CBC TorontoOntario Votes 2011

Toronto Votes: GTA Regions: Durham Region


Mayoral candidates: Steve Parish (Incumbent)

Elected: Steve Parish

Ajax's popular incumbent mayor, Steve Parish, is running unopposed after his sole challenger, Sherry Clymer, bowed out of the race over controversial remarks she made about council's move to fly the gay pride rainbow flag outside City Hall. The fact that no one is challenging him is fuelling fears that voter turnout may be even lower than in 2006, when only 23 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots. To encourage youth to get involved, the town has released a Youtube feature with homegrown celebrities such as the band Sum 41 and former Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex urging viewers to vote.


Brock Candidates

Elected: Larry O'Connor

Rising property taxes have emerged as a key issue. Incumbent mayor Larry O'Connor has conceded that simply hiking property taxes to pay for increases in labour and service costs is not a sustainable policy. Challenger Terry Clayton hopes the city can broaden its tax base by appealing to industries outside the agriculture and tourism sectors. O'Connor, who tried unsuccessfully to secure the federal NDP nomination for Oshawa in 2003, has trumpeted the creation of the Brock Economic Development Advisory Committee to boost business development and promotion.


Clarington Candidates

Elected: Adrian Foster

A proposed waste incinerator in Courtice has emerged as one of the hottest issues in the mayoral campaign. Incumbent Jim Abernethy has spoken out in favour of the plant, which would process waste and use it to produce power. All of his mayoral rivals have criticized him for not involving the community enough, and have raised concerns about air quality. The facility would have the capacity to burn between 150,000 and 400,000 tonnes of trash each year, generating enough energy to power about 15,000 homes.


Oshawa Candidates

Elected: John Henry

Fiscal restraint and curbs on taxation are hot-button issues in Oshawa. Incumbent John Gray has attracted much criticism from other candidates for spending his city-funded transportation allowance on a Chevrolet Camaro sports car. Oshawa also has among the highest residential tax rates in the GTA, and a number of candidates are calling for easing the tax burden. Boosting infrastructure and investment in Oshawa, where hundreds of autoworkers have been laid off by General Motors in recent years, is another issue.


Oshawa Candidates

Elected: Dave Ryan

Ken Nash and Maurice Brenner have both said Pickering under Dave Ryan has been too eager to open itself up to development. Both have also said property taxes are too high. Meanwhile, a messy fight over the location of a proposed facility to control odour from a sewer line expansion connecting York and Durham regions is casting a shadow over the election. The facility was originally slated to be built in Pickering's Cherrywood community, but after protests from residents York region agreed to a site just west of Pickering in Markham. Residents, however, are upset about how the issue was handled and many still think the facility is too close to Pickering.


Scugog Candidates

Elected: Chuck Mercier

Mayor Marilyn Pearce is not seeking a third term in council, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. That opens the field for Jim McMillen, a regional councillor for Durham region, and Chuck Mercier, former deputy chief of the Durham Regional Police Service. McMillen has touted his political experience, and says he will make improving roads a priority. He also hopes to improve parks and community centres. Mercier, a 20-year resident of Port Perry, has played up his involvement in the community and has criticized council for not doing enough to augment sewage lagoons that are approaching capacity.


Uxbridge Candidates

  • George Apostolou
  • Gerri Lynn O'Connor
  • Bob Shepherd (Incumbent)

Elected: Gerri Lynn O'Connor

Former mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor is challenging Bob Shepherd, who succeeded her in the 2006 mayoral election. Shepherd is making downtown revitalization a cornerstone of his campaign. Plans call for making the area more inviting for retailers who want to set up shop or residents who want a night out - a concept lauded by O'Connor. All three candidates have acknowledged that escalating property taxes are cause for concern, but have shied away from promising tax cuts. A bone of contention has emerged regarding opening the town up to commercial landfill operations. Shepherd has said Uxbridge should be open to at least examining the issue, but O'Connor has said the idea is a non-starter.


Whitby Candidates

Elected: Pat Perkins

Former mayor Marcel Brunelle is challenging incumbent Pat Perkins for the town's top job. Also in the race is theatre owner Rocky Varcoe, who has decried rising taxes and "wasteful spending." Varcoe pledges to shave expenditures by five per cent. Brunelle, meanwhile, has vowed to attract more business to Whitby. Perkins has said plans to expand Highway 407 and Highway 7 will help accessibility.