Toronto can offer something for everyone: Walker
Candidate running in East York against Coun. Janet Davis
By Kris Scheuer
(Written May 13 for Town Crier.)
Beaches-East York candidate Robert Walker says he’s got some ideas to helping Torontonians get the most out their city.
The first-time candidate is running in Ward 31 where he lives with his 14-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.
“I’m a homeowner and single dad,” the 48-year-old said. “I pay taxes like everyone else. I feel I could do a better job allocating taxes to help everyone.”
On his website, he laments about the rifts between drivers and cyclists, left versus right, downtown against the suburbs and so on.
“I think there’s enough of this city for everyone to have the city they want,” he said. “There’s enough room for people to travel across this city in any manner they want.”
But it will require some compromise, he said, cyclists will get bike lanes but not on every route they want, and drivers will lose lanes on some roads.
He’d like to see subways instead of the Transit City plan for light rapid transit routes.
“It’s more costly in the short term to build subways,” he concedes. “But in the long term, subways have a 100-year lifespan.”
He said he wouldn’t sell Toronto Hydro as mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi has suggested, but suggests some city assets could be sold or leased to pay for subways.
Walker also wants to open up the idea of contracting out services.
“People are saying, ‘Let’s contract out garbage.’ My position is, let’s find out how much that would cost. Let’s put out a request for proposal and have everyone including unions respond.”
He’s started canvassing in the ward and beside his website also has Twitter and Facebook accounts to increase his name recognition. One local issue he’s hearing about from residents is concerns over development.
One resident complained to him that neighbours want to sub-divide a lot to build two homes on a property meant for one home.
“This is happening all over the ward,” said Walker, an IT professional for a Bay Street law firm.
He’s also a certified project manager and accustomed to bringing people on board projects.
“If you can bring people into the vision rather than excluding them, the vision will work much better for everyone,” Walker said.
What is the key issue for you in voting for a local councillor?