Editor’s Note: Karen Stintz is a columnist for StreetsofToronto.com and Post City Magazines.
Former city councillor and TTC chair, Karen Stintz, is hoping to make a return to politics by seeking the Conservative nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence after she says she was inspired by party leader Pierre Poilievre.
Previously serving as Eglinton-Lawrence councillor and TTC chair, Stintz has a longstanding involvement in local politics. Despite stepping back from city council in recent years to lead Variety Village, she’s now eager to return to the political arena.
It’s a riding that has been Liberal for 20 of the past 25 years with MP Marco Mendocino in place for the last nine.
“He’s a great communicator, and he’s articulating what I believe are is the frustration and the anger that is existing in the community around the current government,” she says, of Poilievre. “And he’s giving voice to it. And it inspired me, because I feel the same way.”
Stintz’s Conservative affiliation runs deep, and she believes incumbent Liberal MP Mendicino is in the wrong party, criticizing the Liberal government’s handling of Toronto’s needs under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“It’s a number of issues. But, fundamentally, it comes down to affordability issues — affordability of housing, affordability of living — springing from Liberal policies that just leave one wondering whether or not they actually have a plan,” she says.
Stintz adds that the local community feels alienated from the government under its current leadership in Ottawa and in Toronto.
“The government’s position on the Middle East has left many in the community feeling quite alienated from the government,” Stintz says. “And although Marco is widely viewed as a nice guy, he’s just not able to represent the community.”
There has been a minor war of words between Liberal MPs in Toronto and the municipal government under Olivia Chow who continue to hold the federal government responsible for costs associated with its policies especially when it comes to immigration and refugees. Stintz said Toronto is right, and local MPs should be doing more.
“With respect to the the refugee matter, there’s no question that the federal government takes ownership of that file. And I think it was, it is incumbent on the Toronto MPs to make sure the government realises that Toronto is impacted, uniquely, when refugees come to Ontario, and settle here, and there are costs associated with that, and those costs cannot be borne in the property tax,” she explains.
“When Quebec tweeted out that, you know, they are being impacted financially by the refugees, the federal government came immediately to their aid,” she adds. “So why isn’t Toronto given the same deference?”
With another federal election not scheduled until 2025, Stintz will first seek the nomination, and re-engage with the political landscape.
“It’s getting back into the community, going to events, talking to people and making sure they understand why I’m running and what this means for our community,” she says.
In the 2021 federal election, Mendocino won re-election with 23,939 votes with Conservative party candidate Geoff Pollock finishing second with 17,916. Mendocino was first elected in 2015.