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 5 | Etobicoke—Lakeshore

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Click for candidates who did not complete the survey

Candidate ↓ Childcare Transportation Employment Affordable Housing Newcomers
Guy Bowie
Website
Email
416-619-7704
I believe that the responsibility for child care cuts across all levels of government. The city of Toronto needs to be an active partner working with the Federal and Provincial governments to ensure that proper safety and compliance inspections are carried out and that child care facilities are operating within the law. We need to use smart traffic technology to ease gridlock in the city. We need to stop allowing companies to use our streets as staging areas for their operation (ie. shredding, couriers, construction trucks). This is causing havoc for 10's of thousands of commuters each day. We need to absolutely improve our transit so that people will see it as a safe, fast, comfortable way of moving in the city. Downtown Relief line is necessary. Continue to invest in safe bike routes. I want to work to ensure that the city is looking at innovative ways to attract new businesses to the area. Many cities in North America have gone through a terrible downturn in regards to jobs and opportunities and some have rebounded significantly via well laid plans to attract investment and jobs.Again, the Federal and Provincial governments have a huge role to play in assisting Toronto with this. I believe that the city has a role to play, along with Federal and Provincial levels of government in ensuring access to affordable housing.
The Affordable Housing Office currently works with several city departments as well as Federal and Provincial levels of government towards the common goal of providing affordable housing.
Additionally, the city works with planners and developers to ensure that the affordable housing needs are being met.
I have not addressed that issue, as of yet, in my platform.
Nikola Samac
Website
Email
647-988-3104
We need to build more private daycare centers to businesses should be encouraged to expand on this issue We need to ease the traffic going into the city by putting tools boost Bus services across City and put Smart truck from Union Station to the airport more bicycle lanes through city and closing some of the streets downtown to city traffic so people can walk around and enjoy the day We need to give better tax incentives for small businesses so they would stay in the city and to create jobs Better screening of families that get into affordable housing We need to find ways to help newcomers integrate into the Canadian economy more quickly so they can start contributing to Canadian society and put the skills to work
George Lehto
Website
Email
Childcare is a very real concern to families. Many are unable to find quality reasonably priced child care. Full time kindergarten has helped many families but it doesn't address the needs of many families.
Getting adequate funding for child care is a problem we are facing. Without the cooperation of the federal government and provincial government we simply cannot do an adequate job on our own.
" We need to view transit as more than a system of moving people but rather a corner stone to the city’s economic prosperity.
We need to use a combination of Light Rail, Subways, Bus, and Street Cars to deal with to make up our transportation system.
Building more roads won't solve the problems, we our having but better planning needs to be a priority.
Unemployment and underemployment remains a major issue in Toronto. Great cities set up the right environment for entrepreneurs and companies to thrive. Toronto has many of the qualities that are attractive to employers.
A stable, well run city hall is essential to attracting new business. The world needs to see that Toronto City Hall is a stable, progressive government.
We need to advertise, lobby and develop new relationships with the world’s entrepreneurs.
Torontonians must feel that leadership must come from their City Hall. There certainly has been cooperation from Queen’s Park and the Federal levels of government, but we need more done to deal with this housing crisis. Ultimately we need a national strategy to deal with issues because the financial costs cannot be left to Toronto. All three levels of government must share in the costs. I want to facilitate stronger links between schools, business, and community leaders. This initiative will also help the youth and newcomers.
I want to see how we can improve the transition time for the newcomer from entry to Canada to becoming a contributing member of our society.
The emphasis of getting our newcomer settled and employed is the result we need to aim for.
Raymond Desilets
Website
Email
(416) 955-6612
Property owners are benefiting from increased property values due to provincial and municipal policies of higher immigration, growth and intensification. Property owners can help by paying higher taxes so the city can fix its existing stock of affordable housing. Provincial and federal governments must also be persuaded to invest. All new large scale apartments and condos must have a minimum number of units available for subsidization. The social costs of doing nothing will be much higher later. Childcare funding is a provincial and federal responsibility. But the City could mandate developers, condo owners, and office, retail, and commercial building owners to set aside childcare space in buildings of a certain minimum size and a certain minimum of employees/residents. But I wouldn't expect this space provided for free. The City could pressure the provincial and federal governments to provide funding (already being proposed). The City would be responsible for licensing and inspecting. Toronto doesn't have the fiscal tools to create jobs like the other levels of government. But we can continue to make Toronto an attractive place to live, work and do business. The City must continue to foster and promote its successful industries that provide many good and high paying jobs without racing to the bottom with competing cities. We can do this by investing - not spending! I'm committed to urbanizing the suburbs to create better job opportunities for those who live and work there. That's the responsibility of City Council and City Planning and they both need to do better! The City has excellent Official and Secondary Plans and Urban Design Standards. The problem is that both don't often follow these plans resulting in condos going up everywhere, in places that they don't belong and with no sense of community to them. We're literally selling out to condo developers via a system of institutional kickbacks known as Section 37 Benefits. It's time to stop the insanity. Admittedly, this is not my field of expertise. But I do know that Toronto is developing very differently than most American cities that have chosen to develop their suburbs at the expense of their cores. Toronto seems to be doing the opposite. Many newcomers can only afford to live in the suburbs. I'm committed to urbanizing the suburbs starting with the 4 Urban Growth Centers (one in right in Ward 5) to provide better employment, transit, social, cultural and educational opportunities.
