2014 City Council Election: Ward 2 – Etobicoke North

The Incumbent:

Doug Ford

The Race

This is one of the most watched races in the City with Rob Ford attempting to reclaim his pre-2010 position as Ward 2 Councillor after dropping out of the Mayoral race. Transit and employment seem to be key issues in Ward 2. One interesting idea proposed  by a candidate is to create a “business development zone” with reduced taxes for small and medium sized businesses in order to spur growth. There are varying ideas from Ward 2 candidates on funding transit including P3′s, road tolls, development charges and appealing to the Provincial and Federal Governments.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Munira Abukar, Ranjeet Chahal, Rob Ford, Michelle Garcia, Ataul Malick

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Yes
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Will consider
    Caravaggio, David Yes
    Cronkite, Doug Yes plus small increase directed to transit
    Domise, Andray No
    Lagakos, Theo Yes
    LaRocque, Luke No
    Paterson, Gary Yes
    Singh, George Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Work hard to find savings in service efficiencies. Minor and/or major cuts to services not rendered core or essential should be conducted only based on input from core service review.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Savings come from assistance from the upper levels of government, primarily the federal government. But investments in maintaining a modern and forward looking tech integrated city hall will reveal inefficiencies faster than in the traditionally murky bureaucracy.
    Caravaggio, David Make TTC more efficient.
    Cronkite, Doug Savings in police budget, mainly personnel.
    Domise, Andray Toronto Police Services operating budget
    Lagakos, Theo Toronto Police Services. Review contracts with private companies to ensure there is no overspending.
    LaRocque, Luke Focus on deferred maintenance of infrastructure before cutting.
    Paterson, Gary Wants to do more research.
    Singh, George Better decision making required when making spending decisions.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn I reserve my recommendation pending review of professional research.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund No
    Caravaggio, David No
    Cronkite, Doug Yes
    Domise, Andray No
    Lagakos, Theo No
    LaRocque, Luke Will consider
    Paterson, Gary Yes
    Singh, George Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn As long as efficiencies and cost savings could be realized.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Yes
    Caravaggio, David Yes plus bus routes
    Cronkite, Doug Yes. Would consider contracting out other services.
    Domise, Andray Will consider with conditions.
    Lagakos, Theo Yes with conditions.
    LaRocque, Luke Will consider
    Paterson, Gary Will consider
    Singh, George Yes plus TTC and parks maintenance.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Yes – reduce.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Yes – reduce.
    Caravaggio, David Yes – reduce or eliminate.
    Cronkite, Doug Will consider
    Domise, Andray Will consider
    Lagakos, Theo Yes – reduce or eliminate.
    LaRocque, Luke Will consider
    Paterson, Gary Yes – reduce or eliminate.
    Singh, George Yes – eliminate.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Sustain a world-class status city through safety, cleanliness and livability to attracts investors and investments. Ensure that we address youth unemployment by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation through small business and start-up incentives and programs.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Create innovative tax zones, (businesses pay a lot of money in taxes to the municipality). Creation of business development zones with 3-5 year reduced tax rates for small and medium sized businesses, in areas of substantial commercial and manufacturing lands.
    Caravaggio, David Must work in coalition with the province to promote and attract industry to Toronto. City council must act as a sales force and represent the great City of Toronto as one of the most important cities of the world.
    Cronkite, Doug I would be in support of a tax break for small business owners in their first year or two in order to give them a chance to become established.
    Domise, Andray I propose the development of an Innovation Hub in Ward 2 that partners with local businesses and public services (specifically Toronto Public Library) to develop a computer programming and coding program for youth. Further, I support revisiting the Woodbine entertainment complex proposal (formerly known as Woodbine Live) that the current mayoralty and Ward 2 councillor failed to secure.
    Lagakos, Theo More training and co-op opportunities for students and those who wish to upgrade their skills. The City should work with Employers to help indentify the skill sets needed for the future workforce.
    LaRocque, Luke Improving transit infrastructure to reduce road congestion and ensuring proper zoning in the outer neighbourhoods to encourage more dense business development and liveable communities is key to attracting both well-trained residents and highquality employment.
    Paterson, Gary Changes to existing policies. This will entail licensing and building department policies and very likely zoning as well.
    Singh, George Need to lengthen the runway at the Island Airport so that it is convenient for business people to access the city. Need to reduce the taxes for businesses  that are operating in the city which will allow them to stay competitive and in addition attract new businesses.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Support from the federal and provincial level.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Road tolls and small scale car registration fee.
    Caravaggio, David Public-Private Partnerships to fund new transit projects.
    Cronkite, Doug All three levels of government, the private sector, and users of the infrastructure all have a role to play in funding transit. Decisions have to be made very soon and steps taken to start building the infrastructure soon after.
    Domise, Andray Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada need to pay their fair share of the costs of transit expansion in Toronto, as Toronto is the economic engine for the country.  Toronto needs to have a serious conversation about the fair implementation of revenue tools.
    Lagakos, Theo It is the developers of high-rises that should pay an additional level to the city in order to fund mass transit. I don’t believe LRTs are the long term solution for Toronto, the only real long term solution are more subway lines.
    LaRocque, Luke Transit planning shouldn’t be affected by the personal agendas of particular Councillors, but should be based on well researched proposals that take into account travel and growth patterns, cost, and longevity. Certain steps we can take that are both immediate and within the budget, like increasing the frequency and hours of bus service.
    Paterson, Gary Subways are the way of the future. World class cities have built and are continuing to build subway systems. Light rail transit is at best a temporary endeavor. Streetcars are a blockage on the roads and a last century technology. Public / private sector coalition will be the most cost effective strategy to fund transit projects.
    Singh, George Funding for new transit projects needs to come from  (1)The Federal government  (2)The Provincial government  (3) A modest increase in fares combined with a more streamlined and efficient TTC organisation.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Must ensure both public and private sectors equally share in the restoration of a stronger economy.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund If you treat the opposing side as an enemy you will not succeed at getting a good deal done for the city. Successful negotiation comes from a place of understanding the restricted budget, economic factors at play in the city and each other.
    Caravaggio, David There are a number of cities in North America that have gone bankrupt. We can learn from other’s mistakes.
    Cronkite, Doug Come in with a very matter of fact, firm position. Fair but firm. The union would then know that the city was serious about keeping wage increases to a minimum and that there was no possibility of upward movement.
    Domise, Andray Need to be clear that labour negotiations aren't just about getting a good deal for taxpayers.  City's workforce is not a commodity that we should be buying for the lowest possible price. Most important advice I have for negotiating teams, both City and Union, is that we're on the same side.
    Lagakos, Theo Need an approach where everyone realizes we share this city and there is no use in taking extreme positions, there is only so much money to go around and we need both sides to work together. I advocate a balanced approach in both Labour negotiations and in City Hall.
    LaRocque, Luke Bargaining in good faith is the best way for the City to avoid labour disruptions while also making sure that we’re living within our means.
    Paterson, Gary In labour negotiations I would believe an honest and straightforward approach would be the best.
    Singh, George Three words, Privatisation, Privatisation, Privatisation.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn  Yes – tourism and entertainment industry.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund  Will consider.
    Caravaggio, David  Yes – transit.
    Cronkite, Doug Yes – transit, infrastructure, Toronto Hydro, school breakfast programs.
    Domise, Andray Yes – Innovation Hub and family-friendly infrastructure in Ward 2.
    Lagakos, Theo Will consider but no monopolies.
    LaRocque, Luke Will consider.
    Paterson, Gary Yes – infrastructure maintenance.
    Singh, George Will consider.


