1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Don Valley East

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
David Caplan MPP
Progressive Conservative Party:
Hon. David Johnson MPP
New Democratic Party:
Janaki Bala-krishnan
Green Party:
Jeff Panzer
Communist Party:
Elizabeth Rowley
Family Coalition Party:
Ryan Kidd
Natural Law Party:
Shail Lall
Freedom Party:
Wayne Simmons
Fernand Deschamps
Raffi Assadourian

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Don Mills (25%):
Hon. David Johnson
Oriole (73%):
David Caplan
Willowdale (3.8%):
Hon. Charles Harnick

Member of Parliament:
Hon. David Collenette

Surrounding Ridings:
Beaches-East York
Don Valley West
Scarborough Centre
Scarborough Southwest

Population: 107 421
Avg Household Income 54 983
Language (Home)
English 75 955
Chinese 7 400
Persian (Farsi) 2 155
Submitted Information
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Too Close
02/22/99 Burke Christian Email: external@msu.mcmaster.ca
This will be swing riding in Metro Toronto. Dave Johnson is very unpopular in Toronto due to all the cutbacks in Education. David Caplan is the son of Elinor Caplan who is very popular in this area of Toronto. This will be the battle of the Titans. However, Johnson has one advantage. He is much better speaker than Caplan and he knows his issues like the back of his hand.
03/03/99 Email:
You have to give the edge to Johnson. The bottom two thirds of the riding are made up of his Don Mills riding and David Turnbull's York Mills seat - both overwhelmingly PC. Caplan has a big chunk of his old riding, but his mother only won that narrowly in '95. With the Tories at 43%, this is a tough one to see the Liberals winning.
03/04/99 PF Email: pferreir@pathcom.com
I understand the son of another Liberal MP (Raffi Assadourian, son of Sarkis-MP for Brampton Centre) will be running as an Independent Liberal. This development gives Johnson the seat. Otherwise, it would be too close to call.
03/05/99 I.MacFarlane Email: imacfarlane@accel.net
A tough battle between two well known canidiates. I believe that Caplan will take it over Johnson, through hard work he was nominated VERY early and has been working the riding as much as possible ever since. The controversies over the Tories education reforms and the involvement of teachers will assist Caplan in taking it narrowly.
03/06/99 John Arthur Email: arth@idirect.com
Barring any disasters in the McGuinty Campaign, I give the edge to Caplan, on the basis of the massive volunteer corps he's sure to have. Teachers will come from all over to work against Johnson, and provided he has a good Campaign Manager who knows how to handle a large operation, this will be a big advantage. Furthermore, the bottom two thirds of the riding aren't nearly so secure for the Tories as some might think. Remember, half of East York, where Megacity anger is most profound, is here (the other half is Don Valley West). Also, York Mills is full of homeowners swallowing big property tax hikes due to CVA, hikes usually far exceding what's been cut off their income tax. Finally, Caplan's name recognition is a plus; after being associated with the Tories only significant PR defeat (the Bill 160 teachers strike), Johnson's is a mixed factor if not a negative.
03/09/99 A. Email:
Dave Johnson is one of the few Toronto Tories who is odds on to win re-election. If the rumours are true and Raffi Assadourian (son of Sarkis, MP) runs, then Johnson is *assured* of winning. It looks like David Caplan will end up as a footnote in his mother's biography.
03/15/99 Email:
Here is something you can bet your bottom dollar on -- Johnson has no chance in hell of winning this riding. There are 50,000 teachers in Ontario, remember? and they will be out there in force to give this guy his full complete and final comeupance. He was a total jellyfish when he was Mayor of East York and his sepulchral tones will thankfully be heard no more, reciting the Harris mantra as if he really believed it. And by the way, he was heard at a party in the early days when the little pixieish Snobelen was Minister of Education saying, quote "THey don't really know what they're doing." How very very true. And don't we all know it. And that is why even a baby can take this riding away from him.
04/06/99 Email:
If the Tories and Dave Johnson are pinning their hopes on Raffi Assadourian, then you know they're in dire straits in this riding. The Oriole portion of the riding is solidly Liberal, with the exception of the Henry Farm neighbourhood. Caplan trounced former federal Conservative member Barbara Greene (who defeated Assadourian senior in 1988) by an impressive 2 to 1 margin in the 97 by-election. The balance of Don Valley East (55%)south of Hwy 401 is comprised of the former York Mills and Don Mills ridings. Expect Graydon Hall, Fenside, and Combermere to go Liberal with Valentine, Laurentide, Brookbanks, Three Valleys, and O'Connor Hills supporting the Tories in the York Mills parts. Don Mills contributes 3 significant neighbourhoods: Victoria Village, Parma Court/Sunrise/Wakunda, and The Donway East. All three should see the Liberals ahead. A low turnout is not out of the ordinary in Parma/Sunrise/Wakunda, while Victoria Village is the stronghold of Federal Lib David Collonette. The keys to this riding are 1) tenants, 2) the Federal Liberals, and 3)third parties. 1)Tenants make up 48% of the riding and should be movivated to vote given the attack on tenants via the so-called Tenant Protection Act. Many of the seniors who Johnson will count on for support are in fact tenants. 2)Caplan can count on strong support from the federal Liberals because of his mother Elinor and an intensely partisan Collonette. 3)This riding will be a focus for the unions who smell Johnson's blood and have no divided NDP loyalties in Don Valley East.
