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多伦多热门市长候选人在族裔公义方面的成绩单 邹至蕙排第一

来源:贴心姐妹网   更新:2014-10-15 07:24:18   作者:贴心姐妹网
 一个致力于改变少数族裔贫困状况的团体 The Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change Network (COPC)  公布了对三位热门市长候选人在族裔公义方面的成绩单,邹至蕙排名第一,庄德利排名第二,对道格•福特的评估因他在某些议题上态度不清晰没能完成。
 
该团体说,这份成绩单是基于对候选人面对面的讨论、候选人的政纲和公开言论,主要是看候选人在就业平等、支付得起的住房、公共交通、是否将投票权扩展至所有居民(无论他们的身份)、为少数族裔青年提供平等市政服务以及对警政的问责等议题上的立场。
 
该团体对三位热门候选人的打分分别是:邹至蕙得B+,庄德利得D,对道格•福特的评估因他在一些议题上的立场不清晰没能完成。
 
                                                                                                           邹至蕙          道格·福特          庄德利
就业平等(Employment Equity)                                                           C                  unknown            D
住房(Housing)                                                                                  A                  incomplete         C
公共交通(Public Transit )                                                                   B                  D                      C
是否所有居民有投票权(Extend Municipal Franchise)                            B+                F                       F
提供平等市政服务(Access to City Services)                                        B                  C                       C
对警政的问责(Police Accountability)                                                   B+                D                       D
总分                                                                                                     B+                Incomplete         D
 
候选人在相关议题上的立场
 
邹至蕙
 
On Employment Equity:  Chow supports the use of Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) for all major infrastructure and capital projects, to include apprenticeships and jobs for young people.  Chow would also build on the city’s direct youth employment programs to create 5000 new apprentices and jobs for young people over the four years.  Chow also said she would approach the business community and ask private employers to match the city’s efforts to create more job opportunities.  Chow will also promote trade with China and promote global business languages with a global outreach strategy to compete with other cities.
 
COPC’s comment: While Chow’s plan to promote job opportunities for young people is laudable, her plan as it currently stands does not have specific measures to remove barriers to employment among racialized youths who are more likely than non-racialized youths to be unemployed.  Many CBAs as they are currently being negotiated do call for employment equity program as a way of ensuring level playing field for all under-represented groups.  Chow has indicated in a meeting with COPC that she is willing to fine tune her position on CBA to ensure the 5000 jobs will be equitable accessible to racialized  youths.   It would be much preferable for Chow to extend her employment strategy to include employment equity for both youth and adult, instead of just seeing the diverse communities as opportunities to promote global trade.
 
On Affordable Housing: Chow has released a plan for 15,000 new affordable rental units over four years.  She has also proposed to expand mixed-income neighbourhoods by introducing a target of 20% affordable units in new residential towers, and defer development charges for these units for ten years. This deferral would be renewed if the units remain affordable.  Chow has also committed to renew many of the 1,200 existing towers’ surroundings with new zoning in order to allow more street-level commerce and public spaces such as farmers’ markets, community gardening and child care.  She would fast-track changes to residential apartment zoning to remove restrictive rules that prohibit businesses and community spaces operating around towers, and review zoning rules to allow better-built, better-looking density in these neighbourhoods. Chow would establish a pilot project in specialized seniors housing to allow a more decentralized, tenant driven approach within Toronto Community Housing, by creating a stakeholder-governed Seniors Community Public Housing Corporation.   Chow would also increase fines and penalties for landlords who fail to complete repairs within a reasonable period of time.
 
COPC’s comment:  Studies have consistently shown that families from racialized groups are more likely than non-racialized groups to be at risk of homelessness and live in inadequate housing.  The City Government has an important role to play to advocate for greater investment in affordable housing by the two senior levels of government, while creating more affordable units for the low income population.  Chow’s housing strategy is comprehensive and if implemented, will help alleviate the housing crisis facing racialized group members and other disadvantaged communities.  COPC recommends Chow to refine her strategy to include targeted measures that would address the specific challenges facing racialized communities.
 
