Our Community. Our Moment. Our Commitment.

 

 

Our future is up to us. A more affordable, livable and caring City is possible. Decisions are being made at City Hall about housing, jobs, childcare and infrastructure, which impact our lives and our communities. It’s time to put people at the centre of these decisions. City Council needs to listen to residents and invest in the things that matter:

  • Create good, affordable housing and make it available to everyone

  • Support families by investing in childcare and programs for children and youth

  • Generate good jobs for residents and opportunities for local businesses

  • Provide all residents with access to affordable, reliable and green public transit

  • Build safe, inclusive, hate-free communities where everyone feels welcome

Make Housing Affordable

Life in the city has become unaffordable for many people. In our ward, the rising costs of living and housing are forcing many long-time residents to leave. It’s time to turn this around – people have the right to stay in their communities. City Council needs to stand-up for residents and deliver on plans to immediately address this situation .

  • Deliver a plan with the provincial and federal governments to make good housing affordable for people at all income levels

    • Ensure plans with concrete timelines are in place to house all of the 100,000 families on the affordable housing waitlist

    • Make essential investments to address the poor condition of Toronto Community Housing so that residents can live with dignity and comfort

    • Create services to help homeowners, including seniors, convert their homes to create more affordable housing units

    • Work to address issues such as short-term rentals, which reduce the housing stock available to long-term tenants

    • Close loopholes for landlords that create barriers for many residents to finding and staying in housing they can afford

    • Offer programs that create a pathway for residents working towards home ownership

  • Oversee responsible development in the Ward so that residents and local businesses benefit and are not driven out by new builds that drive up property taxes and rent

    • Revise the definition of “affordable housing” to be based on household income to ensure that truly affordable units are built and rented

    • Use inclusionary zoning powers with all new developments to increase the housing stock available to low and moderate income households

    • Ensure mixed-use development plans include facilities that meet community needs and priorities

    • Support residents to challenge unaffordable, luxury condo projects that drive up property taxes and limit affordable housing options


Invest in Our Children and Youth

The future of our city rests on the shoulders of the next generation. We need to invest in children and youth to ensure they reach their full potential as productive, socially responsible community members. All children and youth deserve a promising future, and yet, in Toronto more than 1 in 4 children live in poverty. Our ward includes neighbourhoods where over half of the children live on low incomes.

Low, moderate and middle-income families struggle to find affordable childcare, and access programs that will improve their children’s quality of life. With 12,000 children on the waiting for daycare and 198,000 for recreation programs, the City’s plans to fund only 965 new child care subsidies and 20,000 new recreation spaces, don’t go nearly far enough. City Council needs to step up and work with communities to give children and youth their best possible start in life.

  • Support working parents to find affordable and safe childcare placements

    • Put plans in place to fully resource the growing demand for childcare, including reducing the waitlist by half by 2020

  • Take immediate action to reduce child poverty

    • Ensure 100% of children in need of school nutrition programs are reached

    • Implement a multi-pronged approach to supporting families to address the root causes of poverty, such as employment barriers and the high costs of housing, through fully funding Toronto’s Poverty-Reduction Strategy

  • Increase recreational placements for children and youth who are on the waitlist and cannot access life-saving programs such as swimming

    • Double the number of placements for children in the 2019 budget

  • Make key investments in programs that equip youth to pursue post-secondary education, skills-training, and civic engagement opportunities

    • Increase investment in internships, skills-training and mentorship programs for youth from low-income and equity seeking groups

    • Increase support and funding for youth-led initiatives that develop leadership skills and promote civic engagement


Create Good Jobs and Opportunities

New building and transit infrastructure projects are happening all over the city. Residents must have a say on how development happens and share in the economic and social benefits of a growing city.

A stable livelihood is the best path out of poverty and to prevent people from falling into poverty in the first place. And yet, according to the City’s own Poverty Reduction Strategy, good quality jobs have increasingly declined over the last 20 years and the earnings of many residents are not keeping up with the cost of living. Rather than presiding over a city where there is a growing gap between the rich and the rest of us, City Council must ensure measures are in place that generate good, local jobs and business opportunities for residents.  

