Olivia Chow released her full mayoral platform on Friday, consolidating months of news conferences and promises into one 45-page document.
Chow promises to make apartment-hunting easier and cheaper for Toronto renters by enticing private developers to build 15,000 affordable rental housing units. Her plan calls for development fee deferrals and fast-tracked developments that include affordable units.
As part of her transit platform, Chow has said she would like to increase rush-hour bus service by 10 per cent immediately, although her platform document does not include the 10 per cent figure she has used throughout her campaign. According to Chow, 60 per cent of TTC trips include a bus. Chow has also been a vocal supporter of building the Downtown Relief Line.
As part of a four-year plan, Chow would tie city contracts to job spots for young people in the style of a Community Benefits Agreement program. A similar program used in the Regent Park revitalization resulted in 500 jobs for youth.
People buying homes valued at more than $2 million would be subject to Chow’s municipal land-transfer tax increase. Chow says a one-per-cent hike in the levy for the city’s most expensive homes could bring in $20 million a year based on current prices and sales rates.
As part of an effort to make city streets safer, Chow has proposed new curbs at the city’s 100 most dangerous intersections be built at a 90-degree angle to force cars to corner more slowly. In her platform, Chow says the extended curbs would be incorporated into construction.
Chow would like Toronto to be handgun-free and included a call for a handgun ban as part of her multi-pronged crime prevention plan. Though gun control is a matter of federal jurisdiction, Chow said the city could and should advocate for a federal law on the matter.
Chow, and Doug Ford, would like to cut the length of municipal election campaigns from 10 months down to four. Currently candidates can register for the October vote in January. Chow would like July 1 to be campaign kick-off day.
Despite leading in the early months of campaign, Chow’s support has dipped in recent weeks. A Forum Research poll published Sept. 29 pegged Chow’s support at 20 per cent, putting her in third place behind Doug Ford, with 33 per cent, and front-runner John Tory who had 43 per cent of support.
Mobile users, click here to read Chow’s full platform.