Council deals with a large amount of important business. Based both on my principles and what I’ve heard from you, here are the priorities that I will focus on as your councillor.
Every year, we pay more and more for what seems like a declining level of service. We’re told we can’t have a great transit system because we don’t get enough money from higher levels of government, but I believe Toronto can take charge and get the transit system it deserves. Torontonians are right to expect better from the better way. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Make customer service a priority through better management and clear performance expectations for employees.
- Prioritize better project management, including clear accountability and penalties, so that we don’t have a repeat of the St. Clair right-of-way debacle.
- Safeguard the financial sustainability of the TTC by ensuring that there is always a plan to pay for increased operating costs brought on by expansion of the system.
- Make on-time arrival a priority so that posted schedules actually mean something. No one should have to stand in the cold of winter waiting for an egregiously late bus.
- Modernize the TTC by embracing—rather than resisting—new technologies and tools like electronic payment and the Google Transit trip planner.
- Open all transit data to allow residents and third-party developers to contribute tools and solutions.
- Keep the system public to prevent fares from rising even more and to avoid decreases in service that would occur if parts of the system were privatized.
The City of Toronto faces a crisis of confidence in its ability to manage its finances responsibly. We need to know that every dollar the City brings in is spent as wisely as possible, and that the services the City provides achieve measurable results in the lives of Torontonians. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Bring more transparency to the budgeting process to ensure residents can fully participate, have their voices heard and hold their elected representatives to account.
- Move to a multi-year operating budget to facilitate better planning and more long-term thinking.
- Increase the tax base rather than the tax burden by using smart urban planning to attract more businesses and residents to Toronto.
- Reduce the need for chronic property tax increases above the rate of inflation by pushing for new revenue sources—including road pricing—to make sure people from outside of Toronto who use our roads pay their fair share.
Smart, sustainable development
New development in Ward 27 should plan for our future while honouring our past. As the city grows, intensification can be beneficial, but we must also protect the uniqueness and diversity of each of our neighborhoods. Moreover, we must stop constructing new buildings that don’t meet even the most modest definition of energy and water efficiency. As your councillor, I will work to:
- Improve Toronto’s Green Development Standard by increasing the minimum requirements for new buildings and introducing more ambitious voluntary targets with attractive incentives for developers.
- Preserve existing rental space while building new affordable housing that is integrated with neighbourhoods rather than isolated.
- Protect the character of our neighbourhoods by championing businesses and land uses that reflect their uniqueness.
- Stand up for quality architecture that brings bold new ideas to the ward, while respecting our heritage and enhancing our existing streetscapes.
- Increase transparency by making public and easily accessible the fees developers pay to the city and how that money is spent to ensure it benefits the community.
I’m deeply concerned by the amount of trust that’s been lost in City Hall and our elected officials. Councillors need to be more accountable, open and responsive to their constituents. As your city councillor I will work to:
- Require all city councillors to publish their voting records online in an easy-to-navigate way. I will also always publish why I voted the way I did, because you deserve to know.
- Put transcripts of all city debates online to improve transparency and accountability.
- Reduce city councillor office budgets and tighten the guidelines for how that money can be spent.
- Return all calls and emails, giving you a tracking number for your issue and letting you know when you can expect to hear back.
Agree or disagree with something here? Is there something I’ve missed or something I should know? I want to hear it. Leave a comment below.
10 thoughts on “Priorities”
I found your priorities page very helpful. I use the TTC almost exclusively and I find there are numerous bus stops where the arrival schedules are not posted. To know when a bus will arrive would be very helpful – provided it arrives ON TIME! Also as a pensioner I find that prices (food, transportation, HST, cable, etc) always seem to be going up and my pension dollars never seem to keep pace. Thank You.
Nothing new there, can’t give you any points….do you know what quality architecture is?
I think developers are the problem….for the whole country It makes Canada a high cost place.
Toronto is a high cost place. immigration pressure raises the costs….compressing expensive buildings with long mortgages into a small area raises the costs.
Toronto should be freezing development entirely…..Ontario should stop growing entirely, it’s just be coming a bigger and bigger charity case for the whole country….fire all the architects except the landscape architects….turn the vacant lots into parks and gardens….
if that expensive downtown were taken apart entirely and all the functions which take place in it were simply displaced to China or Zimbabwe we would all be much further ahead…..put the civil servants in northwest ontario and get the feds to mandate Manitoba to feed them with their power which is yet to be developed….
It doesn’t have to be done this year…
Toronto is Ontario though…. and Ontario has no sustainable power….all that nuclear power is subsidized by various income taxes and maybe sales taxes too..nuclear power is at least 20 times as expensive as hydro power and the distribution lines from distant hydro dams is very expensive….Canada is full up….making people aware of the dangers of growing beyond its energy capacity is extremely important….immigrants are just suiting those fly by night developers who are probably more like Chinese…or Korean….that’s where all of North America’s wealth is going…to that trade imbalance, ….away from North America…America is the hardest hit…America is really suffering…California terrible, Maine has some rough spots….Lancaster NH is casting about for ways to make money…US which is our source of income is flat on its back.
I lke to read Dave Rosenberg from Gluskin and Sheff…he has a fairly regular daily email….Toronto’s newspapers need to be investigated for pernicious misinformation. In fact, examining who owns and misleads the public is very very worth of support…somebody from Stikeman and Elliot is said to be wanting to take that job on…..
Personally, I’d like to see a requirement that all new multi-storey buildings have a green, living roof. I’d also like to see more of what Vancouver’s mayor has instigated: community gardens.
The outline looks great. You can count on 5 votes from my family.
We’ll try to attend at least one of the public meetings.
I am considering voting for you, Chris. I am however interested in your opinions about cycling in the city and how you would improve it.
Hi Chris – Thanks for your question about cycling. I think that we need to complete the Bike Plan, which is long overdue, with a priority on connecting existing lanes into a network. In addition, we need to adopt a city-wide Complete Streets Policy that considers all road users and integrates the city’s cycling, walking, transit and road plans to get us all where we’re going as quickly and safely as possible.
You can read some more detail about where I’m coming from in this blog post from earlier in the year, and also by clicking here to view my answers to the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation’s election survey.
When you say “respecting our heritage”, what regard do you have for Toronto’s heritage listed buildings and what ideas do you have to help ensure they thrive in the future?
What is your position regarding the bike lanes on Jarvis St. (I live on Jarvis and Gerrard). Are you against or in favour of keeping them?
Hi Chris – thanks for visiting our building. It was nice meeting you personally. I browsed your website and very impressed with your vision of Toronto. You can count on 2 votes from my family. Good luck!
Denise St Pierre and Ted Jubb
In regards to cycling and bike lane, the loss of parking spots on Jarvis because of the added bike lanes has been a very steep price for residents on the street to pay.
I live in a very old building, and now have no where to park to unload heavy items to bring into my home. Having furniture delivered, or anyone moving into or out of the building, now is almost impossible. There is no loading bay. The building driveway doesn’t allow for passing cars, so parking in it to unload items requires moving of the vehicle if building residents need to come in and out with their cars to the very limited resident-owned parking spots in back of the building.
I’m not opposed to the bike lanes on Jarvis, I prefer less traffic as it is quieter. HOWEVER, we need our parking back! We need parking included in the plan for this street, by way of cut outs of sidewalks if bike lanes remain on the street. This is a residential area, and the lack of parking is a real and constant problem for those of us that live on this street. I know parking is not a hot-button issue, but it is really important to those of us that live on this street!