By: Emily Mathieu Investigative News reporter, Published on Mon Oct 27 2014
Councillor Michelle Berardinetti celebrated her victory with staffers and supporters at her storefront campaign office on Kennedy Rd.
“We’re pleased to see the results. It is a great endorsement by the residents of Ward 35,” said Berardinetti, speaking with the Star outside the brightly lit space, hung with campaign signs and red balloons. “I really thank all the residents for their faith in my representation,” the Scarborough Southwest councillor said.
Berardinetti said on Tuesday morning she and her staff planned to get right back to serving people in the ward, joking that first everyone involved with the campaign would try to rest for a few minutes and eat a solid meal.
In an earlier interview with the Star Berardinetti, who was first elected in 2010, spoke about the pressing need to improve transit in her ward, as well as finding ways to guarantee good jobs for people in the area.
Berardinetti, who likes John Tory’s transit plan, said the only way to relieve gridlock is to give drivers an option that doesn’t involve two transfers and tripling their commute time.
People who don’t live in the area don’t understand why subways are crucial, she said. “We have density, it is not farmland anymore, trust me I know. The cows aren’t crossing the road.”
Berardinetti said constituents want to make sure their tax dollars are used to improve local services and infrastructure.
After the results came in rival candidate Paul Bocking, a community activist and high school teacher, took to Twitter promising to continue fighting for improvements in the ward.
“We’ve been building for 2 years. We’ll continue,” he wrote. “Justice in (Ward 35) is important all the time, not just in elections.”
Bocking took the Star’s Shawn Micallef on a walking tour of the ward in August and described how teaching at Birchmount Park Collegiate got him in the race.
“The concerns of my students around rising TTC fares and cuts to frequency of bus routes got me interested in running,” said Bocking, who also pushed for job creation, safer housing and after school programs for kids.