2014 City Council Election: Ward 43 Scarborough East

The Incumbent:

Paul Ainslie

The Race

Paul Ainslie steps up to represent Ward 43 for a third term. He faces a different cast of candidates this time around. Three out of five Ward 43 candidates sent us their views. They agreed on a few issues – cutting the size of Council and reducing or eliminating the MLTT. Selling our City golf courses or using a P3 to manage them has come up in responses across a few different Wards including this one.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Mark Harris, Andi Kodanipork

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Yes
    Bartley, Alonzo No
    Colterman, Jason Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Labour
    Bartley, Alonzo No specifics provided.
    Colterman, Jason Getting councillors and upper management to create savings well protecting the front line services. I also believe there is savings to be found through procurement.


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Yes
    Bartley, Alonzo Yes
    Colterman, Jason Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Yes. Sell the municipal golf courses we own, or use public private partnerships.
    Bartley, Alonzo No
    Colterman, Jason No


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Yes – reduce
    Bartley, Alonzo Yes – reduce or eliminate
    Colterman, Jason Yes – eliminate


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Lobby the provincial and federal governments to implement tax changes such as the unique Flow Through Shares prgram which encourages risk taking, as well as job creation. Create a Start-Up Torontoinitiative so we become the start-up centre for Canada. Need more partnerships with the federal and provincial governments to provide improved infrastructure."
    Bartley, Alonzo Create jobs through infrastructure repairs. Also, I am committing myself to having a centre similar to the three existing non-for-profit buildings in the downtown core,  Centre for Social Innovation in Scarborough to encourage entrepreneurship and business development.
    Colterman, Jason Need to stop converting employment land to residential. I know we are a growing city and need more residential properties but if we continue doing this there will be no places for employment in the city.


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Federal and provincial governments are going to have to provide much more long term stable funding.  In many countries around the world there is a national transportation policy. Canada needs one.
    Bartley, Alonzo At this time, the city can only apply for money towards capital expenditures for the TTC  from the federal and provincial government.
    Colterman, Jason  "If we changed the construction model from building a complete line and then opening it to building one station at at time this will allow us to create a system that grows with the city."


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Negotiators need to build on the contract concessions we achieved last time with our two biggest unions. We need to review the Toronto Police Service contract to understand their shift overlaps and what savings can be achieved.
    Bartley, Alonzo Before labour negotiations start, I am advocating for the reduction in councilor pay.  I know several departments that are management heavy.  We need to be looking at why there are more managers than front line workers in a number of departments.
    Colterman, Jason We need to be fair and firm throughout the negotiations respecting the contracts and our residents. Very effect must be made to limit the risk of a strike as this will create a loss for every party involved.


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Yes. With City golf courses.
    Bartley, Alonzo Yes. However, there are some things that should remain public like our public libraries.
    Colterman, Jason Yes. A good possibility for this would be building subway stations.  Another great option would be Comunity centres.


  • Candidate Response
    Ainslie, Paul Road congestion. TTC needs to work with communities to plan subway, LRT, bus, and community bus routes. Needs to be more regional transportation links created.
    Bartley, Alonzo Scarborough subway and employment. Scarborough needs to be properly linked to the rest of the city with a subway .  I have been personally advocating for such for over the last 10 years and I will continue to do so until Scarborough get the rapid public transit it deserves. There are very few employment opportunities in the ward aside from retail and some service jobs.   I will look at encouraging tech businesses to locate in the area and establishing a centre similar to the Centre for Social Innovation in the ward.
    Colterman, Jason Ward 43 needs a community centre for children and families, as well as better in-home support and services for older adults. We also need a lot better transportation system including a Scarborough subway. I will fight for these services if elected.

 

The full responses

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

    Yes

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

    Spending on labour eats up way too much of the City of Toronto’s spending leaving little room to improve services residents expect from their municipal government.

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

    Yes. There would have to be an increase in Councillors support staff. We interact with residents on a daily basis much more than Federal and Provincial politicians

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

    Yes. We could sell the municipal golf courses we own, or use public private partnerships. Have the Toronto Police Services run security for Toronto Community Housing

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

    I didn’t vote for it when it passed under former Mayor David Miller. Needs to be reduced by at least 10%

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

    - Toronto City Council should lobby the provincial and federal governments to implement tax changes such as the unique “Flow Through Shares” prgram which encourages risk taking, as well as job creation.

    - The City of Toronto should create a “Start-Up Toronto” initiative so we become the start-up centre for Canada.

    - We need more partnerships with the federal and provincial governments to provide improved infrastructure. This provides jobs

    - Small businesses need to be able to reach the City of Toronto online for a host of services.

    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?

    New transit infrastructure can’t be funded by property taxes alone.  The federal and provincial governments are going to have to provide much more long term stable funding.  In many countries around the world there is a national transportation policy. Canada needs one.  our economy loses to much time and money to gridlock.

    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?

    - Negotiators need to build on the contract concessions we achieved last time with our two biggest unions.

    - We need to review the Toronto Police Service contract to understand their shift overlaps and what savings can be achieved.

    - Spending on labour eats up way too much of the City of Toronto’s spending leaving little room to improve services residents expect from their municipal government.

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

    - There are possibilities with our golf courses

    - The Federal and Provincial governments need to support us financially. For example in Boston, their “Big Dig” was achieved with 80% of the monies from the Federal government

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

    - Road congestion is a huge issue.

    - The TTC needs to work with communities to plan subway, LRT, bus, and community bus routes.

    - There needs to be more regional transportation links created.

