Transcript: Also Running for Mayor of Toronto | Oct 15, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pink shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "Also running for Mayor of Toronto. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT IS ADMITTEDLY A BIT
STRANGE TO INTRODUCE A POLITICAL
DEBATE BY SAYING THESE PEOPLE
ARE ALL VYING TO BECOME THE NEXT
MAYOR OF ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY
AND NONE IS EXPECTED TO WIN THAT
JOB. AT LEAST, NOT ON OCTOBER
22nd. BUT IT'S WORTH KEEPING IN
MIND THAT MORE THAN 80 percent OF THE
PEOPLE WHO RUN FOR ELECTIVE
OFFICE DO SO KNOWING THEY'RE
GOING TO LOSE BUT THEY RUN
BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT SOMETHING
TO SAY, AND SO WE THOUGHT WE'D
INVITE THREE CANDIDATES NOT
NAMED TORY OR KEESMAAT INTO
OUR STUDIO TO LEARN MORE.
AND WITH THAT, WE WELCOME IN
ALPHABETICAL ORDER AND FROM LEFT
TO RIGHT, SARAH CLIMENHAGA,
SARON GEBRESELLASSI, AND KNIA SINGH, ALL CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR OF TORONTO.

Sarah is in her fifties, with long blond hair. She's wearing a gray blazer and a red blouse.

Saron is in her late thirties, with long, wavy black hair. She's wearing glasses, a white blazer and a black shirt.

Knia is in his early forties, with short-cropped black hair and a trimmed goatee. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

Steve continues GREAT TO YOU HAVE THREE WITH US.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING IN.
LET'S JUST START IN ALPHABETICAL
ORDER. I ASKED THE SAME QUESTION
TO ALL OF THE POTENTIAL MAYORAL
CANDIDATES WHO COME IN HERE.
LET ME GET YOUR TAKE ON THIS.
WHAT'S THIS ELECTION ALL ABOUT, SARAH?

The caption changes to "Sarah Climenhaga. Mayoral candidate."
Then, it changes again to "What's this election about?"

Sarah says IT SHOULD BE ABOUT
AFFORDABILITY BECAUSE TORONTO IS
BECOMING A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE
CANNOT AFFORD AN APARTMENT.
THEY CAN'T AFFORD TRANSIT.
THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE HERE.
IT SHOULD BE ABOUT EQUITY
BECAUSE TORONTO IS INCREASINGLY
BECOMING ISLANDS OF RICH
SURROUNDED BY LOW-INCOME PEOPLE.
AND IT SHOULD BE ABOUT QUALITY
OF LIFE BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A HUGE
BUDGET PROBLEM IN FRONT OF US
AND WE'RE GOING TO BE MAKING
CUTS THAT WILL THREATEN OUR
QUALITY OF LIFE.
WE NEED TO HAVE GREAT LIBRARIES,
PARKS, COMMUNITY CENTRES, ALL
THE RESOURCES THAT MAKE IT
POSSIBLE TO LIVE IF TORONTO, NO
MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAKE.
THOSE ARE THE ISSUES FOR ME.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT YOU?

The caption changes to "Saron Gebresellassi. Mayoral Candidate."

Saron says THIS ELECTION HAS A LOT TO DO WITH MONEY.
SO FIRST OFF, I WOULD SAY THAT
JOHN TORY IS BEATABLE.
NOBODY EXPECTED NEW YORK'S ALEX
ANDREA CORTEZ TO BEAT A 10-TERM
INCUMBENT.
AND WHILE I RECOGNIZE I AM AN
UNDERDOG IN MANY RESPECTS, THAT
BIG ORGANIZING CAN DEFEAT A
BIG MONEY MACHINE.

Steve says THAT IS TRUE, WHAT
YOU JUST SAID IS TRUE.
IT CAN HAPPEN.
ARE YOU EXPECTING THAT TO HAPPEN
ON THE 22nd IN.

Saron says I HAVE SEEN... I'M ON THE
GROUND IN ALL OF OUR
NEIGHBOURHOOD IMPROVEMENT AREAS
AND THE PEOPLE ARE VERY, VERY
CLEAR.
THERE IS ZERO APPETITE FOR FOUR
YEARS OF MORE OF THE SAME AND
I'M CLEAR THAT ABSOLUTELY JOHN
TORY IS A BEATABLE CANDIDATE.
HE IS NOT UNTOUCHABLE.
AND THAT THIS CITY IS NOW 51 percent
MIGRANTS AND RACIALIZED
COMMUNITIES.
SO JOHN TORY IS SPEAKING TO A
VERY SMALL SEGMENT OF OUR CITY'S
POPULATION.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT FOR YOU?

The caption changes to "Knia Singh. Mayoral Candidate."

Knia says FOR ME, MY CONCERN IS
VIOLENCE.
VIOLENCE IN THE CITY, THE UP
TAKE AND THE INCREASE.
BUT WHAT IT SEEMS TO BE ABOUT IS
MEDIA CONTROL OVER THE MESSAGE.
UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE 35
MAYORAL CANDIDATES THAT HAVE NOT
GOTTEN EXPOSURE.
THE THREE HERE BEFORE YOU ARE
NOT PART OF DAILY DISCUSSIONS
BETWEEN JENNIFER AND JOHN.
AND I THINK TORONTONIANS WANT TO
BE INCLUDED.
SO IT'S BECOMING ABOUT TRUST.
PEOPLE IN THE CITY ARE BEGINNING
TO LOSE FAITH IN THE SYSTEM
BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT GETTING TRUE
REPRESENTATION BEFORE THEM.

