Councillors: Election results, priorities and values
Toronto City Council
York West candidates on transportation, employment, taxation, and pressing community issues
Ryan MooreAssistant News Editor , Excalibur
The 2014 Toronto municipal election will occur on October 27, in which a new mayor and 44 city councillors, and school board trustees will be elected.
This year, there are 8 candidates for city councillor in Ward 8 – York West.
Arthur Smitherman (Ford Nation), Princess Boucher, Suzanne Narain, Thomas Barclay, Antonio Vescio, and the current incumbent city councilor Anthony Perruzza.
Peruzza was NDP MPP for Downsview from 1990 to 1995, and has been city counsillor for York West since 2006.
Arthur Smitherman ran in the 2011 federal election as Canadian Action Party candidate in York West. Smitherman supported Rob Ford’s 2010 mayoral campaign and has endorsed Doug Ford for mayor of Toronto.
Lesser-known candidates have been competitive in their campaigning and have raised important issues facing the York West community.
Below are some key platform differences voters should consider before going to the ballot box.
Advanced voting started October 14 and ends Sunday, October 19. Official Election Day is on Monday, October 27.
Key York West Ward 8 Platform Points
Transportation, employment, taxation, and pressing community issues
During my time as councillor I worked with the city to expand the subway line. Subways are fantastic, but we also need an LRT system to relieve some of the gridlock that drivers experience. In addition, we need to work on a realistic plan to get the city moving. We need more bus routes, and cycling lanes to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Everything needs to be improved, but subways are very important because they make it interesting for developers to build more units, and this has significant effects on the economy. New roads should be built with bike lanes, but installing bike lanes on roads that are congested already will not work. More foot and bike paths through green belt would help.
Driving downtown, and that would be a good start with the congestion that we are facing in the city, with transit for the most of it we are good, if only we can do something with the street cars and one of the things I believe that will work is to replace them with buses.
Get people moving faster by implementing express Finch West buses. More buses during peak periods, and improved wheel trans service for seniors.
Employment in Toronto is an important issue. Youth in particular are having a difficult time finding work. The city needs to create better infrastructure for labour force adjustment. This can include expanding transit services to make it easier for people to commute to and from work.
Programs can be helpful, but the best way to create lasting jobs is to cut taxes, better transit, and get hydro rates down. This makes it attractive for business.
I tend to focus more on the youth employment, as they are the future of our great country. So many young people finished school and cannot find a job within their fields of study.
My other area of focus is small businesses. As city councilor, I would like to work with the small businesses in my constituent and find incentives for them to hire and work with our youth, especially during the summer months.
Develop a strategy to create less precarious work and more meaningful employment for youth and adults. Build employment relations with businesses, institutions and public services (York University, TTC, Pan Am Games) to hire within the community.
As city councilor, I have worked to freeze property taxes for seniors. Each year my office hosts property tax clinics to help seniors fill out all the paper work.
No taxes! The city needs to reduce taxes, particularly property tax - to drive down the price of rent. Due to the information-technology age, coupled with globalization, it is important that the city reduce taxes and manage resources more efficiently - this will allow the city to compete in the global economy, and not the globalization of poverty.
As council, there is not much that can be done at this level. However, we can advocate for lower taxes especially for small business, low-income families and seniors.
I think people have been taxed enough and have not seen the benefits of it. I believe in corporations, new housing/condo developers as well people buying million dollar homes can afford to be taxed a little higher in order to have a more equitable taxation system and distribution of wealth.
4.Pressing Issues in York West
A top issue in Ward 8 is youth unemployment; a comprehensive plan needs to be put in place to provide opportunities for youth to work for adequate wages.
Subways would rejuvenate the economy of Ward 8 because it has a lot of land that can be developed and the traffic from Jane and Finch can support a subway. Poverty will be a challenge; but it can be addressed through better transit, lower taxes, and community programs.
One of the most pressing issue in my ward is Security. I will be making speed bumps in family neighborhood for the safety of playing children. Within the community housing I would like to see more cameras in place that are functional and maintain on a regular basis and most importantly that all doors are locked in these housing for the safety of our tenants and children.
It’s hard to pick which is the most important issue because they are all so crucial. I would say, in terms of my platform, it would be to improve the Strong Neighbourhood Strategy to focus on poverty reduction. The Ward 8 area has the lowest equity score in the city, which means it is most affected.
The following candidates did not submit platforms to positionprimer.ca.
To see where candidates stand on poverty, public services, infrastructure, affordable housing, and childcare, please go to positionprimer.ca.