2014 City Council Election: Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River

The Incumbent:

Chin Lee

The Race

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

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

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes
    Lai, Cynthia Yes


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


  • Candidate Response
    Kladitis, John Yes
    Lai, Cynthia Yes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

 

The full responses

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

    Yes. Absolutely!

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

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

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

    Eliminate city council’s general expense fund

    Eliminate city council’s general travel budget

    Reduce council’s staff salary budgets

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

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

    Eliminate two new full-time heritage positions in Planning department

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

    I also suggest we lower the salaries for Toronto City Councillors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Keep a lid on growth in costs.

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

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

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

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