Steve says OKAY.
TO TRUST YOU THREE BETTER, WE
NEED TO MORE ABOUT YOU.
SO I AM NOT GOING TO ASSUME THAT
EVERYBODY KNOWS WHO YOU ARE AND
WHAT YOU'RE STANDING FOR SO
LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
ALL THREE OF YOU.
YOU WERE I GUESS DRAWN
INITIALLY, YOU WORK FOR THE
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, SO YOU WERE
DRAWN TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
INITIALLY.
HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Meet the candidates."

Sarah says I STARTED OUT ABOUT THE ABLE
OF 8 OR 9 READING THE NEWSPAPER
AND IT REALLY STRUCK A CHORD
WITH ME.
SO IT'S REALLY BEEN A PASSION OF
MINE.
I DID MY DEGREE AT McGILL,
ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL
STUDIES.
AND THEN I WENT TO THE WORLD
WILDLIFE FUND AND WE NEED TO
CONCENTRATE ON CITIES BECAUSE
CITIES ARE THE SOLUTION.
IF WE CAN LIVE SUSTAINABLY IN
THE HIGH DENSITY BUT WITH USING
FEWER RESOURCES, THAT'S A GREAT
WAY FORWARD FOR ALL OF US.
SO THAT'S WHY I MOVED INTO
CITIES AND TRANSPORTATION POLICY
IN PARTICULAR.

Steve says NOW, THIS IS GOING
TO SOUND WEIRD.
YOU'RE NOT BORN HERE BUT YOU
MOVED HERE WHEN YOU WERE SIX
WEEKS OLD.
SO IS YOU LIVED HERE MUCH OF
YOUR LIFE OBVIOUSLY.

Sarah says YES.
BORN IN CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND, AND
MY DAD WAS DOING A DEGREE THERE.
WE CAME TO TORONTO AND I'VE BEEN
HERE EVERY SINCE EXCEPT FOR
UNIVERSITY AND A HALF A FEW
TRAVEL STINTS.

Steve says GOTCHA.
SO SARON, YOU GREW UP HERE?

Saron says THAT'S RIGHT.
I LIVED IN TORONTO HOUSING FOR
THE FIRST 16 YEARS OF MY LIFE.
AND I BEGAN A CAREER AS A
SUCCESSFUL HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER
AND ENTREPRENEUR AND I ALSO
SPENT A LONG PART OF MY CAREER
IN MASS MOBILIZATION IN THE CITY
OF TORONTO, MEANING MOBILIZING
TORONTONIANS IN THE THOUSANDS
DURING THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT AND
DURING LABOUR MOBILIZATIONS.
ACTUALLY, CUPE HAS A SLOGAN
SAYING BE REALISTIC, DEMAND THE
IMPOSSIBLE, SO A LOT OF MY TRACK
RECORD IS ABOUT BEATING THE
ODDS, DEFYING EXPECTATIONS, AND
ACHIEVING SUCCESS.

Steve says WHAT DREW YOU TO
CIVIL RIGHTS WORK IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Sarah says TORONTO IS ONE OF THE MOST
UNEQUAL CITIES in THE WORLD.
WE'RE NOW AMONG ONE OF THE MOST
EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE WORLD.
AT THE SAME TIME, WE'RE THE
13th WEALTHIEST CITY IN THE
WORLD.
SO I'M TAKEN ABACK BY HOW FAR WE
HAVE TO GO AS A CITY AND HOW
MUCH OF A DIVIDE THERE REALLY IS
BETWEEN THE HAVES AND THE HAVE
NOTES IN OUR CITY AND SO... THE
HAVE NOTES IN OUR CITY.
AND SO I'M DEDICATED TO CLOSING
THAT GAP.

Steve says KNIA, YOU ARE ALSO A
LAWYER.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE SENATOR.

Knia says I RAN 21 YEARS AGO, I RAN FOR SCARBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL WHEN
THE CITY WAS AMALGAMATING.
AND IT'S THE SAME REASON I'M
RUNNING NOW.
TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THOSE
WHO UNDERSTAND POLITICS AND
THOSE WHO DON'T O I RAN A
RECORDING STUDIO FOR 20 YEARS
AND I FOUND A LOT OF INJUSTICES
TAKING PLACE WITH THE YOUTH.
SO I SAID I WOULD STAND UP AND
SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE
COMMUNITY.
BUT IT'S MORE ABOUT MONEY AND
WHO HAS THE MOST VOLUNTEERS.
SO WE'RE FINDING THAT AGAIN IN
THIS ELECTION.
BUT I'M REALLY DRAWN TO IT
BECAUSE I THINK AS A GOOD CITY,
WE DESERVE GOOD REPRESENTATION
AND OVER THE PAST YEARS, OUR
CITY'S QUALITY OF LIFE IS
DECLINING AND WE NEED SOMEBODY
TO STAND UP FOR HUMANITY BEFORE
POLITICS.

Steve says TERRIFIC.
OKAY.
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO
INFLUENCE THE PUBLIC AGENDA OF
ANY CITY AND YOU THREE HAVE
OBVIOUSLY CHOSEN TO RUN FOR
MAYOR AS THE WAY TO DO IT.
WHY?
LET'S GO IN THE OPPOSITE ORDER
THIS TIME.
WHY I RUN FOR MAYOR?

