2014 City Council Election: Ward 44 Scarborough East

The Incumbent:

Ron Moeser

The Race

Long-time politician Ron Moeser is back on the ballot to add to his 26 year career as City Councillor. There’s a large spike in the number of opponents he faces this time around with 15 candidates on the ballot for Ward 44, compared to 4 candidates in 2010. Perhaps, due to a lack of representation during this term? He sqeaked by in 2010 with just under 300 more votes than his top opponent. Ward 44 is sure to be an interesting race in 2014.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Diana Hall, Mirza Mohammed, Marc Proctor, Richard Ross, MarkPaul St.Bishop, Ragu Thanabalasingam, Neethra Vipulanandan

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Yes
    Beckmann, Graham Yes
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Yes
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer Yes with conditions.
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Management positions.
    Beckmann, Graham Paid duty police officers at construction sites.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Police services budget, specifically paid duty officers at construction sites. Also, current shift system requires review.
    Maguire, Paul  Amalgamation of redundant departments can save money but would cost jobs as well. Attrition and transfers might be acceptable strategies for staffing adjustments. I will advocate for an analysis of expenses to cover all policing costs.
    McKelvie, Jennifer I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek.
    Moeser, Ron Staff reduction
    Nielsen, Arlene No Response Given
    Sondhi, Ashley Review of collective agreements that are to be negotiated, overtime and time and a half hours being paid out, maximize efficiency and reducing or eliminating over time for new collective agreements.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider
    Beckmann, Graham No
    Chhabra, Amarjeet No
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer No
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley No


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider. Snow plowing could be contracted out, janitorial services, grass cutting and many others.
    Beckmann, Graham Will consider
    Chhabra, Amarjeet No
    Maguire, Paul No
    McKelvie, Jennifer Will consider
    Moeser, Ron Yes
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Will consider reducing or reforming.
    Beckmann, Graham Yes – reduce or eliminate
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Will consider reducing or reforming.
    Maguire, Paul Yes – phase out.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Will consider reform.
    Moeser, Ron Yes – phase out.
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes – eliminate
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes – eliminate or reform