  • Candidate Response
    Adeoba, Benn Maintaining low taxes, affordable social housing, building efficient and faster transit system. I look forward to working with MetroLinx, the Council, and TTC in providing a quick short and long term resolution to ensure faster commute time to downtown Toronto.
    Bueno-Bradley, Edmund Commute times and access to work. I have proposed an increase in North/South bus frequency to and from the Bloor line in peak hours and an express bus on Islington(37) with an extension of the hours of the Royal York(73) line later into the evening.
    Caravaggio, David Job growth. Ward 2 has many industrial neighborhoods, we must attract businesses for job growth. I will promote business opportunities in Ward 2 Etobicoke.
    Cronkite, Doug Transit. Would quickly address concerns with planners at the TTC. Would support the Finch LRT line.
    Domise, Andray Lack of development. By development, I mean interconnected neighbourhoods, with access to local amenities, and a thriving employment market. Additionally, lack of access to transit and lack of recreation facilities and healthy nutritional options. I will work with Council, with the residents and communities in Ward 2, and with developers to build a Ward that is attractive to businesses and the residents they will serve, and is sustainable for long-term community viability.
    Lagakos, Theo Transit and unemployment. I will work with business in the area to reduce any red tape at City Hall. I will advocate for more training centres and co-op programs for students trying to enter the workplace. Need to increase bus services, in particular at night for the many in the ward that work the later night shifts.
    LaRocque, Luke Good jobs and good roads and sidewalks. By making northEtobicoke a more attractive place to live and spend time, we can attract diverse,high-paying industries. This includes investments in transit, parks, and roads, but also building relationships with schools and training centres like the University of Guelph-Humber to connect local residents to both a good education and local jobs.
    Singh, George Residents of my ward have felt a bit left out in the cold over the last few years. I will ensure that they are fully represented in council and that their concerns are addressed on a regular basis.

 

The full responses

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

    A property tax cap is a reassuring fact that residents (taxpayers) won’t be charged beyond the rate of inflation. I strongly support this initiative

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

    With over 90% of the services considered “core” and “essential” to the quality of life, we must continue to work hard to find savings in service efficiencies. Minor and/or major cuts to services not rendered core or essential should be conducted only based on input from core service review that highlights no major threat to quality of life.

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

    With rising population in Toronto, reducing the size of council and amalgamating two or three wards under the supervision of one councillor would result in representation overload–creating some neigbourhoods to be underserved and underrepresented. I reserve my recommendation pending review of professional research.

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

    If the pros (cost savings) outweighs the cons (rising costs) of contracting out the garbage collection, I would strongly recommend and support as long as efficiencies and cost savings could be realized.

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

    The Municipal Land Transfer Tax represents extra burden on home ownership in the City of Toronto, which deters sales volume and potential revenue to the city. According to recent survey, 89% of potential buyers in the next two years are more likely to purchase outside of Toronto to avoid the tax. This shows that the city isn’t realizing its potential sales and revenue. Phasing out the tax would attract more sales, thus generating equal or more revenue to the city budget. I strongly support reducing the tax over the period of time.

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

    Our focus, as a government, should be to sustain a world-class status city through safety, cleanliness and livability to attracts investors and investments that will create job. We must also ensure that we address youth unemployment by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation through small business and start-up incentives and programs to transform our youth from job seekers to job creators.

    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 City of Toronto contributes a large of portion of the nation’s revenue. Therefore, the preservation of the city’s transit infrastructure to keep pace with the high level of growth should be a collective effort–with support from the federal and provincial level.

