Toronto City Council, Candidate - Toronto Centre
ECONOMY & JOBS
I can work with conservatives on council, if they want to see partnership with the private sector to build our communities. If the proposal is to solve all the problems by raising taxes or running more debt, I hear their concerns. I understand the cost of managing debt.
Small business is the largest source of employment for any economy and its also an important part of local character and social mobility. What has this Council done to alleviate the tax and regulatory burden on small business owners? What services to small business owners, has this Council proposed, made more effective? Does this Council even talk to small business owners?
Large commercial property owners MUST pay their fair share in taxes BUT small business owners and those who primarily rent to them MUST see some tax relief. Not all creative, hard working small business owners are great managers. Not all can afford first rate accountants. The city can do something about those things to free optimistic small investors to do what they do best.
Kicking the tax burden up to the province means taking from the right instead of the left pocket of the same taxpayers! It's no solution. Why is Council unable to rationally explore other revenue options?
I can support councillors who seek to bring investment to the city and work with large employers to locate and expand in our city.
The Film Industry is a multi-billion a year contributor to our local economy and Toronto used to get most of that investment. The city has poorly managed the needs of residents & businesses when awkwardly accommodating production vehicles. Better communication and things could be done to make things go more smoothly. Increasingly, locations scouts are looking outside Toronto for places to shoot and are taking production dollars with them. City departments need to better coordinate, those who issue the permits for Film, those who issue permits for construction and those for special events. Too often these choices are in conflict or unnecessarily bombard a neighbourhood. The city needs to think about power sources on the street for film trucks. That could mean fewer noisey generators, perhaps fewer trucks seeking to park in an area. When the city plans to add green, cyclist routes, or place hydrants, etc they might consider implications for parking rows of production vehicles. Toronto Council could actively seek to enable more purpose build film studios in the port lands and elsewhere in the city. That would reduce the number of support vehicles requiring parking spaces outside a studio and on-location shoots.
Council should take the initiative to proactively consult with important industries, like Film & Television. Find out how to make it easier for them to grow, invest and employ more Torontonians. Council also needs to consult with residents and business associations to learn how best to alleviate concerns associated with filming-on-location events as well as construction and festivals.
Council needs to have the courage to face Toronto's infrastructure deficit. Poorly maintained roads damage vehicles, impede commerce and endanger both motorists and pedestrians. Cities, in particular, those located midway between the tropics and the arctic, must prepare for the effects of Climate Change. Scientists see more frequent, more severe, torrential rain events, in those midrange areas of the planet, bad news for cities prone to flooding. The time to review zoning and invest in upgrades and contingencies is NOW.
Let's find ways to encourage more food production in Toronto with an Urban Food Production Initiative. Streamline regulations. Staff an office where residents can find assistance working through the process of starting their own food production project. Provide incentives to those businesses that supply the materials necessary to grow food in your home, on your balcony, in your yard, on your roof or in a larger vertical farm operation. This would be good for the environment and provide more affordable produce for low income households.