Ready to Continue Leading Ward 22

Over the past two years, I have worked with residents, business owners, community organizations, fellow Councillors, and the Mayor to ensure that Ward 22’s priorities are addressed. Fostering a spirit of cooperation between all stakeholders, partners, and the three levels of government are of utmost importance to creating success for all. 

I will continue to work on increasing safety, improving infrastructure, and upgrading our playgrounds and green spaces – ensuring that Scarborough-Agincourt stays on track to become a world-class centre of innovation, culture, and sport. 

Our community is evolving and growing and I will continue to work with you so that Ward 22 grows and flourishes, while preserving our community’s history and heritage.

My commitment to you will always be to put the interests of you, the residents of Scarborough-Agincourt, first.

Let’s take a collaborative approach to community.

Issues & Successes

As our population grows and we move toward a new era of smart cities, we need to be forward-looking and build communities that will meet our needs well into the future. This includes cultural spaces. 

I am proud to say that our recent Section 37 proposal, which are funds that the City receives from development charges for community enhancement projects, was unanimously approved by Council. Our community will be constructing a unique and purpose-built outdoor amphitheatre. I envisioned this structure to be a centre for culture, with the ability to host various events, organizational gatherings and meetings, and be a much-needed cultural focal point for our community. I am very excited about this as I know that it will have a lasting impact for all of us in Ward 22.

That said, this is not where we stop, but where we begin. My goal is to create more cultural spaces like this, where we can congregate as a community. These spaces will enhance the quality of life for everyone, including our youth and our seniors.

With the City growing and more cars on our streets, traffic congestion has become a challenge. Through technology and infrastructure renewal, I will continue to work with City staff to push for traffic signal coordination and speed mitigation measures, such as the slow-down signs that I have implemented with schools and residents to help increase safety.

Our Ward has seen a degree of success through the implementation of the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan. This plan improves road safety, by moving traffic more efficiently and protecting pedestrians, cyclists and children around school safety zones. So far, 22 schools have had traffic calming measures installed, and it is my goal to make sure that the last 10 schools will have them as well.

I have and will continue to bring awareness to this plan, and ensure it’s implemented in the most efficient way possible. I also plan to continue to introduce more traffic calming measures in areas with denser traffic. One of the ways I have helped do this is by beginning to install speed cameras throughout the Ward. We need to keep traffic moving in an efficient and safe manner.

I have worked closely and will continue to work with VISION ZERO to implement various strategies to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safety, health and equitable mobility for everyone.

We all have a right to feel safe, whether we are around the community, or on the road. Your safety, especially the safety of our youth, is of paramount importance to me; it is one of my top priorities. I have listened to you and have worked with City staff and Toronto Police to address them.

Our residents should not have to walk in their neighbourhoods in the dark, nor be fearful of what’s stirring in the bushes. Proper garden and tree maintenance schedules ensure that paths are clear and that there is maximum light exposure from street lights. This is something I have worked together with City staff and Toronto Hydro to ensure happens, thereby making it safer for residents walking during the evenings. 

I’ve also had the privilege of conducting walkabouts together with Toronto Police and different community members. It is my goal to Increase these walkabouts throughout our many neighbourhoods. Walkabouts help build stronger communities by giving residents the opportunity to make positive changes in their neighbourhoods and foster a collaborative and trusting relationship with Toronto Police.

Lastly, with your feedback, I would like to bring about neighbourhood watch groups so we all become partners in the wellbeing of our neighbourhoods. I look forward to speaking with you.

Safety is everybody’s business.

Technology is rapidly transforming our work and social spaces. Our response needs to reflect this pace. I will continue to work closely with businesses and schools in order to foster tech job growth for Scarborough-Agincourt.  We need to create opportunities for relevant education, as well as facilitate retention and “brain gain” of talent within our Ward.

It’s time to move forward so that not only is no one left behind in the innovation economy, but that industry is able to flourish in Ward 22.

Parks are the heart of a community and an indispensable gathering space that benefits every one of us. I believe that access to recreation fosters healthier and safer families and communities.

I am excited to share that Havendale Park, Donalda Park and Timberbank Trail have all been upgraded by receiving new exercise equipment and grounds beautification. City staff and I continue to work towards significant upgrades to L’Amoreaux Kidstown, L’Amoreaux Park South Play Enhancement, and L’Amoreaux Tennis Centre and Sports Complex. Due to the significant increase of dog ownership in our Ward, I am committed to creating more dog parks and upgrading existing amenities to accommodate our four-legged friends. 

Our parks and community centres need constant maintenance in order to meet the needs of our growing and evolving population. Future upgrades are in the works: there will be play enhancements for Scarden Park, Inglewood Park, and Stephen Leacock. Furthermore, it is my goal to bring the L’Amoreaux Sports Complex to become a state-of-the-art facility. This will enable its use as a training facility during the 2026 World Cup. Moreover, upgrading the L’Amoreaux Sports Complex will give our community the ability to nurture the development of our future athletes.