The caption changes to "Knia Singh, @masterknia."
Then, it changes again to "Running for the top job."

Knia says BECAUSE OUR CITY IS CHANGING
AND WE NEED SOMEBODY WHO IS
GOING TO REPRESENT ALL INTERESTS
OF TORONTONIANS AND I FIND THAT
THE SOCIAL CLASSES ARE DIVIDING.
THERE'S A BIGGER DIVIDE AS THE
DAY GOES BY AND WE NEED SOMEONE
WHO UNDERSTANDS ALL LEVELS.
FOR ME, I'VE LIVED WITH
LOW-INCOME FOR A GREAT DEAL OF
MY LIFE.
I'M AN ENTREPRENEUR, SINGLE
FATHER.
AND I THINK THOSE THINGS
REPRESENT THE WIDE GAMUT OF
EXPERIENCES IN TORONTO AND WE
NEED SOMEONE WHO CAN SPEAK TO
THOSE ISSUES WITH EXPERIENCE.
NOT JUST SPEAK FROM A THEORY
PERSPECTIVE.
SO THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT IN
HAVING TRUE REPRESENTATION OF
THE PEOPLE WORKING HARD...
HARDWORKING WORKING MASS PEOPLE.

Steve says YOU HAVE THE
SO-CALLED LIVED EXPERIENCE IS
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

Knia says DEFINITELY.
DEFINITELY.

Steve says OKAY.
WHY RUN FOR MAYOR?

The caption changes to "Saron Gebresellassi, @SaronGeb."

Saron says I BELIEVE WORKING MASS PEOPLE
DESERVE AN AUTHENTIC CHAMPION.
WE'VE SEEN IN THIS RACE THAT AT
THE PRESENT TIME, JOHN TORY IS
NO CHAMPION FOR WORKING CLASS
PEOPLE IN THE CITY.
AND I AM DEDICATED TO ADVOCATING
FOR THE SOCIAL JUSTICE... ON A
SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA TO
ADVOCATE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND
NEWCOMERS AND WORKING CLASS
PEOPLE.
MY CAMPAIGN HAS AN ACTIVE
WINGING IN OUR CITY'S PRISONS
BECAUSE I FUNDAMENTALLY BELIEVE
THIS CAN BE A CITY FOR EVERYONE
AND THAT IS IN THE FUTURE OF OUR
CITY.

Steve says SARAH?

The caption changes to "Sarah Climenhaga, @SarahforMayorTO."

Sarah says I RAN FOR MAYOR BECAUSE I
JUST DON'T SEE ON THE POLITICAL
LANDSCAPE THAT THE CHOICES OF
THE PEOPLE WHO I THINK WE NEED,
I DON'T SEE THE PLATFORMS WE
NEED.
AND I SEE HOW TORONTO IS
UNDERGOING A HUGE NUMBER OF
CHALLENGES AND WE KEEP TRYING TO
APPLY THE SAME SOLUTIONS THAT
DON'T WORK.
WE APPLY THE SAME SOLUTIONS TO
CONGESTION.
WE TRY TO HAVE THEM MOVE FASTER.
THAT'S NOT GOING TO DO IT.
NOT RAISING TAXES, NOT TALKING
ABOUT OUR REAL NEEDS WHILE
PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING ALL AROUND
US.
SO I SEE THE SAME SOLUTIONS
BEING PROPOSED FOR THE PROBLEMS
THAT ARE GROWING AND NOT WORKING
AND I WANT TO PROPOSE THE
SOLUTIONS THAT EVIDENCE SHOWS
WILL WORK.

Steve says JUST AN OBSERVATION,
IT'S... THERE BE IS NO SINGLE
WAY TO GET TO THE MAYOR'S OFFICE.
BUT SOME PEOPLE MIGHT BE
WATCHING AND THINK TO
THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW, WHY DON'T
YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL FIRST
OR TRUSTEE FIRST?
YOU KNOW, THERE'S THE SENSE THAT
YOU GOT TO START IN THE MAILROOM
BEFORE YOU WANT TO BE THE CEO.
WHAT'S THE ANSWER TO THAT?

Sarah says WELL, A FEW DIFFERENT
ANSWERS.
ONE IS I HAVE A VERY GOOD CITY
COUNCILLOR AND I DIDN'T WANT TO
RUN AGAINST THEM.

Steve says YOU'RE INTERIOR THIS
WARD, AROUND YOU?

Sarah says YES, I AM.
BUT I THINK WHAT PEOPLE DON'T
RAMS, IT'S AS HARD TO GET
ELECTED AS A CITY COUNCILLOR AS
IT IS TO GET ELECTED AS MAYOR.
WE'VE GOT A REALLY FUNDAMENTALLY
FLAWED DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM.
THE SECOND THING IS, THAT'S A
POLITICAL CAREER YOU'RE
OUTLINING.
I'M NOT INTERESTED IN THAT.
I'M INTERESTED IN CHANGE IN
TORONTO.
I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD HAVE
POLITICIANS WHOSE JOB IS TO BE
POLITICIANS.
THEY NEED TO BE PEOPLE WHO COME
FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE.
THE MAYOR SETS THE TONE.
THE MAYOR CAN ACCOMPLISH A HUGE
AMOUNT.
SO TO HAVE THEM SPEND, YOU KNOW,
12, 16 YEARS DEVELOPING A
POLITICAL CAREER RATHER THAN
HAVING THE LIVED EXPERIENCE AND
ALL THE OTHER EXPERIENCES WHO
MAKES GOOD CHOICES.

