the coming term, given she is running unopposed. Oger is the acting Senior Policy & Issues Advisor to the Deputy Minister’s Office at the Ontario Ministry of Francophone Affairs. She was the former media spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and was formerly a journalist. She is also vice chair of the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde – Ouest board and sits on the board of directors for Association des Conseils Scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario. As part of her 2018 campaign, Oger said she prioritizes inclusivity in schools, providing support for multicultural, multilingual families to pass on their language and culture to the next generation, and ensuring the engagement and consultation of parents in decision-making.
Nathalie Dufour Séguin - Incumbent
Nathalie Dufour Séguin is the incumbent trustee for MonAvenir Ward 3 – Toronto Ouest and has been re-elected by acclamation for the 2022 term as she is running unopposed. She was first elected trustee by ballot vote in 2006 and received acclamation in 2010. In 2014, she decided to step down to pursue other projects and was re-elected by ballot vote in 2018. Outside of the TCDSB, Dufour Séguin is an Education Community Relationship Manager for Groupe Média TFO, a media company that generates educational and cultural content for the Ontario Francophone community. She is also a former board member and former president of Toronto Francophone Women’s Shelter La Maison d’hébergement francophone de Toronto.
Dufour Séguin is on the MonAvenir School Council, having originally joined in 2006 when she became trustee (when the school was named Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud). After serving as vice president for two years, she was elected president in 2012, a role she held until 2014. In 2013, under Dufour Séguin’s leadership, the school council launched a discrimination action against the province as a means of forcing the Ministry of Education to replace one of their Hamilton-based schools with a new, larger building for the expanded student population. An issue Dufour Séguin said people have been advocating for since the 1990’s, the council invoked charter rights by arguing the Francophone school was not being resourced adequately and therefore access to education was not equal to those in Anglophone schools.
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 email@example.com. Last updated: October 11, 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
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