2014 TDSB Trustee Election

We don’t hear enough about the various TDSB races happening across the City. With this Voting Guide, we hope to shine a light on where TDSB trustee candidates stand on important issues. Click your ward on the map, or select your ward from the list below.

If you aren’t sure what your TDSB ward is, you can see which ward corresponds to your municipal ward here.

TdsbWards

Ward Number Ward Name Incumbent Trustee Analysis
Ward 1 Etobicoke North John Hastings View Ward 1
Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre Chris Glover View Ward 2
Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore Pamela Gough View Ward 3
Ward 4 York West Stephnie Payne View Ward 4
Ward 5 York Centre Howard Kaplan View Ward 5
Ward 6 York South-Weston Chris Tonks View Ward 6
Ward 7 Parkdale-High Park Irene Atkinson View Ward 7
Ward 8 Eglinton-Lawrence Howard Goodman View Ward 8
Ward 9 Davenport Maria Rodrigues View Ward 9
Ward 10 Trinity – Spadina Briony Glassco View Ward 10
Ward 11 St. Paul's Shelley Laskin View Ward 11
Ward 12 Willowdale Mari Rutka View Ward 12
Ward 13 Don Valley West Gerri Gershon View Ward 13
Ward 14 Toronto Centre-Rosedale Sheila Ward View Ward 14
Ward 15 Toronto-Danforth Cathy Dandy View Ward 15
Ward 16 Beaches-East York Sheila Cary-Meagher View Ward 16
Ward 17 Don Valley East Harout Manougian View Ward 17
Ward 18 Scarborough Southwest Elizabeth Moyer View Ward 18
Ward 19 Scarborough Centre David Smith View Ward 19
Ward 20 Scarborough-Agincourt Sam Sotiropoulos View Ward 20
Ward 21 Scarborough-Rouge River Shaun Chen View Ward 21
Ward 22 Scarborough East Jerry Chadwick View Ward 22
Ward 1 Etobicoke North Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre Ward 3 Etobicoke-Lakeshore Ward 4 York West Ward 5 York Centre Ward 6 York South-Weston Ward 7 Parkdale-High Park Ward 8 Eglinton-Lawrence Ward 9 Davenport Ward 10 Trinity-Spadina Ward 11 St. Paul's Ward 12 Willowdale Ward 13 Don Valley West Ward 14 Toronto Centre-Rosedale Ward 15 Toronto-Danforth Ward 16 Beaches-East York Ward 17 Don Valley East Ward 18 Scarborough Southwest Ward 19 Scarborough Centre Ward 20 Scarborough-Agincourt Ward 21 Scarborough-Rouge River Ward 22 Scarborough East

2014 TCDSB Trustee Election

We don’t hear enough about the various TCDSB races happening across the City. With this Voting Guide, we hope to shine a light on where TCDSB trustee candidates stand on important issues. Click your ward on the map, or select your ward from the list below.

If you aren’t sure what your TCDSB ward is, you can see which ward corresponds to your municipal ward here.

TcdsbMap

Ward Number Ward Name Incumbent Trustee Analysis
Ward 1 Etobicoke Peter Jakovcic View Ward 1
Ward 2 Etobicoke Ann Andrachuk View Ward 2
Ward 3 North York Sal Piccininni View Ward 3
Ward 4 North York Patrizia Bottoni View Ward 4
Ward 5 North York Maria Rizzo View Ward 5
Ward 6 York Frank D'Amico View Ward 6
Ward 7 Scarborough/North York ​John Del Grande View Ward 7
Ward 8 Scarborough Garry Tanuan View Ward 8
Ward 9 Toronto Jo-Ann Davis View Ward 9
Ward 10 Toronto Barbara Poplawski View Ward 10
Ward 11 East York/Toronto Angela Kennedy View Ward 11
Ward 12 Scarborough Nancy Crawford View Ward 12
Ward 1 Etobicoke Ward 2 Etobicoke Ward 3 North York Ward 4 North York Ward 5 North York Ward 6 York Ward 7 Scarborough/North York Ward 8 Scarborough Ward 9 Toronto Ward 10 Toronto Ward 11 East York/Toronto Ward 12 Scarborough

2014 City Council Election: Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River

The Incumbent:

Chin Lee

The Race

Chin Lee is looking for his third straight win in Ward 41. He is up against more opponents than in the 2010 race. Unfortunately, Lee did not provide his views to be included in our Voting Guide. The candidates that did offer their views seem to have different ideas from the incumbent. The responses are worth a read if you are a Ward 41 resident looking for something different.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Chin Lee, Sivavathani Prabaharan, Sandeep Srivastava

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes
    Lai, Cynthia Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Mayor Rob Ford's ideas to find savings. I agree with everything mentioned: find corporate sponsorship for the Pan Am Games celebrations, eliminate city council's general expense fund, eliminate city council's general travel budget, reduce council's staff salary budgets, eliminate plans for a Pan Am Park splash pad at Exhibition Place, increase the ratio of employees to managers at Toronto Employment and Social Services, eliminate two new full-time heritage positions in Planning department, obtain efficiencies from 311 Toronto, cracking down on absenteeism and increasing the number of calls taken per day. I also suggest we lower the salaries for Toronto City Councillors.
    Lai, Cynthia Will have to work with other councillors and staff to determine over the next 4 years.


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes
    Lai, Cynthia Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes
    Lai, Cynthia Will consider


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes – phase out
    Lai, Cynthia Yes – phase out


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Make sure we keep our taxes low in order to attract more businesses into the city and expand our subway system.
    Lai, Cynthia Support business growth, encourage home ownership and the resulting economic growth will help unemployment.


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John  "The transit planning process should be left to the experts however Toronto Council should also have some say too. I also agree with Rob Ford when he said we should not sell the machine which is used to dig the subway tunnels since we can use it for future subway projects and if we did sell it we would receive much less than what we paid for it."
    Lai, Cynthia Work with federal and provincial governments on funding. Examine and explore dedicated revenue for transit.


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John The best negotiated settlements occur when both sides are willing to give in a little. Many workers would also prefer to increase their hours instead of lowering their salaries. This would lower the overall expenses instead of just increasing their salaries and keeping their working hours the same.
    Lai, Cynthia Keep a lid on growth in costs.


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes. Partnering with a GPS manufacturer which builds GPS systems with live traffic capabilities. These systems can then be installed in city owned vehicles to lower travel time making workers more efficient and also lowering vehicle exhaust. Partnering with grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops and encouraging them to donate any unused food to shelters, to people in Toronto Community Housing, or to any number of other worthy establishments instead of just throwing out their unused food.
    Lai, Cynthia Yes. We’ll need to explore over the next 4 years.


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Residents want the Ford agenda to continue. In order to address this issue I have already committed to supporting Doug Ford as my number 1 priority and I have officially endorsed Doug Ford on my campaign website (http://www.ImVotingForDougFord.ca) to be our next Mayor."
    Lai, Cynthia Affordable and fair taxes; Jobs; Extension of the Sheppard subway into Scarborough. The unfair Toronto Land Transfer Tax should be reduced and ultimately phased out. Instead of debating public transit for Sheppard forever, we need to confirm a plan that Scarborough residents want and get on with it even building one station at a time.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes. Absolutely!

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Mayor Rob Ford suggested many places to find savings. These are all his ideas except the last one which is mine. I agree with everything mentioned below:

    Directing city officials to find corporate sponsorship for the Pan Am Games celebrations

    Eliminate city council’s general expense fund

    Eliminate city council’s general travel budget

    Reduce council’s staff salary budgets

    Eliminate plans for a Pan Am Park splash pad at Exhibition Place ($500,000 just for this!)

    Increase the ratio of employees to managers at Toronto Employment and Social Services

    Eliminate two new full-time heritage positions in Planning department

    Obtain efficiencies from 311 Toronto, cracking down on absenteeism and increasing the number of calls taken per day

    I also suggest we lower the salaries for Toronto City Councillors

    (http://www.torontosun.com/2014/01/29/mayor-rob-ford-breaks-down-60m-in-city-hall-savings)

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Yes I do support reducing the total number of City Councillors. It should be reduced from 44 to 22. I believe this will improve how Council operates. For several years now Council has wasted too much time attacking each other instead of working with each other.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes. Absolutely I would support contracting out garbage east of Yonge Street. Taxpayers would also receive a better deal if we look into lowering the salaries of city workers many of whom get paid a very high salary.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    The Municipal Land Transfer Tax should be phased out until it is completely abolished.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    In order to create job growth in Toronto we could do the following:

    1. Make sure we keep our taxes low in order to attract more businesses into the city.
    2. We also need to expand our subway system. Businesses prefer setting up shop when they’re close to a subway station.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    One idea to reduce congestion is to have cars equipped with GPS systems that have traffic capabilities. I own a TomTom Go 1535 Live. This model has been discontinued but the service still works and there are similar systems still being sold. I purchased this GPS specifically because of the traffic capabilities. It receives traffic data through a built-in sim card and it automatically calculates the fastest route to your destination using live traffic information which costs $60 / year for unlimited service. It covers highways and it even covers main roads as well. If all cars had a similar service then our traffic problem could be reduced. I will work with all levels of government to try and get all cars to use a similar system since the technology already exists and is currently being used throughout the world. The transit planning process should be left to the experts however Toronto Council should also have some say too. I also agree with Rob Ford when he said we should not sell the machine which is used to dig the subway tunnels since we can use it for future subway projects and if we did sell it we would receive much less than what we paid for it. This would help save us money which we can put to use in funding future subway projects.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    The best negotiated settlements occur when both sides are willing to give in a little. Many workers would also prefer to increase their hours instead of lowering their salaries. This would lower the overall expenses instead of just increasing their salaries and keeping their working hours the same.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    There are many opportunities for public-private partnerships such as:

    1. Partnering with a GPS manufacturer which builds GPS systems with live traffic capabilities. These systems can then be installed in city owned vehicles to lower travel time making workers more efficient and also lowering vehicle exhaust.
    2. Partnering with grocery stores, restaurants, and coffee shops and encouraging them to donate any unused food to shelters, to people in Toronto Community Housing, or to any number of other worthy establishments instead of just throwing out their unused food.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The top issue for residents is they want the Ford agenda to continue. In order to address this issue I have already committed to supporting Doug Ford as my number 1 priority and I have officially endorsed Doug Ford on my campaign website (http://www.ImVotingForDougFord.ca) to be our next Mayor. I have been a Rob Ford & Doug Ford supporter for many years. I will follow Doug Ford’s direction in continuing with the subway expansion into Scarborough and I will support his priorities. Aside from Rob, I will be Doug Ford’s strongest supporter at City Hall.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes. Increases should be minimized and it’s reasonable to expect them to be kept to the rate of inflation.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Will have to work with other councillors and staff to determine over the next 4 years.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    That could help shorten the length of time it takes to debate and decide on issues.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    All opportunities to deliver high quality services in the most efficient way possible should be considered.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Yes. Start with reduction and ultimately eliminate by phasing out.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Support business growth, encourage home ownership and the resulting economic growth will help unemployment.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Work with federal and provincial governments on funding. Examine and explore dedicated revenue for transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Keep a lid on growth in costs.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes. We’ll need to explore over the next 4 years.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Affordable and fair taxes; Jobs; Extension of the Sheppard subway into Scarborough. The unfair Toronto Land Transfer Tax should be reduced and ultimately phased out. Instead of debating public transit for Sheppard forever, we need to confirm a plan that Scarborough residents want and get on with it even building one station at a time. Yes, the initial costs will be higher but new subways have far lower operating, maintenance and storage costs and will pay for themselves over the long term. It is also crucial for job creation and economic growth. We need to work with the Federal and Provincial Governments for funding, and explore dedicated revenues to make it happen.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 44 Scarborough East

The Incumbent:

Ron Moeser

The Race

Long-time politician Ron Moeser is back on the ballot to add to his 26 year career as City Councillor. There’s a large spike in the number of opponents he faces this time around with 15 candidates on the ballot for Ward 44, compared to 4 candidates in 2010. Perhaps, due to a lack of representation during this term? He sqeaked by in 2010 with just under 300 more votes than his top opponent. Ward 44 is sure to be an interesting race in 2014.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Diana Hall, Mirza Mohammed, Marc Proctor, Richard Ross, MarkPaul St.Bishop, Ragu Thanabalasingam, Neethra Vipulanandan