Steve says THE FIRST THING JOHN
TORY EVER RAN FOR WAS MAYOR OF
TORONTO IN 2003.
SO IT'S NOT LIKE WHAT YOU'RE
DOING IS UNPRECEDENTED.
IN FAIRNESS, HE WAS A LOT BETTER
KNOWN.
SO WHY NOT START SOMEWHERE LOWER
ON THE FOOD CHAIN.

Saron says JOHN TORY WAS POLLING AT 3 percent.

Steve says THAT'S WHAT HE TELLS
EVERYBODY ALL THE TIME.

Saron says RIGHT.
AND IT GOES TO SHOW, I SAY IT
AGAIN AND AGAIN, THAT THIS IS
ACTUALLY NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.
THAT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS
REALLY CLEAR IN THE CITY OF
TORONTO.
PEOPLE ARE PLEADING FOR DRASTIC
AND RADICAL CHANGE.
I'VE ALSO BEEN A CITY COUNCILLOR
FOR 13 YEARS WITHOUT THE TITLE.
I DON'T NEED A CITY COUNCILLOR
PLAQUE ON MY DOOR TO OPERATE AS
SUCH.
MY OFFICE HAS BEEN A
CONSTITUENCY OFFICE FOR OVER TEN
YEARS AND NOBODY ASKS BLAYNE
LASTMAN, WHY WOULD HE PUT HIS
HAT IN THE RING.
AND NO ONE ASKED JENNIFER
KEESMAAT ALSO.

Steve says WE SHOULD EXPLAIN
THAT, BLAYNE LASTMAN IS THE SON
OF FORMER MAYOR MEL LASTMAN.

Saron says IF YOU HAVE A MACHINERY AND
BIG MONEY BEHIND YOU, WHICH IS I
DIDN'T SAY BIG ORGANIZING CAN
DEFEAT BIG MONEY AT THE MAYORAL LEVEL.

Steve says UNDERSTOOD.
KNIA, YOU HAVE RUN BEFORE SO I
WON'T ASK YOU THAT QUESTION.
PRESUMABLY, YOU'RE ALL RUNNING
BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU CAN DO A
BETTER JOB THAN THE INCUMBENT.
SO LET'S DISSECT THE RECORD A
LITTLE BIT.
WHAT'S THE WORST DECISION JOHN
TORY HAS MADE IN YOUR VIEW?

Knia says TO SUPPORT CARDING.
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
CAN POINT OUT FOR Mr. TORY AND
PISS VERY DISAPPOINTED AFTER
FIGHTING HARD ON BEHALF OF THE
COUNTY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, MAYOR
TORY WHEN HE HAD TOOK OFFICE
UNDID AND REWROTE THE TORONTO
POLICE SERVICES POLICY ON
CARDING.
HE REALIZED IT WAS A MISTAKE AND
CAME BACK OUT IN FRONT OF IT AND
SAID CARDING SHOULD STOP.
BUT THAT WAS THE FIRST GLIMPSE
OF ME BEING UNHAPPY WITH WHAT
Mr. TORY WAS DOING.
SO THAT WAS PRIME IN MY VIEW.

Steve says SARON?

Saron says I WAS DISAPPOINTED TO HEAR
JOHN TORY COME OUT SAYING HE WAS
GOING TO INVEST MORE IN POLICING.
IT WAS 13 YEARS AGO I MET WITH
PRIME MINISTER PAUL MARTIN WITH
HEAVYWEIGHTS IN THE COMMUNITY TO
CALL FOR A COMMUNITY-BASED
STRAND TO ERADICATE PRIME IN OUR
CITY AND I CAN'T BELIEVE 13
YEARS LATER THAT WE HAVE JOHN
TORY UTILIZING THE SAME
TECHNIQUES OVER AND OVER AGAIN
WHEN PEOPLE ARE SO CLEAR THAT TO
TAKE A BITE AT CRIME, YOU NEED
TO ELIMINATE POVERTY. AND THE
POLICE BUDGET, AS YOU KNOW,
OCCUPIES 1 tenth OF THE CITY'S
OPERATING BUDGET.

Steve says IT'S OVER 1 BILLION dollars.

Saron says I'VE PROPOSED CREATING 1,000
NEW YOUTH JOBS IN ALL OF OUR
NEIGHBOURHOOD IMPROVEMENT AREAS
AND I HAVE ASSURED THE PEOPLE OF
THE CITY OF TORONTO THAT UNDER
MY LEADERSHIP, WE WILL SEE CRIME
PLUMMET BECAUSE WE NEED
INNOVATIVE OUT OF THE BOX
EXTRAORDINARY THINKING AND WE'RE
NOT GOING TO SEE THAT FROM A
STATUS QUO POLITICIAN LIKE JOHN
TORY.

Steve says SARAH?

