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Politics

Toronto’s mayor looking for more commitments to city priorities ahead of election

WATCH ABOVE: Mayor John Tory said it’s still too early to support any of the political parties ahead of the election. While he commended the parties' approaches to several issues, Tory said he wants to see more long-term commitments made to keep Toronto healthy. Matthew Bingley has more.

With the federal election just around the corner, the mayor of Canada’s largest city said he’s still waiting to hear more from each of the federal leaders for future commitments to improving Toronto.

In an interview with Global News, Mayor John Tory said each party has left him wanting when it comes to long-term commitments on a number of key files facing the city.

Tory said while the Liberals and NDP need to offer more funding for mental health and community safety, the Conservatives need to show more long-term commitments to transit and affordable housing.

When asked if the Liberals lived up to their campaign promises, Tory said they had been an increasingly good partner on transit and affordable housing.

READ MORE: Federal party leaders head to Hamilton, Ont., to woo union heartland ahead of election

“I can only say on those two big ones, transit and housing, they came through and did what they said they would,” said Tory.

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But the mayor said the Trudeau Government hadn’t done enough to invest in children and families, which Tory said were key to stemming the long-term violent crime in the city.

If successful in winning another mandate, Tory said he wants to Trudeau Liberals to offer more on long-term planning for transit.

“What I’m after is a continuation of that commitment so it goes further out than the sort of seven years that we have left in their current pledges,” said Tory

“Transit planning should go 20, 25 years out — not 10.”

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Tory said the leaders of the NDP and Conservatives need to be more ambitious in their approach to the city.

“Mr. Singh and Mr. Scheer have both said they would maintain a commitment to the current money that is allocated over the next few years by the present government,” said Tory, noting neither of them had indicated they will do more than that.

Tory also said some parties had been better than others when it comes to tackling climate change. He said he thinks that it is imperative for future governments to take the issues seriously, if not for moral reasons, but for the business case.

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“We simply can’t go on having storms that inflict billions of dollars in damage, literally billions, and not take the steps to both reduce what is contributing to that,” he said.

READ MORE: All federal party leaders invited to election debates to attend

On gun crime, he said the approach the current Trudeau Liberals have been generally responsive to the City’s needs by adding funding commitments for police. But he said they still need to do more to tackle long-term solutions.

In contrast, Tory said Scheer’s comments on reforming laws echoes one of his own priorities. He added that Jagmeet Singh’s NDP commitment to children and families is also encouraging.

“If any of them come to office, then we will have to sort of work at making the parts that they don’t talk about so much are something that are at the forefront of their minds” said Tory.

Whomever forms the next government, Tory said it was imperative that they work well with cities.