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Toronto Board of Trade Questions 2004

PDF version of Toronto Board of Trade Questions 2004. Answers by Shel Goldstein:

Your Top Issues
1. What are your top three federal government action items for Canada (in order)?

a) Interconnectedness of all Life, Material, and Spirit.
b) Protect Water, Earth, Air for a Sustainable Economy.
c) Health-full living (to replace Healthcare).

2. What do you believe are the three top priorities requiring federal action in the city of? Toronto (in order)?

a) Legislate Municipal Charters to empower Cities.
b) Transfer funds to actualize such new local Empowerment.
c) Restore Infrastructure (Water, Waste, Transportation,...)

3. How will you address what you identified above in 2.a) as the top priority requiring federal action in the city of Toronto and how will you measure success (60 word maximum)?

Initiate / support a Bill to rectify Canadian cities? lack of necessary local authority and to earmark reliable consistent Federal Resources for implementation of their action plans. Formula to be reasonably linked to population and specific imperatives. Lobby persistently until such Charters and funding for Toronto and other cities are law.

New Deal for Cities
Canadian cities are having difficulty meeting the service needs of their residents using current revenue sources.

4. How supportive are you of cities getting (please check the appropriate box):

More autonomy in their revenue and spending decisions
? Supportive YES YES YES
?
Treated as equal partners with the federal and provincial government in decisions on programs and services
Supportive YES YES YES

Increased financial support from the federal government
Supportive YES YES YES

Transportation
An integrated transportation system takes into account pubic transit, roads, and the movement? of people and goods. Toronto's transportation network is suffering from overdue maintenance and a lack of capacity.

7. What ACTIONS will you and your government take to address the traffic congestion that is severely affecting Toronto? Please indicate the timing of your government's actions. (60 word maximum)

Immediately:
Legislate disincentives to Urban Sprawl. Moratorium on further urbanization of lands surrounding Toronto. Re-develop neighbourhoods to minimize commuting. Add funds to TTC and GO Train to improve & promote service, and lower user fees. Incentives for walking, cycling, smaller vehicles, carpooling, no car zones. Real Cost Accounting of fossil fuels.

Public Transit
Currently the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) carries 1.3 million people every day. The TTC's five year Capital Program requires $1.95 billion investment to prevent a further decline and substantially more to implement its Ridership Growth Strategy.

8. a) If elected, how much money will your government provide to the TTC to maintain or expand the capacity of the system? b) Will the money be made available on a per capita or transit ridership basis? c) When will this money be made available? (60 word maximum)

a) High priority for Greens, therefore, substantial funding.
b) To be determined in consultation with City of Toronto and TTC - whatever best implements Ridership Growth.
c) High priority - ASAP.

Affordable Housing
Affordable housing is a major factor in creating attractive, livable, and competitive cities.

9. If elected, what will you do to increase the availability of affordable housing in the city of Toronto? (60 word maximum)

?Affordable Housing? is an obscene concept - how can we accept housing that is NOT affordable ?
Revive a social housing program to provide credit and loan guarantees to non-profit housing organizations and cooperatives for the building / restoration of quality, energy-efficient housing for seniors, families and single special-needs people. Landlord incentives to lower rents on some units when vacated.

The Toronto Waterfront
10. The City's waterfront is a checkerboard of contaminated land, polluted waterways and underutilized property. If elected, how will you help revitalize Toronto's waterfront? (60 word maximum)

Penalize polluters, incentives for bioremediation. Prioritize restoration and protection of Water throughout Canada, especially in high population cores. Lake Ontario must be swimmable. Drinking water must be delivered through our taps, not in bottles. Lakeshore area must be primarily Commons, available for all, beautified, much wild, plus some public attractions (restaurants, dancehalls / performance spaces, marinas,...)

11. In 2000, the federal government committed $500 million over five years to Toronto's? waterfront revitalization project. If elected, what will you do to ensure that the money that has been committed is actually provided to the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation to implement its plan (60 word maximum)?

Whatever it takes. Steadfast insistence, leverage, ... you tell me. A key conference / tourist locale, a crucial trigger to our national economy, and home to a significant percentage of our population, Toronto?s health / delightfulness is a federal issue. Our Waterfront concerns me deeply. I stand firmly with Mayor David Miller against the bridge and Island Airport expansion.

Skills and Immigration
The Toronto Board of Trade's recent report "The Skills Advantage: Opening Doors for Youth and New Canadians" found that despite having higher levels of education immigrants face a difficult time in the jobs market and suffer economic loss.

12. How will your government help new Canadians gain the necessary skills to fully contribute to the workforce (60 word maximum)?

Reduce unnecessary barriers to reinstating the professional credentials of immigrants. Special funds for schools with high immigrant levels, for language, Canadian cultural and employment skills. Service to direct new Canadians to such programs.

Fiscal Competitiveness
13. To succeed in the global market place, Canada must have competitive tax policies. What will you do to increase the COMPETITIVENESS of Canada's business and personal income tax system (60 word maximum)?

Tax breaks for companies certified ISO 9000 and ISO 14000. Accelerate introduction of ?green? industrial technologies which use less energy, rely on renewable resources, produce less waste - all of which reduce costs and increase competitiveness. Employee ownership, flextime, shorter workweeks, open book management increase productivity. Lower taxes on income, profit, investment. Higher on pollution, waste, inefficiency.


Name of Candidate (please print)

Shel Goldstein

Riding

Eglinton-Lawrence

Party Affiliation

Green Party of Canada