October 18, 2018 5:18 am
Updated: October 18, 2018 2:23 pm

Toronto election 2018: Get to know your mayoral candidates

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto voters are set to hit the polls to elect their new mayor and city councillors. Alan Carter looks at the demographics of some Toronto wards what possible impacts the new boundary changes will have. (Oct. 3)

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With the Toronto election being held on Oct. 22, Global News contacted the city’s mayoral candidates in an effort to better understand their positions on major issues.

Candidates were asked to discuss transportation, affordability, community safety and economic development-related issues.

TORONTO ELECTION 2018: Who’s running for council, and how, where and when to vote

Click on the candidates’ names to view their responses:

Dobrosav Basaric

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“About me: Non Quis sed Quid. My Vision: To try STRICT (Internet) Democracy. STRICTLY transparent etc. No punishment, just fully inform the “PERPETRATOR.” People, sometimes miss to realize they are facing red traffic light and do not stop. I am against punishing such cases. But I DO SUPPORT, informing the person that she/he missed to stop. And then let the person to think about. POINT.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“Congestion on 4xx highways: try Germany’ unlimited speed; At least study that “+50 kmh” Draconian Law. Safety: More to rely on drivers, not new Laws. Minimize fines or make it income based. Advocate PROACTIVE driving and more communication among road users. Slow down under 20 kmh when close to pedestrian or cyclist. No tickets!”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“Toronto is one of the safest cities in the country. So crime is not a critical issue. Still, maybe to try a voluntary social police. Minimal effect can be like that of dummy surveillance cameras. Maximum may equal or overtake regular police.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“Organize studies first. A single mind. even that of John’s Tory is not of much help.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“This is very similar to previous. No individual is informed enough, to think out it alone, even if top MENSA.”

Drew Buckingham

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“I am a kindergarten teacher that worked in inner city schools for a decade. I am running for mayor out of desperation. Why do I despair? Because one in four children in this city live in poverty. In some neighbourhoods, the number is one in two. This is a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately. One hundred and twenty five thousand children in this city live in poverty. I’ve seen kids come to school hungry, without socks and proper footwear in the winter, without proper clothes to keep them warm. They don’t vote, they don’t have a voice, but children are our most precious gift. They are our future, our everything. As a city, we are not listening to them, we are negligent as a collective. We have failed them, and they have to pay the price for our neglect. My vision for Toronto would be a city that prioritizes the health of children over everything else. More important than taxes, transit, crime, and green space. Eradicating child poverty would be my number one priority as mayor. I believe in this city, I love this city, but we must remove this stain on our city. Leading the nation in child poverty is not a Toronto that I’m okay with. Not at all.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“I am a candidate that is running on one issue. It isn’t easing congestion on Toronto roads. I completely understand that improving safety for all road users is very important, however this is also not a priority for me. I am running on one issue. Child poverty. I’m putting children before pavement, kids before convenience. This is a crisis. Full stop. I only hope whoever the next mayor of this city is, recognizes the severity of this situation. Wondering about traffic congestion while we have this issue to tackle is akin to wondering about the Leafs score while you are inside your house as its burning to the ground.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“I have my opinions. I could talk about community policing, police in kiosks instead of divisions, getting to know the people in the neighbourhood, a decentralized approach. Rebuilding trust with all the citizens of this city. However, as important an issue as this is, it is also not my major concern. Finding immediate ways of reducing child poverty is my priority. Reducing the number of hungry children in this city to zero is my priority. Locating the systemic and institutionalized causes of child poverty and finding ways to eliminate them is my priority. I guess I’m hopeful that if we find ways as a city to look after our own, that kids believe they are valued by the city in real ways, there is less of a chance they will grow into adults who get into trouble.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“First and foremost, my idea of a beautiful city is one where all children have an opportunity to succeed. When one in four children live in poverty, which is the staggering number in Toronto, are they being given the best chance to flourish? What constitutes a beautiful city for me is a place where all children are fed, clothed, and valued. Toronto can be a beautiful city, but it needs to remove this stain immediately.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“To reiterate, if elected, I would prioritize eliminating child poverty as my number one priority. Until we have addressed this catastrophe in a real way, everything else can wait.”

Brian Buffey

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“My vision is vast, but first I’d like to remind you that as I stated from day #1 I am the ONLY candidate that would donate my entire yearly salary of ($192,000) to help our homeless veterans and other Torontonians. No FREE hotels rooms for illegals ever. I would reverse our “Sanctuary City” status and return Toronto to it’s tax paying citizens.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“All roadwork would take place on weekends and evening hours so as to not impede daytime traffic. I would add way more buses and less streetcars to all main arteries. The city has spent literally millions of dollars on streetcars and they dinosaurs. I would not be adding any additional bike lanes, as there are enough already.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“A lot more trained police officers would be hired by the city as well as the opening of sub-stationed in the most troubled areas. Also I’d create a “snitch out a criminal for cash” fund as an incentive to bring more violent offenders to justice.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I’d create a weekly “City Lottery” project and all of the profits would go back into fixing our infrastructure as well as building more affordable housing.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“I would support Doug Ford on the minimum wage freeze and work with corporations for sponsorship incentives and create more job opportunities for our young people. I would also work with our federal government for funding for grants to be earmarked in training skilled trades.”