    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?

    With the nation under the threat of financial crisis, we must ensure both public and private sectors equally share in the restoration of a stronger economy.

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

    The benefits of public-private partnerships extend not only to The City of Toronto and its residents, but also to tourists. For example, a partnership in the entertainment industry allows the city to build attractions and infrastructure that residents and tourists would benefit from at minimal or no cost to the taxpayers.

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

    Apart from maintaining low taxes and affordable social housing, building efficient and providing faster transit system seems to be one of the main issues the ward 2 residents are facing. As the elected Councillor, I look forward to working with MetroLinx, the Council, and TTC in providing a quick short and long term resolution to ensure faster commute time to downtown Toronto.

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

    I do not support a tax cap, I believe budget increases though should be tied to inflation. To be clear I am for a tax rate increase only to meet inflationary pressure on the economy, but not beyond that point. I believe that a cap as a principal is a good idea, but not a practical one. If the city should need to raise revenue given an extreme circumstance of a freak weather event or large scale disaster in order to deal with said circumstance it would be difficult to keep the city’s budget in the black and a legal cap could hand cuff a potential city recovery. I think if a law could be drawn up that has a floating 2-3 year cap depending on circumstance, there could be wiggle room to enforce it through a legally binding process that leaves open an emergency scenario.

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

    There are not a lot of savings to be had in the budget, and the expenditures are increasing every year. Really savings come from assistance from the upper levels of government, primarily the federal government (the Provinces finances are not the best) for once taking an interest in their largest municipal tax base. But investments in maintaining a modern and forward looking tech integrated city hall will reveal inefficiencies faster than in the traditionally murky bureaucracy. The duplication of efforts through man power can be easily determined through an efficient scheduling and organizational structure.

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

    I do not support reducing the size of council, as a member of a representative democracy I believe that the larger the body of elected officials to vote on an issue the closer to true representation we can have. Government is not about being fast, it is about getting the right things done, and hyper reactionary government often makes laws that don’t work. I don’t believe we need to be making more laws, we need to be actively trying to reduce old, poorly though out ones. Reducing the size of council would only boil down the people there to extreme points of view and probably entrench further their beliefs making voting more difficult and co-operation impossible. (But the premise of this question is that council hasn’t been doing anything. In my interviews with several city councillors this year for an online media co-op we found out that a lot has actually been done in the last couple years. Councillors stated that the only images we see about city hall are of a few distractions from governing by a very small number of people. These people shape the consciousness along with irresponsible journalism into a very distorted picture.)

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

    I) I would support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street As a resident of a part of Toronto where we’ve had private contractors collecting our garbage for a long time I don’t see the need for two separate organizational process for garbage collection. Our garbage is picked up every week and the complaints are typically few and far between from the people I have spoken to about this issue.

    II) When it comes to contracting services out I am leery of the process for fear of the necessity of an oversight process from the city to maintain quality of services which could neutralize the cost benefits of contracting the services out. I feel that any deviation from a current services process must be met with the same quality service or higher and that each case of the contracting out of services must be looked at closely to ensure we won’t get into the middle of a contract and realize we’ve made a horrible mistake.

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

    I am not a fan of the land transfer tax, but Toronto’s budget at this point doesn’t allow for much wiggle room on the tax. I do not support its increase and would argue for a slight reduction, but the math just doesn’t add up when it comes down to eliminating it, though my philosophical principals say that would be the correct way to proceed.

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

    Toronto does not exist in a vacuum and is affected by global market trends, our unemployment rate has a lot to do with the segments of our economy that generate actual growth in a globalized world of low cost manufacturing. I believe we need to create innovative tax zones, (businesses pay a lot of money in taxes to the municipality). We see a horseshoe of development around the city’s border simply for the reduced tax rate companies can pay in the surrounding municipalities. I would propose the creation of business development zones with 3-5 year reduced tax rates for small and medium sized businesses, in areas of substantial commercial and manufacturing lands, (like in my ward which is about 50% residential/ 50% business). This temporary tax exemption zone would give small and medium sized companies which are the backbone of a real productive local economy, a chance to get off the ground before being clubbed by the tax man opening up funds for businesses to invest in employing people.

    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 disagree with the premise of the question, as we have had major efforts when it has come to public transit and will likely see most of the plans come to fruition before the Pan-Am games at the end of next summer. But the process is slow and does need an overhaul. We could fund new transit by taxing out of city drivers for the use of some of our roads with tolls. This might make people more inclined to take alternative methods, alleviating traffic and if not it generates revenue from those tolls. Toll roads for those who don’t pay our municipal taxes and free roads if your car is registered in Toronto. With this process in place I would moving forward support a small scale car registration fee as well of no more than $2.50 a month or 30$ a year simply to help pay for the increased amount of road work due to climate change related road deterioration(weathering) which is gradually becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

    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?

    If you treat the opposing side as an enemy you will not succeed at getting a good deal done for the city. If they want everything, give them something and do not embitter and embolden them into a position of moral high ground by undercutting and forgetting their purpose(to make the quality of the lives of the employees under their banner better).You cannot afford to lose the PR(public relations) battle. Successful negotiation comes from a place of understanding the restricted budget, economic factors at play in the city and each other. Have several deals drawn up ahead of time so the process can feel like a dynamic negotiation,  you will then maintain the balance of power from the outset.

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

    P3s can be a valuable tool in the hands of government but I would have to get a full rundown of some of the infrastructure projects proposed in the next 4 years from the city manager, though the Gardiner does come to mind. It’s dated and ancient and needs a ton of work that city can’t very well afford by itself.  That being the case, a public private partnership could be fruitful in creating a long term investment strategy in road quality.

