There are 4 MAJOR issues facing Canadian in this federal election

Canadians face FOUR MAJOR issues in this federal election.The FOUR major issues facing Toronto as well as other cities across Canada are:

  1. Traffic congestion and public transit
  2. Gun violence
  3. Housing and related costs
  4. Child care

Although Canadians in every large city in the country suffer to some degree with each of the above issues, Toronto seems to suffer the most.

Housing, rental and living in Toronto
: promise to build 500,000 affordable new homes across the country in the next 10 years.
CONS: change regulations as incentives for builders to build more homes.
LIBS: spend more on repair of neglected social housing;
          subsidize housing for low income families;
          have promised $1.3 billion for repairs to Toronto Community Housing.
GRNS: promise to tackle issue of short term rentals such as Airbnb

Gun violence
Gun violence is at its worst in Toronto in a decade. There are a variety of proposed solutions from those offered by Police Chief Mark Saunders to Mayor John Tory and they do not all agree on the banning of hand guns.

Two Divisions only: 51 and 52, both in the heart of downtown Toronto

Toronot Police chief Saunders feels solutions lie in the courts, raising bail requirements, delaying bail times so accused remain in jail longer. Mayor Tory wants a ban on the sale of hand guns and assault-style weapons.

NDP: cities should have the right to ban handguns
CONS: want tougher sentences for gang members; state that the national association of police chiefs are not fully behind a gun ban
LIBS: tout that former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, a candidate himself, has given responsibility for studying possible solutions to the problem of gun violence in Toronto
Trudeau had a very plausible statement about the issue when he stated that it’s not enough to do something “if you’re not comfortable it’s actually going to work,” at his meeting with the Toronto Star editors recently
[ LIB candidate Adam Vaughan favours a gun ban saying, “If we aren’t selling them in Canada, then we have one point of entry” at the border.
GRNS: cities should have the right to ban handguns

Child care
Toronto has the highest child care costs in Canada. Some child care advocates propose a national child care program based on the one used by Quebec. Additionally, Toronto has been hit hard cost cuts to many services and key sectors relating to children: cuts to education and school programs, public health departments and subsidies to low-income people and their access to the court system. Another imminent cut will be applied to local schools while yet another will force the transfer of 20% of daycare costs from the province to the city.
NDP: promise to make child care “affordable and available” to all families
CONS: change regulations as incentives for builders to build more homes.
LIBS: promise to continue investment in child care programs but will not go so far as adopting a Quebec model day care system
GRNS: promise to create a national child care strategy with no real details at this time.

Traffic congestion and public transit

Traffic and public transit problems seem to impact the most on Toronto as it is the most populated area in Canada. Traffic flow across the city has people saying things like “Rush hour never stops in Toronto” and “…doesn’t anybody actually work in Toronto?” Public transit riders in the city feel like ‘sardines in a undersized tin’ as one rider put it.

Transfer money from the federal gas-tax as promoted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities would help alleviate costs as did the one time subsidy Toronto received from Ottawa this past year. To add to the problem in Toronto, the city does not have any means for raising money for its transit problems.

NDP: are committed to funding and modernizing transit. Promised more details soon.
CONS: promises to make the gas-tax transfer payment permanent
LIBS: say they will study the gas-tax proposal very seriously but nothing more
GRNS: no specific statement made.

Provincial Conservative leader Premier Doug Ford is a thorn in the side of the federal Conservatives who never speak his name in their campaigning. Ford’s many cuts and policies have impacted on the province tremendously. They have been opposed by more and more residents of Ontario, so much so that the popularity of Ford’s government is comparable to the support Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals had at its worst. Public bashing and criticism of the Ford government has stopped for now as he has taken his government out of public-political spotlight until after the federal election. Andrew Scheer may owe Ford a dinner of thanks for this.

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