Scarborough-Guildwood candidates talk subways, physiotherapy during debate

News Jul 23, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough-Guildwood candidates didn’t show much trust for each other as they clashed over physiotherapy, workers’ safety and, not surprisingly, subways at the riding’s only formal provincial byelection debate Tuesday, July 23.

Eight of the 10 candidates running to replace MPP Margarett Best on Aug. 1 crowded a table at the Qssis Banquet Halls to share their views over breakfast.

Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa repeated twin claims his is the only party that will bring subways to Scarborough - without raising taxes - while the Liberals, by promising a subway, “are trying to buy your votes.”

Before the byelection was called, Liberals “ignored your calls for subways,” said Kirupa, a realtor. “What will they do tomorrow?”

But Mitzie Hunter, the riding’s Liberal contender, hit back.

Declaring again her support for replacing a planned light-rail line along the current Scarborough RT route with a Bloor-Danforth subway extension, Hunter said the Liberals are building the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line, which she called the city’s first major transit project in a generation.

“When the PCs were in power, they not only cancelled a subway (on Eglinton Avenue West), they buried it,” added Hunter, on leave as CEO of Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.

“As for the NDP, there’s no plan and no commitment to either choice” of rapid transit for Scarborough, she said.

Adam Giambrone, a former city councillor running for the New Democrats, said the riding’s voters are “tired of cynical Liberal promises.”

The proposed subway extension north to Sheppard Avenue comes with “no firm commitments” and will mean little to people in Scarborough-Guildwood, who would have to wait for it at least a decade, he said.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have cut $4 billion from transit line projects and an operating subsidy to the TTC, even as it gained more riders, said Giambrone. “People in Scarborough-Guildwood know that because they’re stuck on the buses - if they can get on.”

Green candidate Nick Leeson called the Liberal choice of a subway over a light-rail plan already in place “bad policy” and an example of putting power over principle. The light-rail line has more stops and would revitalize communities it runs through, said Leeson, a lawyer. “We need action now to get cars off the road,” he added.

“They’re trying to sell you a faulty bill of goods.”

There were more differences of opinion over the government’s plan to change how it provides physiotherapy services after Aug. 1.

Hunter said she doesn’t want seniors to worry. Budgeted spending on physiotherapy is increasing, and people will be able to get the services “right in the facilities that they do today.”

An association of designated physiotherapy clinics in the province argue seniors should worry, since the government will spread the services out and spend less on physiotherapy.

Giambrone said the net result “is seniors will get less access to the care that they need,” and added no matter how the Liberals try to shift numbers, “seniors already know” their services are being cut.

Kirupa also accused the Liberals of “trying to cut care for seniors” after having wasted billions on other things.

Leeson used a personal example to show the Liberal strategy was wrong: his grandmother, who has had physiotherapy in her retirement home twice a week, was told she can get it six times a year starting next month, he said. “This is failed management again.”

Hunter responded that under the new system Leeson’s grandmother will be able to receive service in the home. “That is not changing.”

Candidates were called on by the Scarborough chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario, the debate organizers, to support repeal of a section of the Professional Engineers Act, called the industrial exemption, that allows businesses to work on production machinery without the services of an engineer.

The PEO contends the repeal was planned in legislation but halted at the request of businesses.

Giambrone and Leeson supported repeal. Hunter, though pledging workers’ safety is “our government’s number one priority,” said Ontario’s labour ministry has found no evidence repealing the industrial exemption will reduce accidents.

Kirupa said the PC party would do a full review of all government regulations but added the province needs to balance rules on safety with economic development and jobs.

Giambrone said the former Guild Inn in the riding has been left to deteriorate, and should get provincial support.

Also running in Scarborough-Guildwood is Danish Ahmed, who leads the Party for People with Special Needs. A Pakistani-Canadian, he is an albino and legally blind, but said many Ontarians have disabilities that are not as visible.

“People with disabilities are not going away, and that’s a good thing,” said Ahmed, an author and motivational speaker. “When we help people with disabilities we’re actually helping everybody.”

Heath Thomas, a Libertarian, said “government gangsters” are offering residents a subway, “whether you want it or not,” with money “they took from you by theft.”

When Leeson criticized Hunter for rejecting a merger of the province’s Catholic and public school boards - a move he said would save $1.5 billion - Thomas, a small businessman, called the idea of having one school system “abominable.”

“We should have choice,” Thomas said.

Jim Hamilton, an independent candidate and investor, said it’s time to reform Ontario’s unfair tax structure, moving the education component of property tax to income tax, and eliminating the multi-residential class of property tax, which he said is unfair to people in older rental apartment buildings.

Raphael Rosch, said he’s running for the Family Coalition Party because it matched his values, including the right to life and freedom to own property. He urged riding residents to “vote blank at least” if no candidate appealed to them, because, he said, declining the ballot shows politicians you would vote for them if they represented your views.

The East Scarborough Storefront hosts a “meet and greet” with candidates at the Progress Church on Kingston Road at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, July 30.