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

    Commute times and access to work. My ward is one of the furthest from the core, and we feel it every day. It takes longer and longer to get anywhere in the city. The city spent ungodly sums of money on a rail line to Pearson that literally goes through some of our backyards and our ward did not get the stop we desperately needed. The go line is infrequent in today’s world of shift work where not everyone works the exact hours of 9-5. I have proposed an increase in North/South bus frequency to and from the Bloor line in peak hours and an express bus on Islington(37) with an extension of the hours of the Royal York(73) line later into the evening. The TTC service in a large part of my ward is pitiful and this previous winter with a rapist on the loose the danger this presented to women at night became very real, very quickly. We just want our money to be put to use getting us the things we need in the city and not just what people elsewhere want.

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

    Yes, absolutely, this is one of my top campaign points titled “Fair Taxes”.

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

    I will begin by making the TTC more efficient, this is also one of my main campaign points titled “Efficient TTC”.

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

    I do not support reducing the size of city council.

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

    I support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge St. I will also study the possibility of privatizing bus routes.

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

    I support reducing the Land Transfer Tax and also eventually eliminating it.

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

    “Job Growth” is also one of my main campaign points. We must work in coalition with the province to promote and attract industry to Toronto. City council must act as a sales force and represent the great City of Toronto as one of the most important cities of the world.

    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 will study public-private partnerships to fund new transit 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?

    There are a number of cities in North America that have gone bankrupt. We can learn from other’s mistakes.

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

    Yes, I will study public-private partnerships involving transit.

    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 of concern for residents of Ward 2 is job growth. People are concerned with neighborhoods dying. As the city population grows, travel times will increase dramatically. Many people will depend on local jobs. Ward 2 has many industrial neighborhoods, we must attract businesses for job growth.

    As Councillor I will promote business opportunities in Ward 2 Etobicoke.

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

      I am certainly a fiscal conservative who believes that City Council should be run like a business by watching how and where money is spent. As a resident and taxpayer of Etobicoke for the past 30 years, I know how frustrating it is to witness our politicians raise taxes because they have not been able to prioritize.

      To answer the question specifically, I would be in full support of a tax cap on property taxes ensuring that it rises no more than the rate of inflation. By doing this, council and city staff will be forced to work within a budget which is important for our city in order to live within our means and stay financially healthy. By not having a cap, spending could easily get out of control. We need to be in a position of making spending choices by prioritizing what is essential to the city to function properly.

      Having said this, I would be open to a small increase that would be directly funnelled to transit. I believe the city, other levels of government, users, and the private sector can and should all contribute to building our transit infrastructure. I will go into more detail when I answer question #7.

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

      If I was elected councillor of my ward, I would like to hear from the city managers responsible for the budget. It should  be the Budget Chief who would have the most knowledge of the city budget and who hopefully has very little bias.

      I am aware that a very large portion of Toronto’s budget goes to Police Services. I realize that we need police to keep our city safe and in my opinion they do an excellent job. However, I also think that we can find savings within the force, mainly personnel. Overlapping shifts should be negotiated out of the next contract, time spent at the court house is wasteful, and overtime hours can be limited. Other means of reducing their budget should be  looked into and discussed.

      User fees for city run programs can also be increased. I realize that many residents may not like this idea but our programs are actually cheap when compared to other areas of Ontario. Programs for low income households should be maintained.

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

      The size of City Council as well as the number of School Board trustees should be reduced in half. I think that decisions can be made easier and quicker with a smaller sized council. Presently, it seems as though council is dysfunctional and split on ideology. With a smaller number, I feel that council would be more efficient and more can actually be accomplished.

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

      I support contracting out garbage east of Yonge Street 100%. I live in Etobicoke  and was happy to have had garbage pickup while other parts of Toronto did not during the Public Service strike a few years ago. Our garbage/recyclables are picked up every Friday from our driveway and there has never been an issue or problem. If the city is saving the amount of money that they claim to be, I really can’t see any reason not to extend privatization throughout the rest of the city. I realize that workers in these areas will be affected, however, most will be placed within the city workforce elsewhere. Most employees will adapt very well.

      I would be open to suggestions of privatizing other services. However, I would need to hear the pros and cons from non partisan experts. If the argument can be made that privatizing a certain service would improve efficiency, reduce costs, and benefit the public; I would certainly be open to supporting privatization.

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

      The Municipal Land Transfer Tax would be difficult to reduce or eliminate at this time. As a tax payer, I would love to simply say that I would vote yes to eliminating it. However, the reality is that the city has become used to this revenue tool. If we were to eliminate it now, cuts would have to occur or another form of taxation would take its place. Expenses are increasing, I simply do not think the tax revenue generated from the Land Transfer Tax can be easily replaced . However, I would be open to suggestions and am open minded enough to consider other options.

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

      The unemployment rate in Toronto is higher than one would think. Looking at the number of cranes, bidding wars, construction sites, and busy malls etc.; it is easy to think that unemployment would not be an issue.

      With real estate prices so high and business rentals also expensive, small business owners face a difficult task of staying afloat. I would be in support of a tax break for small business owners in their first year or two in order to give them a chance to become established.

      I would also encourage large companies to invest and establish themselves in my ward as well as other parts of the city as long as they took safety and environmental practices seriously.

      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?

      Toronto Council has been discussing transit for as  long as I can remember. After decades of discussing a link from Union to Pearson, it looks as though air passengers will finally be able to travel downtown directly from the airport without fighting traffic.