04/09/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
Re Raffi A'rian: consider the number of independent Reform and "labour" candidates (and even a few indie Liberals, including one in Willowdale next door) that ran in '95, and that they were lucky to get much more than 2% of the vote in their ridings--when the goal's as clear as moiderizing Dave Johnson, the Libs'll just brush the petty internecine-warfare annoyance away. Under normal circumstances Johnson, as a former municipal mayor and major cabinet player with clear future leadership potential, would be capable of blowing the young and still untested (with byelections tending to be exceptional) Dave Caplan out of the water--but in this election, and thanks in no large part to Johnson's party, the circumstances are anything but "normal". Also keep in mind that thru redistribution, the former East York mayor has lost all traces of his old municipality; and that the "safe" Tory seat of York Mills contributes its more Liberal-leaning eastern half (a great deal of which remained Liberal even as David Turnbull gained the seat in '90). So DVE, unlike DVW, can in fact be classified as "Peterson Tory"--not nearly so true-blue formidable as PCs would like to pretend. Let's say that if Johnson goes--and that's still far from certain--it'll be under some "you're a terrific MPP, but..." circumstances. Perhaps he'll be worthy of some posthumous PC Victoria Cross for his heroic effort to the government cause...
04/10/99 CNG Email:
No way - Johnson has made a reputation for himself as "Mr. Clean" in the government, despite handling two ministries that made very unpopular decisions. Compare that to the lacklustre Caplan, who's running largely on his mother's coattails. A possible Raffi Assadourian campaign (he ran a respectable if fruitless campaign in the megacity election) will split the Liberal vote and deliver another term for Johnson.
04/08/99 NOW Email:
Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo
The Tories will spare no expense to ensure MPP Dave Johnson, Mr. Everything, wins.
But despite his considerable cabinet credentials -- Johnson has served as management board chair and education minister -- Don Valley East is a bit of a political no man's land, even for dear Dave.
To start with, riding redistribution has left him with only a quarter of his old Don Mills constituency.
Ironically, it's veteran Johnson's main competitor, rookie Grit MPP David Caplan, who boasts the impressive political connections in this race, beginning with his mother Elinor, the Thornhill MP whose former Oriole base makes up almost 50 per cent of Don Valley East.
If that's not enough, the anti-amalgamation ghosts -- Johnson supported the dissolution of his own East York -- and teachers' unions upset by Tory cost-cutting and curriculum changes are all howling, organizing to chop off Johnson's head.
04/16/99 Leith R.A. Coghlin Email:
Those that believe that Dave Johnson will lose this riding need to test the water they're drinking. Johnson is a powerful caucus minister, in-charge of 1 of the 3 most important areas of provincial control. PCHQ will no doubt spare every effort to ensure that Johnson cleans-up in this riding. He will obviously have a challenge given the fact that he is not in his existing riding with its comfortable percentage of Tories. He must absorb all facets of Tory and soft Tory support, but Johnson will no doubt take DVE support in the area.
04/25/99 Email:
I can't believe some people actually believe Johnson will lose this riding. He has tackled the toughest ministries in the province and has made some very tough decisions. I think the people of Don Valley East would prefer an MPP and a Minister who can make the tough decision, rather than someone who will only pussy foot around them. As far as the teachers converging enmass to the riding in an attempt to bring down Johnson, let the teachers come!! It will only secure the feeling among VOTERS that the teacher union members are nothing more than a bunch of self serving, whiners, who are only out to protect their 3 month vacation time and their gold plated pension!! Minister Johnson will win this riding without a problem.
04/28/99 Email:
My prediction is that Johnson is going to lose. It might be a tight race but not as tight as people think. Caplan's a much better campaigner and a harder worker. His old riding of Oriole makes up more than half of Don Valley East. Plus, it's not just teachers that are pissed off with Johnson but also parents & day care workers, as well as tenants who are pissed about the Tories scrapping rent control and home owners who are still pissed off about the megacity and the mega property tax hikes that people in the riding are being screwed with. Johnson has not been an effective Toronto M.P.P. and has done little to stand up for the interests of his consistuents. As for the Raffi Assadourian thing, you need only look at how well (or poorly actually) he faired in the last municipal election to know that he'll be a total non-factor in Don Valley East. I think "PF" & "A." who commented earlier must be a friend of Raffi's or something and are experienceing some big time wishful thinking!
05/02/99 Gail Nyberg Email: gail.nyberg@tdsb.on.ca