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

    I support spending the money collected from the citizens of this city wisely.  Unfortunately, previous councils have put off spending, for various reasons, on our city’s infrastructure.  We will be meeting these costs during the next city council term.  What council needs to do is ensure city money is spent wisely.

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

    We need to look carefully at:  Who does what? Why?  For how much?  Can we do that better?  If we don’t start asking these questions and finding the answers, we will not make the proper investments to make our communities, or city, and our city’s government better.  Saving can be found.

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

    I do support reducing the size of Toronto City Council.  However, no one knows, regardless of studies or conjecture that it would result in improvements.  It would have to be tried to find out if it would be.

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

    I support in keeping public garbage department but have areas of the city bid on and awarded at different periods by both public and private garbage collection services.  If we lose public garbage collection, the city, in the long run, will be paying a lot more for waste disposal.  Having a public garbage keeps private collectors honest.  Private collectors bidding against the city’s public service keeps it efficient.

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

    I support reducing  and/or eliminating the land transfer tax.

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

    Employers add jobs when there is a demand to meet.  We have a severe backlog in road and sidewalk repair that needs addressed.  By doing so, new jobs will be created as construction companies work towards meeting that demand.

    With asking who does what, why, for how much, and can we do it better, possibly seeing money shifted and spent on front line staff and less on managerial for a number of services provided by our city will increase job opportunities.   This, in itself, would be  a huge positive impact on our communities.

    Also, I am committing myself to having a centre similar to the three existing non-for-profit buildings in the downtown core,  Centre for Social Innovation in Scarborough to encourage entrepreneurship and business development.

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

    At this time, the city can only apply for money towards capital expenditures for the TTC  from the federal and provincial government.  Both these levels of government have the ability to raise capital through various taxes and carry debt that municipalities do not.

    We need to sit down with these two levels of government and look for alternative solutions to properly fund and maintain the TTC.

    It is unfortunate that past councils have found ways to forgo necessary system expansion and maintenance.  We have come to a point where that bill must be paid.

    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?

    Before labour negotiations start, I am advocating for the reduction in councilor pay.  Councillor pay has gone up since 2006 from $96 000/year to over $105 000/year with council voting a $1200 pay increase late last year, yet councillors do the same job with as they did in 2006 for the same number of people.  Since 2008, most people have seen their salaries stagnate while the cost of living has gone up… and most of us can’t vote ourselves a pay raise.

    Again, we need to be looking at who does what, why, for how much, and can that be done better.  I know several departments that are management heavy.  We need to be looking at why there are more managers than front line workers in a number of departments.

    What I also want to see is more personal accountability from city staff.  If a person does not do a job or does it poorly, they should be fired just like how a person is fired in the private section.  There should not be a group to protect a bad employee from being terminated.

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

    While I do support public-private partnerships, it’s also not the great panacea to making our city better.  There are some things that should remain public like our public libraries.  We need to be pushing on the bureaucracy for different approaches, approaches that best serve our citizens.

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

    The two top issues in my ward are:

    * Scarborough subway

    Scarborough needs to be properly linked to the rest of the city with a subway .  I have been personally advocating for such for over the last 10 years and I will continue to do so until Scarborough get the rapid public transit it deserves.

    *Employment

    There are very few employment opportunities in the ward aside from retail and some service jobs.  There needs to be a greater number and greater variation in employment opportunities.  I will look at encouraging tech businesses to locate in the area and establishing a centre similar to the Centre for Social Innovation in the ward.

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

    Yes, we need to work hard to ensure we minimize the funicular strain on tax payers through sudden large tax increases.

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

    I think we need to start by creating an example. Getting councillors and upper management to create savings well protecting the front line services. I also believe there is savings to be found through procurement.

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

    Yes I believe that all 3 levels of government should have the same Ridings/Wards. Doing this will reduce costs, and make it easier to identify who represents what areas.

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

    There are many pluses and minuses to contracting out services. As we have seen with the current garbage collection contract when you go to lowest bidder shortcuts will be made to reduce the cost to deliver services. This put quality of service and safety at risk. I do not believe there are many municipal services that can be contracted out creating true savings. That said we do need to find ways to remain competitive offering superior services for less cost.

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

    I am in favour of eliminating the land transfer tax, although to go and cancel it right away could cause unfavourable challenges. The land transfer tax brings in a lot if needed funds for the city and we need to find ways to replace this source of income before we just throw it away.

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

    As a city we need to do more to attract quality employment opportunities. We need to target companies that are looking to expand and demonstrate that Toronto is the best place to do so. We also need to stop converting employment land to residential. I know we are a growing city and need more residential properties but if we continue doing this there will be no places for employment in the city.

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

    We need to stop debating transit and get it built. If we changed the construction model from building a complete line and then opening it to building one station at at time this will allow us to create a system that grows with the city. We need to utilize the land that already exists that will minimize the economic impact on the surrounding communities. The use of exciting rail lines and utility corridors would also increase the speed our system can be expanded

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

    Labour negotiations are always difficult. We need to be fair and firm throughout the negotiations respecting the contracts and our residents. Very effect must be made to limit the risk of a strike as this will create a loss for every party involved.

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

    Public private partnerships can help the city provide needed services while strengthening the bond of the private sector within our communities. A good possibility for this would be building subway stations. If we can create partnerships with developers who will help fund the project in return being able to offer public transit to there clients. Another great option would be Comunity centres. With the creation of Public private partnerships we can offer our communities. We do need to ensure the partnerships are well balanced ensuring the best results for everyone.

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

    Ward 43 needs a community centre for children and families, as well as better in-home support and services for older adults. We also need a lot better transportation system including a Scarborough subway. I will fight for these services if elected.