      Transit seems to be the number one issue facing Toronto voters, and for good reason. Our politicians have neglected this for decades and the results have come to fruition. Not only does congestion affect everyday life for millions of people, it costs the economy upwards of 10 Billion dollars per year. Environmentally, exhaust from idling cars is a source of air pollution and smog.

      I believe that all three levels of government, the private sector, and users of the infrastructure all have a role to play in funding transit. We need a strong mayor and supportive council members to make decisions that will enable us to move towards building the necessary infrastructure. Much has been said about Mr. Tory’s, Ms. Chow’s, and Mr. Ford’s visions of transit in our city. In my opinion, the most important thing is they all know improved transit is important. Council can approve one of these plans or a hybrid of all or parts of them. What is important is that the decisions have to be made very soon and steps taken to start building the infrastructure soon after.

      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 think that the last round of negotiations went very well. Mr. Ford came into the position of mayor and was very  clear that savings would be found and that there was very little room for city employee raises. I think that coming in with a position of strength actually saved the city from a strike. This benefitted everyone, the city workers most of all. Workers in our city need to be treated with respect and in my opinion, they have excellent benefits and competitive salaries. I am not of the opinion that a fight needs to occur but if I was in the position to advise the negotiating team, I would advise them to come in with a very matter of fact, firm position. Fair but firm. The union would then know that the city was serious about keeping wage increases to a minimum and that there was no possibility of upward movement.

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

      Private-Public Partnerships are becoming more common and I think that the trend will continue going forward. Our transit crisis in this city can and should involve both the public and private sectors as I have touched on already . I am  sure that in order to complete the amount of work that needs to be done to build this infrastructure, partnerships will have to be formed out of necessity.  Toronto Hydro is another company that could benefit by privatizing or partnering.

      On a smaller scale but important and easily implemented would be a public-private partnership with school breakfast programs and private bakeries/coffee shops. Ms. Chow has proposed using 2 million more dollars to expand a breakfast program for school children. While I applaud her intentions and support feeding kids, I think there is a much better way of doing this. Every evening, large amounts of food is either thrown out or given to employees to take home. This food should be consumed by students who need it. Instead of using 2 million tax payer dollars, the city can hire a small group of employees to organize pick up and deliveries from the cafes/bakeries to the schools. Not only would this save a lot of money, it helps the environment by cutting down on waste.

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

       I think that the biggest issue in my Ward is the same issue that the rest of the city seems to be addressing, transit. I would listen to the residents concerns and address them with the people who plan and make decisions. If there are too many passengers for too few busses at certain times of the day or on specific routes, I think that this could be addressed fairly quickly. I would address this type of concern with planners at the TTC. The Finch LRT line is also something that needs to go forward. If I were to become Ward 2 Councillor, I would support and argue for its implentation.
      Issues for residents of this ward will probably vary as much as the demographic makeup of the area. I will address each issue as they arise and do my best to treat all of them with equal importance.

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

    I tend to think that inflation is a misleading figure in municipal politics.  Inflation, as it pertains to the Consumer Price Index, does not include all factors that affect City spending.  Cities do not consume bread, clothing, and electronics; they consume wood, concrete, and asphalt. The conventional rate of inflation affects residents differently than it affects the City as an entity.  Increasing City revenues at the consumer rate of inflation may not be sufficient to meet budgetary gaps, to address state of good repair backlogs (of which there are many), to make the necessary investments in public infrastructure and social welfare, etc.  By refusing to peg tax increases to a sensible economic indicator, we also penalize residents in low to mid-priced homes by subjecting them to flat user fees. How much more are we paying now for utilities (e.g. Water, hydro), than we were 4 years ago? Those utilities do not take home values or income into account.  Before I could commit to any position regarding property tax increases, I think that it is necessary to establish the economic factors that affect a municipality and subsequently establish the difference between those factors and the Consumer Price Index.

    That said, raising property taxes beyond a nominal amount should require evidence-based decision-making that the tax increase would result in demonstrable benefits for ALL residents in the city.  Toronto enjoys municipal property tax rates lower than most other urban centres across the country, and yet has a greater need for services than any other urban centre simply by virtue of its size.  Simply put, we need services and we need to be able to fund them.  I recognize that a tax hike is the last thing that anybody wants, but I also recognize that using the rate of inflation as a barometer for raising property taxes is misleading at best and fiscally irresponsible at worst.

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

    I support the position taken by mayoral candidate David Soknacki to find savings in the Toronto Police Service’s operating budget.  Toronto’s crime rate is dropping and we are seeing diminishing returns with respect to budget increases for the Toronto Police Service.  Further, all other City departments and agencies were asked to cut 10% from their budgets during the current mayoralty, but TPS was exempt from this, and even received a budgetary increase.  It is only fair that TPS be asked to find efficiencies and savings, since everyone else has already had to do so.

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

    No, I do not support reducing the size of Toronto City Council.  It would not be feasible for a smaller council to adequately represent the needs and interests of the enormously diverse demographics that make up the City of Toronto.  Wards in Etobicoke, for example, are already geographically huge.  These wards have their own local communities, and those communities have their own needs.  It would not be feasible to expect a councillor to adequately comprehend and address the issues affecting a ward the size of Wards 1 and 2 or 2 and 3, for example. They are simply too large and diverse. I would not support a City Council that leaves residents’ voices unheard.

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

    I will only support the contracting out of City Services if the following conditions are met:

    -        Safety is not compromised.  The City contracted out garbage collection to Green For Life, and in the process, we saw GFL’s safety rating downgraded due to repeated violations.  I am not prepared to sacrifice safety for dollars.

