Written by Dimitra Kolovos
The Mayor renewed his commitment to the people of Toronto yet for another year keeping his main focus on the topics of transit and affordable housing with promises that we will see “visible signs” by the end of 2020 and it will be more than “a plan on a piece of paper.”
Transit and affordable housing
He continued by saying that he is looking into a 10 year plan approving 40, 000 new affordable housing units that was already approved by council last week and will require a 14.9 billion investment from other levels of government.
He also talked about the the Ontario Line project which he would like to make sure that it “actually gets moving” after Queen’s Park commitment to fund.
The issues remain the same for the city of Toronto and there’s no new priorities because neither of them have been completely resolved. “We have these federal and the provincial agreements, we have a housing plan that we passed at city council and my job is to make sure it actually happens and that the houses get built and that people can see them and live in them.” he said.
2019 Provincial Cuts
A concern in 2019 was the billion of dollars in cuts announced by the Ford Government forcing the Province of Ontario to stop many programs that people relied on. However further discussions with Premier Doug Ford have laid a better path and the Mayor is “making progress”. “I don’t think they thought I would fight but I think they know now that I will fight if the city is threatened and I will fight again if I have to,” he said
Increase in City Levy
In 2019 Tory had to increase the city building levy to increase revenue in order to sustain the projects of affordable housing and Toronto Transit’s repairs, a move that didn’t make many happy. “ I think when people see the houses getting built; when they see the transit getting built they will say thank goodness we took that step.” he said.
Decrease in homicides but gun violence increased
With a decrease on homicides for 2019 we cannot say the same about gun violence that kept increasing for a second year with 464 cases up to last week.
In 2020 Tory wants to “develop a plan in advance” to reduce the gun violence that seems increased in the summer months. He also talked about a crackdown on gang violence “The gang situation has now reached the point where sometimes they are just proving they can shoot somebody for the sake of doing so”