I will continue to work with you to make sure that when upgrades are due, proper consultation will be made so residents will get what they want.

I will continue to work with City staff and all levels of government to ensure that the timelines for the construction of the community hub located at Warden and Finch Avenues are kept on track and on schedule. With construction slated to begin in February 2023, this hub will generate significant and much-needed benefits, services, and jobs to the community. These services will have a positive influence and I am proud to say that everyone is committed to making this happen. The estimated completion date is December 2024 and with your support, I would be honoured to see this through.

Food security has been one of the most prevalent challenges our city has been facing. While our local food banks work hard to ensure the needs of our communities are met, they are reaching their capacity to be able to provide more. I believe that urban gardens are a way to help ease their pressure and empower residents to help supplement their nutritional needs.  Whether it is in your backyard, garden or balcony, urban farming is an excellent way to both promote locally grown food and combat our challenges of food security.

I plan on beginning this endeavour through an educational program to gain awareness, learn how to grow urban gardens within our community and subsidize our food. A comprehensive food strategy devised together with our residents and community organizations will help create and implement this. Furthermore, I plan on expanding the Scarborough-Agincourt Garden Awards to recognize fruit and vegetable gardens.

Through collaboration, awareness, education and a comprehensive food strategy, Scarborough-Agincourt can do its part to bring food security to its communities. This is another key element to help bring the concept of the “15-minute city” to fruition.

Transit is a top priority for me. I know it is very important for you as well. Even though Ward 22 has experienced much growth and continues to see further housing developments, we are still underserved by public transit.

The Provincial government has already put the Sheppard subway in their plans to be built.  

At last June’s Toronto City Council meeting, I seconded a motion urging the province to prioritize the Sheppard Subway and move forward in finalizing the dates. I will continue to work with all levels of government, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario to push forward the Sheppard Subway to begin construction by 2025, and not 2026-2030 as originally proposed.

With the construction of the Sheppard Subway, there will be a significant decrease in travel times between Scarborough-Agincourt and downtown Toronto. It will also be possible to travel through the whole Ward, thus closing the loop between Line 4 (Scarborough Subway) and Line 2 (Yonge Street). 

In a recent Council meeting, I put forth a motion at City Council requesting the Province of Ontario review the current Amber Alert program and criteria to include missing and at-risk vulnerable persons, or that they establish a new program. This comes after the tragic death of Draven Graham, an 11-year-old child from Lindsay, Ontario, on the autistic spectrum, who walked away from his family home. 

An alert for vulnerable persons who leave their family or caregiver custody would be warranted in the Province of Ontario, and several online petitions have called for the creation of the Draven Alert program. As Councillor, I will continue to work with my colleagues at City Council to improve the lives of vulnerable people and their loved ones, by insisting that the Province add this category to the alert system.

Access to affordable housing is a right that many people face with extreme challenge. This hardship is even more apparent today. With the soaring prices, increased inflation, and growing interest rates, many residents are struggling to secure a home, let alone find stable housing. This difficulty as we are all aware leads to dangerous housing situations, such as illegal rooming houses, which we all know pose many serious safety concerns.. 

There has been a lot of growth in Ward 22, and as a result, much development. I will continue to work diligently to ensure that with every development application coming into Ward 22, 20% of the project is allocated towards affordable housing. As we move forward together, we need to make sure that this community embraces everyone.

The ‘15-minute city’ may be defined as an ideal geography where most residents’ needs and desires are located within a travel distance of 15 minutes. I am a champion of this concept and I will continue to work for an urban set-up where locals can access all of their basic essentials at distances that would, ideally,not take them more than 15 minutes by foot or bicycle.  

Residents will be able to enjoy a higher quality of life when we are able to effectively fulfill the six essential social functions to sustain a decent urban life. These include living, working, commerce, healthcare, education and entertainment. 

I believe we should spend less time getting somewhere and more time being where we need to be!

Ice rinks play a vital role in Canadian culture. Sadly, Ward 22 has no permanent skating rinks. 

Last winter, the residents of the Bridlewood Park community reached out to me with this concern and their desire to provide an outdoor ice rink for the children of our community. 

As bringing accessible recreation to Ward 22 is one of my priorities, I am excited to announce that I have secured $1.8 million to be allocated towards the construction of a permanent outdoor skating rink in Scarborough-Agincourt. I am thrilled that we will be bringing this rink to our neighbourhood in the near future and look forward to seeing everyone enjoy it for years to come. I will continue to work with the residents to ensure that the natural ice rinks will be in use every season until the permanent one is built.

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