Kevin Clarke

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“The Should Know that i have the heart and passion to address our most pressing issues such as poverty, homelessness, affordable housing, crime, violence and restring confidence in our law enforcement, we will also address youth employment programs, affordable childcare and better service for seniors.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“0 tolerance for speeding, erratic or under the influence driving, i would reduce congestion by making congested area more parking friendly knowing that a lot of that congestion comes from people circling looking for parking space.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“Would reduce crime through job creation initiative for people of low income, youth, unemployed and people on welfare and disability will also reduce crime by addressing issues of addiction and mental health that create elements for crime.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“By investing in the humanity of the city addressing out social problems and focusing on the social needs of the residents, i strongly focus on the children for they are the ones i am building for and together we will make toronto good again.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“I Would first move the Ferris wheel from center island to the front of city hall so their is no doubts the children are our first focus,,to create jobs i will create services to help senior,disabled and give counseling to those of mental ailment using knowledge people who have life experience in those area by addressing our social and unlawful elements we will develop into a happy prosperous city of hope, opportunity and humanity for all.”

Sarah Climenhaga

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“My vision is of a safe, affordable, equitable and sustainable city in Toronto. I have lived in this city my entire life, and have successsfully advocated for positive environmental, transit and road safety improvements. I want to chart a long-term, fiscally responsible path for our city and to involve residents in decisions on how our tax dollars are spent and raised. I know we must consider all sources of revenue so we can invest in the essential services and infrastructure our city needs. It’s time to challenge the mindset that says we don’t have enough to fund housing, local transit, libraries, community centres, parks, libraries, arts, culture and recreational programming. We are a wealthy city and it’s time to step up. Whether we’re speaking about housing or transit, crime or road safety, we know the solutions. We just need the political will to take action, and the courage to invest responsibly. I have both, and I look forward to all our residents being able to contribute to and enjoy a high quality of life in this city, no matter how much money they make.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“Our current road system isn’t accommodating Toronto’s growing population. We need to get moving, and that can’t happen if we politicize transportation. I have been listening to residents all over this city and we all use, or would like to use, all modes of transportation in this city, and the truth is none of them are working. Cars are stuck in traffic, transit is overcrowded and those on two feet or two wheels are at risk of serious injury and death. We must move forward with long-term plans for rapid transit across this city, and improve transit immediately by increasing daily TTC service levels, and by giving transit priority on our roads. We must build a minimum grid of safe, protected and connected infrastructure for all those on two wheels or two feet. We need to reduce speed limits in our residential streets and arterial roads, leverage safety cameras, ban right turns on red, and place mid-block crossings in areas of high foot traffic and at all bus and streetcar stops. Only by providing affordable, reliable and safe transportation options for all people will we get out of the gridlock in our city.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“We clearly need to reduce the number of guns in Toronto, but that alone will not fix this issue. Crime in Toronto, as elsewhere, is a symptom of the root problem – growing inequity and poverty. Until we give our youth better options through youth programs, until we face mental illness with real long-term solutions, until we build real partnerships with communities to improve public safety, the violence too many communities are experiencing will not go away. The only way to reduce crime is to prevent it, and the only way to prevent crime is to attack poverty and inequity. We can do that through wise, evidence based investment in our city and in our people.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“We know exactly how to create a modern, beautiful and safe city, and that’s by ensuring we have adequate housing for all people, that people are able to move around safely, reliably and affordably, and that public amenities such as parks, community centres, libraries, ice rinks and pools are all well maintained and available in close proximity to every resident. Affordability means people can afford an apartment or a house, it means people can afford to travel, and it means people can afford to access city services. To address housing in particular, we must strive to end homelessness by improving Toronto Community Housing, and we must grant at low cost city land for municipal land trust and co-ops to build truly affordable housing. We must improve zoning to immediately create new affordable places to live in neighbourhoods across this city, and we must work with the private sector to incentivize rental buildings. All this can be done while safeguarding green space and ensuring local benefits to communities.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“The best way to build our economy is to create an affordable, liveable, and equitable city, where everyone has a chance to contribute. Large employers, with large workforces, will only locate or remain in a city where their employees, customers and clients can find housing, and are not stuck in gridlock. My housing and transportation platforms are the most important when it comes to job creation. Toronto must also nurture and encourage entrepreneurs, who are important job creators themselves. We must reduce the red tape that sees permits for legitimate business taking months or even years to be granted. We must reduce the far too high property tax on small businesses. We must make sure that there is available and affordable space for artists, musicians and other independent small businesses to create, exhibit and sell their offerings to the public. By addressing zoning laws, the way we generate revenue and our housing and transportation challenges we will be a city with economic opportunity for all residents.”

