Ward 42 candidates on the issues

With the election a week away, the next city council will shape Scarborough for the next four years. Ward 42 council candidates talk to the Toronto Observer about six major issues affecting residents in the ward.

Namu Ponnambalam
Namu Ponnambalam
George Singh
George Singh
Shamoon Poonawala
Shamoon Poonawala
Budget “It’s a very open budget process I am actually trying to endorse.” “I’m sure there’s a lot of money that’s being wasted and I’d like to cut all the wasteful spending so that there’s more available budget for new projects.” “I think we should have a budgeting process that gets public input beforehand and then the process begins based on that and last year’s budget, and then once it’s completed it’s presented to the public again for reconfirmation.“
Crime “I would like to focus on the issue of the recent profiling in this ward. I’d need to get in touch with law enforcement units to work alongside the community to control crime.” “I’d like to see a lot more attention and money diverted into preventing crime as opposed to just fighting crime by putting a Band-Aid on it.” “For preventative measures, I’m looking at a better lighting system and increasing things like Neighbourhood Watch and the Block Parents program.”
Taxes “I would support the elimination of the $60 vehicle licensing tax.” “I’d like to see taxes frozen, I don’t want to see taxes go up any more.” “I think that taxes should be coherent to the services provided. In the last little while the services have gone down and the taxes have gone up… There has to be a balance.”
Transit “I’m in full support of the Transit City agenda. At the same time, I’ll press the council for an extension of the LRT to Malvern and to Meadowvale.” “I’d like to see the whole area serviced 24 hours a day, which would increase the accessibility for the region, and then also improve the frequency of the Nugget bus.” “The LRT is going to be comparatively cheaper than subways, but it’s also a limited time thing. Over a period of time, as the population would grow, LRT would become obsolete.”
Housing “Co-operative housing needs to be addressed in terms of the quality of the neighbourhood. I’d also like to propose a co-operative-based daycare system to act as affordable daycare for the middle-income group.” “In regards to community and co-operative housing, I would like to see part of the budget allocated towards improving the physical appearance of these buildings.” “There is sufficient funding but the allocation is not correct… A lot of money has been wasted on unnecessary things like painting garage doors. Did it uplift the community? No.”
Community initiatives “I’d like to lift up the image of co-operative housing in the neighbourhood and revitalize the neighbourhood itself.” “One of the community initiatives I’d like to do is the Active Parks Project. Basically, using the parks in the whole Rouge River Valley and all around our area as meeting places for the community to get together and do physical activities to improve their health.” “We need to promote our goods and bring the people that have been in the community that have made something out of themselves to talk to the youth and the community and let them know how they established themselves and how they got successful.”

Mohammed Ather, Raymond Cho, Venthan Ramanathavavuniyan, Leon Saul, Neethan Shan and Ruth Tecle are also running in Ward 42.