Six questions with Ivan Stoiljkovic, mayoral candidate

Ivan Stoiljkovic, mayoral candidate in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

Editorial note:

Across the province, Ontarians are getting ready to cast their ballots in every city, town, and county as the 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching. With election day on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, Kingstonist has reached out to all candidates within the City of Kingston to create profiles allowing voters to find a brief overview of each candidate in one place. As response comes in, more and more candidate profiles will be added here, which you can access through our Municipal Election 2022 section (with the tab on the homepage), or through our ‘Candidate overview landing page.’

With 45 candidates in total for Kingston City Council alone – and with only one district acclaimed (Countryside District will once again be represented by Gary Oosterhof) and six districts without an incumbent – our goal is to provide as much information as possible leading up to the elections. Thus, we will endeavour to collect response from as many Kingston candidates as possible, with the hope of providing similar coverage for Loyalist Township, Frontenac County, and the Town of Greater Napanee moving forward. All relevant links will be available under the Municipal Election 2022 tab.

For more general information on election process in Kingston, including details on electing Board of Education Trustees, ensuring you are registered to vote, etc., visit the City of Kingston Municipal Elections webpage.

Candidate profiles are being published on our website in no particular order.

Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Ivan Stoiljkovic has lived in Kingston since 2000. New to the political arena, Stoiljkovic has put his hat in the ring in hopes of becoming the City of Kingston’s next mayor, and one with a difference. “I find the whole political world repulsive. I’m running now in order to change it, not in order to join the club,” he explained.

Currently a Kingston Transit Bus Operator and violin instructor with Long and McQuade, Stoiljkovic enjoys spending time with his 29-year-old daughter and his friends who are “spread all over the world.” Stoiljkovic said he spends his spare time “helping homeless, poor people survive,” and noted that he has played violin on a street corner in Kingston and “made better than minimum wage doing it.”

While new to being a political candidate, Stoiljkovic is no stranger to the Council Chambers within Kingston City Hall – an avid advocate for housing, social, and health services for the unhoused and precariously housed populations locally, Stoiljkovic has presented many delegations to the current City Council, and those before it.

A former taxi driver for 15 years here in Kingston, Stoiljkovic said, “if you are of a certain age and have been around this town for a while, chances are, you were in my cab at some point and the music was good.”

How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?

I believe in everyone having a home and a full belly, and in everyone feeling and being safe from harm. I believe that basic human rights come before extravagant wants. I believe that Mother Earth and all its creatures should also have the right to survival and life without harm. I guess you can call this ideology some kind of socialism.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

I am sick of watching people freeze to death. I am sick of losing friends to preventable diseases. I am sick of watching my friends live in fear of getting evicted and ending up homeless, living with bugs in their apartments, and going hungry. I’m sick of leaving governing in the hands of the people who have no idea what it’s like to be poor.

What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?

  1. Housing. Like me, people are sick of watching their friends struggle to maintain or find a place to live, of their loved ones ending up homeless, of watching people live in tents in the midst of enormous wealth.
  2. Cost of living. People can’t afford cars and food anymore — the prices of everything, beginning with rent but, also food, transportation, school supplies are skyrocketing in cost, and people’s wages are lagging behind.
  3. Environment. People are afraid of our environment getting totally destroyed. They are not okay with all the development of bridges and sprawling suburbs and all the car traffic and complete inaction on the part of the government. They don’t like the cut-and-slash attitude that the current Council has towards green spaces and forests.

What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally in your opinion?

The ones that people are bringing up. People are right:

  1. We need real, dignified, social, public, democratically-run rent-geared-to-income housing for all our homeless neighbours and everyone that is struggling to pay rent.
  2. We need services for people who have suffered too much under the current regime. We need medicine, health care, cleaning services and food services for the people. Too many people are struggling, and it’s not even just the poor.
  3. We need to stop the endless ‘development’ and destruction of our habitat. We need to focus on repairing, recycling and repurposing existing infrastructure.

What is the most pressing issue that will require the intervention of other levels of government, and how do you plan to guide them towards addressing it?

Housing. I will make sure that we are pushing other levels of government to make money available for housing and other services that people need in order to be lifted out of poverty.

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

I am a regular, working-class person. I don’t come from privilege and I have no connections to the large landlords and developers. I’m not a career politician and not a member of the mainstream parties. I am an advocate for poor and working people. I’m in this to help the people. I want a kinder community for all of us to live in.

To find out more about Ivan Stoiljkovic, mayoral candidate in the City of Kingston 2022 municipal election, visit this website or his Facebook page. He can be contacted by phone, (613) 328-1938, or over email [email protected].

With files from Cris Vilela.


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