Mike Gallay

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“I was born and raised in Toronto and have worked for nearly two decades as a writer and filmmaker, as well as in real estate as an investor and landlord. You may read more about me at my campaign site, mikemoreyears.com. I am plant-based, and animal welfare is central to the conversation I hope to guide. Though my vision spans all aspects of community life, from building revenue tools to boosting arts funding to poverty reduction and unlocking government-owned lands to provide housing relief, I am also trying to bring about a conversation about our poor treatment of animals, how it impacts them, our health and our environment, and that major steps to better the situation are possible, and necessary, at the municipal level. The 2011 ban of shark fin soup in Toronto displayed there is much we as a city can do in this regard.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“The push for toll roads needs to be raised anew, both as a direct user fee to be paid into the maintenance and development of transit initiatives, and to ease congestion. Getting Torontonians to increasingly use methods other than one-person-to-one-car travel is essential. Fundamentally, we need to shift how we think about traversing the city, as we continue to grow in population density, whereas our room for new roads is minor. Building a downtown east/west subway line is crucial to that shift. I’d like to amalgamate disparate cycling initiatives and push to build a better gridded network of protected lanes, rather than the scattershot attempts we’ve mostly installed. Reducing speed limits is critical, and despite the minor aggravations some drivers will experience (myself included), nothing is shown to save more lives from traffic deaths than reduced speeds. There simply should not be city roads encouraging drivers to travel at 60 km/h.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“Reducing criminality is neither simply done, nor is it accomplished by any single measure. As much as I support hand gun bans and increasing resources for police to crack down on gang activity, elementally, raising the floor on poverty is essential to a healthy society, and to that end the mayor and council need to work with the various communities throughout the city to improve access to after school programming, youth employment, using marketing campaigns to further reduce the stigma of mental illness and to foster social inclusiveness. Efforts for working class people to have better paying and more secure employment is also integral to community wellness. Supporting police efforts, particularly in making partnerships with locals, working directly with citizens, and engaging rather than being seen as agents to avoid, is key as well.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“We have an incredible city, truly the envy of much of the world. As a result, and as a result of our commendable policies to welcome refugees to Toronto, we have a steadily growing population, and with that comes pressure on our affordable housing stock. Over the past four years we have seen just a few thousand new affordable housing starts and the prospects will continue to look bleak if we don’t tap into public lands, particularly our own municipal (and provincial where possible) lots. As someone who has worked in real estate as an investor, renovator and landlord for years, I would work with developers to build city-controlled buildings over these lands with affordable rental rates tied to the general cost of housing. Years of broken policy led to rampant over-development of very small luxury condo units and this is our best and fastest way out of that hole.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“Most election cycles we hear local politicians claim how many more jobs they will bring to our city or region despite having very limited resources to do so directly. Those claims tend to disappear on October 23rd. Our economic development is tied to many social factors far beyond reaching out to major corporations and offering massive tax breaks which has been the main thrust of the past with very little provable result. While I would continue to be a cheerleader for the diversity and skill of our local citizenry, and certainly a big booster of the arts as an artist myself, I would push for the province and federal governments to be a partner in raising minimum wages and offering subsidized education and retraining to those in lower paid jobs and outmoded professions. Raising the floor is the key to a healthy city and economy. The ceiling is doing just fine.”

Saron Gebresellassi

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“I am a Human Rights Lawyer, Community Organizer, Business Owner, Millennial, Classically-Trained Musician and Speaker of 7 Languages. As a lawyer, I have defended the people of the City of Toronto when met with injustice and won a long list of complex cases along the way. As a community organizer, I know that big organizing can defeat John Tory’s machinery. As a successful entrepreneur and founder of a leading social enterprise, I know one can be both business savvy and relentless in the pursuit of socio-economic justice. As an artist, I understand that creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is necessary to achieve change in Toronto. As a linguist and practitioner of American Sign Language, I know that Toronto must do better in servicing Deaf and marginalized communities. We need a Toronto for all of us. I want to begin by acknowledging that we are all better off when the least of us are better off. We can’t do it all at once. But we can start by focusing on a few things. I call it the Six for the 6ix. I am calling for the right to housing, the right to transit, the right to employment outside of the downtown core, the right to fair allocation of city resources, the right to mental health supports and accessibility, and the right to representation in city politics and city hiring.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“I am calling for a freeze on transit fares with a goal of achieving free transit in the City of Toronto. I recently met with renowned Transit Expert and Head of the European Union Office in Estonia, Allan Alakula. In Estonia, free transit is implemented in the entire region. Free transit has been piloted in 100 cities around the world and is being examined by Edmonton’s City Council. Transit advocates have already shown us the way. Studies and transit experts have shown that free transit for all is the key to easing congestion, reducing the number of motorists on the road and improving road safety. I will implement measures to re-time traffic lights, better manage the response to breakdowns and collisions, implement speed limits that adjust to smooth traffic flow and regulate the volume of traffic entering highways. I will also support and expand our sharing economy through increased investment in bicycle sharing, ride sharing and carpooling efforts.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“In 2005, I met with then Prime Minister Paul Martin to call for a community-based strategy to eradicate gun violence. Thirteen years later, community advocates are still calling for an approach to crime that tackles its root cause- poverty. I can assure the people of the City of Toronto that crime rates in the city will plummet under my leadership. This is because I will work to eliminate poverty and homelessness in our city. Sadly, Toronto has been dubbed the “child poverty capital” of our country. Poverty is the most common prelude to criminal activity and conflict with our justice system. Internationally, cities with the lowest poverty rates also enjoy the lowest crime rates. I will design a strategic partnership between the Toronto Public Library and Toronto’s incarceration facilities to promote literacy in city prisons. Often times, books are barred from entering Toronto’s prisons and inmates struggle to reintegrate into society once released. Toronto can be a leader for the world to look to for innovative crime solutions. A books-to-prisons pipeline will set a pathway for inmates to leave a life of crime behind and usher in new opportunities for success. I will work with all levels of government to implement the 2005 call for a community-based strategy to eradicating gun violence.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I will declare a State of Emergency on Housing immediately upon assuming office. This is because the affordability crisis in our city is intolerable. I pledge to build 20,000 new affordable housing units. I pledge to a) fulfill City Council’s commitments to upgrade our emergency shelter system to ensure it has the capacity to meet immediate needs, and to develop and fund a systematic approach to preventing homelessness; b) to establish a predictable, sustainable operating and capital funding formula for all 58,500 homes now owned by Toronto Community Housing; and c) to support inclusionary zoning policies that ensure permanently affordable rental housing – including deeply affordable homes – is part of every new development. I will beautify our commissioning our city’s greatest artists to produce works to artistically stimulate and inspire our communities.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“I will create one thousand new youth jobs within my first year of assuming office. I will stimulate local economies in all of our Neighborhood Improvement Areas by creating subsidies for small businesses to hire locally. I will render Toronto the Conventions Capital of North America by leveraging my relationships with international partners and civil society organizations to make Toronto their first-choice host city for annual conventions generating new streams of revenue for our city. I will increase per capita funding to the arts and culture sector which currently contributes 11.3 Billion Dollars Annually to Toronto’s GDP. Every dollar the city invests in the non-profit arts sector generates $12.46 back from other levels of government and the private sector. This is why investing in arts and culture is necessary to enjoy continued economic development. I will support programs designed to give young people entrepreneurial skills to succeed in creative endeavors in the City of Toronto. I will commit to investing in programs like Hxouse- an incubator and accelerator that is at the forefront of fostering innovation and opportunity for creative entrepreneurs.”

