GBC professor runs for office

 Jon Callegher seeks to improve housing and transit in the Toronto Centre 

After teaching at George Brown College (GBC) for the past 6 years, Jon Callegher feels it may be time to step out of the classroom and into the office of City Hall.

Callegher, who is professor attached to the school of marketing, is running for city council in Ward 13, the Toronto Centre, within which lies GBC’s St. James and Ryerson campuses, The George Residence and the Fashion Exchange.

It is his love for community that drove the professor towards running for office, as he both lives and work within the areas he vies to represent.

As a result of this close relation, Callegher longs for a number of changes upon which he based his campaign.

“One of the biggest issues facing anyone who resides in Toronto Centre or goes to school or works here is homelessness,” Callegher says.

“I believe the homeless and under-housed need to be respectfully taken off of the streets and put into care, given rehab and eventually job training and integration into the workforce or an otherwise meaningful life,” he added.

In order to do so, the professor intends to prioritize the building of affordable transitional homes in the outskirts of the city. This, he believes, will allow families to save enough to later purchase homes in desired communities.

“Young families today are being squeezed out of a city that they want to stay in,” he argues.

“Traffic is a big one too,” Callegher added. He noted that the best way to address this issue is to reduce the amount of cars within the city.

“I’d be supportive of either a low cost or no cost transit system for anyone living in the downtown, so that you can take the TTC and not be encouraged to get into a car,” the professor said .

Callegher is going head to head against 18 other candidates, including two-term City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, outgoing Councillor for Ward 28 Lucy Troisi and former Liberal MPP George Smitherman.

Wong-Tam and other candidates were invited to speak on their race to the public office but the requests went unanswered.

Despite his competition being incumbent career politicians, the GBC professor is confident that he can win.

“I am proud to say that I don’t belong to a political party and I believe that the best kinds of City Councillors are those who don’t belong to a political party and are therefore accountable to the residents,” he stated.

He is calling on residents within the Toronto Centre to support his race to the public office.

“If voters want change, I want them to think Callegher. Out of all the candidates, I am the one that is the viable winning alternative,” he said.

The Toronto Municipal election is slated for Monday Oct. 22 and will see candidates compete for their place at City Hall in the newly constituted 25-wards system.

While the St. James and Ryerson campuses fall under the jurisdiction of Ward 13, Waterfront and Casa Loma will be represented by the winners of Wards 10, Spadina-Fort York and 12, Toronto-St. Paul’s respectively.

For more information on your ward and candidates competing within your community, visit the MyVote tool at https://myvote.toronto.ca/home. 

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GBC professor runs for office