Municipal Election 2018

2018 MUNICIPAL DIGITAL DEBATE

CANDIDATES FOR COUNCILLOR – WARD 2

The chaotic process that the municipal election has undergone has resulted in an impediment for fair discourse by the candidates on matters of importance to all residents of Toronto.

This has resulted in the newly established Ward 2 having a lack of opportunity for meaningful community engagement.

 

This electoral process has also not provided ample time for campaign platforms to be presented by candidates and for questions to be asked by residents.

As a result, Friends of Silver Creek have provided questions on three subjects that pertain to the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview and surrounding areas via email to all registered candidates running for Councillor in Ward 2.

Questions were emailed to:

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

  1. Three questions are provided to each candidate registered to run for Councillor, Ward 2 in the 2018 Municipal Election.

  2. All responses are to pertain to the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview communities.

  3. All replies must be sent by email to friendsofsilvercreek@outlook.com

  4. Replies will be published verbatim.

  5. Candidates who do not respond will be listed as choosing to not participate.

  6. The deadline for submissions is 5:00 pm ET on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

 

Responses are published below.

Question 1 – Eglinton LRT W

How do you think the LRT W will affect the community of Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview and surrounding areas?

No response provided.

The planned Eglinton West LRT proposal has remaining concerns to be addressed. The current proposal ranks elements of transit passenger convenience above the importance of local traffic impacts, cut-through traffic infiltration and delay. Working with the Mayor, I helped establish a community working group to investigate further grade separation and tunneling options and to further develop traffic modelling and an enhanced framework that places additional consideration on local community interests.

 

I have ensured that a complete land planning study is underway to consider all points within 750m of Eglinton across Etobicoke. This will allow our community an opportunity to consider the impacts that the LRT proposal will have on future development sites and the public space along the road. It is vital that the future change and land use possibilities associated with a new LRT are fully understood and that steps are taken now to communicate and consult with the community.

The LRT will provide the much needed rapid transit option our community currently lacks. It will provide an opportunity for local residents to quickly travel to Pearson Airport via public transit, while also offering a quicker route to downtown Toronto and the east end. It also offers an opportunity for more intra-Etobicoke connectivity, and will encourage positive development in retail and service needs for our community.

My priorities as Councillor would be the efficiency of construction affecting the community, encouraging an expedited operation date, ensuring accessibility for seniors, and minimizing its affect on existing green space.

There is at present, no funding plan for the Eglinton West LRT. However, if funding were to be in place, I would support tunnelling the route west of Scarlett Road or at the very least insisting on grade separations at major intersections.

 

An LRT would be beneficial to local area residents enabling swifter mass transit access to the airport and mid-town Toronto, as it would connect to the Eglinton Cross-Town.

 

When planned, residents should be consulted and feedback sought on station locations and design. 

No response provided.

Question 2 – Section 37 & 42 Funds

The current developments in the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview and surrounding area (Lanterra Development) have Section 37 Funds confirmed in the amount of $4,250,000 and Section 42 Funds confirmed in the amount of $726,940 in addition to the commitment of parkland.

How will you ensure that the designated Section 37 and 42 funds derived from new developments in the Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview community will be committed to use within the community?

No response provided.

No response provided.

For new developments, prioritizing reduced density over cash community benefits is a key principle. However, where applicable, community benefits from development projects should be negotiated with purpose in mind during the planning decision making process to maximize the local benefit and to have the strongest community participation.

 

I have experience ensuring that community benefit amounts are implemented for local improvements using a process in cooperation with the local resident association. This includes using tools such as a steering sub-committee, options development, community meetings, and surveys.

 

The Friends of Silver Creek have a mature process for the allocation of benefits and have developed sensible options through the latest survey which are achievable, including park trail improvements and water- play enhancements. I look forward to collaborating in a similar way as the opportunities arise.

 

Community benefit funds from the townhouse developments along Eglinton Avenue have been allocated to specific projects already, and I have no intention of changing those earlier commitments.

This community has waited a long time for increased funding. I would make sure that the work to secure these funds is not wasted and is applied as efficiently and effectively as possible within the community addressing its immediate and long-term future needs.

I would support strong reform efforts that bring increased funding from development to our communities in the future, including working with the future TDSB trustee to encourage the province to revise the rules surrounding school funding. 

Initiatives currently being promoted by other candidates to redistribute funds throughout the city should be researched in depth, as if it would remove the much deserved community benefit funds created in this area, I of course would fight with everything I had against it.

This money is best be spent following serious community consultation.

 

I have said that I do not have the answers for how the money is allocated and it is the residents who will supply the ideas and identify the needs.

 

The allocation of most of the funds should not be at the sole discretion of the local Councillor.

 

On occasion, small projects and spending is directed by the Councillor for community benefit. I have done that twice to improve lighting in park areas.  

Question 3 – Communication and Equitable Representation for Ward 2

Given the reduction of Councillors and the new ward boundaries, how will you work with community groups and represent all members of the community at large. What format(s) will you use to communicate with residents to ensure that constituents are kept informed regarding all matters pertaining to Etobicoke Centre?

No response provided.

If re-elected, I would continue to issue a monthly newsletter by e mail and a six month mailed direct-to-home paper version to all residents. These newsletters inform residents on ward developments, park upgrades, community safety meetings and much more, including how I vote on major issues of the day.

 

The newsletter is an accountability piece that is, in my view, central to the role and requirement of a Councillor. I also make myself available to meet with individual residents or groups of residents in their area.

No response provided.

As a Councillor, I have worked hard to foster effective relationships with all resident associations and community groups across the ward. We have formed several project teams to address specific issues within the community, and have met frequently to tackle challenges and exchange information.

 

Working collaboratively with these groups, we have prepared tailored communications and content to ensure residents and stakeholders are kept informed of key information through meetings, websites and electronic newsletters. 

I would always have an open-door policy, and would utilize the methods of communication that residents are used to, like newsletters via mail. I would also use Facebook, twitter, and other social media to communicate. 

I will always look to cooperate with community organizations that work with local residents to improve communication and connectivity with constituents.

I support community councils and town halls. I will always stand behind initiatives to improve democracy in Toronto, and am interested in participatory budgeting, ranked ballots, and a future return to 47 wards.

Learn more about all candidates running in
the City of Toronto 2018 Municipal Election
here. 

Get out and VOTE on October 22, 2018.

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Friends of Silver Creek remain active advocating for green space and social community benefit.
We will continue to inform and update on events and activities that impact our community at large.