Sarah says YOU KNOW, I WOULD RATHER SAY
THE WORST TONE AND IT'S THE TONE
AROUND TRANSIT HAS BEEN... LET'S
FOCUS ON ONE BIG GIANT MULTIPLE
BILLION DOLLAR PROJECT AT THE
EXPENSE OF ALL THE OTHER TRANSIT
IN THIS CITY, INCLUDING
SCARBOROUGH WHICH HAS A LOT OF
HUGE TRANSIT NEEDS SO IT'S THAT
FOCUS THAT IMAGINARY LONG-TERM
PROJECT INSTEAD OF REAL THINGS
THAT ARE AFFECTING TORONTONIANS
EVERY SINGLE DAY WHEN THEY TAKE
TRANSIT.
AND THEN THE TONE AROUND OUR
BUDGET WAY SAYS WE CAN SOMEHOW
HAVE IT ALL IN SOME MAGICAL WAY.
WE DON'T EVER HAVE TO RAISE ANY
REVENUE BUT WE'VE GOT HUGE
SPENDING NEEDS IN THE CITY.
AND THAT'S FALSE.
WE THEY'D TO BE TRUTHFUL WITH
PEOPLE.

Steve says SO I'M INFERRING
FROM THAT ANSWER THAT YOU THINK
THERE IS A NEED FOR THE CITY TO
RAISE MORE REVENUE?
HOW WOULD YOU DO IT?

Sarah says WELL, THERE'S BEEN A REPORT
PUT OUT THERE THAT GIVE OUT A
NUMBER OF DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
BUT THE EASIEST IS ALWAYS
PROPERTY TAX.
YOU NEED TO DO IT IN A FAIR WAY
TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY PAYING
TOO MUCH AND THERE ARE PEOPLE
WHO ARE PAYING TOO MUCH.
BUT THERE IS ALSO A COMMERCIAL
PARKING LOT LEVY HAS BEEN
MENTIONED OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
IT DOESN'T NEGATIVELY IMPACT ANY
INDIVIDUAL WHO CAN'T AFFORD IT
AND WE HAVE THE POLITICAL
ABILITY TO DO IT AND IT RAISES A
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY.
WE DON'T WANT LESS OF PEOPLE WHO
OWN PROPERTY BUT WE DO WANT LESS
DRIVING IN THE CITY.
WE DO WANT LESS CARS IN THE CITY.
SO WHY NOT TAX WHAT WE WANT LESS OF.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THE
CITY NEEDS MORE REVENUE?

Knia says I THINKING IT NEEDS TO
CONTROL ITS SPENDING.
WE FIND THE CITY, LIKE WE SAID,
THE POLICE IS OVER A BILLION
DOLLAR BUDGET.
TTC, OVER A BILLION DOLLAR
BUDGET AND THE SALARIES OF THE
CITY OF TORONTO EMPLOYEES ARE
VERY HIGH.
SO I'D LIKE TO SEE A SALARY
FREEZE FROM ALL COUNCILLORS AND
ALL CITY EMPLOYEES BECAUSE THE
QUALITY OF LIFE OF TORONTONIANS
IS FAR BELOW THOSE WHO ARE
UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES THAT WORK
FOR GOVERNMENT.
SO I DON'T THINK THAT WE HAVE TO
WORRY ABOUT REVENUE GENERATING
TOOLS AS MUCH AS WE HAVE TO DO
RESPONSIBLE SPENDING BUT I WOULD
SAY THAT TORONTO'S ARTS AND
CULTURE SCENE IS SO VIBRANT THAT
WE COULD HAVE A LOT OF
PARTNERSHIPS WITH THOSE
COMPANIES AND START REVENUE
GENERATING THAT WAY BECAUSE
TORONTO IS A WORLD CLASS CITY,
INTERNATIONAL CITY, AND THE ARTS
ARE PHENOMENAL HERE.

Steve says SARON, WHERE ARE YOU
ON THIS ISSUE IF THE CITY SHOULD
INCREASE TAXES OR NOT.

Saron says I'VE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR
EQUITABLE REDISTRIBUTION OF
RESOURCES WITHIN THE CITY BUDGET.
WE ACTUALLY HAVE A GREAT CITY
BUDGET AND THERE IS, YOU KNOW,
THE SPENDING IN MY VIEW HAS NOT
BEEN ALLOCATED PROPERLY.
I'M A BIG CHAMPION FOR ARTS AND
CULTURE.
WE HEARD AT THE DEBATE THAT THE
ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR IS...
GENERATES A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT
OF REVENUE FOR THE CITY OF
TORONTO.
BUT IT OCCUPIES A TEENY, TINY
FRACTION OF THE BUDGET AND SAME
WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
YOU KNOW, I SAID THAT THE POLICE
BUDGET TAKES UP MORE PROPERTY
TAX DOLLARS THAN LIBRARIES AND
PARAMEDIC SERVICES AND CHILDREN
SERVICES AND ARTS AND CULTURE
COMBINED.
SO THAT'S WHY I'VE COME OUT SO
HEAVILY IN FAVOUR OF
REDISTRIBUTION OF CITY RESOURCES.

Steve says I THINK IF ANYBODY
ON THE MAYOR'S STAFF WERE
WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW, THEY
MIGHT ASK THE FOLLOWING
QUESTION.
WHICH IS, OKAY, WE UNDERSTAND
THAT YOU THREE DON'T LIKE THE
CURRENT MAYOR OF TORONTO VERY
MUCH AND YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN
ALL DO A BETTER JOB.
BUT HE'S 25 POINTS UP IN THE
LAST POLL I'VE SEEN ON THE 2nd
PLACE CANDIDATE AND NONE OF IS
THE 2nd PLACE CANDIDATE.
SO IF HE'S DOING SUCH A HORRIBLE
JOB, WHY IS HE APPARENTLY SO
POPULAR AND WITH SUCH A HUGE
LEAD?
GO AHEAD, LET ME HEAR FROM YOU
GUYS ON THAT.