David Johnson is not a better speaker than David Caplan. Head to Head Caplan can win everything. Johnson puts you to sleep. The resentment against Johnson is very large.
05/03/99 Steve Murphy Email:
Dave Johnson will throw a pile of money at this riding but the people will not be fooled. Caplan is going to beat Johnson on the ground in this campaign. He team is three times the size of Johnson's and Caplan has already out worked the Tory. This ridng will be one to watch on election night as Caplan will take down a big hitter in the Harris government.
05/08/99 Gail Nyberg Email: gail.nyberg@tdsb.on.ca
This the riding that is of the greatest interest to me. I just spent over an hour driving through the riding looking a the election signs. It was fascinating. Caplan has out signed Johnson about three to one. We all know signs are not always votes. But there is a desperation starting to appear in the Johnson campaign. Many of his signs are in illegal type places (ie) railways overpasses and residential hyro substations. Definately no votes there. A Johnson sign crew was out changing 2ft by 3ft lawn signs to the bigger ones. I can only imagine why? I have followed Johnson in four campaigns for Mayor of East York and two provincial campaigns and I have never seen him sign in those illegal type places. I will keep this site up-dated as I watch this riding closely.
05/08/99 T.I. Email: javert_takao@hotmail.com
Dave Johnson is a man of integrity. As has been said so many times before by others, he is a star MPP in the Harris government and the PC's can't afford to have him not be re-elected. As a student, I feel ripped at the education that I have received throughout most of my primary and intermediate years. It is only after I entered High School that have actually started to learn relevant material. If the education ministry's new curriculum is as challenging as it is touted, then there are great days coming ahead for the province. Although I am supporting the Liberal party in this coming election, I personally support Dave Johnson's re-election, not that I agree with his party's policies, but only because I believe in his integrity. (Unlike that crook Harris)
05/11/99 Brad Nicpon Email: nicpon@execulink.com
In this riding you've got one of Harris' highest profile ministers running. Johnson has earned a reputation all over the government, and he should be able to take his seat back. Remember, guys, not everyone in this riding is a teacher, or teacher unionist.
05/14/99 GBR Email:
The "honourable" Dave Johnson has his work cut out for him this time, which is why he didn't face the voters in former East York again. Here, people are concerned about education and health care, and the teachers are going to go all-out to ensure a Liberal victory. Amalgamation is also going to cost him a large percentage of the electorate. Caplan should take this in a walk.
05/17/99 Gail Nyberg Email:gail.nyberg@tdsb.on.ca
A drive through this riding today indicates to me not much has changed. Caplan continues to out sign Johnson three to one. Johnson has been doing the wave at intersections in the morning. More fingers than honks. None of Johnson's previous elections either for Mayor or Provincial have been tough fights. He seems to have no machine. Caplan's people seem to be everywhere.
05/18/99 F. Scoot Email:
David Caplan vs. David Johnson is a battle that will be won in the trenches . So far just by looking at the signs that have been put on people's lawns, it leans towards a Caplan victory. Campaign managers and their teams will be the key as the fight will surely become a dirty one. Closer to election today watch the Johnson team become more and more desperate in their attempt to save the former educational minister. Johnson knows he is in big trouble as todays poll in the Toronto Sun indicate. As Johnson will go down so will the Tory's.
05/19/99 Chuck McPhail Email: w5p@hotmail.com
Caplan vs Johnson-yeah ok. Well, Dave, it's been nice knowing you. A Liberal win, by less than a 1000 votes. Caplan's mother's high profile, Liberal connections, and being a targeted riding, join forces to ensure a tory defeat at the hands of the liberals.
05/20/99 Randalli V. Email: randalli@hockeymail.com
Dave Johnson is a man of character who has carried out his very difficult duties with much care and dignity. It is unfortunate that a radical faction of the teaching profession (not all teachers support the left wing bent of their union) fail to look beyond their narrow self-interest and distort what has truly been taking place to public education over the past ten years. It is ironic that David Caplan is championing public education at the same time he supports putting money into private schools (which means taking kids and money out of the public system). Based on what he has said so far, David Caplan is a lightweight who gives people the answers they want to hear, not the right answers (or the answers that are representative of how his party would govern). If he was running as a Liberal in the last federal election, he would have been screaming loud and clear about how he would abolish the GST. Caveat voters in DVE.
05/25/99 Jusxtin J. Van Dette Email:
This race is all about an East York David versus a North York Goliath. Dave Johnson is a proven leader who wants to put kids first. Finally a person that stands up to the big unions and school board administrators. I'm a student at East York Collegiate. Down in East York, Dave is adored, many of us who live outside of the riding are helping him. He was an excellent Mayor for 11 years in East York. He's a man I truly admire!
