7 News Archive
Sewell and Howard re-elected;
Barr and Holmes for education

By Ulli Diemer
Seven News, December 18, 1976

In Ward Seven, as in much of the city, there seems to be more doubt about what will happen after the civic elections than there was about the outcome of the elections themselves.

The faces aren’t very different, but there are some big issues on the horizon at Metro,in the city, and in the education system, issues like housing, taxation, and school curriculum. And individual careers are at stake too, with John Sewell bidding for a seat on the Toronto Executive and Doug Barr making a move for the chairmanship of the Toronto School Board.

By comparison, the December 6 civic elections themselves were only a relatively predictable prologue to the battles that are to follow. Ward Seven returned all the incumbents who were running for office again. The only new representative from the Ward is trustee-elect Sheila Holmes, who won the seat vacated by Gord Cressy, who is leaving education politics. And Holmes received the endorsement of Doug Barr, the other incumbent trustee, as well as Cressy’s blessing.

In the Ward Seven aldermanic race, the only battle was for last place, with Ron Taylor and Charlie Rolfe slugging it out right down to the wire. Rolfe finally lost (or won, depending on how you look at it) the contest: he finished with three votes less than Taylor, 767 to 770.

At the other end of the spectrum Garry Stamm’s rematch with the team of John Sewell and Janet Howard was strictly no contest. When the shouting was over and the votes counted, Stamm found himself with a vote total that was closer to Rolfe’s and Taylor’s than it was to Sewell’s. Sewell topped the polls at 8,286, about 2,000 more than he got in 1974. Janet Howard also upped her total by 2,000 votes over 1974, finishing this time around with 6,460. Stamm, who gave Howard a run for her money last time, was well back this time with 4,419, only a few hundred more than he picked up in 1974 with its lower turnout.

For Sewell, it was his fourth victory at the polls, while Howard was returned for the second term.

In the public school trustee contest, the incumbent, Doug Barr finished well ahead of the pack with 5,039 votes to win re-election for a third term handily. His running mate, Sheila Holmes, was also elected riding largely on Barr’s coattails with 3,847 votes. The other team in the race Edna Dixon and Noreen Gaudette finished out of the money with 2,757 and 1,946 votes respectively.

In the election for Separate School representative of the Board of Education, incumbent Frank Nagle won re-election to a second term.

And Charles Arsenault won re-election to the Separate School Board.

Published in Seven News, 18 December 1976

Related topics:
Toronto City Politics
Toronto/Ward Seven