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil  "As for creating new jobs if the public transit debate would ever get resolved this should create many jobs.  I would also like to see government retired people not doubling the earnings by coming back to work after retirement.  These retirees by working may be stopping the progress of other workers moving up and the youth from getting employment."
    Beckmann, Graham Contact every registered business in my Ward. I will help them to get the forms filled out for all provincial and federal employment programs. Part 2 is to get the unemployed in my ward pointed towards those opportunities and others like long-haul trucking, and people from all over the world go to locations in the West not just Fort McMurray.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet We need to look at the tax incentive programs offered by the City for new commercial or industrial developments. Small business owners need to be supported as they are central to the larger economic growth and prosperity of the City as a whole.
    Maguire, Paul One approach to this is to scale commercial real estate taxes in a way that stimulates development outside the downtown core.
    McKelvie, Jennifer I am committed to promoting and fostering local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops in our community.  Across our great City, we need to foster innovation, start-ups and new businesses that create quality, long-term job opportunities.
    Moeser, Ron Has to be a joint effort including Federal, and Provincial.  Need to engage private industry.
    Nielsen, Arlene Toronto needs to become, attractive for businesses to migrate to, as it had been in the past. The scenario:  Cities like Richmond Hill, and Mississauga have in place tax credits as well as other appealing benefits for companies to move there, from Toronto, they have great package deals.
    Sondhi, Ashley Encourage small business development through City led initiatives, joint business and City ventures for development of new projects, Tourism and promotion of the City worldwide, recruiting sports and arts to actively use our state of the art facilities and business expos and conventions to name a few.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil At this point I do not have enough knowledge on the funding of the proposed transit systems or how the planning process works  to comment.
    Beckmann, Graham I cannot comment directly about the funding mechanisms. Any person that thinks that the end result of the St. Clair Avenue T.T.C upgrade is good should not be planning any transit lines.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet We need to stick with the existing plans to see results. Torontonians currently pay proportionately more than their fair share of the operating costs. We need to engage the provincial and federal governments to commit long-term sustainable funding for public transit and commit to use the funding for specific projects.
    Maguire, Paul We are wasting time and money when we pay the experts, and then fail to follow their advice. All funding measures should be considered. In Stockholm, road tolls raised revenue while reducing traffic volume beneath a tipping point that permitted great improvement in commute times. London’s congestion fees in the downtown core achieved similar results.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Negotiate with our federal and provincial partners, as well as our municipal neighbours, for a long-term dedicated funding plan for building and maintaining transit infrastructure.
    Moeser, Ron Public, Private partnerships including Federal and Provincial (need to get on with it.)
    Nielsen, Arlene I would implement fuel tax for automobiles, I would implement toll fares for driving into the Toronto corridor.
    Sondhi, Ashley Partial funding for new transit projects could come from the renegotiation of current and upcoming contracts for review and negotiation. Yes, I feel the current system should be changed as planning and decision making for this project has become gridlocked.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Taxpayers want the smallest tax increase possible so the two sides need to work together to obtain this goal.  Also, when negotiating during bargaining there are other ways to improve the employees lifestyle whether through added vacation time or medical and dental benefits.
    Beckmann, Graham We cannot continue to push government worker salaries beyond the salaries of the private sector. We must stop the activity of having police at every street servicing operation.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet The city's negotiating team needs to know that these residents provide the service we all need and have come to depend on as a City.
    Maguire, Paul Financial transparency can support fact-based negotiation. Equitable deals might be more attainable under the model followed by the IBEW that favours binding arbitration.
    McKelvie, Jennifer The City’s negotiating team should act independently of the Councillor and Mayor, with the exception that Council sets the wage envelope.
    Moeser, Ron Look at inflation rate, work on productivity issues in the contract.
    Nielsen, Arlene Give the leanest amount of pay raise (cost of living level) within the longest amount of time. From this, the labourers would still get a raise, and strikes would be avoided.
    Sondhi, Ashley Allow for fairness not excess (overtime and time and a half) With fair and fiscally conscious negotiating, workers may loose overtime wages in the short term but gain stability of work in the long term by aiding in the development and funding of long term City projects.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil Yes. Through advertising or partnerships through contracting out work.
    Beckmann, Graham No
    Chhabra, Amarjeet The Sheppard East Maintenance and Storage Facility  is an example of such a partnership where the private partner would have designed, built, financed and maintained certain elements under TTC management.
    Maguire, Paul Will consider. Operation of some municipal services such as Parks and Recreation seem to lend opportunity.
    McKelvie, Jennifer Yes. These can be particularly effective for the roll-out of new technology across the City.
    Moeser, Ron Yes. Along subway routes and business through Economic Development.
    Nielsen, Arlene Yes
    Sondhi, Ashley Yes. Tourism, hospitality, health care facilities for seniors, partnerships for Youth and current students.


  • Candidate Response
    Allen, Phil  "Traffic congestion especially on Port Union Road. Mmaintaining the waterfront and ensuring that the pockets of development that are starting to pop up are developed in such a way that they maintain the neighbourhoods characteristics and that traffic and parking are taken into account when approving these developments."
    Beckmann, Graham Transportation and jobs. To solve the transportation issue I would press to synchronize every stoplight and get rid of 95% of all HOV lanes.
    Chhabra, Amarjeet Attendance! We have an incumbent with the worst attendance record at City Hall who is absent well over a third of the time when council is in session (but is one of the highest spenders). He has missed 26 major votes on very important issues. I am committed to meeting with residents and businesses to ensure that any new developments protect or improve the character of our streets, including heritage buildings and community history. But most important – I promise to show up.
    Maguire, Paul Transit is vital to those who are underserved in the north part of our ward, while a looming fiscal threat to those in the south.  Our incumbent failed to sway council to vote for the preferred, expert-recommended incineration option. I will get the necessary council votes to ensure we do not see several trucks of sludge driving our streets each day.
    McKelvie, Jennifer The Pan Am Aquatics Centre and Rouge National Urban Park attractions will raise the profile of our community and stimulate new development. I’m committed to working for residents to ensure that new business and housing developments maintain the character of our community. I will establish working groups that bring residents and developers together and will hold developers accountable to smart community development.
    Moeser, Ron Transit.  Work on funding issues and establish timetables to assure that transit gets built within the established parameters.
    Nielsen, Arlene The voting constituents of Ward 44 comprise mostly of homeowners, therefore the LTT and property taxes are the primarily concerns.  Therefore there would be a concentration from me to repeal the hated tax.
    Sondhi, Ashley Crime & Safety – this incorporates various factors such as robberies, drug use, mental health, guns, gangs, violence and keeping our streets safe. Over a year ago, in conjunction with MMA World Academy we implemented a cost reduced program for youth, seniors, kids and families to come out and work out together in group Yoga, family Boxing, Muay Thai and nutrition based programming. This was an initiative to bring families and kids together, meeting each other and forming life long friendships and team building that can only work to strengthen our community as one. Programming such as this is a positive step in providing solutions to keeping kids occupied and providing a framework for all community members to meet and get together.