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Yes
    Beckmann, Graham Yes
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Yes
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer Yes with conditions.
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Management positions.
    Beckmann, Graham Paid duty police officers at construction sites.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Police services budget, specifically paid duty officers at construction sites. Also, current shift system requires review.
    Maguire, Paul  Amalgamation of redundant departments can save money but would cost jobs as well. Attrition and transfers might be acceptable strategies for staffing adjustments. I will advocate for an analysis of expenses to cover all policing costs.
    McKelvie, Jennifer I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek.
    Moeser, Ron Staff reduction
    Nielsen, Arlene No Response Given
    Sondhi, Ashley Review of collective agreements that are to be negotiated, overtime and time and a half hours being paid out, maximize efficiency and reducing or eliminating over time for new collective agreements.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider
    Beckmann, Graham No
    Chhabra, Amarjeet No
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer No
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley No


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider. Snow plowing could be contracted out, janitorial services, grass cutting and many others.
    Beckmann, Graham Will consider
    Chhabra, Amarjeet No
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer Will consider
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider reducing or reforming.
    Beckmann, Graham Yes – reduce or eliminate
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Will consider reducing or reforming.
    Maguire, Paul Yes – phase out.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Will consider reform.
    Moeser, Ron Yes – phase out.
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes – eliminate
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes – eliminate or reform


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil  "As for creating new jobs if the public transit debate would ever get resolved this should create many jobs.  I would also like to see government retired people not doubling the earnings by coming back to work after retirement.  These retirees by working may be stopping the progress of other workers moving up and the youth from getting employment."
    Beckmann, Graham Contact every registered business in my Ward. I will help them to get the forms filled out for all provincial and federal employment programs. Part 2 is to get the unemployed in my ward pointed towards those opportunities and others like long-haul trucking, and people from all over the world go to locations in the West not just Fort McMurray.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet We need to look at the tax incentive programs offered by the City for new commercial or industrial developments. Small business owners need to be supported as they are central to the larger economic growth and prosperity of the City as a whole.
    Maguire, Paul One approach to this is to scale commercial real estate taxes in a way that stimulates development outside the downtown core.
    McKelvie, Jennifer I am committed to promoting and fostering local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops in our community.  Across our great City, we need to foster innovation, start-ups and new businesses that create quality, long-term job opportunities.
    Moeser, Ron Has to be a joint effort including Federal, and Provincial.  Need to engage private industry.
    Nielsen, Arlene Toronto needs to become, attractive for businesses to migrate to, as it had been in the past. The scenario:  Cities like Richmond Hill, and Mississauga have in place tax credits as well as other appealing benefits for companies to move there, from Toronto, they have great package deals.
    Sondhi, Ashley Encourage small business development through City led initiatives, joint business and City ventures for development of new projects, Tourism and promotion of the City worldwide, recruiting sports and arts to actively use our state of the art facilities and business expos and conventions to name a few.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil At this point I do not have enough knowledge on the funding of the proposed transit systems or how the planning process works  to comment.
    Beckmann, Graham I cannot comment directly about the funding mechanisms. Any person that thinks that the end result of the St. Clair Avenue T.T.C upgrade is good should not be planning any transit lines.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet We need to stick with the existing plans to see results. Torontonians currently pay proportionately more than their fair share of the operating costs. We need to engage the provincial and federal governments to commit long-term sustainable funding for public transit and commit to use the funding for specific projects.
    Maguire, Paul We are wasting time and money when we pay the experts, and then fail to follow their advice. All funding measures should be considered. In Stockholm, road tolls raised revenue while reducing traffic volume beneath a tipping point that permitted great improvement in commute times. London’s congestion fees in the downtown core achieved similar results.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Negotiate with our federal and provincial partners, as well as our municipal neighbours, for a long-term dedicated funding plan for building and maintaining transit infrastructure.
    Moeser, Ron Public, Private partnerships including Federal and Provincial (need to get on with it.)
    Nielsen, Arlene I would implement fuel tax for automobiles, I would implement toll fares for driving into the Toronto corridor.
    Sondhi, Ashley Partial funding for new transit projects could come from the renegotiation of current and upcoming contracts for review and negotiation. Yes, I feel the current system should be changed as planning and decision making for this project has become gridlocked.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Taxpayers want the smallest tax increase possible so the two sides need to work together to obtain this goal.  Also, when negotiating during bargaining there are other ways to improve the employees lifestyle whether through added vacation time or medical and dental benefits.
    Beckmann, Graham We cannot continue to push government worker salaries beyond the salaries of the private sector. We must stop the activity of having police at every street servicing operation.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet The city's negotiating team needs to know that these residents provide the service we all need and have come to depend on as a City.
    Maguire, Paul Financial transparency can support fact-based negotiation. Equitable deals might be more attainable under the model followed by the IBEW that favours binding arbitration.
    McKelvie, Jennifer The City’s negotiating team should act independently of the Councillor and Mayor, with the exception that Council sets the wage envelope.
    Moeser, Ron Look at inflation rate, work on productivity issues in the contract.
    Nielsen, Arlene Give the leanest amount of pay raise (cost of living level) within the longest amount of time. From this, the labourers would still get a raise, and strikes would be avoided.
    Sondhi, Ashley Allow for fairness not excess (overtime and time and a half) With fair and fiscally conscious negotiating, workers may loose overtime wages in the short term but gain stability of work in the long term by aiding in the development and funding of long term City projects.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Yes. Through advertising or partnerships through contracting out work.
    Beckmann, Graham No
    Chhabra, Amarjeet The Sheppard East Maintenance and Storage Facility  is an example of such a partnership where the private partner would have designed, built, financed and maintained certain elements under TTC management.
    Maguire, Paul Will consider. Operation of some municipal services such as Parks and Recreation seem to lend opportunity.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Yes. These can be particularly effective for the roll-out of new technology across the City.
    Moeser, Ron Yes. Along subway routes and business through Economic Development.
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes. Tourism, hospitality, health care facilities for seniors, partnerships for Youth and current students.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil  "Traffic congestion especially on Port Union Road. Mmaintaining the waterfront and ensuring that the pockets of development that are starting to pop up are developed in such a way that they maintain the neighbourhoods characteristics and that traffic and parking are taken into account when approving these developments."
    Beckmann, Graham Transportation and jobs. To solve the transportation issue I would press to synchronize every stoplight and get rid of 95% of all HOV lanes.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Attendance! We have an incumbent with the worst attendance record at City Hall who is absent well over a third of the time when council is in session (but is one of the highest spenders). He has missed 26 major votes on very important issues. I am committed to meeting with residents and businesses to ensure that any new developments protect or improve the character of our streets, including heritage buildings and community history. But most important – I promise to show up.
    Maguire, Paul Transit is vital to those who are underserved in the north part of our ward, while a looming fiscal threat to those in the south.  Our incumbent failed to sway council to vote for the preferred, expert-recommended incineration option. I will get the necessary council votes to ensure we do not see several trucks of sludge driving our streets each day.
    McKelvie, Jennifer The Pan Am Aquatics Centre and Rouge National Urban Park attractions will raise the profile of our community and stimulate new development. I’m committed to working for residents to ensure that new business and housing developments maintain the character of our community. I will establish working groups that bring residents and developers together and will hold developers accountable to smart community development.
    Moeser, Ron Transit.  Work on funding issues and establish timetables to assure that transit gets built within the established parameters.
    Nielsen, Arlene The voting constituents of Ward 44 comprise mostly of homeowners, therefore the LTT and property taxes are the primarily concerns.  Therefore there would be a concentration from me to repeal the hated tax.
    Sondhi, Ashley Crime & Safety – this incorporates various factors such as robberies, drug use, mental health, guns, gangs, violence and keeping our streets safe. Over a year ago, in conjunction with MMA World Academy we implemented a cost reduced program for youth, seniors, kids and families to come out and work out together in group Yoga, family Boxing, Muay Thai and nutrition based programming. This was an initiative to bring families and kids together, meeting each other and forming life long friendships and team building that can only work to strengthen our community as one. Programming such as this is a positive step in providing solutions to keeping kids occupied and providing a framework for all community members to meet and get together.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    I would like to see tax hikes limited somehow, whether by inflation rates or another method.  I personally do not have an issue paying a slight increase each year to avoid a drastic tax hike in the future.
    I would love to try and work on a zero % tax hike, similar to a neighboring municipality so long as in the future it wouldn’t require a substantial tax increase due to erroneous accounting.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Without reviewing the city budget it is hard to determine specific areas but I have been on the cities website, the department directory, and I feel that there seems to be a considerable amount of management positions that are usually well paid.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Would reducing the city council be a cost saving measure?  how many would you reduce it down by and how much would this save?  Reducing it would mean changing boundaries which would mean costs to reorganize this, also in the future there could be the possibility of enlarging the city council back to how it was which would mean more costs.
    I am not aware how council operates/cooperates, but a smaller number could lead to a more harmonious council, no guarantee though.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I am not against contracting out if it proves to be cost effective.  I would review how other places such as Etobicoke have faired in this area, based on my experiences with contracted out workers, it can be expensive and the contracted employees do not have the same care as a municipal employee.
    Snow plowing could be contracted out, janitorial services, grass cutting and many others.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    From my experience of just moving our municipal taxes are considerable lower than the neighboring municipalities, if this is in part due to the land transfer tax we pay than I am ok to continue with this practice as it kind off gets buried in your real estate deal.  I am all for reviewing it to see if there can be change or improvement to lower the amount, while keeping municipal taxes as they are.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    I am not sure how you can compare Toronto to the rest of Ontario.  Toronto has many jobs that are occupied by people that commute from neighboring cities, if all these jobs were occupied by City of Toronto residents what would the unemployment rate be at then?   As for creating new jobs if the public transit debate would ever get resolved this should create many jobs.  I would also like to see government retired people not doubling the earnings by coming back to work after retirement.  These retirees by working may be stopping the progress of other workers moving up and the youth from getting employment.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    At this point I do not have enough knowledge on the funding of the proposed transit systems or how the planning process works  to comment.
    In regards to congestion I would like to see the transport trucks off the 401 during the two rush hours, why could they not be given a reduced rate or free on the 407 during these times?  Maybe we have some kind of electronic toll booths during the morning rush hour for the commuters from out of Toronto.  These tolls could be at certain locations on the 401 and 404 to help pay for the roads/transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Taxpayers want the smallest tax increase possible so the two sides need to work together to obtain this goal.  To my knowledge pay raises are always given as a percent, 2% of $50,000 is not the same as 2% of $100,000, why cant all employees get the same lump sum increase.  Also, when negotiating during bargaining there are other ways to improve the employees lifestyle whether through added vacation time or medical and dental benefits.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I do not know what current partnerships there are but imagine there could be room to expand in this area, whether it is through advertising or partnerships through contracting out work.  an example may be if the city contracted out garbage the winning bidder would also have to pay the city a fee for a work permit, similar to a taxi fee?