Sarah says FIRST, I DON'T WANT TO SAY
THAT I DON'T LIKE JOHN TORY.
A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE JOHN TORY
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE UNHAPPY
WITH THE WAY HE'S DOING THING.

Steve says BUT YOU WANT HIS JOB.

Sarah says I WANT HIS JOB BECAUSE I
DON'T THINK THE DECISIONS HE MAKES.
BUT I THINK THAT IS WHY THE
MAYOR HAS SO MUCH POPULARITY.
NAME RECOGNITION AS WE ALL KNOW
IS UNIT IN POLITICS.
HE'S GOT THE BEST NAME
RECOGNITION.
OF COURSE HE'S GOING TO BE FAR
OUT AHEAD.
NUMBER 2, HE IS... HE DOES COME
ACROSS AS A STATESMAN.
I MEAN, HE IS WELL SPOKEN,
THERE'S LOTS OF PERSONAL TRAITS
HE HAS THAT PEOPLE LIKE.
BUT HIS DECISIONS ARE NOT
BENEFITTING THE PEOPLE IN
TORONTO BUT THAT IS THE
DISCONNECT THAT DOESN'T GET MADE
AND THAT'S WHY I'M RUNNING
AGAINST HIM.

Saron says I'VE ALWAYS SAID THIS MAYORAL
RACE, MONEY WAS A MAJOR FACTOR.
JOHN TORY HAS A LOT OF MONEY
BEHIND HIM SO IT'S A
SELF-FULFILLING PROCESS TO SAY
JOHN TORY'S IN THE LEAD BUT LOOK
AT THE MACHINERY BEHIND JOHN
TORY AND THAT'S WHY I ASSURED
THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF
TORONTO, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE
THE POWER AND MOBILIZING ABILITY
OF ORDINARY PEOPLE, WORKING
CLASS PEOPLE, IMMIGRANTS.
I'VE BEEN BEING NOTHING ON DOORS
FOR TWO YEARS NOW AND AT SOME
POINT, WE'RE GOING TO SEE A
COMPLETE SHIFT OF THINKING IN
THE CITY.
ALSO, TORONTO ENJOYS ONE OF THE
LOWEST VOTER TURNOUT RATES.
THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN
THE CITY ARE NOT VOTING BECAUSE
SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DISENGAGED.
SO, YOU KNOW, I CHALLENGE THE
NOTION THAT JOHN TORY IS, YOU
KNOW, SEEN AS FAVOURABLE AMONGST
THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE.
THAT ACTUALLY ISN'T THE CASE.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S WHAT
THE POLLS REFLECT.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, IF
YOU BELIEVE THE POLLS AND THE
POLLS ARE DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE
WANT TO SAY, USUALLY RIGHT, HOW
DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE FACT THAT
HE'S SO APPARENTLY GOT SUCH A
BIG LEAD RIGHT NOW?

Knia says WELL, BECAUSE HE'S GETTING
ALL THE EXPOSURE, STEVE.
THE MEDIA HAS ONLY CHOSEN TWO
CANDIDATES AND THAT'S WHY
THEY'RE RUNNING 1st AND 2nd.
I CAN GUARANTEE IF WE HAD AS
MUCH EXPOSURE CONSISTENTLY AS
JOHN AND JENNIFER, WE'D BE
P2OLLING HIGH UP THERE AS WELL.
SO IT'S THE SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS
WHERE DEMOCRACY IS NOT IN PLACE.
WE HAVE A DIRECTED ELECTION.
THIS IS NOT AN INFORMED
ELECTION.
VOTERS AROUND INFORMED AND THEY
DON'T KNOW THE OPTIONS THAT THEY
HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM.
EVERY PERSON I MEET ON THE
CAMPAIGN TRAIL SAYS I WISH I
KNEW ABOUT YOU EARLIER.
HOW COME I HAVEN'T HEARD BUT, I
REALLY LIKE YOU AND I'M GOING TO
VOTE FOR YOU. SO I CAN TELL YOU
FOR SURE THAT JOHN TORY AND
JENNIFER KEESMAAT'S NUMBERS ON
THE POLLS AREN'T BECAUSE THEY'RE
THE CITY FAVOURITES, THEY ARE
BECAUSE THEY ARE THE CITY'S ONLY
ONLY OPTIONS THAT MEDIA HAS
PRESENTING TO THEM.

Steve says THAT'S WHY WE WANTED
TO HAVE YOU THREE IN TODAY
BECAUSE WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THE
BROADER CHOICES HERE.
SARON, YOU BROUGHT UP THE ISSUE
OF POLICING BUDGETS A FEW
MOMENTS AGO AND I WANT TO FOLLOW
UP ON THAT.
IN YOUR VIEW, HOW BIG A PROBLEM
IS CRIME IN THE CITY?