 

The full responses

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

    I would like to see tax hikes limited somehow, whether by inflation rates or another method.  I personally do not have an issue paying a slight increase each year to avoid a drastic tax hike in the future.
    I would love to try and work on a zero % tax hike, similar to a neighboring municipality so long as in the future it wouldn’t require a substantial tax increase due to erroneous accounting.

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

    Without reviewing the city budget it is hard to determine specific areas but I have been on the cities website, the department directory, and I feel that there seems to be a considerable amount of management positions that are usually well paid.

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

    Would reducing the city council be a cost saving measure?  how many would you reduce it down by and how much would this save?  Reducing it would mean changing boundaries which would mean costs to reorganize this, also in the future there could be the possibility of enlarging the city council back to how it was which would mean more costs.
    I am not aware how council operates/cooperates, but a smaller number could lead to a more harmonious council, no guarantee though.

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

    I am not against contracting out if it proves to be cost effective.  I would review how other places such as Etobicoke have faired in this area, based on my experiences with contracted out workers, it can be expensive and the contracted employees do not have the same care as a municipal employee.
    Snow plowing could be contracted out, janitorial services, grass cutting and many others.

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

    From my experience of just moving our municipal taxes are considerable lower than the neighboring municipalities, if this is in part due to the land transfer tax we pay than I am ok to continue with this practice as it kind off gets buried in your real estate deal.  I am all for reviewing it to see if there can be change or improvement to lower the amount, while keeping municipal taxes as they are.

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

    I am not sure how you can compare Toronto to the rest of Ontario.  Toronto has many jobs that are occupied by people that commute from neighboring cities, if all these jobs were occupied by City of Toronto residents what would the unemployment rate be at then?   As for creating new jobs if the public transit debate would ever get resolved this should create many jobs.  I would also like to see government retired people not doubling the earnings by coming back to work after retirement.  These retirees by working may be stopping the progress of other workers moving up and the youth from getting 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?

    At this point I do not have enough knowledge on the funding of the proposed transit systems or how the planning process works  to comment.
    In regards to congestion I would like to see the transport trucks off the 401 during the two rush hours, why could they not be given a reduced rate or free on the 407 during these times?  Maybe we have some kind of electronic toll booths during the morning rush hour for the commuters from out of Toronto.  These tolls could be at certain locations on the 401 and 404 to help pay for the roads/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?

    Taxpayers want the smallest tax increase possible so the two sides need to work together to obtain this goal.  To my knowledge pay raises are always given as a percent, 2% of $50,000 is not the same as 2% of $100,000, why cant all employees get the same lump sum increase.  Also, when negotiating during bargaining there are other ways to improve the employees lifestyle whether through added vacation time or medical and dental benefits.

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

    I do not know what current partnerships there are but imagine there could be room to expand in this area, whether it is through advertising or partnerships through contracting out work.  an example may be if the city contracted out garbage the winning bidder would also have to pay the city a fee for a work permit, similar to a taxi fee?

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

    From speaking to residents, their concerns are with traffic congestion, especially on Port Union Road, maintaining the waterfront and ensuring that the pockets of development that are starting to pop up are developed in such a way that they maintain the neighbourhoods characteristics and that traffic and parking are taken into account when approving these developments.

