Mayoral Machinations Mayhap?
That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again – municipal election speculation time! It’s my most favourite time of year, when a young man’s thoughts turn to campaigns, leafleting and fundraising. Today marks the first day candidates can officially register to run. The City of Toronto has a nice little page listing everyone running, with such heavy hitters as Stephen Feek and Mark State.
This municipal election is doubly exciting for me as it will be the first time I can actually vote in Canada. Needless to say, I am stoked. So stoked, in fact, that I called to confirm that I am on the voters list. I mean, it’s only NINE months until I get to cast a ballot!
All joking aside, a municipal election for a city the size of Toronto does generate a fair bit more excitement than one for, say, Leamington (sorry Mayor John Adams – no, not that one, this one). A lot is at stake for Toronto; Here are some of the big ticket items in my book:
- Transit City – Anyone looking for my vote needs to assure me that Transit City will continue forward in a well-planned and well-funded manner. None of this rolling in hacking funding halfway through, leaving the city with little T-rex arms for transit extensions.
- Making Metrolinx play nice with TTC – in fact, I’m looking for some serious kindergarten rules here when it comes to transit and the GTA and beyond. To be a truly viable option for all transit needs to be regional in scope and seamless regardless of municipal boundaries.
- Flint-nosed with the Federales – Toronto is an economic powerhouse, but the trend at the federal level has been to discount the importance of urban areas in Canada. The next mayor will need to wrassle with Stephen (since he’ll likely be around for a bit more)
- Work with the 905 – the ‘burbs aren’t going anywhere, and Mississauga is becoming a city in itself. Like transit, urban planning needs to be regional in nature. My mayor would work with other cities and the province to make sure that integrated planning takes place in an effort to make some sense out of the urban design spaghetti that seems to take place at the edges of Toronto.
- Long-term, stable funding for the TTC. Let me say again in Spanish – Financiación de largo plazo y estable para el TTC – It’s that important. If we get a mayor who can work with the provincial and federal levels, I hope s/he can go a step further and figure out a way to make sure that financial planning of Canada’s largest transit system can have something longer than a 3-4 year window in terms of funding.
- Making good on biking and walking strategies – Even with Miller’s boosterism, both of these strategies have lagged behind. I would love to see rapid rollout of these plans, and continued development of coordinated, logical bike lanes across the city.
I could go on (if you couldn’t tell), but this should give you a taste of things to come. As for the real players, I’m going to need some time to do a little more research. Until then, you’ll satisfy yourself with the political stylings of John Lorinc over at Spacing – he has a couple of snippets on Rocco Rossi and Adam Giambrone which are worth looking at, and I assume it will be an ongoing series.
On a totally related note, my friend Rob is currently the Mayor of Danforth IGA on Foursquare. I was at his coronation and it was glorious.