Scarborough-Guildwood candidates talk subways, physiotherapy during debate

News Jul 23, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough-Guildwood candidates didn’t show much trust for each other as they clashed over physiotherapy, workers’ safety and, not surprisingly, subways at the riding’s only formal provincial byelection debate Tuesday, July 23.

Eight of the 10 candidates running to replace MPP Margarett Best on Aug. 1 crowded a table at the Qssis Banquet Halls to share their views over breakfast.

Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa repeated twin claims his is the only party that will bring subways to Scarborough - without raising taxes - while the Liberals, by promising a subway, “are trying to buy your votes.”

Before the byelection was called, Liberals “ignored your calls for subways,” said Kirupa, a realtor. “What will they do tomorrow?”

Related Content

But Mitzie Hunter, the riding’s Liberal contender, hit back.

Declaring again her support for replacing a planned light-rail line along the current Scarborough RT route with a Bloor-Danforth subway extension, Hunter said the Liberals are building the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line, which she called the city’s first major transit project in a generation.

“When the PCs were in power, they not only cancelled a subway (on Eglinton Avenue West), they buried it,” added Hunter, on leave as CEO of Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.

“As for the NDP, there’s no plan and no commitment to either choice” of rapid transit for Scarborough, she said.

Adam Giambrone, a former city councillor running for the New Democrats, said the riding’s voters are “tired of cynical Liberal promises.”

The proposed subway extension north to Sheppard Avenue comes with “no firm commitments” and will mean little to people in Scarborough-Guildwood, who would have to wait for it at least a decade, he said.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have cut $4 billion from transit line projects and an operating subsidy to the TTC, even as it gained more riders, said Giambrone. “People in Scarborough-Guildwood know that because they’re stuck on the buses - if they can get on.”

Green candidate Nick Leeson called the Liberal choice of a subway over a light-rail plan already in place “bad policy” and an example of putting power over principle. The light-rail line has more stops and would revitalize communities it runs through, said Leeson, a lawyer. “We need action now to get cars off the road,” he added.

“They’re trying to sell you a faulty bill of goods.”

There were more differences of opinion over the government’s plan to change how it provides physiotherapy services after Aug. 1.

Hunter said she doesn’t want seniors to worry. Budgeted spending on physiotherapy is increasing, and people will be able to get the services “right in the facilities that they do today.”

An association of designated physiotherapy clinics in the province argue seniors should worry, since the government will spread the services out and spend less on physiotherapy.

Giambrone said the net result “is seniors will get less access to the care that they need,” and added no matter how the Liberals try to shift numbers, “seniors already know” their services are being cut.

Kirupa also accused the Liberals of “trying to cut care for seniors” after having wasted billions on other things.

Leeson used a personal example to show the Liberal strategy was wrong: his grandmother, who has had physiotherapy in her retirement home twice a week, was told she can get it six times a year starting next month, he said. “This is failed management again.”

Hunter responded that under the new system Leeson’s grandmother will be able to receive service in the home. “That is not changing.”

Candidates were called on by the Scarborough chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario, the debate organizers, to support repeal of a section of the Professional Engineers Act, called the industrial exemption, that allows businesses to work on production machinery without the services of an engineer.

The PEO contends the repeal was planned in legislation but halted at the request of businesses.

Giambrone and Leeson supported repeal. Hunter, though pledging workers’ safety is “our government’s number one priority,” said Ontario’s labour ministry has found no evidence repealing the industrial exemption will reduce accidents.

Kirupa said the PC party would do a full review of all government regulations but added the province needs to balance rules on safety with economic development and jobs.

Giambrone said the former Guild Inn in the riding has been left to deteriorate, and should get provincial support.

Also running in Scarborough-Guildwood is Danish Ahmed, who leads the Party for People with Special Needs. A Pakistani-Canadian, he is an albino and legally blind, but said many Ontarians have disabilities that are not as visible.

“People with disabilities are not going away, and that’s a good thing,” said Ahmed, an author and motivational speaker. “When we help people with disabilities we’re actually helping everybody.”

Heath Thomas, a Libertarian, said “government gangsters” are offering residents a subway, “whether you want it or not,” with money “they took from you by theft.”

When Leeson criticized Hunter for rejecting a merger of the province’s Catholic and public school boards - a move he said would save $1.5 billion - Thomas, a small businessman, called the idea of having one school system “abominable.”

“We should have choice,” Thomas said.

Jim Hamilton, an independent candidate and investor, said it’s time to reform Ontario’s unfair tax structure, moving the education component of property tax to income tax, and eliminating the multi-residential class of property tax, which he said is unfair to people in older rental apartment buildings.

Raphael Rosch, said he’s running for the Family Coalition Party because it matched his values, including the right to life and freedom to own property. He urged riding residents to “vote blank at least” if no candidate appealed to them, because, he said, declining the ballot shows politicians you would vote for them if they represented your views.

The East Scarborough Storefront hosts a “meet and greet” with candidates at the Progress Church on Kingston Road at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, July 30.

