On the Issues
As a professional engineer and candidate for Ward 4 Parkdale – High Park, I will support initiatives for improvements in public engagement, safety, and quality of life for everyone in Parkdale – High Park and Toronto. In particular, if elected, I will champion the following platform:
Public engagement means that new housing planning development must involve the public at crucial steps in order to meet the needs of the community. We will take a bottom-up approach by collaborating with the public and stakeholders early on, and co-develop thoughtfully planned housing projects. Public consultation and having the necessary infrastructures in place are essential in order to avoid the common pitfalls of top-down housing projects: increased traffic and insufficient spaces in daycares and schools.
Public engagement also means that we will help Toronto build long term transportation plans in close collaboration with affected stakeholders, such as commuters, cyclists, drivers, TTC workers, pedestrians, and transportation experts. Collaborative long-term transportation plans will result in effective projects that improve safety and reduce traffic. Than short-term transportation plans that change every time a new Council and Mayor are elected.
Finally, public engagement means that all new Council initiatives are developed bottom-up by collaborating with our community.
Toronto needs to be better prepared in the event of emergencies. While public places and buildings are prepared for fire evacuations, they often lack emergency response protocols for flooding or in the event of an attack. The municipality can do more in terms of education in order to ensure that Toronto is better prepared. Furthermore, the city needs a dedicated text/email alert system in order to immediately warn the public of natural disasters or other emergencies.
Smart infrastructure consisting of sensors connected to a real time alarm system could help prevent damage from risks to the public, such as flooding. For example, implementing sensors in an underpass could predict flooding and trigger flashing lights that would immediately warn drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and TTC personnel in order to minimize injuries and damage to vehicles and streetcars. Also, stormwater systems in Parkdale – High Park and Toronto need to be upgraded in order to prevent flooding, in areas which are becoming a recurring problem.
Our police deserves to have the best continual training available in the world. However, it is not known how effective police training in de-escalation is in real world situations. Consequently, both our community and our police would benefit from an independent evaluation of police training programs by criminology experts in order to develop police training protocols that have high levels of efficacy.
We support our police, but we are against carding, because stopping, questioning, and documenting members of the public when no particular offence is being investigated goes against fundamental democratic rights.
In roads shared by motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, 30 km/h is a reasonable and safe speed limit, as noted by the World Health Organization. Especially, in critical areas such as school zones we support lowering the speed limit and engaging the public on how to improve road safety.
Potholes are extremely costly to repair, damage vehicles, and are dangerous to cyclists. That is why we support investing in improved roads, equipment, and maintenance coordination that makes potholes a thing of the past.
Quality of Life
We are one Toronto united in our vision for a better quality of life for all. That is why we support a fair and equitable city that everyone can call home. In particular, we support the TO housing pledge for affordable housing.
We all want to see a more prosperous Toronto. That is why we support meaningful funding and implementation of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and other Council-approved equity initiatives.
We all benefit from a more accessible Toronto. That is why accessibility needs to be planned into buildings and our infrastructure.
We all benefit from supporting our diverse community. That is why we support Pride Toronto’s annual fund and support the LGBTQ Advisory Committee at City Hall.
We all want to live in a healthier community. That is why the Municipality should encourage the development of smoke-free housing in order to reduce the risk of balcony fires and second-hand smoke exposure, as smoke travels freely from one unit to another through ducting, gaps, outlets and doors.
We all know substance addiction is a complicated problem. Safe injection sites save lives and give people a chance for a better tomorrow. That is why the Municipality needs to support such initiatives.
We all value our heritage . That is why we support establishing the Junction Heritage Conservation District. Heritage district designation will ensure that any future developments complement the unique character of the Junction. Finally, heritage districts bring important social, economic, and environmental benefits to our communities.
We all benefit from a less wasteful Toronto. In fact, the City of Toronto spends over $380 million on waste management services (2018 Operating Budget). Consequently, we need to replace current volume-based garbage fees with weight-based garbage fees to encourage effective waste reduction in Commercial, Industrial and Residential Buildings.