For more cartoons, visit thedailysnooze.com.
He didn’t realize it at the time, but Norm Archeck has been a significant inspiration for me. A catalyst for some of my proudest physical accomplishments.
This story – of one friend motivating another to achieve fitness success – wouldn’t be anything special … if Norm wasn’t 84 years old.
Two and a half years ago, after I had already rid myself of my adult-life-long baby fat, I noticed Norm regularly coming to the front desk of the JCC and challenging anyone within shouting distance to do push-ups with him. Right there. Drop and give me 20. Or 40, in Norm’s case.
Caught in the crossfire one day, my male ego couldn’t refuse the challenge, so I threw in a quick 25. That same ego was forced to up that 25 to 30 the next day. This was really no big deal. Until a couple of months later I managed to push my body away from the JCC floor 111 consecutive times. Yes, in a row.
For the most part I stopped doing push-ups with Norm after that day. But only because I decided it was time to parlay those gains into a more rounded gym routine. Since then I have hit new personal fitness levels again and again, staring down my upcoming 40th birthday like it’s going to put 20 to shame.
Now, there is something to be said about right place, right time, right motivation. I was clearly ready to embrace Norm’s challenge that day. But without Norm it wouldn’t have happened the way it did.
Brushing off everything with a laugh or a smile, Norm is that guy the rest of us look at and say, “I hope I’m doing that when I’m his age.” So when he issues you a physical challenge it’s pretty hard to turn him down.
Throw in three knee replacements, a new hip, a win over colon cancer 15 years ago and open heart surgery seven years later and it’s hard not to smile when Norm says, “Come on, young man. Let’s do some push-ups!”
… in front of everyone you work with.
“My friends say I’m a nut case,” he laughed while taking a break in the JCC fitness room. “That’s how I live my life. I forget about the things that are challenging me and live my life.”
Norm was an athlete in his younger days, always wanting to push the limits. As he aged his doctor told him that if he didn’t work out he might as well just fold up shop, so to speak.
“He says I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t exercise. And he tells his other patients to just do what Norm does.”
More recently, just to change things up a little, Norm has taken on the plank – a popular core strengthening exercise – as his new daily JCC-front-desk activity.
Targeting an absurdly-long 5-minute plank, he’s come close many times while brushing off non-believers one minute at a time.
He tells a story of being at a relative’s house for dinner recently when his planking prowess was brought up at the table. A burly, middle-aged dinner guest called Norm to task.
“He laughed at me when I said I could do it,” Norm said. “He was kind of a big mouth. So he challenged me and I knew he would struggle. I did it for around four minutes and he quit around two. I get a call a month later and he tells me he has gotten to 2.5 mins.”
So if you are ever at the JCC and you see an old gent sitting on the floor by the front desk, he’s not filming a new “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial. It’s just Norm, living his life on his terms.
Rabbi Josh and Laura Stein with their daughter Yehudis at Niagara Falls. (photo from Josh Stein)
Josh and Laura Stein come from similar backgrounds – both grew up as unaffiliated Jews just a few kilometres from each other in Toronto, both became more interested in their Jewish heritage as teens through National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), and both ended up learning in Israel, where they met. Now, the married couple (along with their 10-month-old daughter Yehudis) has moved to Vancouver as Rabbi Josh Stein takes on a new role as the NCSY chapter coordinator in Vancouver, hoping to give back what they both gained from NCSY.
“I attended Jewish elementary day school and a public high school. I had no affiliation really,” he told the Independent. After becoming involved with an NCSY rabbi, he said, he learned about a Jewish heritage that he never had experienced before. After high school, Stein chose to spend two-and-a-half years in a yeshiva in Israel, where he became Orthodox.
“Going to Israel for the first time really opened my eyes to a different aspect of Judaism that I never experienced before,” said Stein. “That, coupled with a week in Poland [through a trip organized by his yeshiva], really opened my eyes to my Jewish heritage and kind of endowed with me the exploring of Judaism further from there.”
At the same time, his wife to be was going through a similar journey: she also had left her native Toronto to study in Israel, eventually meeting her husband through the same rabbi who they both met in high school and had sparked their Jewish quests.
After graduating with smicha, a bachelor of arts in Judaic studies, a bachelor of talmudic law and a teaching certification from the Israeli Ministry of Education, Josh Stein and his family moved back to Toronto. Recently, they found their next role, joining the Vancouver Jewish community.
