The no-politics councillor questionnaire: Jaye Robinson vs. Jon Burnside
Doug Ford’s decision to slash the size of city council means that this October’s election will include a number of head-to-head battles between sitting councillors, whose formerly separate wards have suddenly been consolidated into one. For voters who are flummoxed by all of this, we present the ultimate tie-breaker: a questionnaire that has very little to do with politics. If you can’t decide which way to vote based on policy, let personality be your guide.
Current councillor for Ward 25, Don Valley West
Current councillor for Ward 26, Don Valley West
What’s your most impressive trait?
Robinson: I’m persistent and fight for what’s important. I’ve always been passionate about public service and standing up for Torontonians and their interests at city hall.
What’s your worst trait?
Robinson: I was always five minutes late. So now I just think meetings are always five minutes earlier than they are. The lesser of two evils.
Burnside: I can be very frugal. My family knows me as Captain Coupon.
What time do you wake up?
Robinson: Five minutes earlier than I used to…
Burnside: 6 a.m., whether I want to or not.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Robinson: Whatever’s left. I’m the mother of three boys!
Burnside: Bagel with peanut butter.
What’s your favourite dinner spot in the city?
Robinson: That’s an impossible question! There are so many great spots to choose from, and that’s exactly why I brought Winterlicious and Summerlicious to the city when I was a director in the Economic Development and Culture division.
Burnside: Positano Restaurant on Mount Pleasant.
What’s the last book you read?
Robinson: Thousand-page Toronto city council agendas count as books, right?
Burnside: Think Like a Freak, by Steven Levitt.
What’s your major hobby?
Robinson: One of my passions is the arts. Toronto has such a vibrant arts community and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to sit on the board of directors of the Art Gallery of Ontario this term.
Burnside: Barbecue. I’ve got three different smokers and I’m still trying to figure it out.
What don’t people understand about you?
Robinson: That I’m a major advocate for the environment. Keeping Toronto green and healthy has been one of my top priorities at city hall, from growing our tree canopy to rehabilitating the Don River.
Burnside: I’m very outgoing and gregarious, but I value my quiet time reading and reflecting.
What form of transportation do you rely on the most?
Robinson: Transit and walking. I’m not much of a driver.
Burnside: My feet. I do all my personal errands with my two rescue hounds and walk about 10 kilometres a day.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a city councillor?
Robinson: I’d be planning citywide events in the Economic Development and Culture division.
Burnside: I hate to even think of it. I love my job too much.
Complete the sentence: Doug Ford is…
Burnside: An overachiever.
What irritates you?
Robinson: Like so many residents, crowding and delays on Line 1. That’s why I’ve pushed for the Downtown Relief Line to be the city’s top transit priority.
Burnside: Those who take credit for something they didn’t do.
What delights you?
Robinson: Numbers and data. I want to make sure that the decisions we’re making at city hall are based on sound evidence.
Burnside: The free spiritedness of my two dogs, Nik Nak and Moonshine.
Who needs to be stopped?
Robinson: People who drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. I’ve always felt very strongly about this issue and am a big supporter of organizations like Arrive Alive and MADD.
Burnside: Sadly, there’s more than one.
Who’s your dream date?
Robinson: My husband Bill, even after 25 years of marriage!
Burnside: Anyone who will buy me dinner.
Curveball time: of all the characters Tom Hanks has played in movies, which one do you most identify with?
Robinson: Probably his character in Castaway. I’ve never been stranded on a desert island, but his tenacity to get off that island, whatever it took, resonated with me.
Burnside: Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. Who doesn’t love a hero?