Ron Shaw campaigns for direct democracy in Toronto Centre

1 June 2022 / by Daniel Centeno
A man in a red shirt and blue jeans gives a flyer to a persn wearing a white and grey shirt and beige pants.

Ron Shaw is no stranger to Toronto Centre, having lived in the riding for more than 30 years in the St. Lawrence community.

In the lead up to the 2022 Ontario provincial election, he decided it was time to run as part of the None of the Above party (NOTA) to promote direct democracy, proportional representation and to offer an alternative voice to the legacy parties.

As an independent business owner, he continues his strong connections to Toronto Centre, going door to door to let voters know they have the power to directly affect local issues and the electoral system entirely.

“People engaged me, asked me about local issues,” said Shaw. “I thought, ‘wow,’ there’s a definite appetite for change.”

Black background with white text
The None of the Above Party wants to let voters know they should be able to affect each piece of policy that goes to Queen’s Park. Photo provided by Ron Shaw.

For Shaw, he said each issue should be directed by the people who voted in the member of Ontario’s parliament, and that there is an understanding beyond the campaigns and election promises of the bigger parties.

“It really comes down to direct democracy,” he said. “Let’s have a referendum, let’s have a true vote on a lot of these issues.”

According to the NOTA website, all candidates are independent and do not run a unified party platform.

Several of the issues affecting Toronto Centre during the election campaign include affordable housing and rebuilding the economic vibrancy of the downtown core.

On ensuring enough affordable housing for the riding’s communities, Shaw said it is a “multifaceted problem,” that require’s better government assistance.

“Private business, private industry is good at many things, but it is not food at affordable housing,” he said.

On rebuilding the downtown core’s economic vibrancy, Shaw said he was “disappointed with the COVID-19 response” by the PC government in 2020, and wants to look towards helping independent and local businesses through these crises, especially when big box stores were permitted to stay open. While he notes some funding was given, Shaw said its distribution method was a problem.

As election day draws near, Shaw said he hopes eligible voters show up and exercise their right, ensuring that more than 50 per cent of the electorate chooses the next government.

More info on Ron Shaw’s Toronto Centre campaign can be found here.

Ontario’s election is set for June 2.

NOTA currently has 28 candidates running across the province.

Listen to Ron Shaw’s full interview here: