Issues

Participatory Budgeting

For four years now I have been leading the charge to bring the international city practice known as Participatory Budgeting(PB) to every ward in Toronto. Residents get together to brainstorm ideas, put them on a ballot and then vote on their favourite projects. Whether it’s a project to improve pedestrian safety or beautify our parks, PB proves that when we let residents and staff develop the ballot and put it to a vote, they always get it right. Moreover, it encourages city staff to do a better job of hearing residents and getting the implementation right.

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Housing

We have faced a lot of development in the last 12 years because of OMB approvals around the subway line. In the portion of Ward 17, Don Valley North that I was representing I worked very hard to make sure affordable and low-income housing was included in those negotiations. Having a subway nearby increases the value of every single family home, but it should not displace other residents in the process.

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Transit

I was surprised with how few residents brought up transit during the provincial election. I suspect it is because most Torontonians believe the discussion is so broken they have given up on it. Even as the Eglinton Crosstown construction effects traffic throughout Don Valley North in the morning, people ask me every day when transit construction will begin.

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Community Safety

Sitting on the Police Board last term was one of the most important public services I’ve ever delivered. Most of our 5000+ officers on the ground are giving it their all, but we know their training needs to improve. I dropped everything and went to Police College to actually take their three-day annual training. I am pleased to report that improvement efforts there are well underway.

 

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Protecting Your Tax Dollars

During my tenure as Budget Chief, we were able to push through over $400 million in everyday operating efficiencies. Working on the Annual Budget Committee Efficiency Review is the hardest, most time consuming task on Council, and I step up for it every time while most councillors never bother.

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