“There are so many people who have helped us along the way in becoming Orthodox that we really felt that it was part of our duty to give back to the community and allow other students to be as fortunate as we have been in discovering our Jewish heritage,” said Stein.
As part of his new role, he’ll be organizing educational and social events for Jewish students in Vancouver, from Shabbatons to paintball sessions and weekly learning classes.
“Essentially, my job is to work alongside Rabbi [Samuel] Ross and bring in new energy to the younger kids coming in,” said Stein. They’ve already held the first Vancouver Shabbaton of the year, which brought together about 100 kids from Western Canada, as well as Seattle and Portland, to spend a Shabbat together in Vancouver.
“The kids had a blast, there was so much camaraderie and this feeling of being part of a greater community,” he said. They have also started weekly Torah High learning classes and have many programs lined up for the year.
NCSY, which has been in Vancouver for about 50 years (and is now in its 60th year nationally), aims to help Jewish teens discover and connect with their Jewish roots through fun, informative and educational programming and mentorship. Although Vancouver is known for its high intermarriage and assimilation rates, the number of Jewish youth involved in NCSY has grown in the past few years, which is one of the reasons why the chapter brought in the Steins.
“We brought them in due to sheer growth,” said Ross, NCSY Vancouver city director. “We are now seeing well over 200 kids a year. Perhaps five [or even two] years ago, kids were coming in here and there; now, the kids are coming in for two, three, four or five times every week for programs.
“In order to be able to continue our growth, we felt this was the right time to bring in the next couple who would complement what Gila, my wife, and I are presently able to offer.”
The Steins are looking forward to being part of the growth of Vancouver NCSY.
“NCSY to me is a family that unites our community as a whole. It’s an organization that really brings Jews together from all different aspects of life and makes them feel like they’re part of a family, no matter their religious level,” said Stein. “We hope to allow each student to find their own uniqueness about Judaism and internalize it for themselves.”
Vicky Tobianah is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. Connect with her on Twitter, @vicktob, or at [email protected].
Julia Glushko and Liran Kling at last year’s U.S. Open. (photo from Liran Kling)
Israeli tennis coach Liran Kling now calls Vancouver home. He moved here after being invited to do so by Canada’s No. 2 female tennis seed, Sharon Fichman.
Kling, 33, has played and coached tennis since he was a kid.
Born in Ramat Gan, he was one of the top junior players in Israel. After three years of army service, he attended College of Charleston in the United States on a tennis scholarship and then began coaching, in 2006, staying on for two years at the college before returning to Israel.
In 2010, Kling began coaching one of Israel’s promising young female players, Julia Glushko. Over four years, Kling helped Glushko become Israel’s No. 1 seed, a ranking she shares off and on with fellow tennis star, Shahar Peer.
After the 2014 Australian Open, however, Kling and Glushko parted ways. “It was a great experience for both of us,” said Kling of their time together. “We achieved a lot in the four years we worked together. There was just a mutual feeling that our partnership had run its course and we both felt it was time for a change. Julia is a great player and I wish her all the best in the future.”
Moving to Vancouver
“When I stopped working with Julia, Sharon contacted me to see if I was interested in coming to work with her and her team in Vancouver,” said Kling.
“Sharon is Canada’s No. 2 player, after Eugenie Bouchard. She is ranked 127 in the world in singles and 90 in doubles. Her somewhat low ranking is due to the fact that she is coming back from knee surgery and, in the past, she had a number of wins against top 50 players, so we know she has the potential to do that and more.”
About working with Fichman, Kling said, “We believe she can be ranked among the top of women tennis.” He added, “Our Israeli background helps us find common ground and to develop a strong working partnership.”
Fichman was born in Toronto to Israeli parents and has an older brother who was born in Israel. She began playing tennis at age 5 and, at 13, became the youngest player to win Canadian nationals for girls 18 and under. Later, at 14, she became the youngest player in Canadian history to play on the Canadian Federation Cup team.
Before becoming a professional, Fichman was ranked as high as No. 5 in the world for girls 18 and under, winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles in doubles, and reaching the quarter finals in singles of two grand slams. As a professional, her career high ranking to date has been 77th in the world in singles and 48th in world doubles.
Fichman competed in the 2005 Maccabiah Games for Canada and won the gold medal in the women’s open singles event. She was the flag bearer for the Canadian Maccabiah Team.
