The Swimmers

The Swimmers was the opening gala film at #TIFF22. I drew the cast and gave the drawings to them on the red carpet.

Vote Josh Rachlis for School Board Trustee

Why vote for me?

• I believe parents should be involved in school board decisions, because parents know their kids best and care about them the most. I want to hear from parents and community members so we can work together. Contact me with any questions or even just to say hi.

• I attended Greenbank P.S. for French Immersion and Merivale H.S. for the Gifted Program, and was a camp counsellor and teacher’s aide for special needs kids. So I know every student has different skills and interests and that we should offer programs to help everyone achieve their potential. 

• As an advertising copywriter, I’ve written commercials that built billion dollar brands and won the world’s top awards. Since school board funding is based on number of students, I’ll use my ad skills to help promote the board so it can be well-funded.

• In my copywriting career, I’ve used my various skills in unique ways. I acted as the Mini Man for Nutri-Grain bars in commercials I wrote, was the voice of Zeller’s radio, wrote songs for commercials and did stand-up comedy for brands. I’ll use my creativity to come up with new solutions for our schools.

• This summer I advanced in both the Yuk Yuk’s and Absolute Comedy stand-up comedy contests. Comedy requires looking at the world in new ways, and I’ll use this skill to bring a fresh perspective to the school board.

• I care about the environment. I was in the Green Party of Ontario’s Shadow Cabinet. I was trained by Al Gore as a Climate Reality presenter. My love song for Green Party leader Elizabeth May went viral in the 2011 election. When I walk along the Canal, I pick up litter (and carry treats for dogs I meet). I want schools to be green, from green roofs to food gardens, because green space helps mental and physical health, especially after the pandemic’s online learning and masking has been hard on kids.

• Covid is top-of-mind for parents. I think we need to do what we can to keep kids and their family members safe from Covid. I think it’s also important to consider all sides of the issue. For instance, do masks and lockdowns negatively affect the mental health and learning of students? If so, how do we achieve the right balance? I want to bring public health experts and parents together to collaborate on how best to keep students both physically and mentally healthy.

• I love that Canterbury H.S. is there for arts-loving students. I’d explore having another arts school and schools with other specializations.

• I’ve drawn cartoons for The Ottawa Citizen, hosted Rogers TV shows, told stories on CBC Radio, and hosted talk radio on Toronto’s CFRB, all because I love engaging with the public. If you want, you could come on my podcast to discuss issues and come up with solutions together. And I’d love to do a weekly show about school board issues and other Ottawa issues to keep you informed.

• I’m recognized around town because I post my adventures on Facebook. Which shows that you can always check my social media to hear my thoughts and to work with me on what’s important to you.

• I’m single and don’t have kids, which means I can devote my time to helping students, and it means that I’m not coming in with preconceived notions and can look at issues logically. I want the school board to be great for our community’s kids, and for my kids if I’m blessed enough to one day start my own family.

• People recognize me from my Facebook Neighbourhoods posts about my adventures. I’ll continue being open with you. Follow me on Facebook.

• I’m open to hearing all sides of issues. I invite all comments so I can learn from you and work with you. Email

You can follow me at:

Newprint review

I post reviews on Google and Yelp, but I should start putting them on my blog too, so that I still have them in case the other sites get taken down. Here’s my review of Newprint in Ottawa:

On June 2, 2022, I wanted business cards in the last few hours of the provincial election, and no other print shop could do it on such short notice, but Newprint could. I was at a print shop downtown and they made me 300 flyers, but they couldn’t do business cards so quickly. So I Ubered over to Newprint from downtown and picked up my 1000 cards. I was an Independent candidate in the 2022 Ontario election. Follow “Josh Rachlis” on Facebook to see how future elections go. And I could draw a custom cartoon on my business card for you.

Response to firefighters

My responses to the questions from

Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association

IAFF Local 162

Community & Firefighter Safety
1. Community and firefighter safety are key priorities for our Association. What can we expect from your party with regards to programs and initiatives that improve safety in these areas?

