2014 City Council Election: Ward 14 – Parkdale-High Park

The Incumbent:

Gord Perks

The Race

Environmentalist Councillor Gord Perks hasn’t faced difficulty getting elected in his ward. We don’t expect this to change in 2014, though, two of his opponents who responded to our survey certainly offer interesting policy. It is good to note support for reducing or eliminating the Municipal Land Transfer Tax. Ideas on transit and job development require fine-tuning.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Gord Perks, Charmain Emerson, Andreas Marouchos, Jimmy Talpa

The Breakdown

 

The full responses

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

    Yes, I would support a property tax cap to the rate of inflation or less.

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

    To be honest, I would have to look over the current budget to determine cost savings.

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

    I don’t necessarily think by reducing council whether operations would be improved. It might, for example, less people = less votes = less lobbying. I am not sure if the city needs less, if all Wards are somewhat equal size then, by eliminating some we would put a strain on the remaining Wards.

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

    I live in the West and so far I have no issues with garbage collection. If it is affordable and not a tax burden on Torontonians – I would support this service East of Yonge.

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

    Hot button for sure. Easy answer is yes, I would support a reduction and or eliminating the tax. But without a clear plan to replace the revenue to the city – how will we support growth? It will be an ongoing challenge. Something that needs to be looked at and worked on for sure.

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

    This is ongoing. We need to do better here. Toronto needs to get behind training our citizens for the jobs of the future and making sure we are ready.  Let’s help bring down the unemployment rate in Toronto.  For example; Could we align future job trends with current programs, local schools and employers? Daycare support workers, Elder care Coordinators and people in the Technology sector to name a few future job trends – we can help to prepare our citizens to acquire the skills necessary to ensure the job opportunities can be filled and bring down the unemployment rate in Toronto.

    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?

    Again- not sure. One thought is to have a smaller portion of council responsible for making positives changes to our transit woes and charge them with effecting change and holding them accountable for the term. The thought here is if we can have a smaller group in charge, changes can get made and help alleviate the log jam of ideas. Sometimes we have to just start somewhere.

    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?

    This is a big city with lots of challenges and tax payers are savvy people.

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

    I don’t have enough information on this subject. Will have to dive into this further, preferably to look at case studies and see if there are opportunities that could benefit Toronto and its tax payers.

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

    Address all issues head on. As I start campaigning I will get an idea of hot buttons and work to formulate resolutions.

  • 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 plan on automating our street and “Green P” pay parking so policing can be done via tablet

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

    No comment till I get to City Hall.

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

    Yes. Toronto Community Housing Corp.

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

    Will you support reducing it or eliminating it? Reducing as much as possible until it is eliminated.

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

    Promote to Ontarians the benefits of seeking employment out of province.

    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 build 2 new subway lines. One on Keele Street from Bloor to York University with stops at Bloor, Dundas, St. Clair, Eglinton, Lawrence, Wilson, Sheppard, Finch and Steeles. The other on Dufferin Street from CNE to Finch with stops at CNE, King, Queen, Dundas, Bloor, Dupont, St. Clair, Eglinton, Lawrence, Wilson, Sheppard, Finch. I would also build a downtown relief line from CNE straight to Union Station.

    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?

    Even city labourers are taxpayers so they need to understand that a cap on wages means tax savings for them also.

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

    Yes, in building of subways.

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

    Relieving congestion and our elderly not being ableto afford to live downtown. The subway system that I proposed in question 7 will enable the elderly to access less expensive housing in the north of the city and give them the ability to travel downtown quickly and comfortably in any weather or traffic conditions.