“The Canadian Tennis Federation has been very supportive of me and my tennis career and I am proud to play for Canada,” said Fichman.
Kling and Fichman first met on the Women’s Tennis Association tour, when Kling was still Glushko’s coach. When Fichman began looking for someone to join her team in Vancouver, she said Kling was her first choice. “The fact that he is Israeli is simply a bonus,” she said.
“He is very observant and has a great eye for the game of tennis,” said Fichman about Kling. “As a former player himself, he understands what it takes to be successful as a professional tennis player, so I take a lot of confidence in his input and feedback on and off of the tennis court.”
Both Fichman and Kling are new to Vancouver. Fichman said both she and Kling “would like to be better introduced to the Vancouver Jewish community,” while Kling said, “I’m enjoying my time here…. As far as the winter season goes, I was told to bring an umbrella. I look forward to learning how to ski this winter.”
The two are working out of a tennis centre in Surrey.
Rebeca Kuropatwa is a Winnipeg freelance writer.
Yotam Ottolenghi is in Vancouver on Oct. 21 for a sold-out pre-Jewish Book Festival event to promote his newest cookbook, Plenty More. (photo from Yotam Ottolenghi)
Israeli-born chef, restaurateur and TV personality Yotam Ottolenghi has made a name for himself by bringing creative Middle Eastern and gourmet vegetarian cuisine into the homes of everyday cooks. His debut cookbook, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, published in 2008, co-written with fellow Jerusalem native Sami Tamimi, features nearly 150 recipes selected from his restaurants. Ottolenghi has since published two other bestselling cookbooks, Plenty, which focuses exclusively on vegetarian cooking, in 2011, and Jerusalem, co-written with Tamimi, in 2012. The star chef and author is in Vancouver on Oct. 21 for a sold-out pre-Jewish Book Festival event to promote his newest cookbook, Plenty More, which was published this week by Random House.
“I always enjoyed food very much since I was very young, but never considered it as a career option,” Ottolenghi told the Independent. “But when I finished my studies at university, I decided to see if I could make it into the profession, so I enrolled in a culinary course in London in 1997 and really loved it. I thought it was very liberating and very immediately gratifying as opposed to the things I did before. It felt great feeding people and getting immediate feedback from them.”
After graduating from culinary school, Ottolenghi worked in various restaurants, but a defining moment arrived when he teamed up with a group of people and started a deli in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood that specialized in fresh food and pastries.
“I really enjoyed doing it, it became extremely popular very early on,” he said. “We made some nice vegetable dishes, things with pasta and grain that are deeply ingrained in the Middle Eastern food culture,” and it took off. Since then, he’s convinced millions around the world to open up their palates and culinary appetites and take a chance on Middle Eastern food.
In his newest book, Plenty More, vegetables are again the focus and he writes about his cooking methods and gives readers a glimpse into his process. “It was an organic process – the recipes are based on those I write for the Guardian newspaper’s weekend magazine – but the inspiration, or ‘penny-drop’ moment, came when I realized I wanted to organize the chapters around cooking methods rather than ingredients. Certain vegetables can get pigeon-holed – a courgette gets steamed, a squash gets roasted and so forth; focusing on the cooking method, instead, really allowed me to showcase how much more versatile vegetables are than this,” he said.
His next project is already in the works, he said. “I am working on a new book with our head chef at NOPI [in London] and we have plans to open a new Ottolenghi deli in East London next year. That’s keeping the big picture busy, and then the day-to-day work in the test kitchen continues on apace,” he said.
Ottolenghi said he hopes to continue immersing himself in the food world, and do the work that he loves to do – while preparing his own favorites, as well.
“What I love in food is the ability to surprise, delight and comfort all at once. My favorites will change depending on the context, so it will be meatballs cooked with dried Iranian lime one day and tinned smoked oysters tipped onto toast and eaten for breakfast the next,” he said.
Perhaps he’ll even gain a new favorite while he’s in Canada. “Festivals are just a great place to exchange ideas and enthusiasm with like-minded people so I’m looking forward to just being there, having a good time and learning about more ways I can get some great maple syrup into my cooking,” he said.
For more information about the Cherie Smith JCCGV Jewish Book Festival and a full schedule of events, visit jewishbookfestival.ca.
Vicky Tobianah is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. Connect with her on Twitter, @vicktob, or at [email protected].