On Public Transit:  Chow supports the extension and conversion of LRT in Scarborough to get services much closer to Malvern and include a dedicated stop at Centennial College.  Chow has proposed a short-term priority for better bus service by boosting rush hour bus service by 10% on the basis that 60% of TTC rides include a bus.  The funding for more bus service would come from a 1% increase in land transfer tax for houses over $2 million.  Chow also commits to expand accessible transit options through Wheeltrans, station renovations and accessible vehicles.   Chow will also work with TTC to ensure students can purchase metropass on campus.
 
COPC’s comment: The expansion of the LRT can make the public transit more accessible to residents who are living in Scarborough, without the risk of the high costs associated with subway building.   Improvement of bus service could help residents in neighbourhoods that are currently not accessible by subway.  More still needs to be done, however, to make TTC truly, the better way, for all Torontonians, and that requires a commitment to investment in public transit from all levels of governments.
 
On Municipal Franchise:  Chow supports the extension of the municipal franchise to all permanent residents.
 
COPC’s comment: Extension of municipal franchise to permanent residents is a good start towards ensuring all Toronto residents have the right to vote, regardless of their status.
 
On Access to City Services:  Chow has pledged to expand after-school creation programs to help working parents and their children by adding 1,200 children and 40 neighbourhoods to the after-school program.  Through an increase in investment over three years that will rise to $3.2 million by year three, Chow vows to create 3,000 more child care spaces, including 1,500 subsidized ones by working with school board and service providers to invest $15 million in new capital funding, while ear-marking $20 million from the increased provincial funding for this purpose.   Chow also has said that she would raise money for more student nutrition program.  Chow will re-launch the Disabilities Improvement Committee with a strong mandate to work towards a more accessible city.
 
COPC’s comment:  Chow’s commitment to children and youth is commendable, yet the reality is that child poverty is linked to poverty of their family.  Apart from services for children and youth, there is little in terms of her campaign materials that speak directly to how city programs, policies and spaces can be used to promote equity and inclusion.  Apart from people with disabilities, no specific platform has been announced on making city services more accessible to those who live on the margin of our society.
 
On Policing:  Chow vows to end the practice of carding.  She will consider trimming the rising police costs and cuts to police budget – which has reached over $1 billion - by curbing officers’ paid duty work and overtime.  Chow has also indicated that she believes the selection of the new chief presents an opportunity for reform.  Chow is committed to engage in community consultation on the selection and evaluation criteria for the new chief.   Chow will create police-community partnerships across the city to better identify and prevent problems, while focusing on young people through offering after-school and summer programs.  Chow supports expanding the use of interdisciplinary teams to better deal with complex issues, such as situations involving people with mental illnesses.
 
COP/C’s comment: The police use of carding is a form of racial profiling which disproportionately affect members of the African Canadian community and to a lesser extent, the South Asian community.  COPC welcomes Chow’s position on carding and her commitment to consult with community on the future leadership of and direction for TPS.
 
道格•福特(Doug Ford)
 
Apart from the issue of transit and taxes, Ford has taken few public positions on many issues, particularly the issues that this Report Card covers.
 
On Affordable Housing: Ford says he will reinstate Gene Jones, former CEO of Toronto Community Housing Corporation if he were to win on October 27 because Jones has done “a great job” and cared about the residents and young people living in TCHC.  Ford also says he will cut land transfer tax by 15%.
 
COPC’s comment: COPC takes no position on whether or not Jones should be reinstated.  COPC is looking for candidates’ position on how to make housing more affordable to more people.  There is little in Ford’s platform that speaks to this issue.  The 15% cut to land transfer tax might be welcome news to some homeowners, if implemented, it will deprive city of an important source of revenue to pay for, among other things, more affordable housing units.
 