  • Oversee responsible development plans are implemented for housing and infrastructure projects

    • Work with developers and residents to produce plans that reflect community priorities and include local residents and businesses in economic opportunities

    • Ensure all new developments are covered by community benefits agreements with binding targets

  • Help residents experiencing employment barriers to access to new opportunities and support local businesses

    • Establish workforce development programs that support low-income and equity-seeking groups to participate in emerging opportunities, such as building green infrastructure, retrofitting buildings and the digital economy

  • Lead by example through social procurement practices that support local businesses and social enterprises which advance economic inclusion and reduce poverty

  • Create opportunities in collaboration with public and private sector partners for youth facing employment barriers to gain workforce or entrepreneurial experience with pathways to good careers

  • Work with the province to provide holistic support to individuals transitioning into the workforce from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Programs such as healthcare, transit and childcare support


Accelerate People-Centred Transit

Toronto’s prosperity, sustainability, and quality of life depend on a reliable transit system that puts people first. Residents are entitled to be able to travel where they want, when they want, on affordable transit that helps to keep our air clean. Cities around the world are working towards free, accessible and green transit. To be world-class, Toronto must establish a pathway towards a free public system with excellent service in all parts of the city. This work starts with taking decisive measures to improve reliability, reduce overcrowding, and increase fare affordability.

  • Increase transit affordability so that riders spend less of their household income on transportation

    • Freeze adult TTC fares starting in 2019

    • Extend free fare to seniors and youth up to age 17, with discounted fares for youth age 18-24 starting in 2019

    • Accelerate the next stages of the TTC Fair Pass program to extend to people with low incomes in the 2019 budget

  • Improve the people’s daily transit experience to increase ridership

    • Immediately accelerate plans to address dangerous and uncomfortable overcrowding at subway stations and on TTC vehicles

    • Phase in free Wi-Fi in all TTC vehicles by 2020

    • Fix the expensive and poorly functioning Presto card to create an open system that lets riders use their debit and credit cards as well as transit passes

  • Invest in a reliable city-wide sustainable transportation system that moves people efficiently to their work, school and social activities

    • Work with the community to identify and implement ways to improve the speed and reliability of our local streetcars

    • Provide residents with access to a range of travel options supported by transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure

    • Work with the province to open up immediate access to cost-effective transit lines by lowering the cost of GO transit routes running to the downtown core

    • Fully disclose the costs of all planned transit infrastructure and alternative options so that the cost implications are transparent the residents


Build Safe, Inclusive and Hate-Free Communities

It will take everyone working together to build the kind of society where all people feel welcome and have the opportunity thrive. We need to decide what kind of values will shape our neighbourhoods and communities, and ultimately, the kind of society our children grow up in. It takes conscious action to foster a culture that embraces diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion, and stands against all forms of hate and discrimination.

We need safe and positive spaces for residents from different backgrounds to come together and plan together for the future. All of us have something to gain from being part of caring and resilient communities where neighbours support one another. We need to face the challenges around community safety and the opioid crisis with thoughtful compassion, never compromising lives of our neighbours and residents of this ward. Working together, we can take responsible action to ensure that vulnerable people have access to the support they need.

  • Compel action to improve community safety and wellbeing, leaving no resident behind

    • Bring the province, city and service providers together with our community members to develop concrete, collaborative solutions to community safety issues

    • Invest in community-led plans to tackle the systemic causes of violence such as creating jobs and educational opportunities for youth experiencing poverty and discrimination

    • Work with the province to fully resource frontline services to address the city's opioid crisis, including supporting safe injection sites with professional staff to help increase the safety of vulnerable people and the community as a whole

    • Build the capacity of service providers and residents to strengthen community support systems for people experiencing mental health challenges

  • Hold the City accountable for its commitments to reconciliation, inclusion and banishing hate

    • Initiate reconciliation processes that strengthen the City's relationship with Indigenous communities and facilitate meaningful participation in City decision-making processes by Indigenous peoples

    • Commit to real, tangible action to address anti-Black racism in the City’s institutions and systems, and community at large, through implementing the Anti-Black Racism Action Plan and other initiatives brought forward by community members

    • Support community organizations and groups taking concrete steps to banish all forms of hate and discrimination including sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, and anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism by providing resources such as meeting space and funding

  • Promote civic engagement and build resilient communities

  • Support community organizations and groups working to include new voices in civic discourse, such as youth and equity-seeking groups, by providing resources such as meeting space and funding

  • Develop strategies to activate and grow neighbourhood resilience networks that build community cohesion, capacity for emergency preparedness, and support vulnerable residents

  • Work with community organizations to test innovative digital and in-person methods of engaging residents such as extending the participatory budgeting pilot to our ward

 

What would you like to see in our community and city? Please reach out to walied@votewalied.ca.

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