The re-drawing of Toronto’s electoral boundaries by the Province has resulted in larger wards where two popular councillors are fighting for re-election. Jaye Robinson, who represented Lawrence Park, the old Ward 25, is running against Jon Burnside, who represented Leaside, the old Ward 26.
These wards are represented by the Federal MP for the area, Rob Oliphant. Oliphant adopted a neutral position. He decided not to support either candidate, but praised both for their contribution to the City over the past four years.
There is little doubt that these two contenders will do well in the wards where they have been active in promoting the interests of their constituents.
So what issues should make a difference to a voter’s choice.? There is one issue that will be fundamental over the next four years: civic resilience in the face of climate change.
Toronto has taken the first steps through its program , Transform Toronto, but they are far from sufficient. Further action is imperative, which will require funding by the City as
- the Province has cut funding, and
- with the repeal of cap and trade there is no Provincial program that enables measures to be taken to limit climate change!
When the final budget for Transform Toronto was before City Council, Jaye Robinson voted in favour of budget proposals and a Resolution approving the long-term goal of transitioning to a low-carbon Toronto by 2050. Jon Burnside supported an amendment that subsequent councils should “when designing and delivering climate actions . . . protect the taxpayer from significant increases in taxes and user fees.”
We submitted the following questions to both Robinson and Burnside:
What actions will you take if elected to ensure that
Transform Toronto has adequate financial resources for implementation of the program;
Toronto’s Council strongly continues its support of measures that will improve resilience to climate change.
Robinson recently (Friday October 19) replied as follows:
“I’m fully committed to supporting TransformTO – Toronto’s new comprehensive climate action strategy and will continue to prioritize measures to improve Toronto’s resilience to climate change.”
This morning, we received Burnside’s response, which we have posted in full in the Comment section at the end of this Blog.