WARD 20: Trinity-Spadina
The five main points of my campaign platform are fiscal responsibility, public transit, housing affordability, neighbourhood livability, and environmental sustainability. Many of these will improve the lives of U of T students, some sooner than later. If elected, I will continue to work on ways of making transit more affordable for U of T students and try to find ways to build affordable, subsidized student housing. Many students pay expensive market rate rents. I want the city to invest in social housing specifically for students so we can offer subsidized (or in some unique cases, free rent) for students, based on their individual circumstances. This will help students focus on their studies and not be preoccupied with how they are going to pay their rent. I will also demand that proactive (preferably environmentally friendly) pest control is completed on campus-supported accommodations to avoid any bed bug infestations.
From Kensington Market, Chinatown, the Waterfront, Harbord Village, the Grange, the Annex, and Seaton Village, Ward 20 is home to a diverse mix of students, artists, workers, academics, professionals, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Sustaining livability and opportunities for all of these constituencies is at the core of my values. In my first term as councillor, I delivered real change. I fulfilled a campaign pledge to build more family housing downtown — delivering six times more than the previous decade. Local parks in every neighbourhood are being redeveloped. With local residents I developed a neighbourhood plan for Alexandra Park, the first public housing revitalization project in the city’s history that will not require funds from Ottawa and Queen’s Park. We need relevant and affordable city services, and our transportation systems must address the needs of the local residents. I am asking to be re-elected so that we can finish the work we started to ensure our neighbourhoods are affordable, inclusive, beautiful, and green.
Students rarely vote. This is why City Hall has not placed importance on the voice of students, but U of T students graduate to become lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers, community planners, etc. — our community’s leaders. They are the future of today’s community and it’s important that their voice is heard now and not just when they graduate. The city is changing and we need help from these future leaders to shape it for a better tomorrow. Many students worry that they can’t find jobs and that city services are too expensive and inefficient. Let your voice be heard. Vote! Students, you tell City Hall what you need and not the other way around. Once elected, I will provide a better platform to engage students, to hear their voice and foster opportunities for them to be more involved in our community. Your future is now!
Ward 27: Toronto Centre-Rosedale
One issue that is at the forefront in my campaign is the issue of landlord licensing. Licensing landlords will ensure students are dealing with legitimate property owners who provide fair housing costs and regular maintenance. Students deserve to be protected. The cost of transit is another issue that impacts the lives of many U of T students. While a reduced student Metropass program has been introduced, I would advocate for an even lower fare rate and make the passes transferable (currently photo ID is required on the student passes). Many students cycle to campus. Having a comprehensive bike plan is important. We need more bike lanes that interconnect but more importantly, place them on arterial roadways that are safe for cyclists and motorists. I also believe in maintaining a quality of life outside of school studies. As city councillor I would lobby to reduce student user fees at city-run facilities.
Although the City of Toronto has no direct control over the University of Toronto’s academic affairs, it has a major influence on the quality of student life. Post-secondary students rely on city services and infrastructure every day. As a U of T student myself, I am deeply aware of your needs. Your concerns are literally my own. Many of my proposals would affect students’ lives for the better. I advocate expanding the transit network and instituting a fare freeze to keep that access affordable. Building more bike paths and better transit would make getting around Toronto easier than ever. I want to improve and add public spaces in the downtown core so there are more places to study, relax, and enjoy the city. Increasing funding for arts programs and events like Nuit Blanche would give students more opportunities to add to Toronto’s cultural scene.
As a graduate of the Rotman School of Management, it is great to know that many University of Toronto students live in Ward 27. City Hall must be a champion for making our city an attractive place to live, learn, work, and play. For that to happen, I will champion for a public transportation system that works; for neighbourhoods that are safe; and for a strong local economy so that you have access to well paying jobs today and when you graduate. Having lived and worked in a world metropolis like London, England, I know firsthand what it takes to make Toronto a true world city — universities located downtown play an integral part in building economic prosperity and a vibrant arts and culture sector. I want to work with you to build a bright new future for our great city and in doing so, unleash Toronto’s potential.
I envision a vibrant, sustainable, and prosperous Toronto that provides opportunity for all of its residents. We must invest in transit. I will work toward a system that is efficient, safe, and affordable for students. I am also committed to completing the network of bicycle lanes proposed in the Toronto Bike Plan. I believe in a pedestrian-friendly city. Many students are tenants and the city needs to be more aggressive with bad landlords. Bylaw officers should be inspecting rental housing to make sure landlords are living up to their responsibilities. We must build more affordable housing. I will meet with student governments and groups on a regular basis to ensure that your ideas are heard at City Hall. Visit joeldick.com and check out my ideas. I want you to vote for me, but whatever you decide, please take the time to vote on October 25.