On Public Transit: Ford’s plan is to expand the subway by: a) replace the planned LRT from Don Mills to McCowan with a subway, and connect the existing Sheppard line with the newly approved Bloor-Danforth subway expansion; b) build phase 1 of the Yonge Relief Line; c) Complete the Eglinton Crosstown; and d) build a Finch Subway line to Humber College.  Ford estimates that his plan will cost $9 Billion and it will be covered by a number of options including provincial and federal funding, selling the City’s real estate assets, development charges, and public-private partnerships, among other things.
 
COP/C’s comment: The false dichotomy created by Ford between LRT and subway, as if the former is always above ground and the latter is always underground, is misleading.  Ford’s estimate of how much his subway plan will cost is questionable, so is his assumption that his funding options will be sufficient to cover the cost.  Finally, some of the most valuable assets of the city are its real estates.  Selling off such valuable assets may not be in the interests of our city in the long run.
 
On Municipal Franchise:  Since he announced his run for mayor, Ford has not commented on the issue of right to vote.  But as a councillor, Ford has voted against extending the right to vote to permanent residents.
 
COPC’s comment:  If Ford has changed his position on this issue, he has not so indicated. 
 
On Access to City Services:  Ford continues the mantra he and his mayor brother started as councillors that they will keep the taxes low.   Among the various groups that rely on city services, Ford has focused on seniors by pledging that he will invest to improve snow removal services and make snow removal and sidewalk removal more frequent, expand the window clearing program, increase affordable snow removal services available to seniors, improve Wheel Trans for seniors and support more recreation for seniors.  Finally, Ford will keep property taxes low, below the rate of inflation.
 
COPC’s comment: While it is great to see Ford has the interests of seniors at heart, his platform appears to focus solely on seniors who are home owners.  Nothing in his platform addresses the needs of the seniors who are waiting for at least 10 years to get into seniors housing, or the seniors who live in isolation and poverty.  Besides seniors, Ford does not seem to have a plan to improve access to city’s services for any other groups including newcomers, women, youth or people with disabilities.  Ford’s vow to keep taxes low will rob the City’s ability to fund and sustain programs that Torontonians need to maintain a liveable, healthy environment.
 
On Policing: Ford says he does not support discrimination but certain carding is required.  He also says if people have done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear.
 
COPC’s comment:  It is good to see that Ford does not support discrimination, but carding is a form of discrimination.  
 
庄德利(John Tory)
 
On Employment Equity:  While acknowledging Toronto’s “cultural diversity that comes from being the destination for new immigrants”, Tory’s economic proposal speaks to drawing investment to Toronto through “top drawer education”, connect youth with jobs, improve Toronto’s business climate and make Toronto the world’s Smart City.   He calls for a strong corporate tax regime built by the Federal and provincial policies and build first class transportation.  As part of his support for a Scarborough subway line, Tory supports the development of an employment hub along the new subway by temporarily lower property taxes for 10 years in order to encourage businesses to locate along the transit corridor.  Tory also proposes the development of the 23-hectare East Don Lands which includes private sector investment to develop office space, retail and residential developments, which he touts will create 70,000 jobs.  Reference is made to “streamlining approvals” at City Hall through an “economic development team” that will maximize the space for taxpayers and creating jobs. In the area of youth employment, Tory will double the number of companies in the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE) by 2015, and personally act as a youth employment ambassador.  Tory promises that he would “coordinate and rationalize programs that purport to help youth but only end up creating more bureaucracy.”   When asked by CBC how to help older adults who have been laid off, Tory indicates he does not think municipal government gets enough money from property taxes to provide job-transition programs, and that it is up to the province to increase support.  In an interview with South Asian Generation Next, Tory was asked if he would hire people of diverse background, in reply, Tory said: “A partial yes”, “in the sense that people who are hired have to have necessary qualifications to do the other…otherwise you are setting up for failure…you have to set up..role models.” Tory also said it was “morally unjust” for us to invite people to Canada after determining their skills and then turn around and suggest “you are on your own.”  “You need to press the governments and professions to do better”.
 