Faith Goldy

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“We’re the only right of centre platform polling in the top three! We want to Make Toronto Safe Again with a vision that’s tough on crime and easy on taxpayers.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“We must clear gridlock and congestion. As Mayor, I will work with Premier Doug Ford to improve the subway network and more. I will introduce articulated electric buses, a TTC Traffic Control Centre wherein all units will be GPS-tracked for daily efficiency, and phase out streetcars. City contracts will be competitive — no more hosing the taxpayer, while ineffective contractors will be penalized. The King Street Pilot Project will also come to an end within my first month in office.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“As Mayor, I will reinstate Toronto’s Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy and bring back the invaluable policy of carding so our officers have the tools they need to make sure our city is welcoming to everyone except criminals.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“Gone are the days of cookie-cutter modern architecture void of any character or identity. New Architectural standards will ensure that new construction projects are both functional and beautiful. No more eyesores. Additionally, as Mayor I will eliminate the Land Transfer Tax for all first time home buyers with Canadian citizenship and Work to phase out the LTT altogether over my first four years in government.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“You know how to spend your money better than the government does! For that simple reason, as Mayor, I will ensure property taxes remain below the rate of inflation. I will also work to phase out the Land Transfer Tax for all Canadian citizens over my first four years in office and continue fighting against wasteful spending to keep your taxes low.
I know the best way to attract business isn’t government handouts but keeping taxes low! As Mayor, I will incentivize investment by reducing commercial property tax, cutting red tape, and fighting congestion to get businesses moving again.”

Brian Graff

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“I’m a “radical centrist” who admires people that avoid the usual left-right ideological trap. My role models are people like Jane Jacobs because they come up with innovative ways of looking at issues – they challenge the conventional wisdom.

Toronto is facing many seemingly unsolvable problems, but no politician will admit the real root cause behind congestion, high housing prices, poverty (and particularly child poverty), underemployment and our transit and other infrastructure not being up to our needs.

The underlying driver of our problems is the rapid population growth of the GTA since 1990, when Mulroney changed our immigration policy to permanent high immigration. Why does Canada need an immigration rate per capita that is double that of the USA, which faces the same demographic challenges?

This isn’t to blame immigrants, because it is federal and provincial policy that’s at fault for unsustainable GTA population growth. Bigger isn’t better.

The Mayor has only one vote of 26, with few other powers. But the Mayor speaks for our City to our neighbours, the province and the federal government. My message will be that high population growth is not sustainable – we need time to catch up for 40 years of population growth and underinvestment.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“The GTAH is growing from 7 million people in 2011 to over 9 million in 2031, so any idea that congestion is not going to get far worse is absurd. Even if we had no more population growth, it would take us decades just to catch up with current demand.

Even the DRL and other planned transit lines will not increase capacity enough for 9 million, and we don’t know how to pay for this transit either.

The policy of the City has been decidedly “anti-car” for years. Bike lanes and idiotic projects like the King Street Pilot Project are reducing road capacity. On King Street, simply banning left turns is why streetcars are faster, but how can narrowing King from two lanes to one by taking a lane and filling it with planters make streetcars faster?

Lowering the speed limit to 30kph will have no impact because it won’t be enforced. Why not down to 10kph? It was 30 MILES per hour when I learned to drive. In any case, cars are safer than the 1970 car I learned to drive on, and new technology on Mercedes and others cars senses when pedestrians run in front of a moving vehicle.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“If elected I promise to personally commit fewer crimes than John Tory or Jennifer Keesmaat.