    -        Service standards do not decrease. It’s easy to save money if you don’t care about the quality of your services, but I don’t abide by that. Coming from the private sector, I understand that we aren’t by nature more efficient, nor do we naturally produce better quality goods and services. Inefficiencies and subpar work can be found throughout the spectrum, and the City needs to be concerned about much more than just its bottom line. What’s the point of contracting out and saving a few dollars if it means that residents receive demonstrably worse service?

    -        A formal, approved transition plan is implemented to ensure that public employees that would be affected by the contracting out of City services are not left out in the cold.  I don’t support contracting out services if it means that doing so raises our unemployment numbers.   Most of my previous work dealt with the newly unemployed, and to me these are not numbers. They’re families thrown into upheaval. I am not the type to pass the buck on our problems and ruin lives in the process.

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

    Given the median price of Toronto real estate, across various housing types, the Municipal Land Transfer tax is very nearly a flat tax. I’m not a fan of flat taxes, as they disproportionally affect those with lower incomes. However If we eliminate or reduce the Municipal Land Transfer Tax, where do we make up the shortfall?  For very obvious reasons, we can’t let public employees go wholesale.  We certainly can’t keep raising user fees, as those increases hit our most vulnerable residents to an unacceptable degree (for example, compare the 12-month cost of a Metropass before and after the elimination of the Vehicle Registration Tax). Are we prepared to push that shortfall onto our annual property tax bills?  Simply put, the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is a one-time payment that helps keep annual property taxes low. If we are to eliminate it, I would need to see a fairer system implemented which does not leave another unwanted gap in the city’s budget.

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

    In addition to advocating for increased commercial and residential in Ward 2, I propose the development of an Innovation Hub in Ward 2 that partners with local businesses and public services (specifically Toronto Public Library) to develop a computer programming and coding program for youth.  Toronto has a strong emerging technology and electronic entertainment sector, and my proposed Innovation Hub will allow local youth the opportunity to learn and get involved in coding and programming, which they can use in the pursuit of higher education at local institutions, and which will encourage the aforementioned technology and electronic entertainment industries to hire qualified local candidates.

    Further, I support revisiting the Woodbine entertainment complex proposal (formerly known as Woodbine Live) that the current mayoralty and Ward 2 councillor failed to secure.  The site for the project is the largest area of undeveloped land in the city and is bursting with potential.  A project of this scale is long overdue for Ward 2, and will result in many employment opportunities that will strongly benefit Ward 2.  The the indirect economic benefits of such a large project are enormous, and it’s unacceptable that this deal was allowed to fall through in the first place.  After consulting with various government and private sector entities, this project is still viable if the right Councillor were able to spearhead it with the City and the 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?

    Transit planning needs to be left to planning experts, and politicians are rarely those experts.  It’s the politicians’ job to approve and fund those projects, not to squabble over the details.

    Toronto’s transit infrastructure needs serious attention and both short- and long-term solutions. We can’t keep changing plans to meet political goals – Rob Ford’s cancellation of Transit City has already cost the City $85 million in sunk costs, and we’re about to be on the hook for a further $1 billion  for a subway that doesn’t address the most pressing needs of the City. Especially not those of Ward 2.

    Both the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada need to pay their fair share of the costs of transit expansion in Toronto, as Toronto is the economic engine for the country.  However, we cannot reasonably expect them to pay for the majority, not when the same story could be told of many urban centres across the country.  As such, Toronto needs to have a serious conversation about the fair implementation of revenue tools.  We aren’t going to find the necessary billions by cutting services and contracting out garbage – Rob Ford’s repeatedly-debunked “$1 billion savings” wasn’t sustainable in the long term even before it was discovered to be a lie.

    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?

    We need to be clear that labour negotiations aren’t just about getting a good deal for taxpayers.  The City’s workforce is not a commodity that we should be buying for the lowest possible price.  The City is the largest employer in Toronto, and has a responsibility to invest in its workforce to the best of its abilities.  By investing in your workforce, you increase morale and you boost services.  Make the City a desirable place to work, and you’ll attract top-tier candidates for available positions.

    The most important advice I have for negotiating teams, both City and Union, is that we’re on the same side.  Unions want the best deal for their members, as is their wont, and the City wants the best deal for their employees that they as an employer can afford. As a private citizen and financial planner during the 2008 TTC wildcat strike, and the 2009 garbage workers’ strike, it bothered me immensely that we’d just encountered the most massive jobs and wealth destruction in decades, yet the unions were steadfast in their demands. Whether justified, the fact was that all of us were in the same boat, and had to make sacrifices. It was bad optics, and gave negotiations the public tinge of bad faith.

    That said, the acrimonious and toxic atmosphere of Rob Ford’s mayoralty will pass, and we’ll restore dignity and civility to the City and to Council.  It is incumbent upon all affected parties to treat each other with dignity and respect, and to understand that we are all invested in a common goal – happy, healthy employees that provide the highest-level of service to their stakeholders.

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

    I believe that Ward 2, specifically, will benefit from P3s with respect to my proposed Innovation Hub.  By working with Toronto Public Library, Ward 2 can get a foot in the door with respect to the instruction of information literacy, and by partnering with private agencies and institutions, we can expand the service in a sustainable, responsible, and fair manner.

