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.