Saron says THE CRIME IS A PROBLEM IN
TORONTO AND I VERY THE SOLUTION.
THE SOLUTION IS WE HAVE TO GET
REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT ELIMINATING
POVERTY.
AND THIS IS NOT NEW.
IT'S BEEN SAID OVER AND OVER
AGAIN.
THERE IS A THOUSAND REPORTS
SAYING THAT.
AND UNDER MY LEADERSHIP, THAT'S
WHAT I SAY.
I WILL CREATE A THOUSAND NEW
YOUTH JOBS, WE'LL SEE A COMPLETE
NEW PAGE TURNED IN THIS CITY
BECAUSE WE NEED TO GET TO THE
ROOT CAUSES OF CRIME.
THAT'S THE ONLY WAY WE'LL
ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO SEE RECORD
LOWS IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

Steve says SO 1,000 NEW YOUTH
JOBS IS YOU THINK WOULD REDUCE
THE CRIME RATE BY NOW.

Saron says WELL, IT'S A WHOLE NEW SORT
OF PLAN WHERE WE'RE CREATING
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES, CREATING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR INMATES THAT
ARE RELEASED FROM PRISON AND
THAT'S WHY I HAVE PROPOSED A
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY OF
TORONTO, THE TORONTO PUBLIC
LIBRARY, AND OUR CITY'S PRISONS
SO THAT WHEN INMATES ARE
RELEASED, THEY'RE SET UP ON A
PATHWAY FOR REINTEGRATION INTO
OUR CITY FOR SUCCESS IN OUR CITY
TO REDUCE THEIR LIKELIHOOD OF
REOFFENDING.

Steve says THIS IS ONE OF THOSE
INTERESTING ISSUES.
YOU HAVE TO PUBLIC LIFE WITH AN
INTEREST IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND
SO ON.
BUT IN YOUR JUDGMENT, HOW BIG OF
A PRIORITY SHOULD IT BE GIVEN
YOUR INTEREST IN IT.

Sarah says WELL, I THINK PUBLIC SAFETY
CAN BE ABOUT GUN CRIME, IT CAN
BE ABOUT FOOD SECURITY, AND IT
CAN BE ABOUT SAFETY ON OUR
ROADS.
SO, YOU KNOW, THE RECENT
STATISTICS ARE THAT EVERY 12
DAYS, SOMEONE IS DYING DUE TO A
CRIME-RELATED INCIDENT AND ABOUT
EVERY WEEK, SOMEONE IS DYING
BECAUSE THEY'RE STRUCK BY A CAR
ON THE ROAD.
SO WE NEED TO EXPOSE THOSE
THINGS AND I REALLY AGREE WITH A
LOT OF WHAT SARON IS SAYING.
BUT WE ARE IGNORING THAT THERE
ARE PREVENTABLE DEATHS HAPPENING
EVERY WEEK BECAUSE OF OUR
ATTITUDES TOWARDS
TRANSPORTATION.
SO I THINK WE HAVE TO LOOK AT
ALL OF IT IN.

Steve says NOT JUST GUN CRIME.

Sarah says NOT JUST GUN CRIME.
WE ARE FORTUNATE.
WE ARE STILL STATISTICALLY SAFE
CITY.
BUT TORONTONIANS DON'T FEEL SAFE
BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY HAVE SEEN
THIS SUMMER.
SO WE HAVE TO ADDRESS NOT JUST
GUN CRIME.
WE HAVE TO ADDRESS ROAD
VIOLENCE.
WE HAVE TO ADDRESS, YOU KNOW,
FOOD SECURITY.
1 IN 4 CHILDREN IS LIVING IN
POVERTY IN TORONTO.
THAT'S A HUGE BURDEN ON OUR
CITY.
SO WE NEED TO ADDRESS THE WHOLE
THING.

Steve says KNIA, YOU RAISED
CARDING A LITTLE WHILE AGO.
DO YOU THINK THE TORONTO POLICE
SERVICE IS AN INSTITUTIONALLY
SYSTEMATICALLY RACIST
ORGANIZATION?

Knia says IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST.
I BELIEVE THE CURRENT CHIEF MARK
SAUNDERS IS DOING HIS BEST TO
CHANGE THAT.
BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THE
ASSOCIATION... MIKE McCORMACK
SEEMS TO BE PUTTING A ROADBLOCK
NUMBER THAT PATH.
I SUPPORT GOOD POLICE OFFICERS
BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH
CORRUPT POLICE OFFICERS IN THE
CITY.
AND AS LAWYERS AND AS COMMUNITY
ADVOCATES, WE HAVE TO FIGHT
AGAINST IT.
BUT CRIME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
ISSUE I THINK ON THIS YEAR'S
ELECTION AND THAT'S WHY I
RELEASED A 10-POINT PLAN TO
REDUCE VIOLENCE.
WE'RE NOT COMING WITH POSITIVE
PREVENTIVE SOLUTIONS.
WE'RE LOOKING AT ALWAYS PUTTING
POLICE AFTER THE FACT, AFTER THE
SHOTS HAVE BEEN FIRED.
WE NEED TO STOP SCHOOLS
SUSPENSIONS AND EXPULSIONS SO
KIDS STAY IN SCHOOL AND DON'T
HAVE A LIFE OF CRIME LEADING UP
TOP MORE SERIOUS ONES IN.
REGARDS TO RACISM, THE WHOLE
CITY HAS INSTITUTIONAL RACISM
ACROSS THE BOARD.
BECAUSE WE HAVE SUCH A STRONG
DIVERSE COMMUNITY AND
POPULATION, WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO
FIGHT IT.
BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE WHOLE WAVE
OF TRUMPISM AND FASCISM IS
SWEEPING THE CITY RIGHT NOW.
SO WE REALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT
INSTITUTIONAL RACISM, NOT JUST
FROM POLICE BUT ALSO IN THE
EDUCATION SYSTEM, ALSO IN
ADMINISTRATION, ALSO IN CITY
HALL.
AND THAT'S WHY I THINK A DIVERSE
RANGE OF CANDIDATES IS THE
SOLUTION TO THAT AND ME AS MAYOR
WOULD PUT A FACE TO THAT.