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    From speaking to residents, their concerns are with traffic congestion, especially on Port Union Road, maintaining the waterfront and ensuring that the pockets of development that are starting to pop up are developed in such a way that they maintain the neighbourhoods characteristics and that traffic and parking are taken into account when approving these developments.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I would be specifically looking to save money through the reduction of police at every location where service work is being done in the street.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    At this time I do not support reducing counsel I support to change the rate of participation. This position is currently part-time this should be changed to full-time. For some counselors organized confusion is the order of the day and distraction is the purpose, and likely will never change.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Moving Toronto’s massive garbage collection is simply too large a project to be run by a city. I am currently not aware what is or is not contracted out at this time. Improvements in savings is an ongoing task that could start with the manager to worker ratios.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    YES

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Contact every registered business in my Ward. I will help them to get the forms filled out for all provincial and federal employment programs. Part 2 is to get the unemployed in my ward pointed towards those opportunities and others like long-haul trucking, and people from all over the world go to locations in the West not just Fort McMurray. It should be an mandate throughout the province that Educators at all levels stop pushing everyone in into a university degree. Many people ushered in by the education system into degrees that provide them no true advantage in the workplace.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    I cannot comment directly about the funding mechanisms. We have to keep prices to the level that everyone can afford it. Any person that thinks that the end result of the St. Clair Avenue T.T.C upgrade is good should not be planning any transit lines. From the outside looking in I don’t see a planning process. It takes an hour by bus, to go from Morningside to Young and Eglinton station $5 billion and it only saves 15 minutes and adds to the congestion such that it might be when the Eglinton LRT travels overland through the Scarborough area and stops at every light like a bus what is the point. I think we should be look back for previous reports to see if there is a gondola plan to put in place over the lake we could get a lot for the billions we have wasted . Phase 1 of my transit plan would be to stop making it difficult to drive by car anywhere in the city. But they can’t do that because if the car traveled thru the city like it should, the planners of St. Clair Avenue transit would not have a job. Street cars are a waste in many ways.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Let’s hope that the province can keep their wallet closed. We cannot continue to push government worker salaries beyond the salaries of the private sector. A collision course will arrive I suspect sooner than later. We must stop the activity of having police at every street servicing operation.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I believe that P3 arrangements are a total waste of money. The board of directors in every hospital and others have to accept the fact that they must take responsibility for the logistical and mechanical operations of their place of business. Why should we pay 30% more to move the desk across the hall.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Of the issues that I could involve myself in, I believe transportation is number one, and will our children have jobs, is a close second.
    To solve the transportation issue I would press to synchronize every stoplight. Get rid of 95% of all HOV lanes.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    The police services budget, and, specifically with the paid duty officers. Additionally, in order to reduce costs, there needs to be a serious look at the current shift system which has been identified in years past by the likes of former Mayor, John Sewell as a source of savings.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Municipal government is the order of government closest to citizens of a City. While it is true that City Council is dysfunctional at the best of times, how council operates really comes down to the people who get elected to represent our interests. Reducing the size of Council will further disenfranchise the citizenry and will make Council more inaccessible. I am in support of term limits as I do believe, the City is well served with fresh ideas. Furthermore, Council voted to conduct a Ward boundary review in May 2013, the recommendations of which will be reported in 2016.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I believe competition is healthy and allows the residents to benefit from better service.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    While the Municipal Land Transfer Tax has helped improve the city’s fiscal health, I am open to the idea of reforming/reducing it but only once we figure out how we could make up for the shortfall. I do not think we can eliminate the tax altogether.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    As a former private sector union organizer, I want to see a society and economy that offers good jobs for all. Scarborough in recent years has seen a shift in the type of employment, becoming more service oriented. Having had firsthand experience working with developers in the service sector, I see immense potential to create jobs one can raise a family on, jobs on which one can build a community around. Furthermore, we need to look at the tax incentive programs offered by the City for new commercial or industrial developments. Small business owners need to be supported as they are central to the larger economic growth and prosperity of the City as a whole. As small-business owners, my parents were able to raise our family and enjoy new opportunities. If local businesses are successful, local employment is significantly improved.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    First of all, we need to stick with the existing plans to see results. We cannot afford to continue debating transit any more. Torontonians currently pay proportionately more than their fair share of the operating costs. We need to engage the provincial and federal governments to commit long-term sustainable funding for public transit and commit to use the funding for specific projects. Any new money raised should be raised in a fair and progressive way so that low income Torontonians do not get burdened. When considering the overall transit strategy, it is important to look at it from an urban planning policy perspective and as a network that uses a combination of transit options.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    As a taxpayer, I am proud that our public servants are residents who have good paying jobs. The city’s negotiating team needs to know that these residents provide the service we all need and have come to depend on as a City.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    The Sheppard East Maintenance and Storage Facility  is an example of such a partnership where the private partner would have designed, built, financed and maintained certain elements under TTC management.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Attendance! We have an incumbent with the worst attendance record at City Hall who is absent well over a third of the time when council is in session (but is one of the highest spenders). He has missed 26 major votes on very important issues. So it is little wonder that some things in our Ward are getting out of control. A good example of this is development which does not reflect the character of our neighbourhoods and is not in keeping with the wishes of the community. I will be a strong proponent of sensible development. I am committed to meeting with residents and businesses to ensure that any new developments protect or improve the character of our streets, including heritage buildings and community history. I will negotiate with developers to build greener, more energy and water efficient buildings. But most important – I promise to show up.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Most important is that money be spent wisely, and that taxpayers get value. I do not believe inflation is necessarily the measure to which property tax should be tethered. Other measures may better address ability to afford desired services. At some point, a max-tax threshold becomes necessary, or government will take all the money.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Constant budget review is necessary. Budget chief and ombudsman are key positions in a transparent process for monitoring and controlling expenditure, and recommending savings. Amalgamation of redundant departments can save money, but would cost jobs as well. Attrition and transfers might be acceptable strategies for staffing adjustments. The biggest budget items promise the greatest potential for savings. Accordingly, I will advocate for an analysis of expenses to cover all policing costs. One component that should be reviewed is the cost of construction of new stations. Another factor is the decreasing crime rate. We seem to get less value for our policing dollar than we should.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Smaller council means more constituents per councillor. Ward 44 has over 60,000 residents, two thirds of whom vote. If each voter wants 5 minutes of my time, I will be busy until the second half of the term’s second year. Smaller councils are also more prone to insular, localized decision making.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Again, budget diligence requires ongoing evaluation of such opportunities. Research consistently shows that contracting out services like this are a false economy based on a misleading presumption of non-monopolistic competition. When this sort of out-sourcing has been tried, savings have appeared early, only to vanish within a few years.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Like all taxpayers, I abhor the MLTT. The extra constraint in the purchase of a home is onerous. Of course, the $350M must be replaced by other means, or offset by spending (and perhaps service) reductions. It should be possible to phase out the MLTT over a few years.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Every government speaks to job creation. If there were a solution, the problem would have been gone long ago. At best, we can create an environment in which business can start and thrive. One approach to this is to scale commercial real estate taxes in a way that stimulates development outside the downtown core.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Our biggest transit obstacle right now is the insistence of politicians to be allowed to interfere with the professional planning process. We are wasting time and money when we pay the experts, and then fail to follow their advice. All funding measures should be considered. In Stockholm, road tolls raised revenue while reducing traffic volume beneath a tipping point that permitted great improvement in commute times. London’s congestion fees in the downtown core achieved similar results. We should look closely at whether solutions already discovered elsewhere have applicability here.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Financial transparency can support fact-based negotiation. Equitable deals might be more attainable under the model followed by the IBEW that favours binding arbitration. While I endorse a more even distribution of the nation’s wealth, I must balance that with my constituents’ ability to pay.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    The inherent risk of P3s places the profit with the private sector while the public sector assumes the risk. They must be approached carefully and fairly. Operation of some municipal services such as Parks and Recreation seem to lend opportunity.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Ward 44 is Toronto’s largest. The chief concern varies with the neighbourhood. Transit is vital to those who are underserved in the north part of our ward, while a looming fiscal threat to those in the south. The region’s professional planners have already offered a viable solution that would make best use of available funds, and would offer service improvements near our neighbourhoods. We also face end-of-life decisions for the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. Our incumbent failed to sway council to vote for the preferred, expert-recommended incineration option. I will get the necessary council votes to ensure we do not see several trucks of sludge driving our streets each day.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes, with the caveat that large infrastructure projects, such as transit, may require funding through the property tax system.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek. Priority and Participatory Budgeting should be considered during the Budget process. This would objectively determine how to match available resources with community priorities, with the priorities developed by the meaningful engagement of our citizens.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    No, I believe that such a reduction would reduce the effectiveness of governance for individual constituents. I would prefer to review the need for councillors’ pensions and any severance which councillors may be entitled to upon leaving office.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek. I am willing to review the evidence that contracting out provides such long-term savings while not compromising the quality of services provided.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    The Municipal Land Transfer Tax contributes a substantial amount of revenue. I would be in favour of reform, in particular for seniors that are downsizing and need the equity for retirement.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    I am committed to promoting and fostering local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops in our community. We have seen some new and revitalized businesses in our area, but we need to attract more. Across our great City, we need to foster innovation, start-ups and new businesses that create quality, long-term job opportunities. We also need to strive to create more jobs for our youth.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    We need to negotiate with our federal and provincial partners, as well as our municipal neighbours, for a long-term dedicated funding plan for building and maintaining transit infrastructure. Investment in transit infrastructure creates construction jobs in the short term, but importantly also provides enhanced opportunities for our city’s entrepreneurs to open or expand businesses in new areas opened up with better transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    The City’s negotiating team should act independently of the Councillor and Mayor, with the exception that Council sets the wage envelope.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I support public-private partnerships. These can be particularly effective for the roll-out of new technology across the City.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The Pan Am Aquatics Centre and Rouge National Urban Park attractions will raise the profile of our community and stimulate new development.  We need to foster local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops. I’m committed to working for residents to ensure that new business and housing developments maintain the character of our community. I will establish working groups that bring residents and developers together and will hold developers accountable to smart community development.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Staff reduction. Work more efficiently. Voted against 2015 budget as we could have done better.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Voted for 22 Councillors.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Voted against originally.  It should be phased out.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Has to be a joint effort including Federal, and Provincial.  Need to engage private industry.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Public, Private partnerships including Federal and Provincial (need to get on with it.)

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Look at inflation rate, work on productivity issues in the contract.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes. Along subway routes and business through Economic Development.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Transit.  Work on funding issues and establish timetables to assure that transit gets built within the established parameters.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    While I would vote against any property tax increase, I admit I would entertain a property tax increase that is no greater than the inflation rate.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    No Response Given.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I support reducing the current number of Councillors from 44 to 30 Councillors as this would improve efficiencies through the ease of a smaller group being able to reach a consensus faster.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Privatizing garbage pickup west of Yonge Street has saved Toronto $11.9 million dollars.  Therefore, it only makes fiscal sense to privatize garbage pickup east of Yonge Street to further save taxpayer’s money.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I would support eliminating the LTT.

    Ward 44 is primarily comprised of homeowners.  The Land Transfer Tax (LTT) has had a negative impact on homeowners, not only in Ward 44, but in the entire GTA.  Today home ownership is entered more as an investment as opposed to it being entered to create long term roots within a community. Therefore, current homeowners are more likely to sell their homes (investment) to upsize, downsize or to move into retirement.  A study commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association estimates there has been a decline of more than 38,000 home transactions since the LTT was implemented in 2008. The LTT is nothing more than a tax grab at a homeowner’s biggest equity, which most of them are relying on for their future years.  I will be fighting to repeal this much hated tax.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Toronto needs to become, attractive for businesses to migrate to, as it had been in the past.

    The scenario:  Cities like Richmond Hill, and Mississauga have in place tax credits as well as other appealing benefits for companies to move there, from Toronto, they have great package deals, difficult to resist, and companies, who are looking to move, take advantage of the tax credits and move to the respective cities leaving behind them vacate offices, and perhaps valued employees.  It’s the bottom line, the return on investment, they weigh the expensive of the move, hiring/training new employees, building up client etc. to what they gain moving out of Toronto to cities previously mentioned.  There are numerous examples of businesses moving from Toronto throughout the years and inevitably the bottom line always wins.

    If companies stay, move to or move back to Toronto, there will be more job opportunities, therefore more people will be hired to fulfill those jobs, therefore there will be less unemployment.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    I would implement fuel tax for automobiles, I would implement toll fares for driving into the Toronto corridor.

    I am in full support of John Tory’s ‘Smarttrack’ plan, it is the only transit expansion plan which makes fiscal and  time line sense. Since the necessary environmental and engineering studies have not been done for the subway plan, the Scarborough subway is not scheduled to start until 2021. It will take an estimated 10 years to finish, undoubtedly at a higher cost than the original $4 billion dollars estimated. In the interim, Scarborough TTC users will be stuck with the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT), which will almost certainly break down before the subway is complete.  John Tory’s ‘Smarttrack‘ would use the existing infrastructure, therefore it makes fiscal sense and can be implemented in the foreseeable future.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    My advice for the city’s negotiating team would be to give the leanest amount of pay raise (cost of living level) within the longest amount of time. From this, the labourers would still get a raise, and strikes would be avoided.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    There  are a lot of opportunities for public-private partnerships, the possibilities are endless.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The voting constituents of Ward 44 comprise mostly of homeowners, therefore the LTT and property taxes are the primarily concerns.  Therefore there would be a concentration from me to repeal the hated tax.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    As long as the “hike” is no greater than the rate of inflation.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Review of collective agreements that are to be negotiated, overtime and time and a half hours being paid out, maximize efficiency and reducing or eliminating over time for new collective agreements.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    No I do not support reducing the size of Council, however appointment of council members to committees where they have no experience or knowledge is something that needs to be addressed to ensure greater efficiency in decision making.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes, I support the initiative as long as there is equal or greater service to taxpayers at less cost and no City of Toronto jobs are lost. A stronger business savings model should be applied to all services in the City of Toronto and review and accountability demanded.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I would like to see this Tax eliminated or reformed.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Encourage small business development through City led initiatives, joint business and City ventures for development of new projects, Tourism and promotion of the City worldwide, recruiting sports and arts to actively use our state of the art facilities and business expos and conventions to name a few.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Partial funding for new transit projects could come from the renegotiation of current and upcoming contracts for review and negotiation. Yes, I feel the current system should be changed as planning and decision making for this project has become gridlocked, with no decision being agreed upon or made, are we planning for short term or long term, cost effective or long term financial investment?

