Position Primer: How we did it


Once a week from mid-July to mid-September, Women in Toronto Politics sent an online survey to every Toronto City Council candidate whose contact info we could find. The survey requested candidates’ positions on 10 issues in 500 characters or less. Our team also followed up with candidates by phone and Twitter, and encouraged our Twitter and Facebook followers to ask their candidates to do the Position Primer.

The Position Primer features answers from all candidates who completed the survey. Women in Toronto Politics did not edit the answers in any way - we present candidates’ views to you exactly as they were presented to us. Think of it like a megaphone for candidates’ voices!

WARD 1 | Etobicoke North

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Click for candidates who did not complete the survey

Candidate ↓ Childcare Transportation Employment Affordable Housing Newcomers
Idil Burale
Website
Email
(647) 694-0473
Childcare is not a political or a gendered issue. It is an economic issue. If you can’t afford childcare, it means you’re unable to work outside the home, unable to contribute financially to your family’s well-being. The city should be supporting working families by investing in affordable daycare: a) put in measures to regulate the informal home childcare industry, and b) work with the province towards the establishment of a city-wide subsidized, flat rate. Transit: we should just build the dam thing. Start with the already funded and approved plan and then add more routes. Walking: we need to make walking safer, by extending the countdown time so that people have longer time to cross. And by introducing left/right only turn times.Cycling: we need to build more cycling lanes, especially in the downtown core, and raise awareness about safety around dooring. We begin to do by changing the toxic narrative of cyclist vs. driver. People in my ward travel further for work opportunities that are precarious. I would work towards creating the environment upon which employment opportunities become possible: 1) investing in our infrastructure so that we can attract business opportunities to our community. 2) building rapid transit along finch to reduce commute time & improve the longterm business viability of Rexdale. 3) supporting innovative ideas to stimulate the local economy of Etobicoke North. Toronto is only city in western world to pay for AH all on its own. The problem is twofold: 1) our current stock of TCHC & Co-ops are in poor living conditions,with a $900+ million investment needed to fix repairs; and 2) there's currently over 100,000 people waiting an average of 12 years for affordable housing. We need to do better. It’s about investing smartly and innovation in building, renovating, and renewing housing stock. Ward 1 has one of the highest concentration of newcomers in the city. Rexdale has a variety of services to help facilitate the settlement experience of newcomers, from finding jobs and housing, to entrepreneurial support. My platform supports newcomers by supporting recreational programs; investing in transit to reduce social isolation; and improving living conditions in tower communities, where most newcomer settle.
Patricia Crooks
Website
Email
If families cannot find affordable childcare options for their children, they are left with increasingly unaffordable and tough-to-find daycare placements, or nannying options. Providing accessible childcare allows primary caregivers the chance to go to school or work, and the benefits of social interaction at daycares for children has been proven time and time again. The City has a responsibility to families to make sure that there are enough spaces for children to enrol in daycare programs. My priorities for transit look to connect communities with smart transit options that are affordable and reliable. Investing in LRT projects, creating smarter transit plans for our buses to reduce commute times, and clearing congested roads through revamped parking policies are strategies we should be using to target the daily commuter. Adding cycling lanes and promoting city spaces that allow people to walk and enjoy our streets ultimately promotes a more enjoyable experience for all. My platform looks to tackle issues of employment by starting with job creation in Ward 1.
a) Creating jobs in Ward 1 by expanding community resource centres, small businesses and recreation.
b) Supporting tax breaks and hiring credits for small businesses.
c) Investing in skills training and employment centres in the community.
d) Combating the out-sourcing of employment in Etobicoke North and ensuring that our residents have opportunities to work with businesses that impact our community."
a) Ensuring there are enough affordable housing options to meet the needs of our growing city.
b) Require developers to allocate a certain percentage of units to affordable housing (RGI) programs.
c) Maintain a standard of quality and excellence in new and existing units.
d) Provide tenants with an administrative body that sees their concerns addressed quickly and efficiently.
e) Lift restrictions on tenants living in TCHC complexes from working as part of TCHC.
Our platform supports newcomers by developing community spaces, investing in community programs and stressing the development of language, skills and employment centres throughout the community. Our focus on newcomers looks at skills training and language development, but also at important social networking and community building within communities that strengthen networks and increase opportunities.
Arsalan Baig
Website
Email
(416) 779-6047
City of Toronto Should have more Childcare center and programs close to the people homes.
-More Preschool programs.
-More Day care Centers.
There are long waiting list to enroll children for any of the above programs. If there are more Childcare programs offering than child does not have to wait months to enroll for any of the above programs.
Have more satelite base buses terminal with rapid movements of people in the busy period. We want to have better quality buses. Our Roads are in a state of disrepair. Council has to have ideas to cope with this challenging conditions like Winter Storsm. Comparatively Brampton has demonstrated growth in its transit system(zum service). Zum Service is more efficient for rapid transit which we require. Major discussions as regards L.R.T vs Extension of Subway??? Toronto economic success is deeply rooted in the excellence of our public education system. It is our engine for growth – our competitive advantage.
An essential step should be the development of a comprehensive strategy to better align education and training with the skills our city needs to attract investment and high-value employment in the global economy. The time is now all of us to work together and as a team.
