2014 TDSB Election: Ward 14 – Toronto Centre-Rosedale

The Incumbent:

Sheila Ward

The Race

Two of incumbent Sheila Ward’s opponents from 2010 are back for a rematch in 2014. Sheila provides her views and gives a taste of her personality in her response to our survey below. Some candidates use surveys to share their campaign platform and others, well…

Candidates Who Did Not Participate:  Murphy Browne, Michael Guenther, Chris Moise

The Breakdown


The full responses

  • 1. Evidence suggests the TDSB was warned in 2006 about spending problems. Previous Chair Chris Bolton chose to ignore these warnings until his resignation. Going forward, how would you address the issue of over-spending at the school board?

    Blaming Bolton is cheap and easy. I have always supported a balanced budget and will continue to do so.

    2. The TDSB has been faced with a difficult decision about potentially selling school properties. To avoid this, where would you find savings in future budgets? List your top five specific priorities for savings.

    I do not oppose selling buildings no longer needed by the Board. I don’t approach budgets with formulistic political rhetoric like “top five specific priorities for savings.” That’s the Hudac approach and taxpayers passed their judgment on it in the election

    3. There are candidates who have proposed advocating for a new tax dedicated specifically for education. Is this a proposal you support?

    Would need to see the details but generally I do not support new taxes being added to what is being paid for by taxpayers now.

    4. Failures in special education are considered by some to be the greatest failure in the public system. What is your plan for correcting this?

    Don’t agree with your premise that special education is the greatest failure of the system.

    5. The current board saw the TDSB deficit balloon to $109-million – it’s biggest ever. What is your plan to address this going forward?

    The Board has balanced its budget and must do so by law. I agree with and support that position.

    6. The TDSB recently estimated the cost of roof repairs to more than $2.5-million dollars. How would you ensure that necessary capital refurbishments are met within budget?

    Can’t be dealt with unless we reduce the number of schools and the government established a realistic budget for capital repairs.

    7. Recently the Canadian Football League and Nissan stepped in to help school boards with the costs of organized sports. Do you support seeking more private investment at the TDSB?

    Yes but with clear guidelines about any partnership.

    8. What do you think is the best approach for the TDSB to take in upcoming contract negotiations with teachers and staff?

    Negotiations are underway. We will negotiate at the bargaining table, not in public .

    9. In short time, the agreement between the TDSB and Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council is up for re-negotiation. Do you feel there are changes needed in the current agreement?

    There’s always room for improvement.

    10. TDSB has come under fire for ridiculous expenses – $150 to cut a key, $140 for a pencil sharpener, and a $200 toilet seat are just scratching the surface. How will you bring about a new culture that respects the budget and sees money spent wisely?​

    Don’t believe everything you read in the paper. And a simplistic approach like this questionnaire doesn’t advance the cause very far. As Progressive Conservatives, your views were made clear in the election and the answers to your questions are pretty much what voters have already told you – simplistic doesn’t cut it.