    I also believe that Section 37 funding represents a form of P3.  Ward 2 is in dire need of low-level infrastructure investment.  Rob Ford was adamant not to accept Section 37 funding, and unfortunately his constituents paid the price.  There’s a dearth of family-friendly infrastructure in this Ward, such as well-developed and maintained parks, roads, playgrounds, and bike/pedestrian paths. Without well-developed infrastructure that makes Ward 2 a desirable place to live, and therefore a Ward that will attract more large-scale development, we will continue to remain one of Toronto’s most underdeveloped wards.  By pushing for better use of P3s, we can build a ward where people are happy to live and work.

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

    The lack of development in Ward 2 on all areas is the most serious issue that this Ward faces. By development, I mean interconnected neighbourhoods, with access to local amenities, and a thriving employment market. Ward 2 has bled thousands of jobs since 2000, due to shrinkage in the manufacturing and retail sectors. Additionally, lack of access to transit is a major irritant for residents; moving about our neighbourhoods is a very lengthy journey without the use of a vehicle. Our communities lack recreation facilities and healthy nutritional options (e.g. mid-range and discount grocery stores), which creates a “health desert” in the northern part of the ward. Individually, any of these factors is a major problem to be addressed, but taken in combination, any councillor should be embarrassed at having let conditions get this bad. It is a failure to residents, and to the City.

    As Councillor, I will help alleviate this problem by creating a more welcoming atmosphere for developers at the City – the acrimony of the past will remain in the past.  I will work with Council, with the residents and communities in Ward 2, and with developers to build a Ward that is attractive to businesses and the residents they will serve, and is sustainable for long-term community viability.

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

    Yes, in principle I do agree with this proposal, there can however be unforeseen circumstances that may lead to an increase greater than the rate of inflation.  I vow that I will do my best to always keep our property taxes as low as possible.

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

    Since I am a first time candidate, I cannot say with certainty where all our saving could be found, but I think we have to look at the Toronto Police Services where 40% of all its members according to media reports earn over 100,000 much of that due to overtime pay. We must also look closely at contracts with private companies to make sure the city is not over spending when outsourcing.

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

    No. You cannot put a cost savings on democracy. If the public is suspicious of their municipal politicians now, can you imagine what the possibility of future corruption with half the number of councillors?  The current number of our democratic body of representatives at city hall keeps councillors in check and forces them to be more accountable; a reduced council size will inevitably reduce our democracy.

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

    We have had contracted out garbage collection in my Ward 2 for many years now and seems to be working. My only hesitation would be not to give a monopoly to (1) one company. Competition always keeps cost and prices low. I also want to make sure that the current city employees do not lose their pensions or seniority as a result of privatization.

    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 at the very least be reduced, even better if we can eliminate it.

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

    Specifically in Ward 2,  I  believe we need to help employers expand their business. There should be more training and co-op opportunities for students and those who wish to upgrade their skills. The City should work with Employers to help indentify the skill sets needed for the future workforce. The City should also help small business to a much greater extent than they do at present.

    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 City has failed to have a long term transit plan. City planners have allowed high-rises, skyscrapers to go up anywhere without first planning how this would effect traffic flow. In my opinion it is the developers of high-rises that should pay an additional level to the city in order to fund mass transit. Since the developers are causing congestion by putting tall structures where they please without care or thought of how it will impact transit, they should pay for the congestion they are creating. In addition, for the most part I don’t believe LRTs are the long term solution for Toronto, the only real long term solution are more subway lines.

    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 and the Labour negotiation team have to look at the big picture. We need an approach where everyone realizes we share this city and there is no use in taking extreme positions, there is only so much money to go around and we need both sides to work together. Building a consensus that leaves management and employees feeling this is both the best deal for taxpayers and the employees. The “them vs us” attitude does not work in negotiations, it only creates more division amongst people. I advocate a balanced approach in both Labour negotiations and in City Hall.

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

    At this time I am unaware of a specific public-private partnership involving the city of Toronto. I am open to the idea, however again I will emphasizes I do not support giving any (1) one company a city monopoly, I prefer to always have multiple private partnerships to ensure competition.

    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 concerns at Ward 2 reflect the same issues that effect all Torontonians that is transit and unemployment.

    I will work with business in the area to reduce any red tape at City Hall. I will advocate for more training centres and co-op programs for students trying to enter the workplace.

    In regards to transit we need to increase bus services, in particular at night for the many in the ward that work the later night shifts.

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

    Taxes must be fair for residents to meet their expectations for city services. Tax
    caps often just push fee increases in other directions – like increasing the
    Municipal Land Transfer Tax or the water rate, and hard caps often guarantee
    that taxes will increase at that rate every year, meaning that it would be unlikely
    to ever have years with no increases (like in 2011). It would be more effective to
    address the hidden taxes that taxpayers must pay every day, simplifying the tax
    system and removing the required administrative oversight from the other forms of taxation.

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

    After several years of cuts to the city budget and a projected surplus this year, we need to focus on the quality of city services and on deferred infrastructure
    maintenance before cutting anything else. It is less expensive for taxpayers to
    keep things in good working order than to replace them once they’re broken, so
    this approach is better for taxpayers in the long-term.

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

    The way City Council operates has been a main challenge since amalgamation.
    There is nothing automatic about the size of Council that determines how well it
    operates, as it is more about the quality of the people who are elected and how
    committed they are to doing a good job. Having a smaller Council risks making it more disconnected from taxpayers, which we often see at the provincial and
    federal levels. If the size of Toronto City Council were to be decreased,
    something else must be done to maintain residents’ ability to access City Hall.

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

    I support a comprehensive review of the cost and quality of both public and
    private collection in order to determine which gives taxpayers a better deal. This review applies to other services as well.