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

    Yes

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

    I would be specifically looking to save money through the reduction of police at every location where service work is being done in the street.

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

    At this time I do not support reducing counsel I support to change the rate of participation. This position is currently part-time this should be changed to full-time. For some counselors organized confusion is the order of the day and distraction is the purpose, and likely will never change.

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

    Moving Toronto’s massive garbage collection is simply too large a project to be run by a city. I am currently not aware what is or is not contracted out at this time. Improvements in savings is an ongoing task that could start with the manager to worker ratios.

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

    YES

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

    Contact every registered business in my Ward. I will help them to get the forms filled out for all provincial and federal employment programs. Part 2 is to get the unemployed in my ward pointed towards those opportunities and others like long-haul trucking, and people from all over the world go to locations in the West not just Fort McMurray. It should be an mandate throughout the province that Educators at all levels stop pushing everyone in into a university degree. Many people ushered in by the education system into degrees that provide them no true advantage in the workplace.

    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 cannot comment directly about the funding mechanisms. We have to keep prices to the level that everyone can afford it. Any person that thinks that the end result of the St. Clair Avenue T.T.C upgrade is good should not be planning any transit lines. From the outside looking in I don’t see a planning process. It takes an hour by bus, to go from Morningside to Young and Eglinton station $5 billion and it only saves 15 minutes and adds to the congestion such that it might be when the Eglinton LRT travels overland through the Scarborough area and stops at every light like a bus what is the point. I think we should be look back for previous reports to see if there is a gondola plan to put in place over the lake we could get a lot for the billions we have wasted . Phase 1 of my transit plan would be to stop making it difficult to drive by car anywhere in the city. But they can’t do that because if the car traveled thru the city like it should, the planners of St. Clair Avenue transit would not have a job. Street cars are a waste in many ways.

    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?

    Let’s hope that the province can keep their wallet closed. We cannot continue to push government worker salaries beyond the salaries of the private sector. A collision course will arrive I suspect sooner than later. We must stop the activity of having police at every street servicing operation.

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

    I believe that P3 arrangements are a total waste of money. The board of directors in every hospital and others have to accept the fact that they must take responsibility for the logistical and mechanical operations of their place of business. Why should we pay 30% more to move the desk across the hall.

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

    Of the issues that I could involve myself in, I believe transportation is number one, and will our children have jobs, is a close second.
    To solve the transportation issue I would press to synchronize every stoplight. Get rid of 95% of all HOV lanes.

  • 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?

    The police services budget, and, specifically with the paid duty officers. Additionally, in order to reduce costs, there needs to be a serious look at the current shift system which has been identified in years past by the likes of former Mayor, John Sewell as a source of savings.

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

    Municipal government is the order of government closest to citizens of a City. While it is true that City Council is dysfunctional at the best of times, how council operates really comes down to the people who get elected to represent our interests. Reducing the size of Council will further disenfranchise the citizenry and will make Council more inaccessible. I am in support of term limits as I do believe, the City is well served with fresh ideas. Furthermore, Council voted to conduct a Ward boundary review in May 2013, the recommendations of which will be reported in 2016.

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

    I believe competition is healthy and allows the residents to benefit from better service.

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

    While the Municipal Land Transfer Tax has helped improve the city’s fiscal health, I am open to the idea of reforming/reducing it but only once we figure out how we could make up for the shortfall. I do not think we can eliminate the tax altogether.

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

    As a former private sector union organizer, I want to see a society and economy that offers good jobs for all. Scarborough in recent years has seen a shift in the type of employment, becoming more service oriented. Having had firsthand experience working with developers in the service sector, I see immense potential to create jobs one can raise a family on, jobs on which one can build a community around. Furthermore, we need to look at the tax incentive programs offered by the City for new commercial or industrial developments. Small business owners need to be supported as they are central to the larger economic growth and prosperity of the City as a whole. As small-business owners, my parents were able to raise our family and enjoy new opportunities. If local businesses are successful, local employment is significantly improved.

    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?

