Published Friday, September 24, 2010 3:03PM EDT
Where Rob stands on the big issues facing Toronto:
1. Transit City is an important and controversial part of Toronto. What are your thoughts on the proposed plan?
"I'm not a fan of streetcars. Streetcars congest traffic. What I want to see is the money we're getting from the provincial and federal government for Transit City and use it to build subways. Let's finish off the Sheppard line. The LRTC on St. Clair destroyed local businesses, and it congested traffic."
2. Bike lanes have become a topic in the last few weeks. Do you plan on implementing them on Jarvis, University and the other locations?
"On Jarvis Street the community doesn't want it. They spent 6 million dollars on removing one lane to accommodate bike lanes. I'm sorry we can't have that. I don't object to bike lanes if the community wants them, but on Jarvis the community didn't want it. On University Avenue there are major hospitals. I hope I'm not in the back of an ambulance trying to get to a hospital because bike lanes are congesting traffic and someone dies in the back of an ambulance because they're trying to get to the hospital. I know in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough the community doesn't want bike lanes. It takes an hour to just drive in our car from Etobicoke downtown."
3. How do you feel about the idea of charging road tolls?
"I'm totally apposed to road tolls. However, I'm all in favour of road construction. We're 300 million in the backlog on transportation repairs, so that's a priority to me. I want the best roads in the city. All road tolls are going to do is keep people away from the city. It will divert the traffic to side streets, so people can avoid the road tolls and that's not safe."
4. What "big idea" do you have that will be part of your platform?
"It's my experience, customer service and fiscal responsibility. I have a proven track record. Every dime I spend, the tax payer knows. I consult with the tax payers of this city before I make a decision. Every single email, every single phone call that comes into my office I personally return."
5. How do you plan on cleaning up the city?
"What I want to do is what they did in New York City. When you see graffiti we want to get on to it immediately because graffiti turns into a broken window and would you want to have a business that is beside a vacant building that has all graffiti on it and broken windows? Of course not. So if it is on city property, we have the power the municipal licensing and standards, the comity I sit on, we send out a bylaw officer out we get it cleaned up within 24 hours. If it's on private property then we go up the owner of the property and say listen we've got graffiti, we've got a broken window we need it fixed. You've got 30 days to fix it."
6. How do you plan on bringing "new life" to the city? (ex: people, business, events, parades etc.)
"I know who to talk to and how to get the people here and they've told me Rob we're not coming to Toronto until it's safe and it's clean and then I'll entertain it. That's what I had to do in Rexdale. I had to clean up for the first three years and then tour them around and then they said wow I feel like you want us."
7. How important is accountability while you are in office and how do you plan on monitoring this?
"There are 1254 credit cards floating around the city of Toronto. However, as a tax payer you can't get a list of the people who have them, you cant get a list of what they are buying. When I'm mayor you've going to know who has a credit card and what they're spending on it."
8. What are your plans for the city's budget including property taxes?
"People are frustrated with the taxes in the city. Within the last seven years we're been hit with a 60 dollar car registration tax, a land transfer tax, property taxes have increased 5% on the average every year, which is equivalent to 50 million dollars, we pay for a 5 cent bag tax, water rates have increased 20%, we get taxed on our garbage. It's just tax, tax and tax. We're three billion dollars in debt. We cannot keep going this way. I've always said that we have a spending problem not a revenue problem. I'm the only candidate that has come out that says I'm going to abolish the 60 dollar car registration tax. The land transfer tax is paralyzing young people that are buying their first or second home. This has to be eliminated."