Elections Loom; Two Major Contenders in the Running
It will soon be time to vote again for the future leadership of Toronto. The two arguably most influential contenders in this upcoming race are incumbent John Tory, and former chief city planner, Jennifer Keesmaat. Initially having denied any speculation of her running in next month’s elections, Keesmaat filed her application in response to Doug Ford’s surprise decision to slash council from 47 to 25 wards stating, “I am running for mayor because I believe we need bold ideas in this city. We need bold leadership.” Whether you support Tory, Keesmaat, or any other candidate, make sure to make your voice heard on October 22!
Their major platforms revolve around the future direction of programs dealing with housing affordability, major transit projects, and public safety in the city.
Build 40,000 affordable rental homes in 12 years.
Expand the Open Door program, which sets affordable rent at the average market rent or better to provide more tax breaks and other incentives to developers.
Maintain residential property taxes at or below rate of inflation.
Build 100,000 affordable rental homes in 10 years, mainly through unlocking large areas of Green P parking lots and unused city lands for development.
Maintain cost of new units at 80% the average market rent in perpetuity.
Yet to announce position on property tax.
Replace the Scarborough RT with a one-stop subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre.
Maintain King Street Pilot.
Build the Downtown Relief Line by 2031.
Prioritize Eglinton West and East LRT lines.
Build an LRT connection to Scarborough Town Centre, in addition to province’s promise to fund a three-stop subway to the shopping centre.
Make King Street Pilot permanent and see if system can be applied to other corridors.
Complete the Downtown Relief Line (creating a Osgoode-Queen-Pape rapid transit connection) three years earlier, to 2028.
Push for construction of Jane, Eglinton West, and Waterfront West LRT lines, all previously shelved or cancelled during Rob Ford’s term.
Establish a Community Safety Advisory Body in 2019, which will bring together experts, community leaders, and other “relevant stakeholders.”
Use the appropriated $22 million to the Vision Zero (aimed at zero pedestrian and cyclist fatalities) plan this year to (among other things) double the number of leading pedestrian intervals from 40 to 80 and enhancing bike lanes in 10 main cycling corridors in the city.
Match the promised provincial funding of $25 million—a third of which will go to the police, while two-thirds will go to community programs.
Reduce maximum speed on all residential roads to 30 km/h.
Redesigning of roads along schools and along the city’s 100 most dangerous intersections, all to be implemented in 2 years.
Expand the Vision Zero approach to all development projects involving roads and sidewalks.
Yet to announce a clearly priced policy, but advocates the importance of “pathways out of violence” by “stronger and renewed partnerships both with police and grassroots community organizations.”