The best way to reduce crime is through economic prosperity and giving youths hope and a path to a useful job and a place in society that accepts them.

Unfortunately many of the tools are not under the control of the Mayor and Council, except the police force and things like community programs aimed at youth.

A gun ban will do little, as Chicago proves. Illegal guns mostly originate elsewhere.

Illegal hard drugs are one reason why organised crime and gangs exist. Countries like Portugal take a different approach, treating drugs as a health issue and removing the incentives for many users to deal drugs or buy drugs on the street. A key role of Mayor is to lobby the higher levels of government on these issues and have them implement solutions appropriate for Toronto

My main policy would be to work with professionals in the police and related disciplines to ensure we apply best practices from around the world. In Britain, few officers carry guns and most encounters with violent citizens end up being de-escalated without the use of guns or tasers.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I’d start by firing most of the City’s planners – they place intensification ahead of streets with human scale, charm and character. I have a degree in architecture so this is a subject dear to my heart. Since 2011 I’ve fought inappropriate developments (before Council and the OMB) that doesn’t fit into the existing context.

We give more protection to replaceable trees than irreplaceable heritage buildings.

We add 110,000 extra people in the GTAH annually, and even with record levels of new housing (40,000 units annually), prices keep going up.

I have an MBA in real estate and this is simple land economics – the bigger the city, the higher the prices near the centre, and Toronto is the GTA’s centre. Add in the Green Belt, which fixes the supply of land, and prices rocket even higher.

Rapid GTA population growth is the main factor in high housing prices, similar to the situation in Vancouver. Low interest rates and foreign money are also factors, but because everyone expects population to grow to 11 million in the GTAH by 2031, people expect that prices will keep climbing and bid up the price. Cut population growth, and prices will stabilize.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“This question is backward – the problem is not that we adding too few jobs for the number of working people we have, it is that we are adding too many new people (100,000 per year) in the GTA for the number of good jobs our economy can create.

Jobs in construction to accommodate population growth are not an answer – this is like a pyramid scheme if we bring in more people to build more housing and infrastructure to attract more people. Population growth is costly and we cannot afford to build the subway and transit lines for our current needs, let alone for a few million more people – this is like trying to hit a moving target.

South Korea and Japan have high standards of living with little population growth – bigger is not better. The corporations and economists worry about a labour shortage – but we need a labour shortage to raise incomes and reduce unemployment and underemployment. The US unemployment rate went from 10.5% in 2010 to 3.7% today while our went from 8.5% to 5.9% over the same period, and our dollar is also lower to boot. What explains our poor performance on unemployment if high population/workforce growth is not a factor?”

Tofazzel Haque

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“Tofazzel Haque was born in a respectable lawyer and political family in Kushtia, Bangladesh, and came to Canada with his beautiful family as a landed immigrant. Mr. Haque achieved LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) with first class first position and also LL.M (Master of Laws) with first class first position (Gold Medalist) under the Faculty of Law from the Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh. Mr. Haque is a practicing lawyer at Tofazzel Law Professional Corporation,Toronto ,ON. Mr. Haque is a Legal Advisor, Mentor and Motivational Speaker at Fahmi Rahman Foundation for Mental Health,Ontario, Canada,and was a lawyer of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and former Assistant Professor and Acting Chairman at Department of Law and Justice of Southeast University, Bangladesh. Mr. Haque also obtained four Diplomas as Law Clerk, Paralegal, Immigration Consultant and Business and Event Management Consultant from Canada. As a social worker and law professor of the university, I always had a dream to build a better community utilizing my own community experience and legal expertize where people will live together just like many different beautiful flowers in a garden and everybody is treated equally with respect upholding our shared values of democracy, diversity, dignity and prosperity.
As a practicing lawyer in Ontario, it is indeed my proud privilege serving the people of Toronto and protecting public interest. I believe in you, my community and of course in myself! I promise you can count on my qualifications and skills to lead and serve the people of Toronto. Let us work together to turn Toronto into a city that we all have always dreamed of for long where everybody will live happily respecting each other and sharing our Canadian values.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“The first and foremost vision of our election is to make a better Toronto and ensure equal participation to make it happen. To ease congestion on Toronto roads, our commitment will be to modernize and improve the Transit and Communication for cheaper, safer and comprehensive like the other richest cities of the world. We will re-organize the Tax laws, by-laws, plan and policy of the City. We will develop and maintain the quality of City roads, streets, avenues etc. We will arrange continuing education and training as to the trafficking system and laws to public and private drivers, to motivate drivers not to violate the rules of the roads and high ways. We will arrange more buses along with express services and will arrange the express roads during the pick hours. To improve the safety for all road users we will motivate drivers particularly the young drivers against drunk driving and teach them about the value of life, road accident, rules and regulations of the safety roads including pedestrian and cyclist rights, too. We will make harsher law to protect the road safety, arrange special road safety and security police to ensure the road safety and security.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“We will have zero tolerance abourt all sort of criminal activities including the gun violence, hate crime etc. We also will make the special police force against the gun violence. We will find the root causes of the crimes and to take the comprehensive measures based on these. We will advocate with the federal/provincial government to amend and to make a harsher law to protect the criminal activities, at the same time we will motivate the criminals’ through educational and awareness program particularly the young and habituated criminals. In addition, we will crest new jobs for the new immigrants and to reorganization of primary, junior and high school curricula with an idea of religion and culture to promote diversity, to re-organize the TDSB syllabus inserting basic Canadian laws, criminal laws, physical, mental health, abuse of drugs, alcohol, marijuana, smoking cigarette, importance of family life, family relationship etc, and to increase awareness of physical exercise and recreation, motivation and socialization in the school curriculum and decrease excess use of video game, computers, mobile, social media etc that play a role for the potential criminals.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“To build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents, equal participation of the people is a must. To do so, we will increase slightly taxes, development fees and land transfer tax fairly and reasonably that people can afford. We believe that improper utilization of public funds, corruption stress the affordability of the common residents. We will focus on the proper utilization of the public funds fairly and equally. We will ensure transparency, good governance and accountability of the City, fight against discrimination, corruption and syndication of the City to restore good image of the City, and the office of the Mayor so that public funds can be utilized fairly, equally and reasonably for a better Toronto and affordable Toronto.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“To increase the amount of jobs and boost economic development, we will ensure proper utilization of foreign-trained doctors and nurses, teachers, engineers, lawyers, IT and other professionals. We will motivate peoples for new businesses and will reorganize policy to promote informal economy with the formal economy system. We will build new factories, new corporation with our own resources in collaboration with foreign investment process. We will lobby with the provincial/federal government for creation of new jobs for well qualified new immigrants, for example, foreign-trained doctors, teachers, engineers, bankers and other professionals.”