An Eli Chissick-designed mirror, which will exclusively be available from SwitzerCultCreative in November. (photo from SwitzerCultCreative)
You could say Renee Switzer got her love of the furniture business from her grandfather, who arrived in Canada from Poland in 1920 and opened a second-hand furniture store in Calgary. The tradition continued when her father entered the industry, too, with a company specializing in the manufacture of antique reproductions. Switzer worked in the family business until it was sold in 2010. A year later, she launched SwitzerCultCreative, motivated by a desire to create opportunities for Canadian designers.
“I love the furniture industry and the people involved in it, and I wanted to maintain the contacts I’d developed over the years,” she told the Jewish Independent. “After I moved from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast in 2006, I discovered there’s a tremendous amount of homegrown talent that’s hidden away and needed to be developed and promoted, so that’s what I decided to do.”
Switzer builds and maintains business relationships between furniture designers, the craftsmen who create those designs and the clients who purchase the finished product. Her focus is modern, luxurious and sustainable 21st-century designs and her emphasis is on knowing every detail about the products she represents. That includes how pieces are made and finished, what materials are used, who creates and builds those pieces and why they are environmentally sustainable.
Among the collections she promotes is the Coupland Collection by Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland, the Baumhaus Collection by Jess and Nicolas Meyer, the Barter Collection from Kenneth Torrance and the AHRPA Collection created by Umberto Asnago, an Italian furniture designer.
More recently, Switzer was also determined to find an Israeli designer whose work would fit in with the collections she already promotes. “I really believed it was important to try and do something to counteract all the anti-Israel boycotts going on right now, boycotts that are nonsense,” the Roberts Creek resident said.
In an effort to find the right fit, Switzer began reaching out to organizations in Israel, making inquiries about different designers. When she saw the work of Eli Chissick, its high quality and focus on sustainability resonated with her immediately. “His pieces are unique and made primarily from salvaged woods,” she said of the 30-something award-winning designer. “He’s interested in sustainability and, though it’s hard to reduce the carbon footprint of a designer based in Tel Aviv, we are able to do that by making his pieces in North America.”
Chissick is a designer, artist and carpenter who is passionate about environmental sustainability. His latest series of recycled art is called “Wood-Con-Fusion” and each piece within the series began its life as an off-cut on the floor of a carpentry studio, destined for the scrap heap. “Eli is able to see the potential in the most unassuming pieces of fibreboard, veneer and Formica, and nothing goes to waste as he collects and sorts these pieces and presses them into sheets, which he uses to create unique pieces of furniture,” Switzer explained.
Two of Chissick’s designs are presently being manufactured in Vancouver and will be ready in November, licensed exclusively to SwitzerCultCreative. His five-foot mirror will sell for $2,800 and Switzer is confident it will quickly find a home.
Her buyers are primarily interior designers and architects for residential and hospitality projects all over North America through sales representatives with whom she has exclusive relationships and who believe in the products she represents. With no physical showroom in Vancouver, most of Switzer’s pieces are exhibited on her website, switzercultcreative.com. Her company also sponsors an annual design competition for students, where the winner has their design built and marketed for a year by SwitzerCultCreative. “Our aim is to promote unknown talent by providing a launching point for new designers to build their own brands,” said Switzer.
Lauren Kramer, an award-winning writer and editor, lives in Richmond, B.C. To read her work online, visit laurenkramer.net.
Jewish National Fund Pacific Region brought in IDF veteran Ari Zecher to speak. The talk, moderated by Geoffrey Druker, left, talked to a group at the Jewish Community Centre on Sept. 22. (photo from JNF-PR)
This Rosh Hashanah, the Vancouver Jewish community was visited by Ari Zecher, who served in the Israel Defence Forces Maglan special forces unit during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza this past summer.
Part of the Jewish National Fund’s High Holiday appeal to help build mobile bomb shelters in Israel, Zecher was invited to share his experience as a soldier and as a young Israeli during this tumultuous time. Speaking at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver and at various synagogues, Zecher thanked the local Jewish community for its unfailing and ongoing support, and highlighted the need for young and fresh ideas to move Israel forward towards a peaceful future for future generations.
