Full disclosure: Sarah Thomson is publisher of Women’s Post and also in the running to be the next mayor of Toronto. We had a chance to ask her a few questions about her platform as the other candidates debate tonight on CityTV.

What is the best solution to Toronto’s transit problems right now?

The best solution for Toronto’s transit is the Yonge Street Relief line. The Yonge line is the most important aspect of our system and until the overcapacity issue on that line is fixed people will continue to use their vehicles. We have to channel riders off the Yonge corridor and the Relief Line is key to doing that. Once building is in place we must look at other priorities – like the Scarborough extension.

Do you have a plan to pay for the relief subway line analysts say we need?

My plan is to put tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway for all non-residents commuting to Toronto. Non-residents don’t pay into our city for the water/road infrastructure they use and this places a toll on Toronto taxpayers. Tolling nonresidents is the right, responsible, and reasonable solution. Tolls will raise approximately $200 million that should be dedicated and go directly to building the Yonge Street Relief Line – immediately.

What can the city government do better to best protect residents living in poverty?

We must restructure Toronto Community Housing Corp (TCHC) and bring more charities and nonprofits in to help us solve the dilemma of TCHC. Portable rental subsidies can be used to move people out of the failing system and give them a choice in where they live. We have to break up the pockets of poverty created in the 1970s and push for 10% affordable housing in all new developments.

You gained a lot of traction the last time you ran for being the lone woman among the front runners, what sets you apart from the other candidates this time around?

I am the only candidate who has given my life for the past 4 years to pushing for dedicated transit funding and the Yonge Street Relief Line. I am the only candidate who has built a multimillion dollar company from the ground up And the only candidate who has changed the direction of an industry – the convenience stores in gas stations today are a result of work my company did 25 years ago. Toronto needs change at city hall we must create the drive to build our city. There is a cultural shift that needs to occur at there and we need a leader who knows how to bring this about. I have the experience. I have real idea, real solutions and will bring in real change.

You are against the Billy Bishop airport expansion on Toronto Island. With the issue moving onto a council debate next week what would you do to prevent the expansion if elected in October?

I believe all tax dollars should go to the Yonge Street Relief Line and don’t think people are aware that their tax dollars would go to fund this expansion so that a private company – Porter can benefit. I would do all I can to make sure that the expansion does not occur and that all tax dollars are put towards the Yonge Street Relief Line.



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