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Establish the common goal for Union leaders and the City. Allow for fairness not excess (overtime and time and a half) With fair and fiscally conscious negotiating, workers may loose overtime wages in the short term but gain stability of work in the long term by aiding in the development and funding of long term City projects.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Of course. Tourism, hospitality, health care facilities for seniors, partnerships for Youth and current students. The Waterfront and Beaches area are prime examples where partnerships can be fostered to provide revenue and working opportunities for employees in all sectors.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Crime & Safety – this incorporates various factors such as robberies, drug use, mental health, guns, gangs, violence and keeping our streets safe. We had a mass shooting less than two years ago within our ward, our banks have been robbed multiple times and our youth and residents are not safe at the corner plazas even during daylight hours. One of our ward high schools has a high percentage of students using drugs and suicide amongst this young group is cause for concern.  Over a year ago, in conjunction with MMA World Academy we implemented a cost reduced program for youth, seniors, kids and families to come out and work out together in group Yoga, family Boxing, Muay Thai and nutrition based programming. This was an initiative to bring families and kids together, meeting each other and forming life long friendships and team building that can only work to strengthen our community as one. Programming such as this is a positive step in providing solutions to keeping kids occupied and providing a framework for all community members to meet and get together.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 30 – Toronto-Danforth

The Incumbent:

Paula Fletcher

The Race

In 2010, Paula Fletcher sqeaked by Liz West with little over 250 more votes in Ward 30.  Now, in 2014 we see a rematch. Is it time to end over a decade of communist rule in Ward 30?

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Mark Borden, Jane Farrow, Councillor Paula Fletcher, Francis Russell

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Yes
    West, Liz Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Going forward, reduce budget for upper management positions.
    West, Liz  I will look for innovative ways to be more efficient with our resources so that our limited funds can go further.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Yes
    West, Liz  Would like to wait for Ward Boundary Review to be completed before forming judgement.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Yes
    West, Liz  Yes. There are some things that the private sector can deliver better and some things that only the city can.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Will consider after further research.
    West, Liz Will consider reforming


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Key to this issue is working well with all levels of govt.
    West, Liz We need a combination of public transit, safe and connected bike lanes and healthy roads for car and truck traffic that gets people and goods where they are going on time. Development of new areas such as South of Eastern with its film, television and digital jobs and a real commitment to the development of the Port Lands, would both generate highly skilled jobs in the ward.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel I think realistically just as in housing before we start building new we must come up to par with what weve already promised to the ttc riders in Toronto.
    West, Liz Road tolls, vehicle taxes based on either engine size or CO2 emissions, sales tax, gas tax, etc. are potential revenue tools all worthy of discussion by Council. The city also needs to partner with the provincial and federal governments to ensure that we are getting our fair share of funding in the country's largest city.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel I believe if we can get a good core group of people at city hall negotiating whats in the best interest for both the taxpayers and the workers involved then these deals can go a heck of a lot smoother, with less wasted time,less taxdollars being affected, and better services being provided in the long term scheme of things.
    West, Liz You can be confident that I will be able to best represent Torontonians to make sure everyone gets a fair deal in these negotiations. I want to work with our unions to streamline service delivery, increase job satisfaction and provide competitive wages so that our public servants can be the envy of the world.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Yes. Wherever the private sector can help in the city of Toronto without breaking the rules im all for it
    West, Liz  The 300 acres of unused land at the Portland’s represent perhaps the best opportunity for P3s in this city.


  • Candidate Response
    Trayes, Daniel Transit and housing. I can say to the taxpayers of ward 30 that I will work closely with all levels of govt starting with my fellow councillors at city hall to see to it that everything promised HAPPENS and that everything we agree upon over the coming yrs as new innitiatives goes through as promised.
    West, Liz Public transit and traffic congestion. We need a long-term transit plan that looks 25-50 years to the future.  As City Councillor I will work with fellow Councillors and staff to make sure that we have short term strategies to relieve congestion and long term strategies to ensure that we have the city that we envision and deserve.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    I feel capping the property tax rate gives a much needed sense of stability to homeowners & business owners..i feel capping it at the rate of inflation would actually force the “number makers” to follow through on things already approved,and plan better for the city as a whole moving forward..im not a property tax “expert” as I am a renter, but I did go through the 2014 budget process by attending committee meetings & council chamber meetings,im aware of the numbers posted, and I feel that I could work well with both staff and constituents on this very important issue.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I have actually studied the budget and attended the meetings at city hall this yr that focused on these issues.i believe that we should look at the fact that the majority of most budgets within the city go towards paying higher up staff..do we need those staff? yes we do..should we be cutting jobs?? not necessarily..but I do feel in the future moving forward we must properly address these factors, as well as stop being afraid as a council to ask for help when needed from the different levels of govt.working together is the key factor.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I believe that every councillor in this city is needed. I feel we should focus more on how the city operates in various areas and what we can do to improve upon that.if in the future we actually start to gel as a city working together, then maybe it will be time to further discuss the need.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I live east of yonge..and right now my garbage gets picked up on time and with respect..so my answer would simply be if it saves us $, and the process is done with respect towards the people already involved in this process then im all for saving money..but we in the community must accept that theres a process to things getting done,and im a firm believer of those processes being followed.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    As I am a renter and not a current homeowner I believe that I need further consultation with staff,other council members, and the constituents in ward 30 before I make a direct decision on this issue..people haven’t really brought this issue to my attn. this yr as an issue that’s their top priority.i believe further discussions on the matter are a definite need.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Key to this issue is working well with all levels of govt..as we all know a city councillor cant simply snap his or her fingers and create jobs..it takes the hard work and dedication of some1 with the ability to work well with every1 and some1 who is transparent..i have introduced myself to every leader of every level of govt except for steven harper…I believe this is key in the constant reminder that we need people to grow together and not apart.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    I believe the planning process with regards to the ttc definetly needs a shake up..i believe andy byford and the frontline ttc workers do a fabulous job getting the people of Toronto around our city.but the reason the ttc is in such shambles is cause 1 group of councillors agrees to do abc…then another group comes in and wants to do xyz..i think realistically,just as in housing,before we start building new we must come up to par with what weve already promised to the ttc riders in Toronto..

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    I believe just as in any other corporations there are some form of negotiations that are imperative..in this case I believe if we can get a good core group of people at city hall negotiating whats in the best interest for both the taxpayers and the workers involved then these deals can go a heck of a lot smoother, with less wasted time,less taxdollars being affected, and better services being provided in the long term scheme of things.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    With regards to private public partnerships my philosophy is simple..wherever the private sector can help in the city of Toronto,without “breaking the rules” im all for it..i don’t own any stock in any company,and im not solely about 1 particular group or person..im here to do whats best for the community of ward 30 and the city as a whole without biased and with full accessibility and transparency.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Transit and housing are pretty much tied as the issues I have been hearing the most about in OUR community. residents in ward 30 feel that other issues are just as important and I agree.
    but with regards to housing and transit I have over 30yrs of direct hands on experience with both.i promote dedication, and total transparency.i can say to the taxpayers of ward 30 that I will work closely with all levels of govt,starting with my fellow councillors at city hall to see to it that everything promised HAPPENS and that everything we agree upon over the coming yrs as new innitiatives goes through as promised..we need a solid plan. not a 1yr plan..not a 50 yr plan like others want..a solid realistic plan is what the people want and is what they deserve.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Property tax revenues are a necessary measure to help meet budget needs and are too often the “go to” source for additional income, putting an unfair burden on home owners and in particular seniors and other residents on a fixed income.  I believe in investigating all potential sources of revenue with the guarantee that money will be used for the urgent needs facing the city, including investment in transit and infrastructure.  I would hope that Council would work hard to keep increases at the rate of inflation, without compromising the need to invest in public transit and infrastructure. Regular increases tied to the rate of inflation would give homeowners assurance of their ability to meet their obligations over the long term.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Once elected I will sit down with City Hall staff to thoroughly review the budget and determine if and where savings can be achieved.  I will look for innovative ways to be more efficient with our resources so that our limited funds can go further.  As an independent candidate I do not have preconceived ideas based on ideology.   I will review all of the relevant facts before advocating action.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    There is currently a Ward Boundary Review being conducted by Canadian Urban Institute. I would like to wait for the conclusion of that study before making a decision.  I think it is important that a review of this nature on the size and effectiveness of Council is being undertaken by experts and not Council.  I believe that petty partisan politics are to blame for this Council’s inability to work constructively in the best interest of Torontonians.  As an independent candidate who has never belonged to a political party I would accept the recommendations put forward by the review.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes. There are some things that the private sector can deliver better and some things that only the city can.  As an independent candidate with no ties to political parties or special interests I am in favour of providing residents with the best services at the most affordable price, and I believe that garbage pickup is one of them.  A switch to private garbage pickup in an area west of Yonge Street has saved the city $11.9 million so it makes fiscal sense to implement private garbage pickup east of Yonge Street.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Taxes are the foundation to funding the services that we all need.  At this point in time the city is facing a transit crisis and we require so much investment in it and our aging infrastructure that I do not believe we can afford to reduce the Land Transfer Tax.   I am aware that Toronto is fast becoming unaffordable for first time homeowners, so I believe in a more fair approach where the tax is split evenly between the buyer and the seller.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Toronto is falling behind as a job market, industry hub and destination for investment in part because of our outdated transit infrastructure.  We need a combination of public transit, safe and connected bike lanes and healthy roads for car and truck traffic that gets people and goods where they are going on time.  In addition, I think we need to work with all levels of government to generate high quality jobs.  Development of new areas such as South of Eastern with its film, television and digital jobs and a real commitment to the development of the Port Lands, would both generate highly skilled jobs in the ward.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Nobody wants to pay anymore for anything, that is a given.  So the question is how to responsibly generate the funds needed to grow our transit system to match the growth of our city? I believe Council needs to ask what kinds of fees/taxes make the most sense and where are there new opportunities?

    Road tolls, vehicle taxes based on either engine size or CO2 emissions, sales tax, gas tax, etc. are potential revenue tools all worthy of discussion by Council.

    The city also needs to partner with the provincial and federal governments to ensure that we are getting our fair share of funding in the country’s largest city.

    The Portlands has sat idle for decades despite the fact that the Federal government pledged 10’s of millions of dollars for the construction of city services there.  Building up this unused land will create incremental tax revenue that can fund new transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    As an independent candidate with no ties to political parties or special interests you can be confident that I will be able to best represent Torontonians to make sure everyone gets a fair deal in these negotiations.  NDP candidates Paula Fletcher and Jane Farrow cannot be expected to deliver the same results because they are conflicted due to their support from labour unions.  I do however want to work with our unions to streamline service delivery, increase job satisfaction and provide competitive wages so that our public servants can be the envy of the world.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    The 300 acres of unused land at the Portland’s represent perhaps the best opportunity for P3s in this city.   I envision a city council that proactively works with the private sector to deliver the service that Torontonians need and doesn’t stand in the way of innovation in the name of ideology.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    I have canvassed a lot of this Ward and so many people I meet tell me that their top priority is public transit and traffic congestion. We need a long-term transit plan that looks 25-50 years to the future.  We need to have targets with minimum kms of new infrastructure built each year.  As an independent candidate with no ties to political parties or special interests I would prefer that transit planning was handled by experts and not City Council.  We need a TTC that runs efficiently, bike lanes that are connected throughout the city and properly planned construction that doesn’t jam up our roads constantly.  We need to be able to effectively move people to their jobs and goods to the businesses that employ those people.   As City Councillor I will work with fellow Councillors and staff to make sure that we have short term strategies to relieve congestion and long term strategies to ensure that we have the city that we envision and deserve.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 8 – York West

The Incumbent:

Anthony Perruzza

The Race

Councillor Anthony Perruzza only won by a few hundred votes in both the 2006 and 2010 municipal elections which is why we’re disappointed to note he has not responded to our survey. This year, he faces some unique local challengers. There is broad agreement to decrease taxes and find efficiencies in government. A couple of interesting ideas presented for subway financing and expansion.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Anthony Perruzza, Thomas Barclay, Suzanne Narain

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Against all tax increases
    Vescio, Antonio Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge St.
    Smitherman, Arthur 10% reduction across the board and deeper reduction for non-essential services. Cut the size of City Council. Do not cut community services or transit to poor areas.
    Vescio, Antonio Can not determine now but will do what is necessary to find savings.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes
    Vescio, Antonio Will consider once elected