Jennifer Keesmaat

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“I believe that we truly need leadership that will raise the bar, stand up for Toronto and fight to make our city more affordable, safe, and liveable for everyone. I am running for Mayor because I believe a bolder vision is needed. I know what it takes to get things done at City Hall — you have to have a clear vision, a practical strategy for how to get things done, and the knowledge of how to execute that plan. We have some big issues facing our city that require immediate action and strong leadership to solve, and what I’m offering is a clear plan to get to work immediately to make housing more affordable, to ensure our streets and neighbourhoods are safer, and to fast-track our city’s most important transit project: The Relief Line subway. As I laid out in my 100 Day Action Plan, in my first 100 days in office, I would take bold action on pressing issues, including: Assigning a full-time, dedicated team to fast-track work on Relief Line; start work on tearing down the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis; start building 100,000 purpose-built affordable rental homes; make streets and school zones safe through reduced speed limits and design improvements; and bring gender fairness to leadership positions at City Hall. A Mayor who has clear priorities and the expertise necessary to get things done can act immediately on a number of the most pressing issues facing our city. In my first 100 days, that’s exactly what I would do.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“In order to ease congestion on Toronto roads, the most important thing we can do is to give people more choice. Lots of people take transit, lots of people drive, lots of people bike, and lots of people walk; in many cases, people will take two or more of those modes in the same day. So we need to do a better job of making each of those choices easier for people. Unfortunately, we have a decades-long transit infrastructure deficit in Toronto, so building out that network in a smart and efficient way needs to be a top priority. That’s why my plan is for an integrated, city-wide transit network that weaves together subways, LRTs, streetcars, and buses to shorten people’s commutes and ensure there is great transit in every neighbourhood in the city. Some of my priorities include: Getting the Relief Line built three years faster than the original completion date; making the King Street Pilot permanent; delivering better and expanded transit in Scarborough; implementing enhanced bus service where appropriate; and designing and building the Jane LRT. And we need to take much bolder action on road safety; instead of waiting for overwhelming public outcry and tragedies to hit, I’m going to work proactively to make our streets safe by design. My plan is to take action on road safety across the city by reducing speed limits in residential areas, redesigning the city’s 100 most dangerous intersections, and ensuring our all our school zones are safe. I’ve laid out my priorities for my first two years in office and I won’t stop there. My goal is to ensure there are zero deaths on Toronto’s roads.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

When it comes to public safety, we can’t just wait for a crisis to act. As Mayor, I will be focusedevery single day on ensuring we all feel safer in every corner of our city — I laid out a datadriven approach to exactly this. We need to focus on crime prevention by providing economic opportunities and support for youth and address the root causes that lead people down violent paths. The neighbourhood safety strategies we develop throughout the city will create effective partnerships between policing teams, health and social service professionals, and community organizers and leaders. We need to transform policing in this city to focus on a neighbourhood-centred approach; I will bring neighbourhood-based policing to each of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods within four years.

