The next few years are pivotal decision-making years for our city: public transit, crumbling infrastructure, new buildings, caring for those with mental health issues, affordable, liveable homes, the viability of small business, opportunities for youth and for the disadvantaged, our waterfront, policing, and the vibrancy of our city are all at stake. Whatever the issue is, we need leaders and decision-makers in City Council who are committed to the long-term well-being and success of our city and its residents.
I am committed to that vision.
As Councillor for Ward 16, I will advocate for the residents of our Ward and the people of our City, so that we make a better Toronto for all. I will work to ensure that:
- our government, Toronto City Council, focuses on making thoughtful decisions and policies that benefit the residents of our city now and in the future;
- discussions in Council are held in a respectful manner, befitting of a democracy in a cosmopolitan city;
- we develop and implement transit solutions that are comprehensive and viable;
- development in our neighbourhoods improves infrastructure, promotes the community’s vitality and provides much needed affordable housing;
- new developments are reasonable, both in terms of height and density;
- our police force works with us to be respectful, accountable and strong;
- we make decisions that respect the environment, reduce waste, and make our city greener; and
- we continue to take care of our most vulnerable residents and build on our vibrant communities where the young, the old and diverse people thrive.
Keep reading to find out more:
I believe that Councillors should engage residents and be engaged with residents. They should communicate openly and listen carefully to residents. What’s more, Councillors should engage with one another respectfully, regardless of our different views and positions on important issues. A healthy democracy requires respectful discussions. Our children and future generations expect it of us.
Our municipal government makes decisions that will impact all Torontonians not just now, but also in the future. Our representatives must address the needs and wishes of all Torontonians and promote a vision of a city that is greener, more inclusive, and more vibrant, and where residents can live safely.
I am the best person for you to send to City Hall. I have the experience and skills that will make me an invaluable contributing member of our government: I have experience in governance, in law and in teaching, in my family’s small business, and in numerous volunteer fields, and I have training in alternative dispute resolution. With these combined experiences and my passion for our ward and our city, I will be a truly committed representative of our ward.
Responsible, Integrated Development
Eglinton-Lawrence is one of Toronto’s busier development areas. Our community’s experienced and passionate residents speak strongly on these issues, with results.
I will work with you to ensure that developers hear and respect the needs and wishes of our community. Together, we will create development plans and visions that integrate all of our various needs.
New developments should:
- account for the neighbourhood’s current density,
- improve infrastructure and services including public transit,
- provide affordable and rental housing,
- provide homes for middle income families,
- promote the community’s vibrancy,
- increase and improve our public and green spaces, so that we have more places for our children and youth, seniors, families, and individuals to gather, rest, and play.
It is practically impossible for a middle-income family to buy a home in Ward 16. We aim to prevent urban sprawl. We also know the value of diverse, open neighbourhoods. There is plenty of development planned along the major corridors of Ward 16. One way to ensure that middle-income families can live in Ward 16 is to have more 2-3 bedroom, affordable, condominiums units built. I will advocate and negotiate for us, to make this happen!
Many hard-working families, immigrants, and seniors in this city are on the brink of homelessness. In a city like Toronto, this does not have to be the case. We have to ask how new developments impact the availability of affordable homes. We need to make sure that our aging parents and other Toronto residents don’t have to choose between food, heating, or paying the rent.
I am a lawyer, an immigrant (I came here in 1983), a professor, a mother, a daughter of aging parents, and a person who has worked with many different communities in our great city. I have the experience, skills, and determination to move us toward a brighter future.
Respectful, Accountable Policing
I advocate for respectful and accountable policing, and have spoken on related social justice issues. I have made deputations before the Police Services Board and have written about criminal justice issues for the Huffington Post and on my own blog, on topics such as the G20, the police treatment of the mentally ill and other aspects of the criminal justice system.
Officer interactions with the city’s communities and individuals impact us all.
Our police officers strive to protect and serve our communities. Yet numerous encounters between the police and residents prove that we need to do more. We need to ensure that our officers are trained and equipped to deal with diverse and vulnerable members of our community respectfully and safely. Our officers must be better trained to deal with persons with mental illnesses, so that they can recognize the symptoms and work to de-escalate the conflicts, rather than resort to tasers or guns.