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes and everything should be subject to 'open bidding'
    Vescio, Antonio Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes to reducing
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes to reducing and elimination
    Vescio, Antonio Yes to reducing


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess No response provided
    Smitherman, Arthur Cut taxes to lure jobs. Toronto Hydro rates should be in line with other municipalities and provinces.
    Vescio, Antonio Bring manufacturers to Toronto and increase the minimum wage.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Ask the people of the city what they want. Do not change the transit planning process. Move forward.
    Smitherman, Arthur City must be more aggressive with provincial and federal governments so they pay one-third each. Business Improvement Areas should voluntarily raise their property taxes to pay for subways. City should strategically locate subways near business and development.
    Vescio, Antonio (Unstated) Ideas regarding bus stops and shelters which will reduce congestion and help the environment.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Depends on the contract
    Smitherman, Arthur Unions need to be part of the solution. Cut out the grandstanding.
    Vescio, Antonio Will fight hard for the taxpayers


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes if it ensures employment.
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes, but it should be better defined as Common Sense and Corporate Social Responsibility. For example, subway stops at plazas and other types of business development. City Council must have a service-first mentality.
    Vescio, Antonio Will consider once elected


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Employment, particularly for youth in the summer months. Decrease red tape for small business.
    Smitherman, Arthur A subway line across Finch will mobilize labour, move traffic, and make vacant land prime for complex business development. The Jane and Finch corridor is an economically feasible subway line.
    Vescio, Antonio Increasing unemployment

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    As City Councillor of ward 8, I would most certainly like to see a cap on Property tax during my four years tenure. Especially for the seniors and low income families.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I believe it is not bad idea to take a look at contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Most definitely, it works for Brampton and I believe it can work for Toronto. Yes it would improve how Council operates.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I would support reducing it as it will help balance the books.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    No Response Provided.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    The people are the managers of us council, and in this case I would take to the people and hear what they want. The city is not about us but the people, we are only stewards of the people.

    I do not feel the need to change the current transit planning that is already in process, it is time to move forward.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    I cannot honestly answer that question, as it depends on what contract we will be negotiating for.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    If public-private partnership can ensure me that the citizens of Toronto are guaranteed employment on a diverse level, I would have no problem supporting it.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Employment. I plan to Seek Improvement of educational programs in order to be better qualified for employment and to work with the small business in the area to hire youth during the summer months. I also advocate to decrease the amount of red tape small business have to go through to operate business in the city of Toronto, The more business you can attract it would help to solve tax problem and unemployment.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    No.  I am against tax increases of any kind, unless it is through a BIA, [Corporation or other entity] and they agree to an increase voluntarily – in exchange for a good, or service.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Flat 10% reduction across the Board, and deeper reductions for non-essential services.  Kill the ‘sunshine lists’ and reduce the size of the City Council for 2018.  I would not cut community services and transit to the poor areas – part of the City’s problem is that resources have been misdirected in the City of Toronto for over 20 years.  We need to make investments in our human capital or poverty will drag down the middle class.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Yes.  See above.  It is too big to function.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes.  Everything should be subject to ‘open bidding’.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    It has to be reduced or, preferably eliminated.  It is hurting the economy of Toronto as tradesman are not as involved in construction projects as they should be.  Small businesses are precluded from speculating on small real estate deals and home renovations and resale deals, which are good for neighborhoods and economy.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Simple.  Cutting taxes will lure jobs.  Improve Toronto Hydro and get the rates on Hydro in line with other Provinces and Municipalities.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    The funding model needs to be changed.  The City needs to be more aggressive with the Province and the Federal Governments.  They need to pay one third each, or be sued by the City. ‘Social Engineering’ whereas Governments were taken to Court – was popular through the 30s, 40s, and 50s, multiculturalism has made it ‘politically incorrect’ to sue Government.  Local Business Investment Associations need to be socially responsible and voluntarily raise their property tax bills to fund subways; and so do businesses, developers and most importantly ‘plazas and similar developments’ ….need to step up to the plate.  At the same time the City needs to be more services orientated and locate subways where they will get a chunk of funding from the developers and businesses that stand to profit from subways – which is ‘substantial’.  This is only holding the parties to be ‘socially accountable’ and they profit anyways.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Negotiating is a science and the Unions need to be part of the solution.  One on one is a good start, rule out negotiating through the press and public and cut out the ‘grandstanding and posturing’ by both parties.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I don’t like that term.  I see it as ‘common sense’ that the City better facilitate ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’….. in fact, in order for the City to cut and reduce taxes it needs to ensure that Corporations get good value for their investment.  This is entirely responsible and locating subway stops at plazas and other business developments is a good example – where this kind of relationship can prosper.  It needs to be a win-win-win situation for Business, Taxpayers and the City.  City Council needs to work harder at having a ‘service first’ mentality and needs to accommodate this kind of relationship.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    We can change the economy and alleviate poverty in Ward 8 by getting a subway line across Finch.  It will mobilize the labor pool, get traffic to numerous large plazas, and make some vacant land prime for business complex development.  The Jane and Finch corridor might be the most economically feasible subway line in Toronto.  I will reach out to community influencers, reach out to elected officials and work with the party riding associations to lobby business and all levels of Government to work in the mutual interests of all residents, businesses and elected officials – to get a subway on Finch.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes, I do support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    At the moment I am not privy to the current city budget. However, once elected I will do whatever is necessary to find savings for the taxpayers.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    In order to answer this question I would have to be elected to determine whether to reduce the size of Toronto City Council.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes I do support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street, and regarding other services, I would have to investigate whether there are other services that would benefit the taxpayers.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I support reducing the Municipal Land Transfer Tax.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Bringing manufacturers to Toronto would create jobs and allow the minimum wage to increase, and in particular Ward 8 is in need of well-paying jobs.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Once elected I will make it a priority to review the current transit planning process, but I do have great ideas regarding bus stops and shelters which will reduce congestion and help the environment.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    I will fight hard for the taxpayers.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    My staff and I will review all materials concerning this issue once elected.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The increasing unemployment rate in Ward 8 is alarming and would certainly be one of, if not the top issue. This should have been addressed long ago and would most definitely be at the top of my list should I be elected.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 9 – York Centre

The Incumbent:

Maria Augimeri

The Race

In 2010, this was one of the most talked about races in the City with incumbent Councillor Maria Augimeri winning by 89 votes over her nearest challenger Gus Cusimano. In 2014, these opponents face off again with new local candidates. In a ward with many pensioners, there is wide support among candidates to cap property taxes and to find efficiencies in the City budget to keep taxes low. There has been neglect, and there must be improvement, on infrastructure and sewage system repairs. Some good ideas proposed for local job development.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Wilson Basantes, Anthony Fernando

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Will consider
    Cusimano, Gus Yes and move 25 points below inflation
    Hercules, Ances Yes
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Eliminate Scarborough subway property tax.
    Cusimano, Gus Line-by-line review of budget; zero-based budgeting; look for public-private partnerships; better purchasing between City, agencies, and boards.
    Hercules, Ances Cut unnecessary spending at City Hall and look for budget efficiencies.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Reducing the size of City Council; privatizing garbage east of Yonge St; and new labour negotiated deals.


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Yes
    Cusimano, Gus Yes
    Hercules, Ances No but endorses council term limits.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria No
    Cusimano, Gus Yes
    Hercules, Ances Yes
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria No unless public transit and public housing uploaded to province
    Cusimano, Gus Yes to phasing out tax
    Hercules, Ances Yes to elimination
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Yes to reducing and modifying the tax


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Policies can help indirectly stimulate local economic activity and growth. Cancelling Scarborough subway tax will put more money in people's pockets.
    Cusimano, Gus Building subways and a new convention centre would create direct jobs in construction and hospitality. Re-development of Toronto Community Housing would create new jobs. Expansion of Billy Bishop Airport for more business and tourism.
    Hercules, Ances Policies to support more foreign investment in Toronto, reduce red tape, and equal property tax on local business.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny City should work with small business to create jobs for youth.


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Put more money into existing operations such as buses. Don't cancel fully-planned fully-funded transit plans so expansion can start earlier.
    Cusimano, Gus Use public-private partnerships as a revenue tool to expand subway network. Development over subways would increase development charges and realty taxes as another tool.
    Hercules, Ances Supports Scarborough subway but build Light-Rapid Transit (LRTs) because they have a lower budget, better services, and will best serve local business.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Revenue tools could come from a reformed land transfer tax and development charges. More money from provincial and federal governments.


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria The City must adhere to provincial and federal labour laws which will dictate the negotiation process.
    Cusimano, Gus Allow everyone to bid including efficient organizations that are currently excluded from bidding process. City should work in partnership with the unions and let them see the books to propose ideas in the negotiating process.
    Hercules, Ances Along with Council staff I will encourage negotiations deals that are fair to all workers, cost effective and fair to the citizens of Toronto.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Negotiating team needs to be transparent and fair. Eliminate roadblocks so the process is more efficient.


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria P3s "aren't on constituents' minds" but the new hospital in Downsview is an example of a P3 that works.
    Cusimano, Gus Yes, in public transit, TCHC, and infrastructure such as water works. Could also include union pension funds.
    Hercules, Ances Did not provide an answer to this question.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Yes, for projects such as roads and sewers, transit systems, and affordable housing.


  • Candidate Response
    Augimeri, Maria Scarborough subway tax.
    Cusimano, Gus Funds need to be invested and fairly applied to the ward due to the severe damage caused by sewer damage. Ward is now considered a priority neighbourhood due to missed opportunities with local development and lack of local consultation with community.
    Hercules, Ances Youth unemployment, senior services, affordable programs for our children and regular area maintenance. However, the top issue right now is Downsview Park.  With me as your City Councillor I will stand for an equailibrium of our Green space. I believe a balanced plan including some development would be a great investment for our community; while still keeping most of our park Green.
    Quattrociocchi, Danny Upgrading infrastructure and sewage system especially after damange from floods. Higher density projects in the ward also requires updated infrastructure.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    I support the elimination of the 30-year Scarborough subway tax. My residents are incensed that this property tax hike tax was slipped through to build an unnecessary subway in Scarborough, when the Downsview subway extension in my ward was built without any extra property tax levy. Removing this levy would allow for an honest discussion about property tax tied to inflation rates. However it is an elephant in the room in that discussion.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Eliminating the 30-year Scarborough subway tax will put 1 billion dollars back into taxpayer pockets.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I have always been in favour of decreasing the size of City Council.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    We need a check and balance on contracted out services to maintain a competitive environment. Contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge St. may provide a short-term gain, but can prove expensive for taxpayers in the long-run. When a public service is contracted out, and the ability to provide that service is eliminated (sell off all trucks, depots, etc) the government then becomes vulnerable to private contractor price gouging as the ability to bring the service back in-house is virtually impossible without incurring a huge up-front initiation cost. Not wanting to incur these costs or have the difficult conversation, Cities tend to be at the mercy of private contractors. Having half the City’s collection serviced publicly will keep the private collectors honest and costs down. The end goal is to keep the costs down and I believe that is the best way.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I initially voted against the Land Transfer Tax.  I did this because I really believed that the Provincial Government would do its job and begin to un-do the disaster that Premier Mike Harris wrought upon the City of Toronto.  His government stuck the City with all the costs for public transit and public housing– both of which we cannot afford.  Due to the downloaded costs– which are only here in Ontario because nowhere else in the world do municipalities pick up all costs for public housing and public transit, we, as a municipality continue to suffer.  Our residents should not be saddled with costs that are not rightly borne by property taxpayers– public housing and public transit.  Until these items are taken back by the Province, the Municipal Land Transfer Tax cannot be reconsidered.  There is no other way to pay for the additional responsibilities the Harris government imposed on Toronto. The City manager is in agreement with this fact.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Toronto has little power to directly create jobs. However our policies can help indirectly stimulate local economic activity and growth. Eliminating the 30-year Scarborough Subway tax will put more money in people’s pockets, and stimulate the local economy and help job creation.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Easing congestion can be immediately established through expanding existing service. Funding a project that is almost decade away with a tax that is 30-years long is the wrong way to get people moving today. Putting more into operations, such as buses, is the best bang for the buck albeit not as much of an exciting solution. Not canceling existing fully-planned, fully-funded, shovel ready plans is the best way to get another expansion project started today. Pandering to a Scarborugh electorate to deliver a subway that will provide less service with a massive tax hike has only proven to delay meaningful transit expansion in that area.   The subway that is being built in Downsview today was voted on almost 30 years ago.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    I’m not a labour negotiator. If both sides feel they can reach a fair deal, I support that. Canadian labour laws and Provincial labour laws dictate the negotiation process.  The City must adhere to provincial and federal laws.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    P3′s aren’t on my constituents’ minds as much as the 30-Year Scarborough Subway Tax. They are furious about the “transit levy” they now have to pay, that will triple in 3 years and last for 30 years to pay for an unnecessary subway that they will never use, and serve less people than the original plan.   However, to answer your question more directly, I have been an active supporter and partner in the P3 project in Downsview.  The largest hospital in the City is currently being built on Wilson Avenue with my approval and support.  It is the type of P3 model that works for all concerned.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The top tax issue for my residents is the 30-year Scarborough subway tax. I have held half a dozen community meetings on this issue and have hundreds of petitioners who are frustrated at the fragile vote, led by some which approved the Tax. With respect, for your survey to omit this issue would render it irrelevant to my constituents, hence the answers I have crafted for you here

