English Articles

June 2nd, High Noon
in Vaughan-Woodbridge

TORONTO – Does it make sense to you? Here at the Corriere Canadese we always ask if “the story passes the smell test”. If it does not, we analyze and interpret…and we always do our homework. Sometimes we may make a mistake…sometimes…not often.

Yesterday, we ended our Riding Profile for the 2022 Ontario Election with Vaughan Woodbridge, the political district most influenced by an Italian-Canadian presence: 56,020 residents, a full 53% of the riding’s population. The only other constituency whose numbers come close is King-Vaughan.

As a news medium – paper, electronic or digital – over the last two months, 42 days to be precise, every day! – the Corriere Canadese has provided a snapshot of who lives in the constituencies where Italians are most numerous in an attempt to identify issues specific to them and their neighbours. After all, if the political system does not know you exist, why would it respond to your needs or ambitions?

The point is that members of the team behind this project by our researcher /writer, Priscilla Pajdo (and including Francesco Veronesi, Mariella Policheni, Marzio Pelù, Antonio Lomuto and Rita Ellul) wanted to also illustrate to the political class that they should also pay attention to and respect the [self-identified] Italian-Canadian citizenry.

Italians are not the only people who will cast a ballot. They are the ones for whom we fashion the story.

That citizenry also has a reciprocal responsibility: elect men and women of substance to carry the public’s aspirations forward and to bring acclaim to their fellows. Given its numbers, Vaughan-Woodbridge (V-W) is uniquely positioned to answer the question, what do Italian Canadians want?

In 2018, as part of a province-wide wave of discontent with the policies of the Wynne government, the good citizens of V-W threw out the “baby with the bathwater”.

They unelected their MPP, and Cabinet Minister, Stephen Del Duca. He had provided funds to widen Highway #7, approved the extension of Highway #427 and secured funding for its completion; broke the ten-year-long logjam impeding the construction of the hospital; approved the extension of the subway into Vaughan; established ongoing financing for skills training Centres administered by the Carpenters Union and LiUNA; and, despite bickering by malcontents caused the approval of a north-south passenger/commuter rail line and station just north of his riding.

They preferred instead a Brampton-based lawyer with a history that might have caused some to reflect on his “eligibility for public office”.

What has happened since?

Corriere Canadese did not, and does not, support Mike Tibullo. He had filed a $10 Million spurious Statement of Claim against the paper and its employees to silence us. It was a tactic he had used on twelve other occasions against his own clients and threatened to do the same with members of the Board of the Congress of Italian Canadians in Ontario.

Equally important, his business practices had gotten him and his associates into serious criminal complications resulting in the incarceration of two of his associates (one died shortly after being jailed) and fines levied against the rest. Tibullo escaped sanction on what some might refer to as a technicality. He was the president of the company. All this is documented but, somehow, he escaped his Party’s vetting process.

Shortly after the election and appointment as Solicitor-General, he became caught-up in questionable political issues. It did not take long for the Premier to shuffle him off to a new position as Associate Minister for Culture. Within yet a few more months, he was shuffled from there to Associate Minister for Mental Health. Political observers see a pattern to the trajectory.

Assuming the provincial polls prove themselves correct; Premier Ford will retain the keys to the Premier’s office. It is unlikely he will invest in altering Tibullo’s political trajectory.

In the same vein, those 56,020 people who self-identify as Italian Canadian can maintain influence by choosing someone whose political trajectory is arguably upward, the leader of the Party poised to form a government in the near future, Stephen Del Duca. Seems like an easy choice to us.

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