CANDIDATE POLICY STATEMENTS - WARD 20

 

Local Election Issues - Danforth Gardens Position Statements by Ward 20 Candidates

The Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association asked Ward 20 candidates for their positions on two major local issues in advance of the 2022 Municipal Election on October 24, 2022.
The issues discusses are the West Scarborough Rail Trail, and the Traffic Infiltration Issue from the proposed development on 3431 St Clair E  and community consultation. In alphabetical order:  


Malik Ahmad

Please state your position and support for establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail in our ward.

I strongly support establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail for better use. 

What would you do to help Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and prevent traffic infiltration from 3431 St. Clair Ave. E.?

I am open to listen and to better understand how we can together maintain the integrity with proper consultation with all stakeholders. 

How would you consult the community on issues of development if you were elected? How would you advocate for the community and ensure their concerns were reflected in final development site plans?

All development issues will be shared in advance as realistically possible with our riding residents (in particular with impacted residents/neighbourhoods) via email, regular mail, newsletter and through social media. Residents will be encouraged to provide input/feedback and we will hold regular town halls and meetings to get the most input possible. I will only make a final decision after full due diligence and in consultation with the community that's in the best interest of our residents. 



Sharif Ahmed

Please state your position and support for establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail in our ward.

Yes, I approve. 

What would you do to help Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and prevent traffic infiltration from 3431 St. Clair Ave. E.?

Yes, I approve. 



Gary Crawford

Please state your position and support for establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail in our ward.

In July, I presented a motion that was approved by City Council in July that entrenches the future Scarborough West Rail Trail as part of the capital planning process in the next Cycling Network Near Term Plan Report. This is a done deal and a time for celebration to anticipate what will be coming in the future. As part of the process, there will be extensive community consultation and participation. I look forward to updating the community following the election on progress made by staff on the implementation plan and thank you for your advocacy and support for this project.

What would you do to help Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and prevent traffic infiltration from 3431 St. Clair Ave. E.?

The application for 3431 St. Clair Avenue East is still under review. The community’s issues including traffic infiltration were well expressed at the City Planning community meeting held earlier this year as well as at a follow-up meeting and in individual conversations with residents. I am fully aware of your concerns and they are foremost in my mind as revisions and re-submissions are made by the applicant to City Planning. I will not support any final report from planning that does not take your voice into consideration. Given the municipal elections and the blackout period, I am not permitted to host a meeting to provide the most recent updates as I always do at key milestones in the review process. I look forward to providing you with any new updates after October 24th .

How would you consult the community on issues of development if you were elected? How would you advocate for the community and ensure their concerns were reflected in final development site plans?

No response.



Corey David

How would you consult the community on issues of development if you were elected? How would you advocate for the community and ensure their concerns were reflected in final development site plans?

I have always advocated for community involvement at city hall and in all decision-making processes that affect them. To this end, I would do whatever I can to remove lobbyists from city hall and bring community groups and bodies in. Give real power to the community in deciding how to shape the habitats and spaces in which we live as well as backing them up with resources to do so as priorities necessitate. Developers and investors encouraged and facilitated by the city are preying on the people and environments of this city at our expense. We deserve quality of life, we deserve to meet our basic needs and much more, and we can but we must stand up and hold those in power accountable, and really take power away from the few and share it among all residents and workers. We all keep this city running, we are all part of it and we all deserve a say, not just 1 day every few years in a ceremony forced on us by the crown and its appointees, but on the changing world around us, on the issues that most affect us like housing and the protection of environment. The government should want and encourage a powerful public and that is what I seek to do.



Parthi Kandavel

Please state your position and support for establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail in our ward?

Dear Scarborough Junction Community,

Thank you for taking the lead on the Rail Trail Project. Community and grass roots initiatives are special projects as community members are at the heart. Our neighbourhoods are home to a variety of ravines, green spaces, parks and fortunately for us, an abandoned rail line which, with your good work, will be reactivated with new purpose. Our green spaces are a wealth of natural and scientific information, and as a recreational destination, invaluable. The legacy of such an important project will be recognized for generations to come. Be assured, that I will support this initiative in every capacity as a City Councillor and resident of Ward 20.

What would you do to help Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and prevent traffic infiltration from 3431 St. Clair Ave. E.?

Dear Danforth Gardens Community, 

We’re seeing an explosion of development in our community without any real consultation or the involvement of our neighbourhoods. As you know, I’m standing in complete opposition to this reckless and irresponsible development, which has no plan for important public and retail services that we deserve. Also, I am writing to express my support in favour of the City of Toronto posting a “Right Turn Only” sign at the access to the new building. In addition, the City should install a traffic barrier to discourage left turns and the driveway should curve to the right. Finally, I am supportive of a traffic light to be installed at Elfreda Blvd. and St. Clair Ave. East. These additions will alleviate congestion and traffic that the residents of Elfreda will experience with this development. It is incumbent on our city to always be considerate of the lived realities of our residents and neighbourhoods. Sincerely Parthi Kandavel.

How would you consult the community on issues of development if you were elected? How would you advocate for the community and ensure their concerns were reflected in final development site plans?

I'll continue with the frequent community input and public consultation that have been hallmarks of my time as your Trustee. Create Community Working Groups ensuring genuine and truly public consultations that stop irresponsible high-rise development and appalling traffic congestion. 

I will hold monthly meetings with the "Ask Me Anything" format. Frequent consultations increase neighbourhood input and invites a broader understanding of ALL the impacts. As your Councillor, you'll know everything that I know about any given development - no secrets.

I'll ensure that Planning Timelines are met. Currently these are only rarely met, and very unfortunately this allows developers to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the OMB) without the important community consultation we know is necessary. 

We can have a better future.



Kevin Rupasinghe

Please state your position and support for establishing the West Scarborough Rail Trail in our ward.

On bringing forward the West Scarborough Rail Path, I have already been a vocal champion for this project. It is in part through my advocacy that the project has received citywide attention from municipal candidates and media. It has been fifty years since first proposed, and current elected officials have had decades to move forward on this without any significant action until our community began organizing around it. Here are two media stories featuring my commitment to working with our community to get this project built:

1.  Fresh New Ideas: Create the West Scarborough Railpath to connect neighbourhoods, says Kevin Rupasinghe

2.  West Scarborough Railpath proposal gathers steam as Toronto mayoral and Ward 20 candidates pledge support

What would you do to help Danforth Gardens Neighbourhood Association maintain the integrity of our neighbourhood and prevent traffic infiltration from 3431 St. Clair Ave. E.?

On traffic infiltration and road safety from 3431 St Clair E, I have already been an active community member in suggesting solutions and mitigations to the traffic infiltration problem. I am a community organizer at heart, and with my background in Cities Engineering I know that I can both understand the language that city staff are speaking and push back when needed on behalf of our community. My focus is on how to move forward on projects so that there can be some consensus and positive outcomes for all the stakeholders involved. I will always be committed to find solutions because I live down the street and will have to live with the impacts of my decisions just as my neighbours will.

How would you consult the community on issues of development if you were elected? How would you advocate for the community and ensure their concerns were reflected in final development site plans?

As a longtime advocate & community organizer, I understand how to bring people together to move forward on a shared vision. I know that as City Councillor, I will continue to play this role as an advocate for our community when working with City staff and builders. And, with my background in Cities Engineering, including my expertise in transportation, land use, and sustainability, I know I will be able to bridge the gap between bureaucrats and residents to ensure final development site plans reflect the priorities of current and future community members.

Many thanks again!