"I will Move as many homeless people as possible into temporary housing by, as an emergency stop-gap measure, converting vacant office building and warehouse space to individually dedicated rooms for the homeless population, until purpose build subsidized housing units can be constructed."
Question from TRREB
Q1: In your opinion, what are the two greatest challenges facing the City of Toronto today?
There has been an ongoing effort in recent decades, a situation which greatly increased under John Tory’s leadership, to limit the public’s ability to participate in, be heard by, and be well represented within their government. It was those efforts to limit the public voice which compelled me to enter politics; and restoration of good democratic governance is my core pledge.
Housing is the second great issue; but it is also at the root of yet another of our most serious problems, that of crime. Housing’s limited supply and corresponding unaffordability permeate our society and are at the root of many of the woes we see in daily life. It has largely crushed the hopes of a new generation that they might ever own a home; homelessness and the shelter system are inextricably linked to much of the petty crime which our police expend enormous amounts of their time on, leading them to be largely unavailable to respond to the serious crime that we most crucially need them for; and homelessness is a major factor that adversely affects our public transit, while the public’s avoidance of using public transit is related to the congestion of our roadways for and by private vehicles. Ultimately, dealing with the wide-ranging problem of housing — condos, rentals, homes, and subsidized housing — is the key to solving many of the problems that we repeatedly identify as our big issues and the reasons for our unhappiness.
Q2: If elected, will you support and accelerate the commitments made in the 2023 Housing Action Plan, including ending municipal exclusionary zoning by-laws and policies in Toronto that will allow and encourage more medium-density housing and purpose-built rental units?
Q3: If elected, would you support reducing approval times and other red tape barriers that limit the building of new housing in Toronto, thereby speeding up development?
Q4: If elected, would you push for more investment in critical infrastructure, such as transportation, to facilitate growth and housing by finding creative ways to secure funding from the provincial and federal governments?
Q5: If elected, would you commit to capping municipal costs added to new housing in order to limit further affordability erosion, and instead work together with the higher levels of government in finding new and sustainable funding mechanisms?
Q6: The City’s biggest and main source of revenue is property taxes. What would you support by way of annual property tax increases to maintain and/or improve the current services and programs the City provides?
Pegged to inflation
Q7: If elected, would you be willing to explore reform or adjustments to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax in Toronto? This might include increasing the first-time buyer rebate and indexing the MLTT rebate and tax thresholds to account for housing price inflation.
Q8: If you become the next mayor of Toronto, what is your top priority that you want to accomplish in the first 100 days in office?
Restore the public voice within government by establishing city-wide policies that ensure that all decisions which affect the public are subject to MEANINGFUL public consultation.
Move as many homeless people as possible into temporary housing by, as an emergency stop-gap measure, converting vacant office building and warehouse space to individually dedicated rooms for the homeless population, until purpose build subsidized housing units can be constructed (focusing first on addressing those living in the streets and those in the hotel rooms for which taxpayers are currently paying full-price rental rates).
Civilianise the 9-1-1 system, which is currently answered by and under the authority of Toronto Police, to ensure that non-police are prioritizing the calls and deciding who (police, ambulance, by-law enforcement, mental health, street health, nurse, etc) will response to particular calls; and join the Toronto Police Services Board to begin the analysis of why only ⅓ of charges laid by Toronto Police result in convictions while ⅔rds of all charges laid are either withdrawn or thrown out by the judge.
Change a number of the senior staff and subcommittee assignments made by Tory in order to install people who are effective, act transparently, and obey the law.
Utilize “strong mayor powers” as necessary in order to amend the budget which Tory brought in with those powers. Moving forward in 2024, I intend to develop a budget which reflects the consensus opinions of City Council.
If elected, will you use the “strong mayor powers” to modify the budget to pay for your key priorities?