The housing crisis is hurting our economy. Employers can’t recruit and retain staff necessary to run their businesses. Young people and families are leaving the city to work in places where housing is available and affordable. And as more and more money is spent on housing, there is less money is people’s pockets and less spending at local businesses. Developers need to build more affordable housing. The city needs to come up with incentives to get developers to build affordable housing. Introduce a number of programs and new initiatives designed to assist new comers which includes more English as a Second Language programs.
Candidate ↓ Poverty Public Services Taxation Infrastructure Major Ward Issue
Idil Burale
Website
Email
(647) 694-0473
The growing income inequality and systemic discrimination is what lead me to run for office. Poverty in Toronto is racialized and hyper-localized in the inner suburbs. It tends to be concentrated in neighbourhoods that have sup-bar access to city services, inadequate access to transit, low performing schools, high crime rates, and a weak local economy. This is why my platform focuses on investing in strong neighbourhoods so that opportunity is not gridlocked in the suburbs. Toronto should be innovative in how it delivers its services and that means engaging both the private and public sectors. However, in the end those services should be delivered in the most public, direct and transparent way possible. When the service is publicly delivered, there’s a clear accountability measure for staff, the city, and residents. According to our city manager, Toronto cannot maintain on just the property and land transfer tax. Ever since the province downloaded affordable housing and transit to the city, we have had a structural funding challenge. With growing demand, an aging infrastructure, and limited tax revenue - we need to have an adult conversation about taxes. Council will need to consider a menu of options, so as not to put too much burden on any one group of taxpayer. According to the general manager, we would need an investment of $28.7 billion in the next 10 years towards infrastructure renewal. In my ward, we need to fix the aging sewage system in order to avoid flooding, whenever it rains. Our roads and sidewalks need maintenance. Our libraries and community centres need to be open longer, for when residents are back in their neighbourhoods. Our BIA needs beautification so that it can be competitive and attractive to consumers. The most pressing local issue is reducing congestion and long commute times. That’s why I pledge to build the Finch LRT, which would cut commute time in a half, and reinstate the bus schedule that was reduced during budget cuts.
Patricia Crooks
Website
Email
First we look to address inequality and injustice in existing systems: strengthening social safety nets and advocating for things like an increased minimum wage, job availability, housing options and social assistance. Second, we look to create opportunities in our own backyard. Investing in community programs, businesses, educational centres, rec spaces and community hubs allows us to create strong communities and tackle poverty. Privatization has a track record of failure. Accountability is lost when public services are provided by private companies. When we trust public services in the hands of for-profit businesses and third party stakeholders, the resident is not the priority, profit is. If we can't ensure a fair, transparent process when dealing with private service providers, we can't afford to deal with them at all. Taxes have a bad reputation and a lot of the times we fear having a real, honest conversation about their role. Taxes pay for things. Important things like public services. Right now in Toronto we pay some of the lowest property taxes in cities of our size, but ultimately this works against us. Property taxes should rise with inflation and fund the services that we need to make communities work. Healthy communities need recreational spaces like parks, meeting spaces and room for leisure activities. This kind of community infrastructure promotes the networking and cohesion necessary to build strong, trusting communities. The City needs to look at creating accessible space, maintaining its upkeep and allowing community programs, organizations and residents to host events on the space at an affordable rate to really make the most of the space. Opportunity is a huge issue in Ward 1. If we were able to invest in local businesses, not only could we bring more investment into our community, we could create enjoyable spaces that attract our residents and those outside of Ward 1. There is a real sense of disenfranchisement that we could address through investment - investment in our businesses and community hubs, investment in local ideas and talent and investment in our transit options to make our space more accessible.
Arsalan Baig
Website
Email
(416) 779-6047
Poverty has been increasing for years.
The 4 main solutions are: making housing affordable, providing livable income, jobs and retraining and social services. To make housing affordable, the senior levels of government will have to reinvest in non-profit housing. Also Create more jobs to reduce poverty.
Provision of easy access to city services and programs in many other main languages. In my view, the only way to make up the budget shortfall resulting from phasing out the land transfer tax would be to phase-in a gradual increase in property taxes, across the board. It would end the tax penalty for buyers of homes in Toronto, and it would bring Toronto property tax more in line with those of surrounding communities. -Creating Neighborhoods where all amenities are within walking distance.
-Maintain Public Parks in a daily basis.
The Recent Winter Huge Snow Storm created a Living difficult for Everyone. The logistics must be in place to deal and handle these situations more efficiently. I am Referring to
a) Planning and cleanup must be in place for Ward 1(Roads Cleanup, Removal of Damaged Streets e.t.c)
b) Hydro Issues( Heat for our Homes)
c) Transit- More Bays and Buses
1) Affordable Housing
2) Lowering Taxes
3) Public Transit
4) General Infrastructure Improvement.
5) Emergency Planning and Response
6) Councillor’s General demeanor and behavior towards fellow Councillor’s and the Electorate (Citizens)
Solutions
a) Planning and cleanup must be in place for Ward 1(Roads Cleanup, Removal of Damaged Streets e.t.c)
b) Hydro Issues( Heat for our Homes)
c) Transit- More Bays and Buses

Candidates who did not fill out the Position Primer: