brad Bradford

23 questions for mayoral candidate Brad Bradford

Two-term city councillor Brad Bradford is running for mayor with a campaign that focusses on housing and public safety.

Bradford serves as the Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee, Vice Chair of Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC), and as member of the Toronto Arts Board and CreateTO Board.

Before announcing his candidacy, Bradford created an advisory group that included a diverse collection of Torontonians including some well-known lobbyists and people from both sides of the political spectrum.

Bradford was also close with John Tory, and fashioned a city hall under his leadership as similar to the former mayor but faster.

Here is what Brad Bradford has to say:

What was your first job?

A golf caddy in high school…though I don’t play.

What’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t ask questions” was definitely the worst advice. Always ask questions no matter how dumb you think they might sound. Chances are high that someone else has the same question as you.

What does Brad Bradford love most about Toronto?

Just how vibrant it is and that no matter who you are or where you come from, we’re a city that says “If you want to be here, we want to have you.” We need to get back to that.

What do you dislike the most?

Too much talk, not enough action at City Hall. The traffic is pretty brutal, too.

Where is the first place you send visitors?

For nature, the Bluffs. For main street shopping and drinks, Ossington.

Where is the best view in the city?

Riverdale Park, especially at sunset.

What is your favourite special occasion restaurant?

It’s a tie among Lake Inez, Le Sélect, or Summerhill Terroni.

What is the last show you saw in Toronto?

Death from Above 1979 at the Horseshoe Tavern last month.

When is the last time Brad Bradford took public transit in Toronto?

This morning.

Have you ever commuted by bicycle in the city?

Definitely. Need to beat the traffic. My Bike Share account is very active.

Where is your favourite place to get away from it all?

Nothing better than a morning in the park with my two year old daughter, Briar.

Gardiner Expressway – continue with hybrid option, yes or no?

Absolutely. Traffic congestion in Toronto is among the biggest frustrations I hear from people all across the city. The last thing the people of Toronto want is to reopen settled debates and delay projects with new studies. It won’t address Toronto’s congestion and will only increase costs and make gridlock even worse. We have to move ahead on around the clock rebuilding construction – getting going on the hybrid approach will also reduce construction time by at least 2 years and unlock 7.5 acres of land for housing redevelopment faster.

Do you support the Ontario Place Thermé Spa project?

The Province’s plans for their Ontario Place lands should absolutely include a public park space for Torontonians and visitors alike. Ripping the Ontario Science Centre out of the Don Valley and moving it to Ontario Place without consultation is an insult to the thousands of families in Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe Park, and other neighbouring communities who rely on this cultural hub for education, jobs, and community programming. As Mayor of Toronto, I will work with the local community to keep the Science Centre where it has thrived for years.

What is your definition of affordable housing?

Everybody has their own definition of affordability, and that’s why my plan will increase our housing supply of all types of homes by delivering the “missing middle” and unlocking government-owned lands to build more affordable housing. I will also streamline the bureaucratic approvals process and empower the Development and Growth Division so that City staff act with the urgency needed to solve Toronto’s housing crisis and improve service standards that cause countless project delays.

What more can the city do to help those experiencing homelessness in Toronto?

Toronto needs a Housing First approach that gets at the root of the homelessness and balances respect for human rights with respect for the community. We need predictable funding from the upper tiers of government for shelter and supportive housing projects, and to cut the City’s red tape that slows down building much-needed housing.

Does the city have a public safety problem? If so, what’s your solution?

I’ve been hearing from people all across Toronto that they feel unsafe, particularly on the TTC. Safety has to be the top priority. We need urgent action to stop the rise in crime and see justice upheld for all of Toronto. After years of endless debate and delays – I will take decisive action, including through a new dedicated Bail Compliance Units with the Toronto Police Service. That would keep tabs on those out on alleged violent crimes and reduce re-offences.

Are Toronto residents going to have to pay more in taxes to improve quality of life in the city? If not, what’s the answer?

I want to be clear and upfront about where I stand: As Mayor, I am committed to keeping taxes affordable for all Torontonians and promise to hold property tax increases to the rate of inflation. Olivia Chow, on the other hand, has told the residents of Toronto that she will increase taxes as mayor. I disagree.

Is Doug Ford’s interference in the city causing a problem, yes or no?

One thing I hear constantly; Torontonians are tired of endless debate at city hall and the constant back and forth blaming without any accountability. I believe the city needs strong leadership that cares more about delivering results for Torontonians than scoring political points. That’s why I’ve been clear about my intent to use strong mayor powers to get the city back on track.

What would you say is Toronto’s most iconic food?

I can’t pick just one specific food but I love all the great combos of fusion cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you were to support a car-free zone in the city where would it be?

With all the construction downtown, it’s time to unlock gridlock through my King Streetcar Express Zone. Put the Queen and King streetcars on King Street, not on Richmond and Adelaide.

Is the city doing enough to battle the climate crisis? If not, what would you do differently?

As Mayor, I will continue the City’s Net Zero Strategy to ensure Toronto does its part to combat climate change. This includes transitioning to more electric vehicles and increasing access to chargers – for residents and within the City’s vehicle fleet. The federal government must also continue to be an active partner in the City’s climate mitigation work so we can renew our infrastructure and be prepared for severe weather events.

What should be done regarding public transit, the cuts and the low ridership?

The most important thing we can do right now is to immediately address the challenges Torontonians face while using transit. People do not feel safe. My four-point transit safety action plan, SafeTTC Now, will: install platform edge doors, boost security and safety patrols, improve on-site mental health and addictions resources, and finally bring cell reception to subways, regardless of your service provider.

What is your best quality?

Relentless energy.

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