Ilan Pilo, Jerusalem emissary and executive director of JNF Pacific Region, said: “We are grateful to Ari for taking the time to interact with over 1,000 members across our community and for speaking candidly about Israel’s challenges and hopes. As in the past, this year, JNF will continue to dedicate its work to enhancing the invaluable bond between Israel and the Canadian Jewish community in general, and our Vancouver community in particular. JNF salutes everyone who has made, or will make, a donation towards the important cause of keeping children in Israel safe during such difficult and uncertain times.”
For more information on the JNF’s bomb shelter campaign, call 604-257-5155 or visit vancouver.jnf.ca.
Group of men, Royal Canadian Legion, Shalom Branch No. 178, 1954. (photo from JWB FONDS; JMABC, L.14240)
If you know someone in this photo, please help the JI fill the gaps of its predecessor’s (the Jewish Western Bulletin’s) collection at the Jewish Museum and Archives of B.C. by contacting [email protected].
Joyce Ozier’s exhibit, Making Panels panels panels panels, is at Zack Gallery until Nov. 2. (photo by Olga Livshin)
Splashes of colors hit you as you walk into the Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery’s latest show, Marked Panels panels panels panels, by Joyce Ozier. The green panels smile. The dark purple growl, “Notice us!” The blue looks like wings in the sky, soaring in joy.
Ozier is fascinated by color. In all of her creative pursuits, color has played a prominent role. With an education in art and theatre, she has always been drawn towards the unusual, the colorful and the non-standard. “I was interested in experimental things, in visual theatre,” she told the Jewish Independent.
She arrived with her husband to Vancouver in 1970, and subsequently co-founded Royal Canadian Aerial Theatre, an experimental theatrical enterprise. “We did outdoor events with audience involvement,” she said. “Our performances didn’t usually have a story, but they often had a message. We employed lots of imagination in our shows. One of our pieces had hundreds of colorful balloons. We created a moving sculpture out of them…. It was about beauty and pollution.”
The theatre was a step towards her current show, but it took many more years before the full connection would materialize. After a decade of producing shows, Aerial Theatre dissolved, and Ozier was ready for a new direction, although she wasn’t sure what that would be. She tried her hands at theatre administration, was one of the founders of what is now known as the Scotiabank Dance Centre, but her creativity demanded a more visual outlet.
“In the late 1990s, I founded WOW! Windows,” she said. “It was a display and design company, and we built it into an award-winning firm. We had many retail clients in the Pacific Northwest, but it started by accident. Of course, starting your own business is risky, but I’ve always had courage.”
Her son was a student at the University of British Columbia then. “He knew I was searching,” Ozier recalled. “One day, he came home and said, ‘The Royal Bank at the corner has terrible window displays. Why don’t you offer them to make their windows for free?’ I did. Later, I made photos of the windows, created a brochure and sent it to the other stores in town. I got my first offer the next day: to design windows for Wear Else. Their designer just left, and they liked my brochure.”
Ozier used her creativity to the max with her new company but she had to learn a lot. “You just take one step after another,” she said. “One of the lessons I learned was that retail display is not fine art. It’s a sales tool. The artist must make use of what the company is selling. But I used lots of colors in my windows.”
In 2009, she retired from WOW! Windows, but she still had a passion for colors and looked for a new way to find her expression. “I started painting. I never painted before, but I had an art education.” Never having been interested in realistic figurative art, she immersed herself in abstract painting.
“I wanted to paint large canvases, to work big, but there was a problem. To move such paintings, you need a truck. Then I thought: if I do it by several panels, I could fit a panel in my car.” That was how her current show at the Zack Gallery came into being.
“I always start with four panels,” she explained of her process. “I paint all the panels at once, trying to get them to balance. After awhile, I move the panels, shuffle them around, change arrangements, turn them sideways or upside down, and a new composition emerges. I paint some more. I never know where I [will] end up with each piece. It’s an adventure.
“Sometimes, I have to take one panel out – three panels work, but four don’t. I always know when the piece is finished. There is energy there I don’t control. It sweeps me along.”
Anything could be inspiration for a piece, a starting point. One piece, “Chefchaouen,” is inspired by a real place, the eponymous village in Morocco. The four panels of the painting form a mosaic of blue and white, of sky and snow.
“There is a story there,” said Ozier. “Everything is blue in that village, the houses, the streets. That village in the mountains was discovered in the 1930s by a group of European Jews escaping Nazism. They thought they found safe haven. They didn’t, but they didn’t know it then. They settled there and painted everything blue. Blue has a special meaning in Judaism, divinity and equilibrium. Later on, they found out that blue stucco also repelled mosquitoes. There are no Jews there now, but the color remains.”
