Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spotlight On - Taras Kulish

Recently, we found out that one of our members, Taras Kulish, is getting into politics. He is running as a candidate for city council in Toronto’s Ward 13. The ward includes High Park and Bloor West Village where Ukrainian Credit Union Limited’s flagship branch, our Wealth Strategies Group and our brand new Business Services Centre are located.

We first heard about Taras from a Facebook post about a clean up of High Park that he led last month. In fact we found out that he has been doing this for a while, helping the neighbourhood clean litter out of local parks. Taras’ next “Community Clean Up Challenge” is this afternoon (October 18) in fact in Florence Gell Park on Varsity Road at 3:00 pm. So if you want to pitch in, you can. IF you can’t make it today, there will be another clean up scheduled for Saturday October 25. You can learn more on Taras’ web site or on his Facebook page Taras Kulish Ward 13 Toronto

So who is Taras Kulish? Funny enough, he is not the Taras Kulish that many people first think of (most of you are thinking right now “What do you mean? I don’t know ANY Taras Kulish’s”). However, there is a relatively well known singer called Taras Kulish from Montreal. Our Taras Kulish is not related to him, but is also from Montreal and his father was the conductor of the choir where the singer Taras Kulish started out. So it really is a small world.

High Park residents pitch in to clean up
a local park

Our Taras Kulish is a man who loves community service. As a volunteer director of HOPE Worldwide of Canada he established a Youth Mentoring Program at Cooper Mills in ward 13. This project was done in partnership with Toronto Community Housing, MP Peggy Nash and Olympian Rowan Barrett. Currently he is a volunteer International Relations Officer and has helped establish Canadian-funded programs helping at-risk youth, single mother and seniors in the Philippines, Cote D’Ivoire and Haiti.

Taras is a lawyer by profession, specializing in meeting the needs of small-medium businesses in Toronto including The Junction and Bloor West Village. He works for Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel LLP. He is a member of the Ontario, Quebec and New York bars (lawyers have all the fun don’t they). HE obtained his joint Civil and Common Law degrees from McGill University’s Faculty of Law National Programme. His international clients include companies such as Caribbean Ice Cream Co. Ltd., Ice Down Beverages Inc and Hansen Audio Inc.

Taras gives advice to local businesses such as restaurants; ice cream, juice and water companies; and pharmacies that are part of our community. Canadian charities call on Taras’ knowledge in the charitable sector to guide them through from incorporation and establishment of charitable status to withstanding potential CRA audits.

Taras and his family have lived in the High Park area since 1988 when he lived on Windermere near Annette. At that time he operated a student painting franchise that employed a dozen local students and helped brighten up many houses in the neighbourhood.

He now lives on Mountain view with his wife, a medical scientist with Ferring International SA, and his two young daughters. He is a loving father who became a certified Level 1 Canadian ski instructor so that he could give his daughters the best ski instruction much like his father provided for him back in Montreal.

Taras Kulish and a volunteer
cleaning up Lithuania Park.
On the political side, Taras has several key concerns:

“Transportation is very important,” Taras says, “Toronto is experiencing unprecedented gridlock on the streets, parking space shortages, poor bicycle lanes and inadequate, poorly maintained transit system. As councillor I will work with residents to manage traffic so that the arterial traffic stays on the arterial roads. I will also work towards implementing new subway and rail capacity with the next Mayor of Toronto as a top priority.”

He is also interested in developing urban design criteria that will “ensure the character of our neighbourhoods remain the same and give the residents a strong voice in what’s happening in the community. The City needs the power to enforce good planning and ultimately gain control of the Ontario Municipal Board,” he says.

Taras also believes that assisted housing and licensed day care needs more support “supply is not keeping up with population and poverty growth. I will advocate for low income units and daycare facilities integrated into major new condo developments as a pre-condition for obtaining building permits,” he adds.

If you want to learn more about Taras you can call or email him. He is no doubt itching to convince you to put up one of his signs on your lawn and support him at the polls., 416-225-2777 ext 228, cell: 416-625-7482.

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