Additionally, handguns, assault rifles, and ammunition have no place in our city, and must be banned. We need action now. The Toronto Police Transformational Taskforce has called for a neighbourhood-centred system that specifically trains and deploys police to prevent and reduce crime by building trusting and effective relationships with the communities they serve. We need to restore public confidence in the safety of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, and my plan will do that.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I believe that we can create a Toronto that is cleaner, greener, and more affordable. It starts with making the right decisions for our city. A key example of this is my plan to tear down the elevated portion of the Gardiner East and replace it with a beautiful grand boulevard. In addition to saving taxpayers $500 million, it provides better outcomes for the city in terms of waterfront revitalization, real estate and economic development potential, air quality, noise, and sustainability. It would provide us with an opportunity to build a mixed-use neighbourhood on this section of the waterfront to attract a mix of film and technology companies, and other commercial uses, alongside beautiful, green, waterfront side housing and retail. City-wide, one of the greatest challenges to affordability in Toronto is housing. Too many young people are leaving Toronto, and young families are holding off on having kids because they can’t afford a place to call home. My housing affordability plan includes building 100,000 purpose-built affordable rental homes in the next 10 years, along with an innovative Rent-to-Own program to help people make the leap from renting to owning.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“Toronto is a big and fast-growing city, and it’s time we leveraged that growth to support good local jobs. The City is planning to spend billions of dollars on major infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, and Community Benefit Agreements are a great way to ensure that local Toronto workers can share in that prosperity. I will develop rules as part of the development application process to mandate that all major private sector development projects include a Community Benefits Agreement to support local hiring and achieve social, economic and environmental benefits for the local communities impacted by proposed developments. Through these partnerships, we can harness the growth we’re seeing in Toronto to help build our workforce for the future and ensure that more people in our city are sharing in this
prosperity.”

Gautam Nath

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“Unlike other candidates, I come from the corporate world and have been serving on Board level positions for the last 15 years. So unlike politicians who promise big goals to get elected and then balk, I walk the talk! I have a 10 Point Action Plan for Toronto that is futuristic and brings economic vibrancy back to our current lacklustre economic state.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“Other candidates talk of grandiose transit plans which in all reality requires sign off from the Premier and that’s not coming as he has his own game plan post the 22nd. I offer immediate solutions to the transit roadblock.

3 changes:

1. Encourage employers to instill a work from home culture. 1 day out of 5 brings an immediate 20% reduction in traffic.

2. Demarcate the city into 7 zones and close all public facing businesses one day of the week. It will smoothen traffic on weekdays.

3. Bring out double deckers on routes coming out of the downtown core.

Paint roads with cooling zones in blue color where the speed limit is given as 30, similar to school zones. This will reduce speed where safety is an issue.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“A 3 pronged effort:

1. Zero Tolerance to unlicensed guns. You go straight to JAIL or if you are not a citizen, you get deported.

2. Initiate a reward program anonymously rewarding cash to where the tip results in a conviction.

3. Initiate a vocational training program to educate young adults to be able to take up meaningful jobs and stay out of streets and gangs.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“We have a little over 2.0 million dwellings in the city. 53% as single dwellings or low rise buildings. If we change the building laws allowing home owners to build a second level, it will ease the supply situation. If 10 % decide to build that in itself adds 1,00,000 new dwellings. Banks love it, building contractors love it, and home owners get added rental income. And the city does not have to fund it. It brings back economic activity to the city. And the bylaws control the design of the building ensuring consistency and artistic flavor.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“I will launch the MTJOB portal that will ensure and encourage Toronto jobs stay with Torontonians. Money stays in Toronto and gets spent in Toronto ensuring economic vibrancy. 905 traffic will go down reducing burden on transit. With added dwellings available by my point above, rents will be more affordable and Toronto will once again shine.I recommended we raise the city investment in Arts & Culture from the current 25$ per resident to 50$ thus doubling the City’s investment and encouraging jobs to flourish. Our artistic talent will be fostered and bloom. Finally, as opposed to being branded as a Sanctuary City, I will rebrand Toronto as the Tech Capital of North America encouraging International investment and high value jobs to the city. No refugee to Canada will be able to settle in Toronto for the first three years, a clear terms of settlement for refugees.”

Thomas O’Neill

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“It is my hope that we can progress Toronto into being the millennial city that it should be. Working together we can begin to move our daily workings to be fact based, moral and logical decisions that a generation of educated people should be making. The way we build, what we waste, and how we treat both our environment and our people need to be reevaluated and consistently changed for the good of the people. Personally, I was born and raised in Toronto. My parents were Irish immigrants fleeing Belfast during troubles in the 70’s, my wife was a Yukoslavian refugee when she came to Toronto – this is a city/province/country that should always be a safe haven for those that are unable to help themselves.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“I believe that Toronto suffers from a hoarder mentality when it comes to how we build our roads. We need everything, all at once. Take queen street for example: We have a streetcar, busses, deliveries, citizen traffic, bike lane, parking and foot traffic. Add a little bit of construction here and there and we have ourselves one hell of a dangerous street. My first step would be simple – if there are streetcar tracks then we take away parking, at all hours. We would also add a limited idle and/or stopping time during off hours (really only for deliveries). From there we would address the city block by block, poling local residents for possible fixes. Finally, if we have a bike lane, we would build a bike lane (like on shourbourne). As far as I’m concerned paint where cars can drive does not constitute a bike lane.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“In my opinion a rise in criminal activity is a reflection of hopelessness. Millennials have been a generation constantly dismissed, as lazy and entitled. The truth is that as youth in a capitalist society we were never effectively incentivized to work for a system that is stacked against us. Think about what we, our youth, have to look forward to: Debt. They graduate, work towards a post secondary education that not only places them in an unmanageable financial situation – but they are still not guaranteed a career that can support them beyond a working poor status. And we question why violence and criminality become a realistic vocation. My solve would be to push for forced profit sharing in all sectors, across the country. Of course, we would have to start on smaller scale. This singular change would seriously curb the allure of gangsterism for profit. The ultimate goal of having a job is to make money towards dreams of a secure future, right? – and at some point along the way we’ve forgotten that concept. Personally, I was stabbed defending myself during a street fight on Young – and if you think there was anything other than fear in the heart of the person with the knife then you have no real understanding of criminal violence.”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I feel like these are two different issues but both have the same solve. Personally, I am not interested in making an affordable Toronto. There are affordable houses in Burlington, North Bay and Kingston. The issue with Toronto is that there is a huge gap between the rich and the working poor, and minimum wage is not a living wage. My ideal solve is forced profit sharing across the board. This is one of the only ways to address the wage gap, that I can see, that we can ensure that the owners and corporations are taxed, not the franchisees and our taxpayers. The best opportunity we have with this is with the legalization of marijuana we could allow privatization of the industry with the stipulation that all storefront sales in Toronto are only allowed to happen with a 10 – 15% profit-sharing for employees in place. With that in place it will be difficult for other industries staff without meeting the same incentives for their employees.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“A younger and more thoughtful leadership would lead towards a more modern approach to a workforce. Personally, I think that Toronto should be overflowing with tech jobs, but the truth is our old, lifer politicians, have been unable to successfully woo large tech companies to set up office here. Every time we have an innovative technical breakthrough we seem to rage against it and stand in the way until it is proven to work elsewhere before we take implement change (Uber, CartoGo, etc.). Beyond the tech sector, I think we have a great opening in our city to pump up the trades industry. If Toronto became a destination where we became know for using, and subsequently teaching, new and traditional techniques in trades fields it would not only put us in a position to tap into a profitable industry, but it would solve a shortage that we are currently experiencing. This is a great place to create an affordable post-secondary system.”