COPC’s comment: Tory’s economic plan is essentially based on the idea that smaller government and lower taxes would necessarily lead to more job creations.  Nowhere in his plan does Tory explain how he would ensure that any jobs created as a result of his plan would benefit communities that are facing the greatest barriers.  By reducing the city government and its regulatory authority over businesses, Tory’s plan may further lesson the influence of the City over private sector employers and thereby making it even harder to mandate these employers to implement equitable hiring practices.   Tory’s reply to the question about hiring people from diverse background reflects his lack of appreciation of what employment equity is by suggesting somehow it is not merit-based.
 
On Affordable Housing: Through tax cuts (along the Scarborough subway line and East Don Lands) Tory will work with developers to create residential developments.  Tory will also make existing affordable housing more accessible while the City is repairing buildings that have fallen into poor repair.
COPC’s comment:  While it is a good thing to make existing affordable housing more accessible, Tory’s plan does not provide for any increase in the affordable housing stock.  There is also no requirement that any of the new residential development created as a result of his plan to include a dedicated number of affordable housing units.  As such, while Tory’s plan will improve the lives of those who are already living in subsidized housing units, it will not alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in the city.  As well, the reduction in tax revenue may hamper the ability of the city to build more affordable housing in the long run.
On Public Transit:  Tory’s key platform on public transit is SmartTrack transit plan (what he calls Toronto’s first Regional Rail project) with 22 new “surface subway” stations and five interchanges with the TTC rapid transit network to be built along existing GO Train lines over 7 years.  The total cost of the SmartTrack is estimated at $8 billion.  The City’s share for SmartTrack – which is one-third - will come from Tax Increment Financing, which essentially relies on future property tax increases that the new subway line is expected to generate and is estimated to be $2.5 billion over 30 years.
 
COPC’s comment:  The success of Tory’s ambitious plan will depend on a number of factors: support from the two other orders of government, the actual business development along the subway line, and the actual cost and speed of the construction of the project.  If any one of these components fail, not only will Torontonians not see any new subway, they may end up having to absorb the costs of this mega transit network, either through an increase in property tax or an increase in TTC fare.  
 
On Municipal Franchise: Tory does not support any extension of municipal franchise.
 
COPC’s comment:  About 50% of the residents of Toronto are born outside of Canada.  Many of them are permanent residents, and some are without status.  These residents live, work and pay tax in Toronto.   It has been estimated that over a quarter million of Torontonians do not have the right to vote.  Extending the municipal franchise will strengthen democracy and nurture civic participation.  Of all orders of government, the municipal government is most relevant to the day-to-day lived experience of the people.  If Tory wishes to be the mayor for all Torontonians, he should support the extension of municipal franchise to all.
 
On Access to City Services:  Tory plans to reduce red tape for businesses.  He calls for strong financial management, which means “knowing where to cut and where to invest”.  In addition to rationalizing city programs for youths, he will also institute controls at City Hall to stamp out “unnecessary rules and arbitrary regulation”.  He pledges to cut in half the time it takes to secure approvals for new foreign investment and related projects, and reduce by 20% the number of regulations placed on all businesses in Toronto.   In addition, he will push the province to cut Business Education Tax to make life easier for businesses.   Tory supports the City’s approved strategy to make the city friendly for seniors, including making public transit more accessible and funding snow-shovelling services.
 
COPC’s comment: Apart from endorsing city’s own strategy on improving access to city’s services by seniors, nothing in Tory’s plan addresses how he would improve accessibility for racialized communities, immigrants, lone parents, and other groups who face barriers in accessing services.
 
On Policing:  Tory wants more reform of the carding practice but does not support a ban.  Tory wants to see the Toronto Police Services Board continue to reform encounters between police and people but believes that carding is part of police job.
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