Olivia Chow released her full campaign platform Friday, promising more than $28-million in new investments toward transit, affordable housing and social programs in her first year if elected mayor.
Ms. Chow's full platform included many previously announced promises, including $15-million each year toward better bus service, to proceed with studies on building a downtown relief subway and to build 15,000 new affordable housing units in the city. She vowed to fulfill all of these promises with only "moderate annual increases" to the property tax – which she vowed to keep at around the rate of inflation.
At a news conference Friday morning, Ms. Chow told reporters her platform, which also includes promises for new child care spaces and school breakfast programs, revolves around one central question: "What can we do with each other for each other?"
Standing in front of cheering supporters, Ms. Chow said: "The city should not be a reflection of the mayor. The mayor should be a reflection of the city."
Ms. Chow, the only left-leaning candidate left among the leading contenders, also slammed her rivals, saying they're making promises without offering ways to pay for them (they have criticized her as a tax-and-spend candidate). Her plan, in part, depends on raising the land-transfer tax to 3 per cent from 2 per cent for homes that sell for more than $2-million, and ending subsidies to businesses that pollute. "Start saying you either cut services, or you have to invest," she said.
Ms. Chow's platform includes:
- $15-million per year for better bus service
- Plan to proceed with engineering studies for the downtown relief subway
- $2-million (over four years) toward building separated bike lanes
- $15-million toward building 3,000 new child-care spaces in schools
- $2-million per year toward providing 36,000 additional children with breakfasts in schools
- Plan to strengthen integrity commissioner’s office to allow the office to launch its own investigations (as opposed to being complaint-driven)
- Plan to spend $3.5-million each year to double the city’s tree canopy