John Tory

What should Toronto voters know about you and your vision for the city?

“Four years ago, Toronto wanted leadership that worked. I was elected because people wanted me to get on with the job of building transit, keeping taxes low and to work with the other levels of government. People wanted a leader who would work hard to make their lives better. People wanted their city to work for them. That’s what I’ve done and it’s what I will continue to do. It’s about standing up for the people of Toronto and working together to get things done. And though there remains much to be done, we’ve made that happen.”

What’s your vision to ease congestion on Toronto roads and how will you improve safety for all road users?

“The primary way to ease congestion is by building our transit network plan. That is why we, for the first time ever, approved a City-wide transit network plan so we are building multiple projects at the same time like SmartTrack, the Relief Line and the Scarborough subway extension. I secured $9 billion from the other governments to get it built.

I’ve also implemented shorter term measures to ease congestion. We have sped up our construction projects that take up lanes of traffic, we’re piloting “smart” traffic signals so we adapt to real-time traffic volumes and allocate more “green time”, and by the end of the year, we will have Traffic Constables managed our busiest intersections.

I am committed to doing everything possible as quickly as possible to make our streets safer. The goal is and always has been zero deaths or injuries on our streets. I championed the City’s first Vision Zero Road Safety plan. The City is rolling out speeding up road redesign initiatives, doubling the number of leading pedestrian intervals being installed this year from 40 to 80, and installing zebra markings at up to 200 additional intersections. The City also rolled out school safety zones and senior safety zones across the city.”

How do you plan to reduce criminal activity in Toronto?

“I have put forward a three-point plan to combat gun and gang violence:

– Hire more police; 200 more this year and 200 more next year including more officers embedded long-term in neighbourhoods

– Tougher bail laws, harsher sentencing for gun traffickers and gang members and stricter gun control which the federal government is holding nationwide consultations

– Significantly expanded community investments to provide positive options for young people”

How would you build a modern, beautiful, safe city but keep it affordable for residents?

“I am committed to keeping Toronto affordable by keeping property taxes low, addressing transit costs and affordable housing.

Your property tax bill is the biggest single cheque that you write to the city every year. Through prudent leadership we have made major investments in transit, housing and poverty reduction while keeping tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. I am committed to keeping this promise in the next term to keep Toronto affordable.

I am proud that during my time as Mayor we have made transit more affordable through the low-income fair pass, Kids Ride Free program and the hop-on-hop-off two-hour transfer.

An area where we need to do more in the next term is building more affordable housing. I am committed to building 40,000 affordable housing units over 12 years. Through developing city-owned land, inclusionary zoning and partnerships with private industry, we can achieve this target and offer thousands of families an affordable place to live each year.”

If elected, what would you do to increase the amount of jobs for residents and boost economic development?

“I am so proud that over the last term, 200,000 jobs were created in the City of Toronto. We have created more tech jobs than Silicon Valley and New York City combined. Intel, Microsoft, Uber and Shopify all in one week expanded their footprint in Toronto. And we’re already home to Google Canada, Sidewalk Labs and on the shortlist for Amazon HQ.

I will continue to promote this city around the world to attract investment and bring jobs to Toronto. I will make the investments in transit and housing that business tell me are key to their arrival and success in Toronto. And, to ensure that we strengthen those businesses that are growing here, I will keep commercial property taxes low.

And we simply must do more to make sure that every part of our city benefits from our growing tech, film and banking sectors. In particular, we need to make sure our young people benefit. That’s why I will connect our growing industries to the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment Program, also known as PAYE, to make sure our talented young people who live in every part of our city have opportunities with the goal of reducing the youth unemployment by half.”

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