“I will work with all of my neighbours in Etobicoke Centre and be your voice at City Hall. The Fords and Holydays have held control over Etobicoke Centre for decades, and they continue to fail the people of this city with their destructive voting patterns and policies.
It’s time for one of us, to make a difference."
Erica has spent hundreds of hours speaking with her neighbours in Etobicoke Centre. You have told her how important it is to have a councillor with humble roots in the community. Someone who isn't an insider from a political dynasty. Someone who will work collaboratively with residents, local job-creators, and community organizations.
As city councillor, Erica will be your voice, and she will fight for what you have said is important. Here are some of the things that you told Erica are important to you and your families:
Accessible, mix-use transit options that do not skip over our communities
Toronto's population is growing enormously, and Etobicoke is no exception to this. However, transit and transportation infrastructure has failed to keep pace. Bottlenecks and inefficiencies throughout the system have caused traffic to back up all the way to Etobicoke and beyond. As your city councillor, Erica will:
- Push for the early completion of the Eglinton West LRT, ending at Pearson Airport, and respecting accessibility concerns for seniors and servicing all our communities along congestion-plagued Eglinton Avenue.
- Champion fare integration between the TTC, MiWay, York Region Transit, Brampton Transit, and Durham Region Transit.
- Ensure a commuter cycling network that connects job centres, like Pearson Airport, with residential and transit centres, like Kipling Station. This must be done without hindering traffic, utilizing already-built corridors like hydro fields wherever possible.
- Improve North-South bus service in Etobicoke, connecting the people to the places they work and play.
The cost of living in the City of Toronto, and the GTHA overall has gotten out of control. Our neighbours who have lived in Etobicoke for decades are being priced out of their homes, and their children cannot afford to own a home in the communities where they grew up. To help take the burden off your bank account, Erica will:
- Fight to keep property taxes for Etobicoke residents at current levels - homeowners cannot afford the increases.
- Push for a minimum allocation of "affordable" units in new developments across the city.
- Redefine "affordable" to align with the current realities faced by most Torontonians.
- Work to implement a vacancy tax, foreign buyer's tax, and consider a speculation tax and stop placing the tax burden on the working people of Etobicoke.
Community Resources and Development
For at least the past four years, the community spaces and resources that give our neighbourhoods character have been neglected, and in some cases eliminated. This includes parks and recreation spaces, but also seniors centres, daycare facilities, and local businesses. At the same time, the interests of developers have been put ahead of ours. As your voice at city hall, Erica will:
- Leverage new development to make sure that community benefits like jobs, childcare spaces, school repairs, and smart street development are provided to us.
- Return to the conventional wisdom of the 80s and 90s - when things still got done - of limiting high-density development to rapid transit corridors - not the other way around.
- Fight to implement participatory budgeting, so residents actually have a hand in deciding how their communities grow and develop.
Public safety cannot just be about reacting to a crisis as it comes up, and then moving along as if it never happened. It also cannot be a top-down approach that instills distrust and fear among our neighbours. As city councillor, Erica promises to:
- Focus on crime reduction by addressing the root causes of violence. This means properly and fairly funding after-school and other community programs to keep our youth active and off the streets. This means addressing poverty and fighting to alleviate its stranglehold on communities across the city.
- Help transform policing through a neighbourhood-centred approach. Our first responders, particularly police officers, put their lives on the line everyday, we need to help build trust and positive relations between all our communities and the police service.
- Fight to implement Vision Zero on an accelerated timeline. World class cities do not take years to respond to a crisis like traffic deaths. We need to do more, now.
Etobicoke has some of the worst air quality in the city. A 2015 study by U of T, outlined here, explains why and what the impacts are. Though it's not hard to figure out: Etobicoke is criss-crossed by 400-series highways and is home to Canada's largest airport. All this pollution is having a negative impact on our senior citizens and children in particular. Beyond our own homes, Toronto can set a world class example and do its part to fight off climate change. As a lifelong environmental advocate, Erica will continue to:
- Promote investments in transit, active transportation (walking and cycling), and sustainable infrastructure & development.
- Improve incentives and standards for green roofs and cool roofs in the city.
- Work towards 40% tree canopy cover in Etobicoke to help clean our air and cool our neighbourhoods. By engaging with organizations like LEAF, Park People, and Our Place Initiative, Etobicoke can reach this goal!
- Advocate for banning single-use, non-biodegradable plastics, including black plastic, in the City of Toronto.
Democracy in Toronto is holding on by a thread. It is under attack from the Ford government, but it was not very strong to begin with. City councillors are often elected with 25% of the vote or less - in a council race with five candidates, it's possible to win with just 21% of the vote! The lack of term limits allow candidates with name recognition and financial backing from downtown elites with deep pockets to keep their cushy jobs for decades. As city councillor, Erica will work towards:
- Ranked ballots that allow the people to vote with their hearts first, and express their choice more fully. This year London, Ontario is using ranked ballots to elect its councillors. The only reason we're not is because some councillors wanted to ensure they kept their seats.
- Term limits. Whether its two or three terms, councillors need to have a limit on how long they can stay at city hall. A well functioning council needs an influx of new blood and new ideas.
- Exploring new initiatives to reinvigorate our municipal democracy and get residents involved.
"Working together today for a brighter tomorrow”
City Council candidate, Etobicoke Centre
@EricaKellyEtob has campaigned for expanding healthcare, improving transit, and affordable childcare and education. She is also a lifelong environmentalist and advocate against poverty - join her against a decades-old right wing dynasty in Etobicoke Centre. EricaKelly.ca #TOpoli #WomenInPolitics