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

    The Municipal Land Transfer Tax plays an important role in the current city
    budget. If it is going to be eliminated or reduced, there needs to be a plan to
    replace the lost revenue in the city budget. With a growing number of people
    relying on the sale of their home to fund their retirement, we need to make sure
    the Tax doesn’t disproportionately affect seniors.

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

    It’s important to look at both unemployment and underemployment in the city, as more people are now working low-paid, part-time, and casual jobs, which brings down the standard of living and Toronto’s competitiveness levels. Improving transit infrastructure to reduce road congestion and ensuring proper zoning in the outer neighbourhoods to encourage more dense business development and liveable communities is key to attracting both well-trained residents and highquality 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?

    Transit discussions have often been too short-sighted, with decisions changing
    every few years by different Councils. Transit planning shouldn’t be affected by
    the personal agendas of particular Councillors, but should be based on wellresearched proposals that take into account travel and growth patterns, cost, and longevity. Mid-project changes have needlessly cost taxpayers millions of dollars, delayed projects, and made traffic congestion worse. There are certain steps we can take that are both immediate and within the budget, like increasing the frequency and hours of bus service.

    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?

    Bargaining in good faith is the best way for the City to avoid labour disruptions
    while also making sure that we’re living within our means.

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

    If private companies have ideas for how to improve the city and to work with the public to do it, then I support having that discussion. Ultimately, any P3 must be in the best interests of taxpayers and residents and must not leave them on the hook with all of the risk, and the public should benefit from the profits that might come from the project.

    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 concerns are good jobs and good roads and sidewalks. By making north
    Etobicoke a more attractive place to live and spend time, we can attract diverse,
    high-paying industries. This includes investments in transit, parks, and roads, but also building relationships with schools and training centres like the University of Guelph-Humber to connect local residents to both a good education and local jobs. !
    Improving roads takes more than just re-paving. Getting more people on buses
    reduces the wear and tear, increasing commercial density means more people
    can walk to the things they need, increasing the standard of materials and design of roads to have them last longer, and having projects inspected during
    construction to ensure they are being build well and won’t require preventable
    repairs.

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

    I would support a property tax cap with no higher level than the rate of inflation.

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

    I am not familiar with the budget at this time. I have some ideas but I do not wish to state them at this time. I would require researching the city documentation first.

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

    I believe council could be reduced in size. I believe some consider council to be a part time job.

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

    I will have to see the overall difference to the situation. It may well be the better route to contract .

    Other services will require a case by case study.

    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 eliminated at best or reduced at the worst case scenario.

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

    The employment rate in Toronto is an issue. To provide more and better employment the city needs to be open to business. If this requires changes to existing policies then we must get on with making the changes. This will entail licensing and building department policies and very likely zoning as well.

    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 transit in this city must be improved. I believe subways are the way of the future. All other world class cities have built and are continuing to build subway systems. Light rail transit is at best a temporary endeavor. Streetcars are a blockage on the roads and a last century technology.

    I believe a public / private sector coalition will be the most cost effective strategy to fund transit 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?

    In labour negotiations I would believe an honest and straightforward approach would be the best.

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

    I see the real possibility for public / private partnerships to complete projects and infrastructure maintenance.

    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 Received.

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

    yes, I do support tax hikes cap of no greater than inflation. As a matter of fact I think that homeowners are already paying too much taxes. If we continue the way we are going, how would our young people be able to afford a home in the next few years?

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

    There are too many poor decisions made by council that is costing Torontonians millions of dollars. Case in point, the fixed link bridge decision a few years ago, how much did scuttling that project cost taxpayers? Today we are building an underground tunnel, do you think that council would spend their own money in that fashion?  what about the nightmare on StClair avenue with that concrete barrier that has destroyed the street? Then there is the police chief, if we have to pay him a full salary for a year , why would we let him go ? why not let him continue on for the year before letting him go.

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

    I do support reducing the size of Toronto Council, I think that some of the wards in the downtown area  could be merged in order to result in a more equitable representation for the amalgamated areas (Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough). I am sure that it will improve how council operates since I think that there is too much ward hugging that still occurs in council , 15 years after amalgamation.

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

    Yes, I would support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street, I live in Etobicoke where the garbage collection was contracted out for years now and for the last 10 plus years we have never experienced a garbage strike, I am very happy with the garbage collection services in my area.
    I would support privatisation of the TTC and Park services.

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

    I support eliminating the land transfer tax , it was implemented as a tax grab by the previous administration, it should be eliminated.

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

    We need to open up our city to business, it has been closed for too long by the policies of the previous administration. We need to stop finding any and all excuses to close off our streets to businesses. We also need to lengthen the runway at the Island Airport so that it is convenient for business people to access the city. There is a need to reduce the taxes for businesses  that are operating in the city which will allow them to stay competitive and in addition attract new 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?

    I think that there are room for a more streamlined TTC in addition, the funding for new transit projects needs to come from a combination of sources which are (1)The Federal government  (2)The Provincial government  (3) A modest increase in fares combined with a more streamlined and efficient TTC organisation. I do not think that it is fair for Torontonians alone to foot the bill for the TTC since it is a service that is used by many in the GTA/province.

    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?

    Three words, Privatisation, Privatisation, Privatisation.

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

    I think that there may be opportunities for public-private partnerships, however I would be very suspicious of the way these types of contracts are written because I feel that eventually the city will be shafted in the end, regardless of how advantageous it appears in the initial stages.

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

    Residents of my ward have felt a bit left out in the cold over the last few years. I will ensure that they are fully represented in council and that their concerns are addressed on a regular basis.