TORONTO – Former Toronto mayoral candidate and city councillor Adam Giambrone is making a run at Queen’s Park.
But the former Toronto Transit Commission Chair won’t say whether he supports subways in the transit-starved area or whether he will live in the riding he’s vying to represent.
Toronto’s city council will soon be debating whether or not to support a subway or light-rail-transit (LRT) in Scarborough as part of the province’s plan for transit expansion.
Giambrone was unclear of his support for either mode of transit while speaking to reporters on Monday, choosing instead to say he would support either where they are appropriate.
“You talk to people here in Scarborough, they want to be able to get places on rapid transit and they’re frustrated,” Giambrone said. “So when it comes down to it, I support building subways where subways make sense. I support building LRTs where LRTs make sense.”
Giambrone was officially nominated as the Ontario New Democratic Party candidate for the Scarborough-Guildwood riding on Sunday.
He stepped away from the political scene in 2010 following a sex scandal involving a young woman he later admitted to (and apologized for) having an affair with.
While that affair may have pushed Giambrone out of the 2010 mayoral race, political columnist and Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella suggests it likely won’t hurt his chance of taking a seat in the Ontario legislature.
“We have a national memory in this country of about seven minutes. People don’t remember,” Kinsella said. “People are much more forgiving of those so-called ‘scandals’ than, you know, media people are or political people are.”
Kinsella goes so far as to say that Giambrone made a mistake dropping out of the 2010 mayoral race.
“I thought he was crazy to drop out, he had a real shot. He could have been the left’s standard-bearer in that campaign. He might have been mayor. You know, running against Rob Ford, he might have had a shot; could have been a contender.”
According to his personal website, Giambrone has been doing television commentary, community activism with the local Toronto Clay and Paper Theatre Company and yearly archaeological field excavations in Sudan since he stepped away from city hall.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath maintains the former TTC chair will use his past experience to provide a strong voice for transit users in Scarborough.
“Voters in Scarborough-Guildwood deserve an MPP who will get the job done for them. That’s the kind of MPP that Adam will be,” Horwath said in a media release.
In 2001, Giambrone – at the age of 24 – became the youngest person to ever become president of a major Canadian political party as president of the federal New Democratic Party.
And from 2003 to 2010, Giambrone served as councillor for Ward 18 Davenport in Toronto.
While running to represent Scarborough-Guildwood at Queen’s Park, Giambrone does not live in the riding and on Monday, refused to answer whether he would move into the riding if he wins.
“I don’t currently live in the riding but I’m going to be focused on being elected here in Scarborough. I don’t take anything for granted. You ask me ‘if I’m elected’, I’m going to let the voters on August 1 make that decision and I’m not going to speculate on anything that happens after August 1.”
Giambrone will vie for the MPP seat against Progressive Conservative candidate Ken Kirupa and Liberal Mitzie Hunter on Aug. 1. The Scarborough-Guildwood seat was recently vacated by Liberal MPP Margarett Best, who won the seat during the 2011 election by over 6,000 votes.