    First of all, we need to stick with the existing plans to see results. We cannot afford to continue debating transit any more. Torontonians currently pay proportionately more than their fair share of the operating costs. We need to engage the provincial and federal governments to commit long-term sustainable funding for public transit and commit to use the funding for specific projects. Any new money raised should be raised in a fair and progressive way so that low income Torontonians do not get burdened. When considering the overall transit strategy, it is important to look at it from an urban planning policy perspective and as a network that uses a combination of transit options.

    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 a taxpayer, I am proud that our public servants are residents who have good paying jobs. The city’s negotiating team needs to know that these residents provide the service we all need and have come to depend on as a City.

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

    The Sheppard East Maintenance and Storage Facility  is an example of such a partnership where the private partner would have designed, built, financed and maintained certain elements under TTC management.

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

    Attendance! We have an incumbent with the worst attendance record at City Hall who is absent well over a third of the time when council is in session (but is one of the highest spenders). He has missed 26 major votes on very important issues. So it is little wonder that some things in our Ward are getting out of control. A good example of this is development which does not reflect the character of our neighbourhoods and is not in keeping with the wishes of the community. I will be a strong proponent of sensible development. I am committed to meeting with residents and businesses to ensure that any new developments protect or improve the character of our streets, including heritage buildings and community history. I will negotiate with developers to build greener, more energy and water efficient buildings. But most important – I promise to show up.

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

    Most important is that money be spent wisely, and that taxpayers get value. I do not believe inflation is necessarily the measure to which property tax should be tethered. Other measures may better address ability to afford desired services. At some point, a max-tax threshold becomes necessary, or government will take all the money.

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

    Constant budget review is necessary. Budget chief and ombudsman are key positions in a transparent process for monitoring and controlling expenditure, and recommending savings. Amalgamation of redundant departments can save money, but would cost jobs as well. Attrition and transfers might be acceptable strategies for staffing adjustments. The biggest budget items promise the greatest potential for savings. Accordingly, I will advocate for an analysis of expenses to cover all policing costs. One component that should be reviewed is the cost of construction of new stations. Another factor is the decreasing crime rate. We seem to get less value for our policing dollar than we should.

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

    Smaller council means more constituents per councillor. Ward 44 has over 60,000 residents, two thirds of whom vote. If each voter wants 5 minutes of my time, I will be busy until the second half of the term’s second year. Smaller councils are also more prone to insular, localized decision making.

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

    Again, budget diligence requires ongoing evaluation of such opportunities. Research consistently shows that contracting out services like this are a false economy based on a misleading presumption of non-monopolistic competition. When this sort of out-sourcing has been tried, savings have appeared early, only to vanish within a few years.

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

    Like all taxpayers, I abhor the MLTT. The extra constraint in the purchase of a home is onerous. Of course, the $350M must be replaced by other means, or offset by spending (and perhaps service) reductions. It should be possible to phase out the MLTT over a few years.

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

    Every government speaks to job creation. If there were a solution, the problem would have been gone long ago. At best, we can create an environment in which business can start and thrive. One approach to this is to scale commercial real estate taxes in a way that stimulates development outside the downtown core.

    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?

    Our biggest transit obstacle right now is the insistence of politicians to be allowed to interfere with the professional planning process. We are wasting time and money when we pay the experts, and then fail to follow their advice. All funding measures should be considered. In Stockholm, road tolls raised revenue while reducing traffic volume beneath a tipping point that permitted great improvement in commute times. London’s congestion fees in the downtown core achieved similar results. We should look closely at whether solutions already discovered elsewhere have applicability here.

    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?

    Financial transparency can support fact-based negotiation. Equitable deals might be more attainable under the model followed by the IBEW that favours binding arbitration. While I endorse a more even distribution of the nation’s wealth, I must balance that with my constituents’ ability to pay.

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

    The inherent risk of P3s places the profit with the private sector while the public sector assumes the risk. They must be approached carefully and fairly. Operation of some municipal services such as Parks and Recreation seem to lend opportunity.

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

    Ward 44 is Toronto’s largest. The chief concern varies with the neighbourhood. Transit is vital to those who are underserved in the north part of our ward, while a looming fiscal threat to those in the south. The region’s professional planners have already offered a viable solution that would make best use of available funds, and would offer service improvements near our neighbourhoods. We also face end-of-life decisions for the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. Our incumbent failed to sway council to vote for the preferred, expert-recommended incineration option. I will get the necessary council votes to ensure we do not see several trucks of sludge driving our streets each day.

