Mayoral candidate Ed Holder unveiled his campaign platform and shed light on his plans to improve London’s transit infrastructure Wednesday morning.
The former Conservative MP doesn’t support the city’s contentious $500-million bus rapid transit project but hopes to expand the existing LTC system to service industrial and residential areas.
“The issue is how do you move people to work, to school, and back again, on time,” said Holder.
“What about surveying businesses along Veterans Memorial Parkway — major industrial employers — and ask them to survey their own staff, and determine what they feel the need would be?”
As a “strong support of public transit,” Holder said it’s important to “understand where the need is, and respond to the need.”
Before a group of more than 150 supporters at his 530 Oxford St. W. campaign office, Holder also voiced support for the underpass at Adelaide Street and Oxford Street, and acknowledged hopes of moving London’s CN and CP rail lines as being a “longer-term discussion.”
Providing a reliable way for Londoners to travel across the city is just one of Holder’s five platform pillars. He pledged to bring the city’s leaders together to get work done and to secure federal and provincial investments for infrastructure projects. He also promised to minimize property taxes through job growth.
“Mayors don’t create jobs,” he said.
“But I will focus on two tasks to support job growth. First, I will work with local businesses and our robust education sector to make sure that our workforce has the skills businesses need. Second, I will be at the table when major presentations are being made to win new jobs and companies for London.”
The final pillar of the platform is to support those who struggle with drug addiction, mental health, and housing.
“There’s some 3,500 Londoners on the affordable housing list in this city. That’s a disgrace.”
Holder said he would include real estate developers in conversations about affordable housing, and that he’d use his “strength of collaboration to ensure that we protect those less able to take care of themselves.”
There are more than a dozen mayoral candidates in the upcoming municipal election, including Ward 13 Coun. Tanya Park, former police services board member Paul Paolatto, and businessman Paul Cheng. Current mayor Matt Brown is not seeking re-election.
Voters go the polls on Oct 22.