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes, however my goal would be at 25 basis points below inflation, because under David Miller the budget increases exceeded inflation.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I would search for duplication in the system and end duplication. Line by line review of the budget, zero based budgeting, look for private public partnerships. We can do better purchasing between the City and its agencies and boards.  It will be easier to find savings once one is in power.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    YES. To 22 councilors plus the Mayor.  Yes it would allow for better and efficient decision making.    It would save money

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes, provided it gives the tax payer a better deal.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I would phase it out by raising the limit where it becomes payable.  We can increase the lower limit by $100,000 per year for 5 years and then review it.  This would eliminate the tax on the majority of house purchases in Toronto.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Built subways which creates good paying long term direct jobs.  Which in turn brings construction jobs to those areas where the subways would be built.  We have to build a Convention Centre which would bring good paying construction jobs and hospitality jobs.  I would vote in favor of the expansion of Billy Bishop Airport allowing for more business and tourists to come to Toronto.  I would redevelop Toronto Community Housing which would also create construction jobs, provide better housing and reduced repairs to those living in TCHC.  This would save money in the long run.  We should provide local business with incentives to hiring our youth.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Talk is cheap, we have to get on with building subways, if we built 1km per year starting 30 years ago, we would have had a better transit system.  I would encourage public private partnerships, naming rights to subway stations, we could sell off air rights over subway stations.  Development over subways would increase development charges and realty taxes.  This would provide for more people using subways as opposed to roads because it would be easy to go from home to work on the subway.  We should avoid another St. Clair Avenue disaster, cost overruns, congestion, unsightly ride of ways.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Open up a bidding process to allow everyone to bid including efficient organizations such as LIANA which are currently excluded from bidding on City jobs.  We have to tell the City Unions that we have to hold the line on increases because the City is stretched financially.  Let the Unions see the books and let them propose ideas as well.   Work as a partnership, obviously we can’t spend what we don’t have.  Make them part of the process.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes in public transit, TCHC, infrastructure such as water works.  P3s could also include union pension funds and the unions themselves.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Representation, there is no leadership, hundreds of residents suffered sewer backup up and the local councillor could have applied for relief funds from the Provincial government which she did not.    We don’t have infrastructure that should have been place years ago.  The area is now considered a priority neighbourhood, it should have been if investment (tax dollars) were invested in the community.  Missed opportunities such as Downsview Park where the current councillor allowed density in Stanley Green to more than double.  I would work with the community to avoid the poor re-development that the current councillor allowed without community involvement on Wilson Avenue.  We have to have smart development with consultation with the community instead of behind closed doors.

    Crime is an issued, we need more police presence.

    I would stand up for our community insisting that funds are invested in our community.  I would work with other levels of government to try to bring jobs to our area.

    I am going to be a strong advocate for Downsview by working with the Mayor, other levels of government and council to make sure that our area gets the funds and attention that it deserves including improving infrastructure.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes, I support a property tax cap. This will give homeowners some control of their expenses while encouraging new business investments.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Finding savings in our city budget is first cutting unnecessary spending at City Hall and looking for efficiencys within the budget.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I do not support reducing council. I would rather endorse councillor term limitations. Most would agree that a city councillor is a great public service work and shouldn’t be a lifetime career. We need new councillors with fresh ideas and outlooks to solutions effecting ward residents and Toronto as a whole.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I will support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge. This was a great success west of Yonge. It is cost effective and saving taxpayers money is what makes the most sense for me.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I will advocate in eliminating the Land Transfer Tax which is and has been unfair to Toronto home buyers. Of course we will have to find revenue to replace this tax.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Thousands of jobs can be created in Toronto with the support for more foreign investments, the reduction of red tape and equal property tax on local businesses.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    The Scarborough subway has my support however, Torontorians have demanded for better transportation service for a long time and want it now. LRTs has shown for greater efficiency and reliability in cutting a substantial amount of commute time connecting routes, esspecially to and from the downtown core and Pearson International Airport. They require less time to built, has a lower budget ( saving tax payers more) and better service. This will serve best for our local buisnesses when it comes to advertising and will create thousands of jobs in Toronto. With better transportation, Toronto will gain recognition as a world class transit city.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Along with Council staff I will encourage negotiations deals that are fair to all workers, cost effective and fair to the citizens of Toronto.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Did not provide answer.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    There are many issues effecting my ward at this time like youth unemployment, senior services, affordable programs for our children and regular area maintenance. However, the top issue right now is Downsview Park. Many in the community would rather keep Downsview park green while some residents would like to see something done with part of our open Green space. With me as your City Councillor I will stand for an equailibrium of our Green space. I believe a balanced plan including some development would be a great investment for our community; while still keeping most of our park Green.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    I do support a property tax cap at no greater than the rate of inflation.  There are many families trying to make ends meet.  There is a growing senior population and many rely on a single pension to get by.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    We have to be careful in how we find savings in the current city budget.  If you take away too much, some services will suffer and or diminish.  Some savings can be found by reducing the size of City Council.  Privatizing garbage collection east of Yonge will bring additional savings.  Also, new labour negotiations should result in savings as well.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I do believe in reducing the size of Toronto City Council.  There are too many Councillors and making decisions is taking too much time.  We need a lean and efficient Council that will get down to business for the good of Toronto.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I do support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street.  I live west of Yonge Street and am happy with contracting out garbage.  There have been some hiccups, but overall the service is good.  We don’t have to worry about garbage strikes!

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I believe the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is a revenue source that the City needs.  I do believe it is too high at this point.  I support modifying the tax and reducing it.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    My platform talks about working with small business to create jobs for our youth.  After all, small business is the backbone of our economy.  When our youth have jobs, they earn money that can further their education and one day buy a home.

    Furthermore, if we can stop the bickering at City Hall and get a transit plan approved, whether subways or LRTs, will create jobs for the next two decade.  Better transportation and less congestion will bring in more investment into the City, which will create jobs.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    I believe we can fund new transit projects by asking for money from both the Federal and Provincial Governments.  Toronto is the economic engine of Canada and we deserve to get these funds.  Some money can also come from a reformed land transfer tax as well as from development charges.

    The current transit planning process has not worked.  We continue wasting time with all the bickering at City Hall.  What we need is a new position that will head this process.  This position will oversee the transit planning process and report back to City Council.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    The advice I would give the city’s negotiating team is to be transparent and fair.  The bottom line is that in the end, you want both sides to be happy.  We need to work together to eliminate road blocks and make the process more efficient.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I believe there are opportunities for public-private partnerships.  In many cases, the private sector offers more expertise and efficiencies.  P3s can be utilized for infrastructure projects such as roads and sewers, transit systems, and building affordable housing.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    There are many issues affecting Ward 9 and they are all equally important.  I would say that our infrastructure, specifically sewer capacity, needs to be upgraded.  I hear over and over again from my constituents about how their basements have flooded, or backyards damaged from water flow, resulting in an increase in their home insurance rates.  Some homeowners can’t even get flood insurance.

    The new Humber River Regional Hospital, proposed residential development at Downsview Park, as well as other high density projects in Ward 9 will put severe pressure on our infrastructure.

    As Councillor, I will work with City Planners and Developers to ensure sewers are upgraded before future residential growth is approved.  We cannot allow growth without improving our aging infrastructure.  I propose that development charges be increased to help fund the upgrades.

    Lastly, I will visit with homeowners and listen to their concerns regarding flooding.  We need to prioritize high risk areas and devote the appropriate resources to address these problems.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 22 – St. Paul’s

The Incumbent:

Josh Matlow

The Race

Unfortunately, none of the four candidates participating in this race chose to submit a survey response including incumbent Councillor Josh Matlow. It would have been beneficial for voters to know where they stand on issues. That being said, Councillor Matlow was comfortably elected in 2010. Without a high-profile challenger, we expect that to happen again this year.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Josh Matlow, Sarfraz Khan, Bob Murphy, James O’Shaughnessy.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 21 – St. Paul’s

The Incumbent:

Joe Mihevc

The Race

For the past couple of municipal elections, incumbent Councillor Joe Mihevc was handily elected to City Hall by the residents of Ward 21. Despite this, the Councillor chose not to respond to our survey. The challengers who did respond broadly agreed to halt rising taxes and cut the size of City Council. Interesting to note is a proposal to explore public-private partnerships to expand the subway network.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Joe Mihevc, Rosina Bonavota

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Will consider
    Licursi, Cos Yes and it should be reduced to below rate of inflation


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Savings that is reasonable with the priorities of taxpayers
    Licursi, Cos Train staff to work smarter, not harder. Change philosophy of 'spend it, or lose it' to 'save money, earn money.'


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Yes
    Licursi, Cos Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Will consider
    Licursi, Cos Yes and it is also worth looking into park maintenance.


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Yes to phasing out
    Licursi, Cos Yes to phasing out over ten years


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Joint agreement creating jobs and sharing labour costs with federal and provincial governments.
    Licursi, Cos Expedite permits for business. Small property tax break for businesses that create job.


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted Co-ordinating departments to relieve traffic congestion and drive-safe neighbourhoods.
    Licursi, Cos Build subways, not LRTs because Toronto has been effective at building subways. Federal and provincial governments need to help pay for subways.


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted All sides should focus on interests of taxpayers.
    Licursi, Cos Negotiate on a case-by-case basis and negotiate different terms that may not have to be a pay raise. Both sides must feel comfortable.


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted There could be opportunity for these investments.
    Licursi, Cos Small shopping malls next to subway stations. Private advertising and store fronts in transit stations.


  • Candidate Response
    Bustamante, Ted As Councillor, the constituents and I will be more informed, more engaged, and build a community, a connected Ward 21 with good governance in our lives, for the everyday taxpayer
    Licursi, Cos Parking, taxes, and reducing traffic. Fill empty store fronts on St. Clair West. More parking spaces for small business. Stall increasing property taxes.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    To make this work, a comprehensive review needs to be in place and that all costs are included within this proposed property tax cap. Secondly, communicate an accountable and transparent “proposed property tax cap” report for all Toronto taxpayers to review. Thirdly, once all taxpayers of Toronto have reviewed this report, then after, a city vote is to be announced for the Toronto taxpayers.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Advocate savings that is reasonable with the priorities of taxpayers  across the city.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    The city can reduce the size of council. I believe if you do a great job at council for Toronto taxpayers, then the council can operate.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I believe there are improvements and we can work and discuss a better deal that’s beneficial for the city and taxpayers.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Phasing out Municipal Land Transfer Tax.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Create job programs and share the labor costs with Federal/Provincial governments and businesses for each skilled and experienced unemployed individual. This joint agreement on creating job programs and sharing labor cost can significantly drop the unemployment rate and improve the local city economy.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    To ease congestion, I would plan ahead and co-ordinate with Toronto taxpayers and those city departments on delivering an all-day stress-free traffic congestion and deliver drive-safe neighbourhoods for each resident and their families. The current transit planning is a process and collectively we can improve stronger efficiencies.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    From all sides of the upcoming negotiating teams: focus on the interest of Toronto’s taxpaying young and old residents and their families.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    There is an opportunity for an investment providing benefits for the City of Toronto economy and the Toronto taxpayer.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    As Councillor, the constituents and I will be more informed, more engaged, and build a community, a connected Ward 21 with good governance in our lives, for the everyday taxpayer.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    No I do not support any tax hikes period.  The rate of inflation has become a campaign slogan for every mayoral candidate this year.  I disagree with it completely.  Inflation is not something we need to measure our tax rates by.  Taxpayers do not have more disposal income every year that reflects the rate of inflation.  To increase taxes to match that is a double blow to our constituents.  Considering property tax is based on MPAC’s assessment, and as of 2012 MPAC valued Toronto properties with an average 17% increase, our taxes have gone up before the budget committee even sits.  Toronto has a record number of condominiums going up, meaning that an address that was generating tens of thousands of dollars in property tax now receives hundreds of thousands of property taxes.  Population growth should mean more revenue in taxes.  The more people sharing the same roads, police, fire and services should reduce the costs of those services for each contributor.  I think property taxes should go down as population increases.  This is the logic of people grouping together in cities to spend less on shared services.  To compare us to smaller cities with spread out populations does not work.  So in short I do not agree with taxes being raised at the rate of inflation, I believe property taxes can and should be reduced.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    I come from a business background and in those businesses raising our prices is not an option.  In order to be profitable we have had to find efficiencies in places we did not know there were.  I do not believe we need to lay off anyone that is not the solution this city needs.  We need to incorporate such philosophies such as Lean Six Sigma and begin training our city staff to work smarter not harder.  We need to give incentives to those same people to save money.  The whole philosophy of spend it or lose it must be broken and a new mantra of save money earn money must be ingrained in our managers and employees.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I absolutely support reducing the size of city council.  I think the biggest challenge councilors face is the size of council.  To have to go through 44 opinions on the most basic of matters hampers the ability of council to effectively get their job done.  If each person takes just 2 minutes to voice an opinion a minor variance will take 88 minutes to be debated.  Considering the size of this city we need to reduce the amount of councilors and allow them to do their job more efficiently