Scarborough-Guildwood candidates talk subways, physiotherapy during debate

News Jul 23, 2013 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Scarborough-Guildwood candidates didn’t show much trust for each other as they clashed over physiotherapy, workers’ safety and, not surprisingly, subways at the riding’s only formal provincial byelection debate Tuesday, July 23.

Eight of the 10 candidates running to replace MPP Margarett Best on Aug. 1 crowded a table at the Qssis Banquet Halls to share their views over breakfast.

Progressive Conservative Ken Kirupa repeated twin claims his is the only party that will bring subways to Scarborough - without raising taxes - while the Liberals, by promising a subway, “are trying to buy your votes.”

Before the byelection was called, Liberals “ignored your calls for subways,” said Kirupa, a realtor. “What will they do tomorrow?”

Related Content

But Mitzie Hunter, the riding’s Liberal contender, hit back.

Declaring again her support for replacing a planned light-rail line along the current Scarborough RT route with a Bloor-Danforth subway extension, Hunter said the Liberals are building the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line, which she called the city’s first major transit project in a generation.

“When the PCs were in power, they not only cancelled a subway (on Eglinton Avenue West), they buried it,” added Hunter, on leave as CEO of Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.

“As for the NDP, there’s no plan and no commitment to either choice” of rapid transit for Scarborough, she said.

Adam Giambrone, a former city councillor running for the New Democrats, said the riding’s voters are “tired of cynical Liberal promises.”

The proposed subway extension north to Sheppard Avenue comes with “no firm commitments” and will mean little to people in Scarborough-Guildwood, who would have to wait for it at least a decade, he said.

Meanwhile, the Liberals have cut $4 billion from transit line projects and an operating subsidy to the TTC, even as it gained more riders, said Giambrone. “People in Scarborough-Guildwood know that because they’re stuck on the buses - if they can get on.”

Green candidate Nick Leeson called the Liberal choice of a subway over a light-rail plan already in place “bad policy” and an example of putting power over principle. The light-rail line has more stops and would revitalize communities it runs through, said Leeson, a lawyer. “We need action now to get cars off the road,” he added.

“They’re trying to sell you a faulty bill of goods.”

There were more differences of opinion over the government’s plan to change how it provides physiotherapy services after Aug. 1.

Hunter said she doesn’t want seniors to worry. Budgeted spending on physiotherapy is increasing, and people will be able to get the services “right in the facilities that they do today.”

An association of designated physiotherapy clinics in the province argue seniors should worry, since the government will spread the services out and spend less on physiotherapy.

Giambrone said the net result “is seniors will get less access to the care that they need,” and added no matter how the Liberals try to shift numbers, “seniors already know” their services are being cut.

Kirupa also accused the Liberals of “trying to cut care for seniors” after having wasted billions on other things.

Leeson used a personal example to show the Liberal strategy was wrong: his grandmother, who has had physiotherapy in her retirement home twice a week, was told she can get it six times a year starting next month, he said. “This is failed management again.”

Hunter responded that under the new system Leeson’s grandmother will be able to receive service in the home. “That is not changing.”

Candidates were called on by the Scarborough chapter of Professional Engineers Ontario, the debate organizers, to support repeal of a section of the Professional Engineers Act, called the industrial exemption, that allows businesses to work on production machinery without the services of an engineer.

The PEO contends the repeal was planned in legislation but halted at the request of businesses.

Giambrone and Leeson supported repeal. Hunter, though pledging workers’ safety is “our government’s number one priority,” said Ontario’s labour ministry has found no evidence repealing the industrial exemption will reduce accidents.

Kirupa said the PC party would do a full review of all government regulations but added the province needs to balance rules on safety with economic development and jobs.

Giambrone said the former Guild Inn in the riding has been left to deteriorate, and should get provincial support.

Also running in Scarborough-Guildwood is Danish Ahmed, who leads the Party for People with Special Needs. A Pakistani-Canadian, he is an albino and legally blind, but said many Ontarians have disabilities that are not as visible.

“People with disabilities are not going away, and that’s a good thing,” said Ahmed, an author and motivational speaker. “When we help people with disabilities we’re actually helping everybody.”

Heath Thomas, a Libertarian, said “government gangsters” are offering residents a subway, “whether you want it or not,” with money “they took from you by theft.”

When Leeson criticized Hunter for rejecting a merger of the province’s Catholic and public school boards - a move he said would save $1.5 billion - Thomas, a small businessman, called the idea of having one school system “abominable.”

“We should have choice,” Thomas said.

Jim Hamilton, an independent candidate and investor, said it’s time to reform Ontario’s unfair tax structure, moving the education component of property tax to income tax, and eliminating the multi-residential class of property tax, which he said is unfair to people in older rental apartment buildings.

Raphael Rosch, said he’s running for the Family Coalition Party because it matched his values, including the right to life and freedom to own property. He urged riding residents to “vote blank at least” if no candidate appealed to them, because, he said, declining the ballot shows politicians you would vote for them if they represented your views.

The East Scarborough Storefront hosts a “meet and greet” with candidates at the Progress Church on Kingston Road at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, July 30.