Toronto Mayoral Candidate Racial Justice Report Card released by Colour of Change Network

 Colour of Change Network  released the Toronto Mayoral Candidates Racial Justice Report Card - revealing the grades received by each of the five front-running candidates for the position of Mayor of Toronto in 2010 - as compiled through one-on-one interviews with each of the candidates, by reviewing the policy and platform positions as released by each of the candidates - and/or by reviewing assorted media coverage of the campaign up to September 27, 2010.

The Racial Justice Report Card is attached - and the Media Release as well as an early story on the Report Card from the Toronto Star are attached and below !!
Feel free to share, use, circulate, adapt, replicate and copy however you feel appropriate !!
On behalf of the Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change - Steering Committee - thank you !


For Immediate Release


Racialized Communities Release Report Card on Toronto Mayoral Candidates


The Colour of Poverty Campaign - Colour of Change Network (COP/C) today releases a Racial Justice Report Card on the top candidates running to be Toronto’s next Mayor.


Between August and September, 2010, COP/C met with all but one of the top five mayoral candidates. Based on these in-person meeting discussions and the candidates’ campaign platform, the COP/C Report Card gives these candidates the grades of “A” to “F” regarding their positions on employment equity, affordable housing/inclusionary zoning, the collection of disaggregated data, public transit, the extension of the municipal franchise to all city residents, improving access to city services and programs, and policies with respect to the promotion of equity, inclusion and sustainable growth in Toronto.


The grades for the candidates still in the race are (in alphabetical order):


Rob Ford – F (who also failed to respond to the COP/C request for a meeting)

Joe Pantalone – B

Rocco Rossi – C+

George Smitherman – B+


“It is important for members of racialized communities in Toronto to elect the right person to be their mayor because of the particular difficulties they face including poverty, racial profiling and substandard housing, etc.,” said Avvy Go, Clinic Director of Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. “We release this report card to raise awareness around these pressing issues, while at the same time providing a tool for the voters to evaluate these candidates,” added Go.


“So far, the media has focused on issues that affect only some Toronto residents, such as homeowners and business people. There has been close to zero coverage on issues that matter to equity seeking groups as well as to the majority of Torontonians,” said Professor Grace-Edward Galabuzi of Ryerson University, Colour of Poverty (COP/C) Steering Committee member. “We need the media and the candidates to shift the focus of this election to what matters to the people who live in Toronto,” said Galabuzi.


“By recording what the candidates have said on such issues as employment equity and strengthening diversity, we can also hold the new mayor accountable for his promise, no matter who gets elected at the end of the day,” said Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.


COP/C is a province wide initiative to address the growing racialization of poverty and the resulting increased levels of social exclusion and marginalization of racialized communities across Ontario.


For more information, please contact:


Avvy Go, MTCSALC at (416) 971-9674

Amy Casipullai, OCASI at (416) 322-4950 (ext. 239) or (416) 524-4950



The Star
Toronto Star on-line - Sunday, October 3, 2010 - Toronto Edition

Report card on ‘racial justice’ gives Ford an F

Daniel Dale - Staff Reporter
See -

An advocacy group whose focus is “racial equity, human dignity and social justice” gave George Smitherman the top grade, B+, and Rob Ford a failing F in its “racial justice report card” on Toronto’s mayoral candidates.

The group, the Colour of Poverty Campaign-Colour of Change Network (COP/C), gave Joe Pantalone a B and Rocco Rossi a C+. It is composed of 13 community organizations, including the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, the African Canadian Legal Clinic, the Canadian Arab Federation, the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

COP/C graded the candidates on how closely their positions align with its priorities. Those include the expansion of affordable housing, the extension of voting rights to non-citizens, support for employment equity programs, and access to city programs and services for racial minorities.

The report card, which will be formally released on Monday, also assessed whether the candidates “would demonstrate true understanding, appreciation and commitment to the city’s motto, ‘Diversity Our Strength.’”

Ford, the report said, was the only major candidate to decline the opportunity to meet with the group.

“George has been saying for quite a while now, ‘What kind of Toronto do we want?’ George has been talking about the values that he brings to the race,” said Smitherman spokesperson Erika Mozes. “And I think if you look at the questions that were asked in this survey, these are all questions that I think Toronto voters are really concerned about . . . and they really should be looking at the differences between George and Rob Ford on these issues.”

Smitherman received a slightly higher grade than Pantalone because his employment equity platform is more comprehensive and because he, unlike Pantalone, expressed a willingness to consider the collection of race-based city data, said Avvy Yao-Yao Go, clinic director at the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. But Pantalone, she said, has a superior position on affordable housing.

“I would note that the little ‘plus’ in front of George’s B seems to be based on what he’s promising but isn’t necessarily based on an estimation of whether or not he can actually follow through on what he promises,” said Pantalone spokesperson Mike Smith. “There’s a lot there that requires resources, and at the same time he’s running a campaign rooted in cutting resources from the city.”

Go said COP/C produced the report card in part because it wants to pressure the candidates to address issues important to “people on the margins.” Such issues, she said, have been largely ignored during a campaign dominated to date by talk about taxes and waste.

The Ford and Rossi campaigns did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday afternoon.