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    I feel contracting out garbage has been a huge success.  There are some services we should never contract out such as paramedics, Fire and Police services.  However, it would be worth looking into other servies such as park maintenance.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    I think the land transfer tax is a very dangerous tax for the city of Toronto.  Right now we are experiencing a boom in real estate.  People are buying new addresses and older homes in record numbers.  If we rely on this tax what happens when we don’t sell as many houses.  Will this create a huge hole in the budget that we must scramble to fill?  I believe phasing out the land transfer tax over the course of ten years would be the most effective way of removing it.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    In order to create jobs we must support our businesses.  This means expediting permits for those businesses to build and grow.  I would also like to reward businesses that create jobs.  This could be done with a small property tax break.  Currently we encourage buildings to stay empty by giving them a rebate on their property tax.   We need to encourage by giving them a rebate to fill those addresses with real businesses not dust.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Shovels in the ground are the best way to build transit.  We need to stop planning and start digging.  We are a world class city and need world class transportation of the future not the past.  This means subways in favour of LRT’s.  We need to build subways one station at a time.  We need to get the federal and provincial governments to help us pay for these subways.  Toronto has always been effective at planning subways it’s time to start building subways.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    A negotiation is a give and take process.  We need to work with all labour unions and get to a place we both feel comfortable.  I firmly believe labour unions members understands the fiscal situation we are in and are willing to work with us.  We cannot spend money we do not have anymore.  We also have to keep our workers happy.  This does not always mean a pay raise, perhaps more vacation days or job security could make the difference to the unions.  This is something that has to be done on a case by case basis and must be fair to all unions and the tax payers.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    There are always opportunities for P3’s in every aspect of the city.  I would love to see a joint venture to build a subway station that incorporates a small shopping mall.  I’m sure there are many private companies that would gladly help pay for our subways in exchange for advertising and store fronts within our stations.  I see too many buses with empty advertising slots.  This tells me that we are losing revenue every day.  Perhaps a private company could fill those slots for us if our internal company can not.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The top issues for my residents are parking, taxes and reducing traffic.  St Clair has gone through a big transformation over the last ten years and is suffering from it.  We need to fill the store fronts that are empty with quality tenants.  We need to find places for cars to park so residents and visitors can leave their vehicles safe and ticket free.  Property taxes are increasing at alarming rates in our ward.  Homes that people purchased decades ago are now worth many times over their initial investment.  This is great for someone selling their house but for someone who is keeping their home it creates a terrible burden they could not have foreseen.  Even necessities such as water are getting to be unaffordable.  We must start to give relief to our tax payers and stop treating them like an ATM.

2014 City Council Election: Ward 29 – Toronto-Danforth

The Incumbent:

Mary Fragedakis

The Race

Overall, the Ward 29 candidates that participated in our survey agree that Council should look at ways for property taxes to be less of a burden on residents with either freezing them, aligning increases to inflation, or relying less on property taxes for City revenue.  As in other Wards, candidates in Ward 29 suggest eliminating duplication in departments.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate:  Ricardo Francis, Hank Martyn

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Yes
    Fragedakis, Mary Will consider
    Papadakis, John Yes
    Vlachos, Jimmy Will advocate for a freeze.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Remove duplication in City's ABC's.
    Fragedakis, Mary Build LRT instead of Subway in Scarborough. We always need to be exploring ways to save money including ideas like better quality asphalt or only using paid duty officers where they are needed.
    Papadakis, John Elimination of duplication of services by departments, amalgamation of purchasing departments, strict enforcements of “performance bonds”  by contractors, reduction of consultants, re-deployment of staff for more efficient delivery of services. Demand uploading back to the provincial government of housing and other areas. Conduct a review of middle and upper management staffing.
    Vlachos, Jimmy Need to aggressively pay the debt. Police services and TTC are the top two expenses.  Finding ways to reduce costs while not reducing services is key.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave No decision at this time.
    Fragedakis, Mary No
    Papadakis, John No
    Vlachos, Jimmy No


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Yes – will consider contracting out other services.
    Fragedakis, Mary No
    Papadakis, John  Yes – will also consider Wheel Trans system.
    Vlachos, Jimmy  No


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Yes – reduce
    Fragedakis, Mary No
    Papadakis, John Yes – eliminate
    Vlachos, Jimmy Yes – reduce


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Reduce barriers to success for small business owners/entrepreneurs and implement a youth employment strategy.
    Fragedakis, Mary Improving public transit, continuing to provide quality city services, like good public libraries, parks & recreation programs, childcare, public health & environmental protection programs, etc.
    Papadakis, John Take complete control of Hydro which includes power generation and the independent ability to buy cheap hydro from other Provinces and States. Reduce red tape for business with the city bureaucracy.  Promote and support the film industry that have created thousands of jobs and can create many more.
    Vlachos, Jimmy Creation of relief lines and additional transit, to fixing the Gardiner Express way and addressing Toronto Community Housing Corps Billion dollar backlog of repairs, will create opportunities.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Need a plan that provides instant relief of congestion along the Bloor/Danforth Line.
    Fragedakis, Mary Funding new public transit infrastructure on property taxes is not a wise long term plan. We need to look at how other major cities operate including major American cities. Transit planning must be ongoing and improve interagency & intermodal collaboration.
    Papadakis, John Legislated sustained funding from Provincial and Federal Governments. Toronto must have RELEVANT portions of gas taxes, land transfer taxes, infrastructure funding Provincial offences fines, clean air fees, and more.
    Vlachos, Jimmy The money to do the work necessary to get our city back on track already exists we are simply spending it incorrectly. Stop the infighting, relocate funds for continued expansion and get the Province on board, these are my priorities regarding transit.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave It is critical to focus on the overall outcome and ensure that the negotiation process is done efficiently and effectively.
    Fragedakis, Mary  "A key to a successful relationship is respect and integrity. This is what businesses understand and use as a guiding principle in their negotiations and labour relations."
    Papadakis, John Be reasonable, realistic and firm, things have changed.  If we work together everyone can benefit, if not, city staff First responsibility is to the taxpayer.
    Vlachos, Jimmy Our labour unions and negotiation team need to find common ground. Finding the balance between both parties wants is the only way to move forward together.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Yes, redevelopment of public facilities can be done in partnership with private entities.
    Fragedakis, Mary In general, public private partnerships can work quite well. A good example of that are the Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in my ward which I have worked with on many projects to improve our local community.
    Papadakis, John Yes, everywhere except water and transit.  I am working on a P3 proposal with a bus manufacturing company.
    Vlachos, Jimmy I think public-private partnerships will play an increasing roll in city services and development.  Working with the private sector in fields such as city maintenance and repair, construction and revitalization, travel and tourism development will be important to our city's growth. As a candidate with real world experience in business and negotiations I look forward to playing a role in our city's exiting future.


  • Candidate Response
    Andre, Dave Transit. My focus would be to find a reliable and functional strategy to transit, which would yield fast relief and be affordable, which is why having a relief line delivered in seven years is a viable solution.
    Fragedakis, Mary Transit and protecting and strengthening liveable neighbourhoods. Safer streets, improving parks & green spaces, healthcare, childcare, dynamic libraries, good jobs, housing costs and affordable recreation programs are all a part of the mix.
    Vlachos, Jimmy More public benches along Danforth Ave and extending free parking to 2 pm on Sundays so church goers can stay in the area and chat with friends. Affordable housing and Transit come up most often along with bringing an end to party politics and inaction at city hall.

 

The full responses

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    We need to cap the revenue associated with this tax immediately and move towards a phase-out.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    There is a lot of overlap ABCs funded by the City and it’s own internal divisional services.  An example is TCH specific funding and what the City is doing on safety and security. I would ensure that were are not double funding certain services and see how we can effectively support ABCs with internal City Services.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    I have not yet formulated a position on the current effective size of your Council.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes. There are many other services that can and should be reviewed to give taxpayers the best possible deal. However, before making any decision on contracting out a service it is imperative to see the total cause and affect of any decision and measure it’s true cost savings.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    In order to have sustainable levels of services, they need to be connected to sustainable sources of funding which the MLTT is not. The city cannot forgo the $300 million in annual revenue in one stroke but needs to reduce its dependency on this revenue source. Middle class families across the city who had to pay $6000 on their new $500,000 home in Toronto at a time they could least afford. We need to look on how those funds are spent and see where efficiencies can be captured.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    We have a responsibility to individuals that are currently employed and to prospective employees are both provided the education, training, and skills they need to maintain or gain employment in Toronto. My approach would be to reduce barriers to success for small business owners/entrepreneurs and implement a youth employment strategy.

    Small Business: The businesses along the Danforth, Pape, and Broadview are what keep the community thriving and attracting visitors from different parts of the city. I will prioritize investment and protection of small businesses while advocating for greater benefits for small businesses, thus allowing for more employment opportunities with better wages. “Thriving businesses result in a thriving workforce.”

    Youth Employment: Connect youth with employers and ensure that they have access to the right training programs that will be beneficial to their future jobs/careers.  Youth Unemployment is above twenty percent which is unacceptable for a city such as Toronto, therefore, I stress the importance of supporting small businesses and reducing taxes for entrepreneurs.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    In order to keep public transit affordable and accessible we need a plan that provides instant relief of congestion along the Bloor/Danforth Line. My position is based on a simple premise “lower commute times will result in more affordable and accessible public transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    The approach must be one that builds consensus.  My advice would be that it is critical to focus on the overall outcome and ensure that the negotiation process is done efficiently and effectively.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes, redevelopment of public facilities can be done in partnership with private entities. Here TCH has led the way with the revitalization of four major communities over the last six years. We can learn and expand from this example of a strong public-private partnership.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    The topic issue in Ward 29 is transit.  Public transit in Toronto needs to be accessible and affordable for everyone who relies on its use.  My focus would be to find a reliable and functional strategy to transit, which would yield fast relief and be affordable, which is why having a relief line delivered in seven years is a viable solution.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    There is merit in keeping property taxes in line with inflation. In Toronto, property taxes make up too large a percent of the City’s revenue. Most major American cities depend on property taxes for about 20% of City revenues whereas for Toronto that figure is about 39%. We need to explore some of the revenue tools they use and begin to shift the emphasis off of property taxes because that, especially when combined with market value assessment, can create some precarious situations. The goal of this shift is not to increase taxes but to make them fairer.

    We also need to realize that quality city services are a critical investment in the economic success of our city. As many know, the Toronto Board of Trade estimates that congestion costs our local economy $6 billion a year in lost productivity. I agree with them that investing in public transit infrastructure is the key to addressing that problem. The federal and provincial governments also need to pay their share of those costs.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    We could save about a billion dollars by sticking with the current plan for expanding rapid transit in Scarborough and not switching to the 3 stop subway extension.

    We always need to be exploring ways to save money including ideas like better quality asphalt or only using paid duty officers where they are needed. However, it is always important to avoid the pitfall of being penny wise and pound foolish. Back in December 2011, I argued against cuts to the City’s tree pruning budget. Unfortunately, we proceeded with those cuts and paid for that decision multifold during the ice storm.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    If we reduced the size of Council, Torontonians would just have less access to their City Councillor. Fewer City Councillors would give the average resident less of a say in the affairs of the City. As well, Councillors are like the complaints department. If there are too few then residents’ complaints are less likely to get addressed.

