David Soknacki is a successful entrepreneur and a former city councillor. In 1986, he founded Ecom Food Industries, which imports, manufactures and exports herb and spice ingredients for commercial use. Ecom now has clients in over 30 countries.
David was first elected to office as a councillor in the former City of Scarborough in 1994. He then served as a councillor in Toronto after amalgamation, winning a by-election and two general elections to represent Ward 43 (Scarborough East).
David led Toronto’s budget process as Council’s budget chief from late 2003 until 2006. In that role, he voted against the decision to sole-source the TTC’s streetcar purchase, and successfully enacted reforms to make Toronto business taxes more competitive and rental apartment tax rates fairer for tenants. Outside of his budget duties, he pushed for an end to nepotistic hiring at City Hall, and moved the motion to create the honorary position of Poet Laureate of Toronto.
At City Hall, Soknacki was widely respected for working constructively with councillors of all political stripes. When he announced his retirement from Council in August of 2006, progressive councillors praised David for “great leadership,” while Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy wrote that “someone like Soknacki is desperately needed on Council.” The Globe and Mail’s John Barber wrote that “he took on one of the toughest jobs in city hall, which he professionalized to the point where it almost seemed easy… he’s not really a politician at all.” The Toronto Sun called David “one of the good guys,” writing that his departure was “a blow to the disorganized and foundering right wing of Council, where Soknacki was a sane and reasoned voice.”
David later served as chair of the Board for Canada’s Downsview Park Corporation. Since he retired from Council in 2006, David has also been a candid critic of City Hall as a columnist for Metroland newspapers, where he promoted a balanced approach to urban development, pushed for evidence-based transit planning, sought greater civility at City Council, and called for a strategic review of Toronto’s public safety services.
David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. He lives with his wife in Scarborough, where he was also born and raised.