My name is Susan Gapka and I am seeking to earn your vote on October 25. I’m a tireless and effective campaigner for social justice, addressing issues of affordable housing, post-secondary education, mental health, community safety, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) issues. My record of success is strong since coming out as a community leader on Church Street more than 10 years ago. After graduating from Community Work at George Brown College, I studied Public Policy and Administration at York University where I graduated in June 2009 with a degree in Political Science. While at York, I served on the Board of Governors, Senate, York Federation of Students, and Canadian Federation of Students Ontario. In 2003, we secured a two-year tuition freeze and I was able to codify the “Student Experience” in the York Academic Plan. With my student experience and your support, we can create the strong leadership that deserve [sic].
My campaign platform is based on short and long-term objectives. The three most important short-term concerns with urgent attention are: safety for Ward 27 residents, employment opportunities for the marginalized ward residents, and the deteriorating environmental conditions, including garbage recycling and incineration. For long-term objectives, I’ll fight against wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money, improve the transport grid system within the GTA, and tackle the $3 billion city deficit. The only way I can generate employment opportunities for the distressed visible minority communities of Ward 27 is by negotiating with real estate developers to hire minorities from the ward. Everyone should know the official youth unemployment rate of Canada exceeds 19 per cent, and most of the unemployed youth are from the GTA. It’s time for the youth to stand up, the support of all U of T students throughout Toronto is essential to fight for the interest of future generations.
I was born, raised, and educated in the city of Toronto. I currently teach at York University in the Department of Design. I have a strong sense of community and have volunteered on different committees. I ran for councillor in Ward 27 in 2006. I am running as a candidate for The Toronto Party in Ward 27. Here are some of my priorities: to put a freeze on taxes, wages, fees and new spending in year one, while council reviews city budgets and introduces greater efficiencies in government departments. I want to repeal the car registration fee, and the land transfer tax in the first term; introduce term limits to ensure that fresh thinking happens at City Hall; and revamp the transportation system in our city to get subways built and get Toronto moving.
I have a BSc, a Master’s of Interdisciplinary Studies in fifteen subjects, and a Certificate of Teaching from U of T. I have taught in Ontario high schools for 20 years. Students face financial pressure. I will, therefore, create a trust fund of 25 per cent of my salary (about $25,000 per year) in scholarships for needy students in Ward 27. Education is the key to a successful and fulfilling life. They need health education to reduce health costs (currently 42 per cent of annual budget). I am a teacher of yoga, meditation, ayurvedic medicine, and motivation. In the last 25 years, I have taught 20,000 people techniques for self-development. My knowledge and experience of happiness and peace, health and success will soon be available on YouTube. I am available to share knowledge with students in person.
I am running for city councillor because I don’t like the waste we see at City Hall. Wasted money and wasted time just wastes opportunities to make Toronto better. The public’s goodwill has been abused by City Hall and it must be re-established. I use city services and know how important they are to you. I don’t like to see them hindered by bad planning and bad spending. Transparency in city spending and increased accountability in city works projects will ensure that Toronto has the finances needed to protect these services and to continue the critical work to improve the TTC. I have extensive experience in politics, communications, and community advocacy. I am a pragmatic thinker who knows how to listen and how to get things done. I would be honoured to have your vote on October 25 and to serve as your councillor.
As a past student of Woodsworth College, I bring to City Council a history of student activism, community advocacy, and business experience — a rare combination in municipal politics. Our city must be a safe, vibrant and healthy environment for residents to study, work and live. As a board member to the University of Toronto Arts Centre, and as a donor to the President’s Circle, I am an active supporter of your university. I am committed to affordable housing and transit for students, local food security that provides affordable, healthy meals, and family housing for students in residence. Together with the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group, I seek to create jobs and opportunities for you after graduation. Working with my community, I will support smart economic growth and sustainable development while preserving the core values that make Toronto such a world-class city.
Upon graduation, you will be starting your careers in the middle of the worst recession since the 30s. The last thing you need is a civic government that is driving business out of the city. Toronto is a great city to live in, but not if you don’t have a job. As your councillor, I will fight to make it easy to do business in the city again. I will reduce commercial taxes, cut red tape, and bring back those jobs that are moving to the 905. This will allow you to continue to live in Toronto and enjoy all of it arts, culture, and nightlife, without being forced out of the city to look for work.
Where to vote
Illustration by Alex Nursall