I have the upmost respect and gratitude for firefighters. And since firefighters are the experts on the subject, I vow to work with them to develop programs and initiatives that they think will best improve safety, and I’ll fit for the funding to make it all happen.

Presumptive Cancer
2. Ontario’s presumptive cancer coverage for firefighters recognizes 17 cancers; however, it lags that of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon which recognize 19 cancers. Does your party commit to expanding Ontario’s presumptive coverage for firefighters to include thyroid and pancreatic cancer?

I absolutely commit to this. Pancreatic cancer has recently affected my family, so I know firsthand the challenges it presents, and I would want to cover firefighters for this and whatever other cancers and diseases require coverage. Firefighters put their lives on the life for our communities, and we need to give back to them any way we can.

Simultaneous Notification
3. Automated links between Provincial Central Ambulance Communication Centres (CACC) and Municipal Fire Dispatch Centres allow for real-time bi-directional sharing of information, remove human
delays, and automatically notify the second agency of life-threatening medical emergencies. This system of simultaneous notification is in place in several early adopter sites (Barrie, Guelph,
Kitchener/Cambridge, Mississauga, and Brampton) and has been shown to improve response times.
Unfortunately, automated links are not currently in place between the Ottawa CACC and Ottawa Fire
Service (OFS) Dispatch. Is your party committed to implementing simultaneous notification across the
province, including the City of Ottawa?

Anything that improves response times when it comes to saving lives should be done! This sounds like a great system, and it’s already shown to be working. So it would be a tragedy if we didn’t implement it across Ontario, including in Ottawa, as quickly as possible. What could be more important? Let’s get this done! I’ll work with the firefighter and ambulance community to do whatever it takes to make this improvement in our life-saving services.

Free & Fair Collective Bargaining
4. The right of workers to bargain collectively is protected as an exercise of freedom of association
under s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Free and fair collective bargaining is
vital to ensuring employers and trade unions can establish fair wages and working conditions.
Legislation that mandates a particular compensation outcome is unfair and interferes with the collective
bargaining process. Will your party commit to repealing Bill 124 and to not introducing (nor voting in
favour of) similar wage constraint legislation?

Yes, I agree that it doesn’t sound fair or smart to arbitrarily mandate a particular compensation outcome. I’ll commit to ensuring free and fair collective bargaining.

Having an Open Door
5. Meeting with elected officials is important to our Association because it gives us an opportunity to
brief decision makers on issues that are important to professional firefighters as well as our community.
If elected, will you schedule time to meet with our Association on a regular basis?

Absolutely, I’ll schedule time to meet with your Association on a regular basis. It will be a pleasure and honour to learn about the issues from your perspective and to help firefighters have everything they need to best serve Ontarians. I invite you and any interested residents to reach out to me to discuss any issues. Also, I host a podcast and YouTube show called Spark The Genius, and I’d love to chat with you and anyone about these issues on my show to help get the messages out to the public. You can email

Boccato Gelato & Crepes

Ottawa – July 3, 2021: I ate here with my mom, sister, and my sister’s kids. After checking out my mom’s art in the Glebe pop-up art show at Lansdowne Park. There’s a good selection of food. I had a hotdog first, because I was hungry. And then I had a gelato. They’ve got smoothies. Pastries in the pastry case. Sandwiches. And their little patio is a great place to sit and watch people walking around.

Gelato on the Boccato patio

Elgin Street Diner

Ottawa, August 7, 2021: I walked over to meet a woman from the Facebook dating app. I live downtown and I said we could meet somewhere in Elgin Street and she wound up at Elgin Street Diner. She used to go there when she was young and it turns out Jody the waiter (and co-owner) used to serve her Christian youth group 30 years ago. So she was all nostalgic. This restaurant is the classic place to go to with friends or after a bar or any time. There is a variety of food so there’s something for everyone. My friend had poutine and then a mochaccino milkshake with a banana. I got the big breakfast. It was so filling.