    I believe wards should be about half the size of federal ridings. Currently, there is an independent study being conducted of new ward boundaries that will also review ward size. This process will include a public consultation and I am interested in hearing directly from the residents of Ward 29 on this matter.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    About 75% of Toronto’s garbage collection is in private hands – when you include condos, apartment buildings and commercial properties. Many jurisdictions have run into trouble with predatory pricing when they no longer have any capacity to do garbage collection. We would need to consider this and environmental issues and proceed with caution when considering any changes.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    There are two general principles I bring to bear in understanding tax policy. Taxes need to be fair and their impact must be carefully thought through to mitigate unintended consequences. Consider our federal and provincial income tax regimes. They are by and large progressive in that they are based on a person’s ability to pay. We need to bring that principle to bear on our municipal tax regime. Most major American cities have a more diverse revenue stream than Toronto. We need to begin to move to adapt that model and decrease the burden on property taxes.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    We must take direct action, like attracting businesses to Toronto, and create the conditions for a strong local economy.

    The latter involves improving public transit, continuing to provide quality city services, like good public libraries, parks & recreation programs, childcare, public health & environmental protection programs, etc. In 2011, Toronto was ranked second best city in the world in an annual report of the top 26 “Cities of Opportunity” by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Only New York City was ranked higher. If you read that report, they stressed that one of the areas that Toronto did so well in was health, safety and security. There is no doubt that quality City services are why Toronto ranked so high.

    Business incubation programs, Enterprise Toronto and Invest Toronto all do important work strengthening and attracting businesses to Toronto. As someone who started their own business from scratch over 10 years ago and as a member of the Toronto Board of Trade, I was able to truly appreciate how much Enterprise Toronto helps businesses in Toronto. As our federal government seems to withdraw from its traditional role of helping match up job seekers and employers, the City needs to continue to support programs and agencies that do that.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Funding new public transit infrastructure on property taxes is not a wise long term plan. We need to look at how other major cities operate including major American cities. Philadelphia, for example, has a small but helpful tax on people who work in Philadelphia but live elsewhere. New York has a payroll tax between 0.1 and 0.34 percent and a sales tax of 0.375 percent. Again, the federal and provincial governments also need to pay their share of those costs.

    Yes, the current transit planning process must be changed. We need a greater emphasis on innovation and collaboration. We must stop doing transit planning on a piecemeal and intermittent basis. It must be ongoing and improve interagency & intermodal collaboration. That is why I am pleased City Council passed a motion of mine to look into the feasibility of establishing an ongoing forum for discussing transit planning that would have GO, Metrolinx, City Planning, the TTC, transit groups like Transport Action Ontario (the key group advocating electrifying GO) and interested residents with a focus on innovation and collaboration.

    This new approach would mean we are always working to improve public transit. It would mean when we have a debate on building new rapid transit lines we would have better information to base our decision on. This should be funded through a program like the National Research Council. As it will lead to better public transit and thus reduce congestion on our roads, it would be a wise investment especially given how much we spend to operate public transit and how much new rapid transit lines cost to build.

    The Toronto Board of Trade says transportation congestion costs our city’s economy about $6 billion in lost productivity. I agree with the Board of Trade that we need more public transit infrastructure in order to fix this problem. We also need new cycling infrastructure – bikes take up a lot less room than cars – and to make our city more walkable. To help everyone get around, we have to take better care of our roads and sidewalks including better quality repairs and resurfacing, better coordination of the work done on them and tighter controls on how they’re closed for construction work on adjacent properties.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Labour negotiations and labour relations are always important. A key to a successful relationship is respect and integrity. This is what businesses understand and use as a guiding principle in their negotiations and labour relations.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    In general, public private partnerships can work quite well. A good example of that are the Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in my ward which I have worked with on many projects to improve our local community.

    ‘P3’ though is often used to denote a specific type of public-private partnership. For example the cancelled gas plants were P3s and taxpayers ended up on the hook for a billion dollars for gas plants that were never built. So, I think we need to proceed with extreme caution on that type of public-private partnership.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    Transit, which I discuss above, and protecting and strengthening liveable neighbourhoods are the top issues in my ward. Ward 29 has many wonderful, dynamic, family friendly neighbourhoods.

    Safer streets, improving parks & green spaces, healthcare, childcare, dynamic libraries, good jobs, housing costs and affordable recreation programs are all a part of the mix. Seniors and young families are the two fastest growing demographics in ward 29 and these problems are even more acute for these residents.

    Toronto is great city but success can create problems like overdevelopment and affordability issues. I have had success using community consultation and mediation in addressing development issues. Unfortunately, the Ontario Municipal Board has created an environment that greatly limits the input of residents, City Planning staff and Councillors alike from the planning process.
    Alas, our success is not shared by all. For many Torontonians, these problems are quite stark and require more vigorous solutions.
    Addressing this multi-faceted issue requires helping residents navigate the system and when necessary working to change it.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    Yes,

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    Elimination of duplication of services by departments, amalgamation of purchasing departments, strict enforcements of “performance bonds”  by contractors, reduction of consultants, re-deployment of staff for more efficient delivery of services. Demand uploading back to the provincial government of housing and other areas. Conduct a review of middle and upper management staffing.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    Only if the people of Toronto receive some form of compensation and the city council receives more powers.  To reduce democratic representation to the same level of federal and provincial without some “giveback “  will be harmful to Toronto in the long run and will lessen our negotiation powers with other levels of government.  The current system is dysfunctional, I intend to develop a system that has more powers for the mayor and will permit a system similar to that of Vancouver and Montreal.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    Yes,  I would like to review the wheel trans system and believe that the taxi industry may be able to deliver this service far more efficiently, as for other services I am always interested to find more efficient and cost effective service delivery.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    Totally!  Elimination and will make demands of the province of Ontario that Toronto receives a proportion of the original land transfer from the provincial government or eliminate it outright.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    Since it has fallen on Toronto to yet again take on the responsibilities of the other levels of government on jobs, I intent to; a) take complete control of Hydro which includes power generation and the independent ability to buy cheap hydro from other Provinces and States. Ontario and Toronto prospered all these decades because our forefathers had the foresight to provide cheap hydro, this attracted manufacturing and jobs; we need to return to this mindset cheap hydro = JOBS!   Reduce red tape for business with the city bureaucracy.  Promote and support the film industry that have created thousands of jobs and can create many more. Make Toronto the financial, film and technology center of Canada. Improve tourism.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    Yes!

    Toronto needs a new deal with the provincial and federal governments on legislated sustained funding.  Many countries around the world fund transit directly to the municipalities. Transit and cites are the economic engines of a country, we have an 18th century system of taxation and a 21st century costs.  Toronto must have RELEVANT portions of gas taxes, land transfer taxes, infrastructure funding Provincial offences fines, clean air fees, and more.  Failing this Toronto must review its relationship with the province of Ontario. NO NEW TAXES! NO TOLLS!

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Be reasonable, realistic and firm, things have changed.  If we work together everyone can benefit, if not, city staff First responsibility is to the taxpayer.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    Yes, everywhere except water and transit.  I am working on a P3 proposal with a bus manufacturing company.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    No Response Given.

  • 1. Do you support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation?

    I support and will advocate for a property tax freeze.  Since 2006 property taxes have increase an average 2.41% each year.  The increases have come at a time when the city has seen a spike in real estate values which directly affect property tax assessment. In the past 8 years my district, Ward 29 has seen property values double. As the value of a property increase so do the taxes. It’s high time home owners, especially fixed income home owners receive a break from property tax increases.

    2. Where, specifically, do you advocate finding savings in the current city budget?

    The city needs to be more efficient in it’s day to day activities. Debt charges are the city’s third largest expense. Debt costs the city $300 Million annually which is good for the banks but not for Toronto’s citizens. We need to aggressively pay the debt. Police services and TTC are the top two expenses. Both are immensely important to the city.  Finding ways to reduce costs while not reducing services is key. The city would benefit from higher fuel efficiency in public vehicles. Japan has public transport vehicles with engines that turn off at stop lights saving fuel and reducing pollution.  Audi has similar technologies in their luxury vehicles in Europe. I’d like to see savings through increased efficiency in everyday procedures while maintaining quality service and security.

    3. Do you support reducing the size of Toronto City Council?

    The current problem with city council is there inability to cooperate for the common good of the city.  I don’t think reducing the number of councillors would improve service in each individual ward.  It’s important to have reasonably sized wards in order to have quality customer service.  Reasonably sized wards allow councillors to focus on ward specific issues similar to a realtor’s specialized knowledge of a particular market or a police departments specialized outreach programs within a community.

    4. Will you support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street?

    When it comes to the privatisation of services I believe it’s important to consider the current and future financial impact to the city. Having a system in place that provides excellent customer service is key especially when we look back to 2009.

    Privatisation on the West side of Yonge St has been going well. Moving the waste collection operations to GFL has saved the city $11.5 Million annually and had the added bonus of creating a competitive environment between the public and private sector. Competition means better customer service.  As a result there has been a drop in complaints on the east side as well as lower over time costs.

    Having private and public waste collection gives the city options and leverage in contract negotiations. Protecting public jobs is important along with protecting the public’s interests.  At the end of the day the tax payer needs to see the benefit of the services they pay for.

    5. What are your thoughts on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax – will you support reducing it or eliminating it?

    As a resident I am opposed to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.  I knew that the tax would negatively affect real estate transactions and the spin off revenues in construction, appliances and furniture sales, and moving services just to name a few. We have seen an increase in commute times, congestion, and pollution because people moved outside the city to avoid the additional tax.

    An Ipsos Reid poll showed that 58% of Torontonian’s support a reduction in the TLTT. A recent article in the Toronto Star suggests the TLTT has led to a $2.3 Billion drop in economic activity, and repealing it would create thousands of jobs. I’d like to see the tax eliminated but judging by the extreme resistance at city council we are more likely to see a reduction in the tax.  As councillor for Ward 29 I will work towards a reduction in TLTT as well as a larger tax rebate for home purchasers.

    6. Toronto’s unemployment rate is much higher than the provincial rate. What are your ideas to create job growth in Toronto?

    The city requires a lot of work.  From the creation of relief lines and additional transit, to fixing the Gardiner Express way and addressing Toronto Community Housing Corps Billion dollar backlog of repairs. There are a fair amount of employment opportunities and spin off opportunities.

    The main order of business is having elected officials who can work together to get the work done.  The city has been talking about a ‘Downtown Relief Line’ since the early 80′s.  I am dedicated to working with city council to put an action plan together and get our city back on track.

    7. It seems City Council has been debating public transit forever with little results to show. How would you fund new transit projects to ease congestion for everyone? Do you feel we need to change the current transit planning process?

    The money to do the work necessary to get our city back on track already exists we are simply spending it incorrectly.  We need to reallocate funds and make transit expansion a continuing project.

    Councillors need to stop fighting and start working. The province needs to step to the plate as well. Currently Ontario subsidises .78 cents/rider. Montreal receives $1.16/rider and Vancouver receives $1.62/rider.  Stop the infighting, relocate funds for continued expansion and get the Province on board, these are my priorities regarding transit.

    8. Labour negotiations will be a big part of the next council term. What advice do you have for the city’s negotiating team to get the best deal for taxpayers?

    Our labour unions and negotiation team need to find common ground.  Sustainability is the common ground. The labour union wants long term employment, job security, and structured wage increases while the city and tax payer need reliable service and customer care at competitive rates.  Finding the balance between both parties wants is the only way to move forward together.

    9. Do you see opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) involving the City of Toronto? Where, specifically?

    I think public-private partnerships will play an increasing roll in city services and development.  Working with the private sector in fields such as city maintenance and repair, construction and revitalization, travel and tourism development will be important to our city’s growth. As a candidate with real world experience in business and negotiations I look forward to playing a role in our city’s exiting future.

    10. What is the top issue of concern for residents in your ward? What will you do as Councillor to address the issue?

    While canvassing Ward 29 I’ve had residents ask for more public benches along Danforth Ave and extending free parking to 2 pm on Sundays so church goers can stay in the area and chat with friends. I’ve heard complaints about parking ticketing procedures and a lack of response from the city services when a complaint has been filed.

    There is a concern regarding customer service in the ward. Affordable housing and Transit come up most often along with bringing an end to party politics and inaction at city hall.

    As city councillor I would work to get our city back on track and solve the issues surrounding my ward.  I believe its time to put peoples needs before politics.