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

    Yes, with the caveat that large infrastructure projects, such as transit, may require funding through the property tax system.

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

    I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek. Priority and Participatory Budgeting should be considered during the Budget process. This would objectively determine how to match available resources with community priorities, with the priorities developed by the meaningful engagement of our citizens.

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

    No, I believe that such a reduction would reduce the effectiveness of governance for individual constituents. I would prefer to review the need for councillors’ pensions and any severance which councillors may be entitled to upon leaving office.

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

    I am for finding efficient and effective means of providing the quality services Torontonians seek. I am willing to review the evidence that contracting out provides such long-term savings while not compromising the quality of services provided.

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

    The Municipal Land Transfer Tax contributes a substantial amount of revenue. I would be in favour of reform, in particular for seniors that are downsizing and need the equity for retirement.

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

    I am committed to promoting and fostering local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops in our community. We have seen some new and revitalized businesses in our area, but we need to attract more. Across our great City, we need to foster innovation, start-ups and new businesses that create quality, long-term job opportunities. We also need to strive to create more jobs for our youth.

    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 negotiate with our federal and provincial partners, as well as our municipal neighbours, for a long-term dedicated funding plan for building and maintaining transit infrastructure. Investment in transit infrastructure creates construction jobs in the short term, but importantly also provides enhanced opportunities for our city’s entrepreneurs to open or expand businesses in new areas opened up with better 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?

    The City’s negotiating team should act independently of the Councillor and Mayor, with the exception that Council sets the wage envelope.

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

    I support public-private partnerships. These can be particularly effective for the roll-out of new technology across the City.

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

    The Pan Am Aquatics Centre and Rouge National Urban Park attractions will raise the profile of our community and stimulate new development.  We need to foster local, family-owned businesses such as restaurants and shops. I’m committed to working for residents to ensure that new business and housing developments maintain the character of our community. I will establish working groups that bring residents and developers together and will hold developers accountable to smart community development.

  • 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?

    Staff reduction. Work more efficiently. Voted against 2015 budget as we could have done better.

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

    Voted for 22 Councillors.

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

    Yes

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

    Voted against originally.  It should be phased out.

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

    Has to be a joint effort including Federal, and Provincial.  Need to engage private industry.

    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, Private partnerships including Federal and Provincial (need to get on with it.)

    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?

    Look at inflation rate, work on productivity issues in the contract.

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

    Yes. Along subway routes and business through Economic Development.

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

    Transit.  Work on funding issues and establish timetables to assure that transit gets built within the established parameters.

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

    While I would vote against any property tax increase, I admit I would entertain a property tax increase that is no greater than the inflation rate.

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

    No Response Given.

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

    I support reducing the current number of Councillors from 44 to 30 Councillors as this would improve efficiencies through the ease of a smaller group being able to reach a consensus faster.

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

    Privatizing garbage pickup west of Yonge Street has saved Toronto $11.9 million dollars.  Therefore, it only makes fiscal sense to privatize garbage pickup east of Yonge Street to further save taxpayer’s money.

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

    I would support eliminating the LTT.

    Ward 44 is primarily comprised of homeowners.  The Land Transfer Tax (LTT) has had a negative impact on homeowners, not only in Ward 44, but in the entire GTA.  Today home ownership is entered more as an investment as opposed to it being entered to create long term roots within a community. Therefore, current homeowners are more likely to sell their homes (investment) to upsize, downsize or to move into retirement.  A study commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association estimates there has been a decline of more than 38,000 home transactions since the LTT was implemented in 2008. The LTT is nothing more than a tax grab at a homeowner’s biggest equity, which most of them are relying on for their future years.  I will be fighting to repeal this much hated tax.

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

    Toronto needs to become, attractive for businesses to migrate to, as it had been in the past.

