We've had enough talk. It's time for real action to disrupt the status quo and deliver change.
Ending The War On Disabled People
Due to the rapid/constant increase in rent prices for a one-bedroom apartment which a disabled person in a wheelchair or a disabled person using other assistive devices needs POOF Protecting ODSP OW Funding can no longer set or demand a definite monetary figure on/for the ODSP Shelter Allowance.
According to the Income Security Advocacy Center only 9% of ODSP clients and 5% of OW clients live in Subsidized Housing currently. Housing studies and media report that it now costs roughly $2500.00 a month to rent an average market rent one-bedroom apartment and disabled people should not have to end up Homeless and forced into the Shelter System if renovicted or has to move for any other reasons. When I am Mayor, I will declare a state of emergency on addressing poverty.
If one simply doubles the full ODSP benefits current amount of $1228.00 per single person per month up to $2456.00 per single person per month and a disabled person in a wheelchair needs a new apartment right away it will be a struggle, if not impossible to pay rent and still have enough money to live on.
The Federal "Disability Inclusion Action Plan", "DIAP" is too vague and may not be enough either if they use the "LICO", "Low Income Cut Off" amount if $2218.00 per single person per month. If it is the LICO amount they decide to go with, meaning the Federal government would give $990.00 per single person per month to top up to the current ODSP total benefits of $1228.00 per single person per month for a total of $2218.00 per single person per month. This $2218.00 per single person per month amount is less than doubling ODSP to $2456.00 per single person per month which is still inadequate.
While ODSP and OW are provincial policies, the Mayor is Toronto's primary advocate and is able to set the priorities for the city and its advocacy with the provincial government. As Mayor, I will confront Doug Ford about his war on disabled people and demand:
A total revamp of the ODSP Benefits Program to make the ODSP Shelter Allowance be based on average market rent for a one-bedroom apartment by Postal Code, or some other similarly defined classification regarding rental prices for differing wealth per capita areas.
The ODSP Basic Needs Allowance be Doubled/Increased 100% from $706.00 per single person per month up to $1412.00 per single person per month.
The OW Shelter Allowance of $390.00 per single person per month be increased by 150% up to $975.00 per single person per month.
The OW Basic Needs Allowance of $343.00 per single person per month be increased up to $857.50 per single person per month.
Toronto is facing a housing crisis and a homelessness crisis. It's unconscionable that people are sleeping in encampments. Nobody wants to sleep in a park, and in the wealthiest city in one of the world's wealthiest countries, nobody should have to. I'm not going to reduce homelessness - I aim to end it, helping homeless people find real housing, allowing the city to close shelters and see people housed for good instead.
I will work with experts and Toronto residents to deliver real solutions now, including insisting on controls over rent increases and increases to the supply of guaranteed public housing. When I am Mayor, I don't want ODSP clients, OW clients, seniors relying solely on CPP benefits, or minimum wage earners sleeping in shelters - I want them to have actual homes.
Furthermore, I will work with city staff to ensure that housing stock is high quality - no more shoving Toronto's low-income and working class people into low quality leftovers. That means ensuring building standards protect quality of life for all residents, including adequate sound-proofing and a right to safe and reasonable temperatures all year long.
Justice and Civil Rights
The LGBTQ community is under attack once again. There is a ferocious campaign to attack trans people. I'm done letting politicians take photo-ops during Pride and then ignore my community the other 11 months. As a trans woman, I'm ready to bring real leadership on this issue to city hall, strengthening anti-hate laws and sending a clear message to transphobes that we will not be intimidated.
In addition, Toronto's multicultural spirit must be not only celebrated, but also defended. We must directly confront the scourge of racism and bigotry, not only in commerce but also where it exists in the halls of power. That means listening to Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities and acting boldly, with their support and leadership.
The climate crisis is making life more expensive, harder, and more dangerous for all of us, and it's only going to get worse until we bring carbon pollution under control.
Cities have a leadership role to play in tackling the crisis, and in the absence of provincial leadership on this file, I will make Toronto a world-class city for sustainable living.
Ontario Place should be a haven for Torontonians to escape the noise of city life. It should retain plentiful green space, and the original buildings should be modernized and retained as publicly owned and accessible structure.