2014 City Council Election: Ward 8 – York West

The Incumbent:

Anthony Perruzza

The Race

Councillor Anthony Perruzza only won by a few hundred votes in both the 2006 and 2010 municipal elections which is why we’re disappointed to note he has not responded to our survey. This year, he faces some unique local challengers. There is broad agreement to decrease taxes and find efficiencies in government. A couple of interesting ideas presented for subway financing and expansion.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Councillor Anthony Perruzza, Thomas Barclay, Suzanne Narain

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Against all tax increases
    Vescio, Antonio Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge St.
    Smitherman, Arthur 10% reduction across the board and deeper reduction for non-essential services. Cut the size of City Council. Do not cut community services or transit to poor areas.
    Vescio, Antonio Can not determine now but will do what is necessary to find savings.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes
    Vescio, Antonio Will consider once elected


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes and everything should be subject to 'open bidding'
    Vescio, Antonio Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes to reducing
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes to reducing and elimination
    Vescio, Antonio Yes to reducing


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess No response provided
    Smitherman, Arthur Cut taxes to lure jobs. Toronto Hydro rates should be in line with other municipalities and provinces.
    Vescio, Antonio Bring manufacturers to Toronto and increase the minimum wage.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Ask the people of the city what they want. Do not change the transit planning process. Move forward.
    Smitherman, Arthur City must be more aggressive with provincial and federal governments so they pay one-third each. Business Improvement Areas should voluntarily raise their property taxes to pay for subways. City should strategically locate subways near business and development.
    Vescio, Antonio (Unstated) Ideas regarding bus stops and shelters which will reduce congestion and help the environment.


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Depends on the contract
    Smitherman, Arthur Unions need to be part of the solution. Cut out the grandstanding.
    Vescio, Antonio Will fight hard for the taxpayers


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Yes if it ensures employment.
    Smitherman, Arthur Yes, but it should be better defined as Common Sense and Corporate Social Responsibility. For example, subway stops at plazas and other types of business development. City Council must have a service-first mentality.
    Vescio, Antonio Will consider once elected


  • Candidate Response
    Boucher, Princess Employment, particularly for youth in the summer months. Decrease red tape for small business.
    Smitherman, Arthur A subway line across Finch will mobilize labour, move traffic, and make vacant land prime for complex business development. The Jane and Finch corridor is an economically feasible subway line.
    Vescio, Antonio Increasing unemployment

 

The full responses

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

    As City Councillor of ward 8, I would most certainly like to see a cap on Property tax during my four years tenure. Especially for the seniors and low income families.

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

    I believe it is not bad idea to take a look at contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge.

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

    Most definitely, it works for Brampton and I believe it can work for Toronto. Yes it would improve how Council operates.

    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?

    I would support reducing it as it will help balance the books.

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

    No Response Provided.

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

    The people are the managers of us council, and in this case I would take to the people and hear what they want. The city is not about us but the people, we are only stewards of the people.

    I do not feel the need to change the current transit planning that is already in process, it is time to move forward.

    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 cannot honestly answer that question, as it depends on what contract we will be negotiating for.

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

    If public-private partnership can ensure me that the citizens of Toronto are guaranteed employment on a diverse level, I would have no problem supporting it.

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

    Employment. I plan to Seek Improvement of educational programs in order to be better qualified for employment and to work with the small business in the area to hire youth during the summer months. I also advocate to decrease the amount of red tape small business have to go through to operate business in the city of Toronto, The more business you can attract it would help to solve tax problem and unemployment.

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

    No.  I am against tax increases of any kind, unless it is through a BIA, [Corporation or other entity] and they agree to an increase voluntarily – in exchange for a good, or service.

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

    Flat 10% reduction across the Board, and deeper reductions for non-essential services.  Kill the ‘sunshine lists’ and reduce the size of the City Council for 2018.  I would not cut community services and transit to the poor areas – part of the City’s problem is that resources have been misdirected in the City of Toronto for over 20 years.  We need to make investments in our human capital or poverty will drag down the middle class.

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

    Yes.  See above.  It is too big to function.

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

    Yes.  Everything should be subject to ‘open bidding’.

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

    It has to be reduced or, preferably eliminated.  It is hurting the economy of Toronto as tradesman are not as involved in construction projects as they should be.  Small businesses are precluded from speculating on small real estate deals and home renovations and resale deals, which are good for neighborhoods and economy.

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

    Simple.  Cutting taxes will lure jobs.  Improve Toronto Hydro and get the rates on Hydro in line with other Provinces and Municipalities.

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

    The funding model needs to be changed.  The City needs to be more aggressive with the Province and the Federal Governments.  They need to pay one third each, or be sued by the City. ‘Social Engineering’ whereas Governments were taken to Court – was popular through the 30s, 40s, and 50s, multiculturalism has made it ‘politically incorrect’ to sue Government.  Local Business Investment Associations need to be socially responsible and voluntarily raise their property tax bills to fund subways; and so do businesses, developers and most importantly ‘plazas and similar developments’ ….need to step up to the plate.  At the same time the City needs to be more services orientated and locate subways where they will get a chunk of funding from the developers and businesses that stand to profit from subways – which is ‘substantial’.  This is only holding the parties to be ‘socially accountable’ and they profit anyways.

    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?

    Negotiating is a science and the Unions need to be part of the solution.  One on one is a good start, rule out negotiating through the press and public and cut out the ‘grandstanding and posturing’ by both parties.

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

    I don’t like that term.  I see it as ‘common sense’ that the City better facilitate ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’….. in fact, in order for the City to cut and reduce taxes it needs to ensure that Corporations get good value for their investment.  This is entirely responsible and locating subway stops at plazas and other business developments is a good example – where this kind of relationship can prosper.  It needs to be a win-win-win situation for Business, Taxpayers and the City.  City Council needs to work harder at having a ‘service first’ mentality and needs to accommodate this kind of relationship.

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

    We can change the economy and alleviate poverty in Ward 8 by getting a subway line across Finch.  It will mobilize the labor pool, get traffic to numerous large plazas, and make some vacant land prime for business complex development.  The Jane and Finch corridor might be the most economically feasible subway line in Toronto.  I will reach out to community influencers, reach out to elected officials and work with the party riding associations to lobby business and all levels of Government to work in the mutual interests of all residents, businesses and elected officials – to get a subway on Finch.

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

    Yes, I do support a property tax cap ensuring future hikes are no greater than the rate of inflation

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

    At the moment I am not privy to the current city budget. However, once elected I will do whatever is necessary to find savings for the taxpayers.

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

    In order to answer this question I would have to be elected to determine whether to reduce the size of Toronto City Council.

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

    Yes I do support contracting out garbage collection east of Yonge Street, and regarding other services, I would have to investigate whether there are other services that would benefit the taxpayers.

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

    I support reducing the Municipal 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?

    Bringing manufacturers to Toronto would create jobs and allow the minimum wage to increase, and in particular Ward 8 is in need of well-paying jobs.

    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?

    Once elected I will make it a priority to review the current transit planning process, but I do have great ideas regarding bus stops and shelters which will reduce congestion and help the environment.

    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 will fight hard for the taxpayers.

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

    My staff and I will review all materials concerning this issue once elected.

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

    The increasing unemployment rate in Ward 8 is alarming and would certainly be one of, if not the top issue. This should have been addressed long ago and would most definitely be at the top of my list should I be elected.