Running for the Community

Published: August 17th 2010
in News » Local

Edward Zaretsky

For Edward Zaretsky, age makes no difference. That’s why, at the age of 76, he’s decided to run for the position of city councillor, representing Toronto’s Ward 10.


Zaretsky, who grew up in Toronto, has worked in electronics and then became an insurance broker. He has been involved in politics on all levels – municipal, provincial, and federal. He has been involved in volunteer work which has included fundraising for Multiple Sclerosis, and reading stories to patients in palliative care at Baycrest Hospital.


Zaretsky describes himself as feeling like “a young 20” at his age, and he hopes to put his energy and experience towards making Ward 10 a better place.


“I’m tired of my people spending my money and not caring about myself, my wife, my children, the community, the people growing up in the community,” said Zaretsky during a conversation with Shalom Life, when asked why he has decided to run for council. “I’m tired of wasting money. And they [the councillors] don’t return phone calls,” he added.


His philosophy is a very simple one: He believes in getting things done. “I’m driving north on the Allen Expressway, the east side of the Allen which is Ward 10,” he said as an example. “The grass is this high. The weeds are growing like crazy. People get hay fever. It’s ruining the economy, it’s ruining the ecology, it’s ruining everything. Why don’t you cut the grass? There’s not enough people? Hire them! Get them to cut the grass. It’s simple.”


Zaretsky believes in making the city much more accessible for everyone, including bike lanes on major streets and more benches and Wheel Trans vehicles for the elderly. He said that a bike lane already exists on Bathurst Street. “There is a little lane with brown bricks, then there’s grass, then there’s the sidewalk,” he said. “The bricks are the bike path. Nobody knows it’s there. They don’t know what it’s for. It’s not marked, but that’s a bike path. I want to make that bike path visible. Open it up a just a bit wider. Not a big problem. It puts people to work. When you put people to work you’re increasing the economy.”


Even benches, said Zaretsky, can be cheap to put up, since local businesses can sponsor them. “I’m a doer. I’m not a stopper. I would put benches on the street,” he said.


Zaretsky is very good at identifying issues that others may not think about. He brought the bus shelters in the ward as an example. “Some are built backwards. If you’re in a bus shelter that’s facing the street and it’s raining, and a car comes down it can splash you. I want them turned. I want the part that faces the road to be blocked off. Then I want benches put in all of them.”


One of the more important aspects of Zaretsky’s platform is a new program to get children off the street, by having the city working together with parents. “I want to have a twelve month running program for sports and education after hours,” he said. “Parents can know their kid is in a secluded area, that’s managed with no pedophiles, no nothing. And it’s going to be supervised by professional people and parents. They’re going to pay $5 a year per person.”


He is also proposing that professionals in the community, as well as parents who have knowledge in areas such as sports, art, and music give free lectures to children. “I’m going to help kids read and write and if they can’t afford it I’m going to pay for it,” he emphasized.


Related articles: (ward 10, toronto, city council, Edward Zaretsky, election)

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