Born and raised in Leslieville—that little nook nestled between the Beaches and Downtown Toronto—Mark remembers his early days growing up there in the late 1960’s, and 1970’s.
“We were a tight-knit community. Everyone knew each other. Everyone seemed happy,” he fondly recalls.
He also pleasantly recalls family trips.
“Those were the days you could actually get around Toronto. My dad would get us on the Gardiner Expressway in our old Ford Falcon and before you knew it we’d be in Mississauga, or up the Don Valley Parkway and out of the City in no time. When it came to roads, the only real issue back then had nothing to do with traffic; it had to do with air conditioning in our Ford and the fact we had none. Those day trips during summer months at places like African Lion Safari proved rather ‘stifling’ to say the least.”
Since those early days Mark has seen Toronto deteriorate.
“Every year I think, the traffic congestion can’t possibly get worse. And without fail every year it does.”
Resigned to the realization none of the “higher-ups” seem intent on doing anything about this, and the knowledge Torontonians are more than a little frustrated, especially those who have been here a while and know that this new “normal” is anything but normal, he made a decision to pick-up the mantle in 2023 and run for Office.
He says, “I’ve never had any political affiliations or ambitions. For me running for Office comes with a strong sense of civic responsibility as someone who cares deeply about Toronto and the people in it. It’s also my way of trying to bring a level of accountability to a municipal government made up of predominantly career politicians, or youngsters who will more than likely end up being career politicians, who don’t seem to have a clue what’s really going on out there and how people are feeling. It used to be a joy getting around Toronto. No more, though.”
What finally forced Mark’s hand is the fact—year in, year out, for more years than he cares to recall—nobody in municipal politics will even acknowledge the horrific traffic congestion problem in Toronto unless they are directly challenged, which is rare. The exception to this is when there’s an election and the odd politician jumps on the “traffic congestion” bandwagon to pander to the public for votes.
"It’s very sad. It shouldn’t take an election to shine light on this issue. The problem is we are kind and tolerant. It’s in our nature and two of our greatest strengths as Canadians. When it comes to traffic congestion in this City, those character traits become a great weakness. We simply accept it.”
Mark believes his three decades in the private sector running his businesses in the Transportation and Communications arenas, creating dozens of job opportunities during that time, gives him the practical foundation and logistical understanding he needs to make Toronto better.
“I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel. I plan on taking nothing more than a common-sense, experience-driven approach to making the lives of the people who live and work in Toronto better. And that starts when we get Toronto moving. This will be my first priority when I get into Office and it will be the first step toward getting Toronto moving in the right direction.”
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