Candidate ↓ Poverty Public Services Taxation Infrastructure Major Ward Issue
Guy Bowie
Website
Email
416-619-7704
My platform does state that we continue to invest in programs to assist the most vulnerable among us...specifically at risk youth and seniors. I believe that the availability of recreational options is a major factor in keeping young people engaged in a positive way with their community and it exposes them to positive role models.Seniors are particularly vulnerable since many are on fixed income, so we need to be aware of the impact that higher taxes has on them. Not enough space to give this the attention it deserves..however, I will say that we need to be careful with P3's since they have the potential to increase the costs to the public and they need to be looked at carefully..case by case.
I think there are certainly areas where significant savings can be had by moving some services to the private sector and there are areas best left to the public sector.
I believe that Council should always look to keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation and they should instill a culture, across all city departments, that encourages and rewards the finding of savings and efficiencies for the taxpayer. I believe that the City must play a very involved role when it comes to all of these items. These are key to building the type of community we all want to live in, and to enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the city. It is important that these issues are discussed thoroughly with the constituents so that the city planning and infrastructure fits with a vision that the community desires. I believe that the pressures being brought to bear on Ward 5 via High density development is a concern. We need to ensure that these developments fit the nature of the community and that we always protect existing parks and green spaces.We need to ensure that infrastructure improvements keep pace with these developments.
Nikola Samac
Website
Email
647-988-3104
I support to help the people in poverty less fortunate but at the same time we need to teach to get out of the poverty so that they're not stock for the rest of their life in that position We need to private more public services that they're being offered now Do you counsel should keep the tax increases to the inflation rate we need to put some toll on the roads The highways The city should play a role he infrastructure development with the provincial government as well as the federal government I stand to encourage the expansion of care programs for our seniors and employment programs for our youth I will also support business development by empowering our local business improvement areas Safer and quieter neighbourhoods
George Lehto
Website
Email
Poverty is a reflection of how we have built a community.
The victims of poverty: the children, elderly, and those who are unable to get out from under it, need a balanced approach and not a band aid solution.
As a teacher I know the greatest long term method of addressing poverty is through eduation. Generational welfare can be stopped. Our schools are our best chance of eliminating poverty.
They should work together. It has to be cost effective. You must decide what is more cost effective. Some items are better delivered by the private sector, while others are better delivered by the public sector. I support a property tax cap. As a property tax payer for the past ten years, I feel that most people do not want and cannot afford an increase in their property taxes. Many feel they have very little left once mortage payments, utilities, family expenses are paid.
Most homeowners want property tax increases to be at the rate of inflation. As your councillor, I would fight for the cap.
I see a central role for the city of Toronto in developing and supporting community infrastructure. Toronto citizens must be able to ensure that their best interests are at the forefront of all decisions.
My goal is to ultimately plan and create a more livable city. We need to advocate for our public spaces to be protected and expanded. Lets dream bigger. Public spaces need to be a focal point in our future growth. A rededication to our urban forest must be a part of our plan.
I believe that one of the key areas of concern for many constituents is reasonable condo development. They would like to see condos that are not too high and development that suits the buildings that are already in existence.
Many residents are concerned with road safety in residential neighbourhoods and finding traffic calming solutions. There is a real concern to ensure drivers are following the set speeds.
Raymond Desilets
Website
Email
(416) 955-6612
Ward 5 is mostly a stable and middle income ward. Naturally, I want to keep it that way. But I also support the Province and City's plans to intensify it. Intensification would include office, commercial, retail, and entertainment facilities and the jobs that go along with them. Good, stable, and well payable jobs are the key to eliminating poverty not just in Ward 5 but in its neighbouring wards too. We need more than just condos in Etobicoke Centre and on The Queensway to eliminate poverty. This is a difficult question to answer given that it is very broad in scope. But with that said, I'm not sold on Public Private Partnerships. More often than not, it seems the public pays for a project and the private sectors profits from it. Witness Highway 407! But generally speaking, where a natural monopoly exists (sewers, water, roads, public transportation, public health, libraries, parks, emergency services, etc...), they should remain in the public domain. No one wants to pay more of any tax and all levels of government must be fiscally prudent and accountable. But there are times when higher taxes and fees are required, justifiable, and acceptable. Under current immigration, growth, and intensification policies, we can’t have higher property values driven by a high demand from people wanting to live in Toronto coupled with lower property taxes especially when we are so far behind in building the required supporting infrastructure. The larger a city gets, the less the car remains a viable mass transportation solution. Also, building a mass public transportation system designed to move people to one central location doesn’t make sense either. We must discourage additional downtown development and start developing the four other urban growth centres in Toronto to balance the transit load. Also, we must consider local transit solutions like my Queensway Express Streetcar proposal. Local neighbourhoods need to be walkable. Etobicoke Centre has been designated by the Province and the City as an “Urban Growth Centre. It is the single most important development project in Ward 5 and one of the most ambitious in Toronto. Although it’s not off to a particularly good start, there is still time for Ward 5 residents to have their say on many of the design details and amenities. We can and must develop a community that combines the best qualities of urban and suburban living and not just another cluster of condos.

Candidates who did not fill out the Position Primer: