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Meet your Thornhill provincial candidates

Thornhill Liberal
May 16, 2014
By Simone Joseph


Gila Martow, the Thornhill candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party, served as the MPP from Feb. 13 until May 02, 2014.

The 52-year-old has four children ages 16 to 26 and has lived in Thornhill for 26 years.

Ms Martow graduated with a degree in optometry from the University of Waterloo.

She worked as an optometrist for 30 years in Montreal and York Region.

She served as president of the Beverley Glen Ratepayers Association from Oct. 2011 - Feb. 2014, representing the Beverley Glen area of Thornhill to all levels of government.

Ms Martow describes herself as analytical and energetic. She says she has interacted with more than a thousand residents on social media - particularly Facebook and Twitter. She enjoys public speaking and has twice spoken for almost 30 minutes in the legislature. She is seeking re-election because she enjoys meeting new people, listening to their concerns and suggestions, and then advocating on their behalf. She believes one of the key issues for Thornhill is gridlock. She wants to see the funding for bus lanes reallocated to the Yonge subway expansion project, expanded GO train service and lots of parking at both.

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Liberal Party candidate Sandra Yeung Racco is 53 and has four children. Ms Yeung Racco has lived in Thornhill for more than 20 years.

She has served as councillor for Vaughan’s Ward 4 in Concord/Thornhill since Nov. 2003.

She earned a bachelor of music from the University of Toronto and a teaching diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

She has worked in international business relations, dealing with investors across the Pacific Rim region.

Ms Yeung Racco is seeking election because she wants to see Thornhill continue to grow and prosper. Her life experiences have taught her to be a great listener as well as someone who prioritizes what is most important so that she can serve her community best.

She describes herself as a positive person who believes in building people up, not tearing them down.

Ms Yeung Racco is an accomplished pianist and taught piano for many years.

Key issues for Thornhill include transit, securing Ontarians’ retirement and creating more jobs, she said.

Contact info:


Facebook: Sandra Yeung Racco

Twitter: @VoteYeungRacco


Phone: 905-760-0330


Cindy Hackelberg, of the New Democratic Party of Canada, is 36 and was born and raised in York Region.

She has been living in Thornhill for three years. Ms Hackelberg has an honours bachelor of mathematics from the University of Waterloo. In 2012, she graduated with a second degree in arts from the University of Waterloo.

Ms Hackelberg is a senior project manager in the high-tech industry, managing large global teams and multi-milliondollar budgets. She believes key issues unique to Thornhill are transit and healthcare. She commutes daily to her Toronto job using GO Transit. Trains are overcrowded and service is infrequent, she says. Transit infrastructure is stalled, which heightens the need for reliable transportation options, she says. Wait times in our hospital emergency rooms are too high. We have many seniors in our community with limited incomes, and services are continually being cut. These are some of the priorities she would focus on as MPP.

The NDP has a solid plan for creating jobs throughout the province, making life more affordable (including reducing hydro and car insurance rates), and strengthening healthcare.

Contact info:



David Bergart, 63, has three children and has lived in Thornhill 35 years.

He earned an honours business degree from York University as well as a masters of environmental studies.

Mr. Bergart is an environmental technologist who developed a patented process for recycling glass to reduce the need for new raw material extraction and reduce energy costs to businesses.

He believes the key issues in Thornhill include: Growing pains. He wants to get you home faster by paying for transit infrastructure. Mr. Bergart also wants to give young adults a chance to contribute to the world, allow you to focus on your job by lowering payroll taxes for small businesses and invest in your home to help you save money by saving energy.

Mr. Bergart wants to continue to see the community he loves grow and thrive well into the future. Sadly, Thornhill is suffering from complacent leaders who have failed to address challenges, he says. We have a massive public transit deficiency in Thornhill that has not changed meaningfully in the last 20 years, he says.

He is past president of the Golders Green Ratepayers Association and is a volunteer for Kosher Meals on Wheels, the Kidney Foundation, and the MS Society of Canada.

Contact info:

Twitter: DavidBergartGPO

Facebook: DavidBergart-gpothornhill


The Ontario Libertarian Party’s Gene Balfour, 62, has two daughters and has lived in Thornhill for 22 years.

He has worked in the information technology sector since 1977 and has interviewed IT professionals working in almost every business sector.

Mr. Balfour graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1975 with an honours bachelors of science in kinesiology. Today, his job involves finding and hiring highly specialized information technology professionals for projects in North and South America, Europe and South Africa.

Mr. Balfour has been a life-long health and fitness practitioner since graduating from the kinesiology program.

He believes it is critical to everyone’s prosperity that we substantially reduce the government-imposed obstacles to our economic health, such as excessive taxation, a tax code that is much too complex and rising electricity costs.

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