Toronto Centre MPP Candidate
The Early Years
Ron was born in Toronto to Polish immigrant parents in 1955. He recalls a love filled childhood in East York at a time when it was possible for just one parent to have a decent full time job that allowed the other parent to remain home with the children.
There were many family camping trips in Ron’s early years. Some were within Ontario to places like the then Ipperwash Provincial Park (before we knew the real story of what injustices were perpetrated to indigenous folks at that place). Other road trips consisted of riding in the back of the family 1963 Buick Special station wagon across the country to Tofino on Vancouver Island in the west and St. John’s Newfoundland in the east. There was the excitement of a trip to Expo in 1967, in that great year for Canada and for the Leafs. Yes Ron took in more than a few games at the Gardens back then, when his dad could afford a couple of seats in the Greys or maybe just the two dollar standing room spaces. What a time to be alive!
Education and Career Beginning
Ron’s fortunate upbringing continued with public school at Plains Road, Cosburn Junior High, then a move to high school at Agincourt Collegiate Institute. Post-secondary time was at the University of Waterloo in the then fledgling Systems Design Engineering program. As part of that co-op program, there was employment for Ron at IBM Canada Ltd. in Willowdale on Consumers Road. He continued at IBM until 1981. While he was grateful for the opportunity of working at a large progressive company such as IBM, he yearned for the unlimited possibilities of self-employment.
Through a quirk of fate, Ron became interested in photography as a business after being exposed (pun?) to his time as volunteer director of the IBM Camera Club. He had several news photos published in the Toronto Sun in the late 70s, and he began doing wedding photos for family and friends during that era. The stepping stone to self-employment was a 3 year stint as manager of a busy portrait studio in Mississauga.
Act One – Making a Mark
The break to owning his own business happened in 1984 when he started Magnacom Video after acquiring used equipment from his former employer. To the ridicule of family and friends, Ron set up the editing suite in his bachelor apartment kitchen! That apartment was right in the now Toronto Centre Electoral District at the David B. Archer Co-op on George Street near Jarvis and Front streets.
Ron grew Magnacom over 31 years to serve corporate customers including the employee communication needs of Canada’s largest bank. In its heyday Magnacom did some impressive projects including 29 years of an annual week-long employee recognition event for the bank. That involved thousands of bank employees and a Magnacom contingent of 30 crew members, along with multiple truckloads of equipment.
Act Two – A Renewal of Commitment
There are plenty of ups and downs in any independent business. After 36 years of growing Magnacom into a multi-million dollar operation with facilities in downtown Toronto and Orillia, going in the other direction – that of shrinking revenue – was painful. In order to prevent going bankrupt in 2017, Ron was forced to sell the main Magnacom client contracts and 95% of assets so he could satisfy creditor demands. Sometimes, the “school of hard knocks” is the best education and experience you can have. Ron blames nobody but himself and his bad decisions for that temporary bump in the road. Losing almost everything can wake up the spirit of renewal, and luckily because of Ron’s upbringing, life experience and positive outlook, renewal has embarked at full stride.
In 2020, a collaborative venture called ETRdotTV – Enjoy The Reward Television – took flight. ETRdotTV espouses many of Ron’s personal beliefs in how society, democracy and humanity can thrive and prosper.
2022 And Beyond – Democracy, Integrity and the Potential of Success
Like many Canadian citizens and residents of Ontario, Ron has come to the realization that certain aspects of our society have “come off the rails”. No one person or one plan can bring us to a point where we can sustainably grow and prosper. That’s why we need more direct democracy so that the collective brain power of everyone can be harnessed for the benefit of everyone.
Healing our current societal divisions is not going to come from some guy at the head of government. It is going to come from the diverse and messy contributions of everyone in our society, and certainly everyone in Toronto Centre.
Yes real democracy is messy, but it’s the only system that can carry us forward to a happy life of respect and freedom. That is Ron’s belief.
The layer on top of that, in Ron’s view, is one of integrity through value creation that empowers and enriches all people. That value comes from actual work and productive thought, not from a government that spins rhetoric and self-serving handouts of other people’s money and efforts.
As far as Ron is concerned, the None Of The Above party is a populist grassroots movement that embraces individual constituents and their governance.
In Toronto Centre, Ron believes in:
• Independent business and its power to bring good to employees, customers, the community and to the owners of the business
• The strategy and tactics of business that recognizes the importance of People, Planet – and Profit
• Treating everyone with respect and dignity regardless of their situation, according to a broad “live and let live” mantra
• Eliminating corruption in government and “crony capitalism” in business
• Recognizing that creativity, the arts, and good health are the lifeblood of life and progress
• Separating business and government as much as possible, thus allowing for strong oversight and regulation by government, not for the sake of “red tape” but for the sake of benefit to people and the planet. Safety and security need to be at the top of mind when it comes to government decisions.
• Encouraging the pursuit of “value for money” in all government decisions, with a bias toward “user pay” for government services along with public support for those unable to pay
• Striving for equality of opportunity based on ability, not nepotism
• Working toward large multi-generational transformative projects – “blue sky” thinking in government with a bias for action
• Creation of practical and enforceable laws that are enforced and benefit the majority of people – and removal of laws that don’t meet that threshold
• Assurance of freedom to speak, to worship, to bear arms for protection but never for aggression
• The supremacy of actual science as implemented by science professionals using scientific methods that at all times include debate, experimentation, observation, conclusion pursuit, and review and re-evaluation, and the rejection of science “politics”
• The right to vote should be exercised by a means that is convenient for voters, be tamper proof, and facilitated by technology
• Government is For the People, By The People and anyone in government who is there for another purpose should be removeable from that government by democratic process even between general elections
Summary and Call To Action
The choice is simple and easy. Conservatives, Liberals, NDP or traditional Independents – none of the above groups seem to have demonstrated that they are better than any Ontario citizen or that they deserve to be our leaders.
Instead, cast a vote for yourself and a movement toward direct democracy with a vote for your None Of The Above candidate in Toronto Centre – Ron Shaw.
Above all, Ron tries to be good to the best of his ability, not perfect, just good. Ron went 65 years without ever giving blood, then in 2021 he decided that was a little good that he was entirely capable of. Let the good flow.
Thank you and bless all good people everywhere!