Furthermore, we must have the courage to expect our officers to adhere to the highest standards, regardless of how policing is done in neighbouring cities. We must end racial profiling: its negative impacts far outweigh any real or imaginary safeguards that we may receive. Finally, our civilian oversight body must courageously promote and support efforts to improve policing.
As City Councillor for Ward 16, I intend to work with residents, the Toronto police, and the Police Services Board to promote respectful and accountable policing. I will strive to strengthen the bridges between our officers and our communities.
Getting Around the City: Transit, Congestion, Cycling Lanes
Our solution to traffic and gridlock must accommodate the varying needs of residents, be they drivers, transit-users, cyclists, or all of the above. We must also ensure that seniors and persons with disabilities can get around the city as independently as possible. Our roads and our city are for all of us; let’s build them that way!
We must integrate subways, LRTs, and improved bus services in a way that serves the continued densification of our city. We aim to put subways in areas of high density (or areas designated for high density development,) LRTs in medium density neighbourhoods, and improved bus services in other areas. Furthermore, we must explore a variety of options for funding our transit plans, so that we can make continuous progress in building public transit.
To promote our physical and mental health, reduce congestion, and reduce our negative impact on the environment, we must also provide continuous, connected and safe cycling lanes. Toronto has fallen behind in its own plans and undertakings for building bike lanes, but safer and more bike lanes will actually help us all get around faster and safer. It’s time to act on our previous commitments.
We must envision, then build a city for everyone: drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and persons of all ages and abilities. I am committed to that vision.
Protecting Our Environment, Our Children
Protecting our environment, our water, trees, air quality, and natural surroundings must be a priority for us.
City Council must act as a leader in promoting a better environment for us all. We must take steps toward achieving a more environmentally friendly city, and to increasing public awareness on how we can all contribute to greener communities.
In Council, I will work to:
- increase our tree canopy, to help clean our air and reduce the negative impacts of environmental change,
- build greater and more connected bike lanes,
- improve public transit, and
- monitor and take steps to decrease the toxins that enter our water and air
Nearly all our decisions, from what materials we use to build new developments to where our clothes are made have an impact on the environment. I am committed to examining the long-term and environmental impact of our decisions, and to taking all reasonable steps to protect our environment for future generations.
Island Airport: Convenience, Congestion, Children
The island airport provides many of us with a convenient way of traveling. In order to allow more passengers to go through, we need to allow jets and, therefore, to expand the airport. However, expanding the airport comes at a heavy cost. For the reasons explained below, I oppose the expansion.
Inclusive, Vibrant Communities
We need to support young people and our vulnerable community members, so that they can thrive and be engaged members of the city.
When we invest in youth, those with mental health, physical and learning challenges and others who are vulnerable, and provide access to stable and affordable housing, we have stronger, healthier and more independent individuals who can reach their potential and who enrich the community.
I am a passionate contributor to the community. I have nearly three decades of volunteer experience, which began soon after I immigrated to Canada. I believe that governments, as well as individuals, have a duty to contribute toward positive social change.
We CAN accommodate diverse needs while promoting the vitality and health of all our residents and neighbourhoods. To do so, we must use commitment, creativity, and collaboration. I have these skills and will make them work for you and for all of Toronto.
Why you should vote for me:
Your representative at City Hall should know and understand the people and issues of our ward, and understand the people of our city and the challenges that our diverse communities face. I am that person.
As an engaged community member, lawyer, a college professor and a social justice advocate, I understand the issues and challenges of our city, our neighbourhoods, our families, our youth, seniors, and immigrants, and people across the socio-economic spectrum. As a parent, I know the many difficulties that families face in balancing work and home, and understand the challenge of ensuring that our kids are safe, while giving them the freedom and independence they need to thrive.
I will work tirelessly to:
- hear your concerns as Ward 16 residents and find solutions for those concerns,
- ensure that our government works effectively for all of Toronto,
- keep our focus on long-term solutions, not short-term fixes that benefit the few but cost us more in the years to come, and
- refresh the dialogue at City Hall, so that Council can accomplish goals that benefit us all.
As a representative of our ward and a member of City Council, I will work hard to make Eglinton-Lawrence and our city an even better place for everyone.