Some of her other paintings have more poetic titles, like a symphony of grey called “Cloud Thoughts” or a smaller one-panel painting, “Summer Wind,” a quaint green explosion. “Coming up with titles is difficult. I have to think about them a lot,” Ozier said.
Her first solo exhibition opened at the Zack Gallery on Oct. 2 and continues until Nov. 2. To learn more, visit joyceozier.ca.
Olga Livshin is a Vancouver freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected].
At the debate are, from left, John Tory, Ari Goldkind, Doug Ford and Olivia Chow. (photo from cjnews.com)
There wasn’t much focus on Jewish issues at the CIJA-UJA-hosted mayoral debate Sunday night, but Ari Goldkind, the race’s sole Jewish candidate, arguably stole the show with his caustic barbs directed at fellow candidate Doug Ford, particularly when he confronted the councilor on his brother’s past use of an antisemitic slur.
The debate, held at the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto’s Wilmington campus and attended by several hundred people, featured fringe candidate Goldkind debating alongside leading contenders Ford, John Tory and Olivia Chow.
The debate was moderated by National Post columnist Chris Selley, who gave each candidate several minutes to respond to questions on transit, taxes, community safety and conduct in city council.
Goldkind, a defence lawyer and the fourth-place mayoral contender, had the audience chuckling with one-liners such as “What does Ford stand for? Falsify. Overstate. Repeat. Deny” and “This campaign has turned into a reality show. It’s like the Kardashian show.”
He later took Ford to task for what he said was the former’s failure to apologize for an antisemitic slur uttered by his brother, Mayor Rob Ford – who made a conspicuous appearance partway through the debate – last March.
“Mayor Rob Ford called Jews the ‘K’ word,” Goldkind said. “And then he has the chutzpah to come in here tonight. He might get a free pass from the others on this stage, but not me. When you insult a whole people, you are not setting an example for the city.”
As the audience laughed and booed, Ford responded, “I have a Jewish doctor and a Jewish dentist … my family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community…. We look forward to working with the Jewish community, as we have for the last four years.”
He then added that he had already apologized on behalf of his brother for the remark, adding, “I’ve told [Rob] clearly that those comments were unacceptable.”
On the subject of funding proposed transit projects, Goldkind said, “I’m the only one on stage who’s open in saying we have to talk about taxes. If you believe Tory’s Smart Track plan is going to be free, or Ford’s ‘subways, subways, subways’ will be, or that Chow’s proposed tax increase [to fund transit] will only be on the wealthy, if you accept that math, they’ll earn your vote,” he said sarcastically.
He added: “I will ask each household in the city to pay 50 cents extra per day … then … instead of going to the provincial and federal governments with our hands empty, go to them and say, ‘the people of Toronto have spoken and we have a transit plan worth investing in.’”
Invectives aside, the four took turns laying out their respective visions for transit, with poll-leader Tory emphasizing Smart Track, his London, England-modeled surface rail subway plan. Meanwhile, Chow endorsed building light rail transit (LRT) and a downtown subway relief line, Ford called for subway expansion and Goldkind advocated for a downtown relief line, new LRT lines and replacement of the Scarborough subway line with LRT.
Regarding taxation, Ford and Tory both pledged to privatize garbage collection in the city’s east end.
Ford trumpeted his brother’s administration’s slashing of the vehicle registration tax. Chow said she would increase the land transfer tax for houses valued at more than $2 million and raise property taxes around the rate of inflation, and Goldkind suggested congestion fees and road tolls on certain highways to help pay for infrastructure improvements, as well as raising the land transfer tax on homes valued at over $1.1 million.
The candidates also addressed community safety and the recent spike in antisemitic incidents in Toronto.
Chow said the Toronto Police Service hate crimes unit could use more support and training to be able to better work with people, including those with mental health issues. She suggested that her plan to beef up after-school activities across the city could be a good antidote against “young people who get into trouble and get recruited by people who are full of hate.”
Tory brought up the need for better education for “the young and less young,” including more training for police and interfaith initiatives in the community.
Ford said that under his brother’s administration, the city hired more police officers and reallocated a number of officers to the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy. He said the city needs more mentors for young people.
The Toronto mayoral election will take place on Oct. 27.
– For more national Jewish news, visit cjnews.com.