05/25/99 PO Email: PerryO@Compuserve.com
With the Tories leading the Liberals by 10% in the City of Toronto, the Post belevies that this seat is too close to call. I beleive that CTV reported that Caplan was leading 48% to 46%.
05/25/99 R.S.S. Email:
The fight for this riding may very well boil down to a question of Tory credibility on the education issue. Did they cut massive amounts of money out of the system and increase the workload of secondary school teachers by 25% in order to improve the system? Would voters fall for such tripe if the issue was health care? Polls clearly showed that an overwhelming percentage of the public supported teachers in their selfless political protest in the fall of 1997 against the Tory pillaging of our education system. The Tories promised to "create a crisis" in education, and give them credit, they certainly delivered on that promise. Johnson is directly identified with the education issue, for obvious reasons. The votes cast against Johnson will be a barometer of the ill feelings the public still harbours against the government for the mess it made of public education. The small, but vocal, group of teacher-bashers can continue to delude themselves that the Tories have the best interests of Ontario parents and students in mind, however, the majority of the public admired the stand our teachers took and will not forget it on June 3.
05/28/99 Just Another Voter Email:
I'm not a teacher, I'm not a nurse nor a union member. As a matter of fact, I made the misteak of supporting this guy last time; but won't this time. Why????? I will never forget the newspaper picture of this person in his Queen's Park office during the teacher's strike which HE caused Two bottle of beer on the table behind him and his feet (shoesd and all) on the visitor's chair which we had paid for. To me at least it summed up the entire Harris regime. Complete indifference to the feelings of voters and mindless self back patting. I laugh when the papers talk about his wonderful history as a civic politician before Queen's Park. I don't remember him as being very involved or engaged in our problems then either. I made a misteak once, I won't do it again. Dave Caplan will get our votes this time!
05/29/99 Brad Nicpon Email: nicpon@execulink.com
I think a lot of liberals and anti-harris believers need to think more carefully about what Dave Johnson has really done in education. A lot of you say he has "made a mess" of the system, or otherwise suggested that he has somehow been responsible for lowering the education standards in this province. Now, is that really the case, or is that just what close-minded union bosses are screaming about in a vain attempt to protect their bolstered political powers in this province? Unions may have something to lose from Dave Johnson - power they never should have hed - but students do not. I have seen the numbers and looked at the studies, and there is nothing to suggest that our students are any worse off because of Mike Harris or Dave Johnson; in fact, I would say they're better off. The questions remains: Will the public (and the residents of Don Valley East) listen to the unjustified claims from union leaders describing a fictional destruction of education, or will they actually take time to think about the issue, and perhaps look more into what is really the case in Ontario. If they can do the latter; Johnson wins.
05/29/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
Funny how Raffi A'ian has become a complete non-issue. And if he steals from Caplan, hey, there's a Family Coalition candidate to steal from Johnson...
05/30/99 Gail Nyberg Email: gail.nyberg@tdsb.on.ca
Same drive though same results. Caplan has more signs on actual lawns as opposed to Johnson's signs in public places. Nice story Justin about Dave J being adored in East York. It is a figment of you imagination and you know it. It was you wasn't it that told me you were getting every third or fourth door slammed in you faced up there in Don Valley East. If David J was so loved here in East York why is he not running in either Beaches-East York or Broadview-Greenwood? Both of those riding are made up of one third of the former East York. You know why Justin. He couldn't win here because he sold East Yorkers out. And he will not win in Don Valley East either.
05/31/99 CRC Email:
I worked in the by-election that saw Caplan elected (PCs had an abominable candidate who had an acute case of candidate's disease...) In comparison to Johnson, "Baby Huey" just doesn't cut it. This guy has 0 credibility-- look at how he double-dipped as a school trustee! Johnson may not "light your fire", but he does have the qualities that people want from a good politician: he is cool under pressure, thoughtful and methodical in all that he does and what projects he does take on, he does thoroughly.
Add on top of that that he doesn't break a sweat while actually running from door to door canvassing (note to Caplan team: get him a physical trainer or he'll collapse trying to emulate Johnson) and I'm fairly certain he will win the trust of Don Valley East voters.
06/01/99 lrs Email:
Strategic voting here a must for Liberal win and can they get tenant vote out-Pc not out of picture here- Liberal loss here would be a disaster

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Last Updated 2nd June 1999

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