    The scenario:  Cities like Richmond Hill, and Mississauga have in place tax credits as well as other appealing benefits for companies to move there, from Toronto, they have great package deals, difficult to resist, and companies, who are looking to move, take advantage of the tax credits and move to the respective cities leaving behind them vacate offices, and perhaps valued employees.  It’s the bottom line, the return on investment, they weigh the expensive of the move, hiring/training new employees, building up client etc. to what they gain moving out of Toronto to cities previously mentioned.  There are numerous examples of businesses moving from Toronto throughout the years and inevitably the bottom line always wins.

    If companies stay, move to or move back to Toronto, there will be more job opportunities, therefore more people will be hired to fulfill those jobs, therefore there will be less 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?

    I would implement fuel tax for automobiles, I would implement toll fares for driving into the Toronto corridor.

    I am in full support of John Tory’s ‘Smarttrack’ plan, it is the only transit expansion plan which makes fiscal and  time line sense. Since the necessary environmental and engineering studies have not been done for the subway plan, the Scarborough subway is not scheduled to start until 2021. It will take an estimated 10 years to finish, undoubtedly at a higher cost than the original $4 billion dollars estimated. In the interim, Scarborough TTC users will be stuck with the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT), which will almost certainly break down before the subway is complete.  John Tory’s ‘Smarttrack‘ would use the existing infrastructure, therefore it makes fiscal sense and can be implemented in the foreseeable future.

    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?

    My advice for the city’s negotiating team would be to give the leanest amount of pay raise (cost of living level) within the longest amount of time. From this, the labourers would still get a raise, and strikes would be avoided.

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

    There  are a lot of opportunities for public-private partnerships, the possibilities are endless.

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

    The voting constituents of Ward 44 comprise mostly of homeowners, therefore the LTT and property taxes are the primarily concerns.  Therefore there would be a concentration from me to repeal the hated tax.

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

    As long as the “hike” is no greater than the rate of inflation.

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

    Review of collective agreements that are to be negotiated, overtime and time and a half hours being paid out, maximize efficiency and reducing or eliminating over time for new collective agreements.

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

    No I do not support reducing the size of Council, however appointment of council members to committees where they have no experience or knowledge is something that needs to be addressed to ensure greater efficiency in decision making.

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

    Yes, I support the initiative as long as there is equal or greater service to taxpayers at less cost and no City of Toronto jobs are lost. A stronger business savings model should be applied to all services in the City of Toronto and review and accountability demanded.

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

    I would like to see this Tax eliminated or reformed.

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

    Encourage small business development through City led initiatives, joint business and City ventures for development of new projects, Tourism and promotion of the City worldwide, recruiting sports and arts to actively use our state of the art facilities and business expos and conventions to name a few.

    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?

    Partial funding for new transit projects could come from the renegotiation of current and upcoming contracts for review and negotiation. Yes, I feel the current system should be changed as planning and decision making for this project has become gridlocked, with no decision being agreed upon or made, are we planning for short term or long term, cost effective or long term financial investment?

    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?

    Establish the common goal for Union leaders and the City. Allow for fairness not excess (overtime and time and a half) With fair and fiscally conscious negotiating, workers may loose overtime wages in the short term but gain stability of work in the long term by aiding in the development and funding of long term City projects.

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

    Of course. Tourism, hospitality, health care facilities for seniors, partnerships for Youth and current students. The Waterfront and Beaches area are prime examples where partnerships can be fostered to provide revenue and working opportunities for employees in all sectors.

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

    Crime & Safety – this incorporates various factors such as robberies, drug use, mental health, guns, gangs, violence and keeping our streets safe. We had a mass shooting less than two years ago within our ward, our banks have been robbed multiple times and our youth and residents are not safe at the corner plazas even during daylight hours. One of our ward high schools has a high percentage of students using drugs and suicide amongst this young group is cause for concern.  Over a year ago, in conjunction with MMA World Academy we implemented a cost reduced program for youth, seniors, kids and families to come out and work out together in group Yoga, family Boxing, Muay Thai and nutrition based programming. This was an initiative to bring families and kids together, meeting each other and forming life long friendships and team building that can only work to strengthen our community as one. Programming such as this is a positive step in providing solutions to keeping kids occupied and providing a framework for all community members to meet and get together.