Steve says WELL, SINCE YOU SAID
WITH ME AS MAYOR, WE'VE GOT A
FEW MINUTES TO GO HERE AND I
WANT TO ASK YOU ALL THREE TO
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE.
AS WE TRY TO CONSIDER WHAT THE
CAPITAL CITY OF ONTARIO MIGHT BE
LIKE, HOW IT MIGHT BE DIFFERENT
IF ONE OF THE THREE OF YOU WERE
IN THE MAYOR'S CHAIR INSTEAD OF
THE CURRENT MAYOR, PLEASE FINISH
THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE.
SARON, IF I WERE THE MAYOR, DOT,
DOT, DOT.
GO.

The caption changes to "If I were mayor."

Saron says IF I WAS THE MAYOR, WE WILL
SEE RECORD LOWS IN CRIME.
WE WOULD SEE NEW JOBS FOR YOUNG
PEOPLE IN ALL OF OUR
NEIGHBOURHOOD IMPROVEMENT AREAS.
WE WOULD SEE DEEPLY AFFORDABLE
HOUSING.
WE WOULD SEE OPPORTUNITIES
OUTSIDE OF THE DOWNTOWN CORE IN
EMPLOYMENT AND CULTURAL
PROGRAMMING.
WE WOULD SEE EQUITABLE
REDISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES IN
THE CITY BUDGET.
I WOULD LOOK IN A NEW ERA OF
POLITICS TO CITY HALL.

Steve says SARAH, IF TRANSIT
MAYOR, DOT, DOT, DOT.

Sarah says I WOULD BE NOW FOCUSING ON
MOVING PEOPLE, NOT MOVING JUST CARS.
AND THAT WOULD ACTUALLY SEE OUR
CITY START TO MOVE AND IT WOULD
SEE OUR PUBLIC PRAISES BE MORE
VIBRANT, MORE BEAUTIFUL, AND
SAFER FOR EVERYONE.
WE REALLY HAVE A 1950s MIND
SET AROUND TRANSPORTATION IN
THIS CITY AND WE NEED TO MOVE
INTO THE FUTURE.
SO IF I WERE MAYOR, WE'D BE A
WORLD CLASS CITY THAT OTHER
CITIES WOULD BE AMBULATING NOT,
YOU KNOW, LAUGHING AT OR SAYING
IS WE'RE STUCK IN THE P.A.
THAT WOULD BE AROUND
TRANSPORTATION AND THEN AROUND
QUALITY OF LIFE, WE WOULD BE A
CITY WHERE WE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO
AND PLEAD OUR HEARTS OUT AT CITY
HALL EVERY JANUARY TO SAY PLEASE
DON'T CUT THE LIBRARY, PLEASE
DON'T CUT THE SWIMMING POOL,
PLEASE DON'T CUT THE ARTS
PROGRAMMING.
WE WOULD RECOGNIZE THAT IS KEY
TO THE HEALTH OF ALL OF US.
SO WE WOULD BE MAKING THE CITY
FAR MORE AFFORDABLE, FAR HIGHER
QUALITY OF LIFE AND FAR MORE
FLUIDLY MOVING.

Steve says KNIA SINGH, IF I
WERE THE MAYOR, WHAT?

Knia says I WOULD BE AN ACTUAL EXAMPLE
OF WHAT IT TAKES TO DO HARD WORK
AND NO MATTER WHAT YOUR ABLE,
YOU CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND
ACHIEVE SOMETHING.
I WOULD BE AN EXAMPLE TO ALL THE
PEOPLE WHO SAY THE SYSTEM
DOESN'T WORK, AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT
IT TAKES AND WHAT YOU CAN
BECOME.
AND IF I WERE MAYOR, I WOULD
JUST WANT TO SEE HUMANITY
PREVAIL.
I THINK TORONTO THE GOOD HAS
STARTED TO BECOME TORONTO THE
GREEDY AND I THINK THAT WE HAVE
TO REALLY HAVE A CONCERTED
EFFORT AS HUMAN BEINGS TO RAISE
THE SOCIAL STATUS OF THE CITY.

Steve says LET ME GIVE YOU 20
SECONDS, THIS IS... I MEAN,
WHATEVER, 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN
THIS CITY AND I THINK, WHAT, 35
OR SOMETHING ARE RUNNING FOR
MAYOR SO IT'S AN EXTRAORDINARY
EXPERIENCE.
WHAT YOU HAVE LIKED THE MOST
ABOUT IT.
SARAH?

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Sarah says ABSOLUTELY TALKING TO PEOPLE.
AND TALKING TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE
THIS SMALL CIRCLE OF MEDIA AND
POLITICAL INSIDERS.
TALKING TO PEOPLE OBJECT THE
STREET WHO, AS KNIA SAYS, THEY
DON'T CARE IF YOUR NAME IS JOHN
TORY OR JENNIFER KEESMAAT.
THEY JUST CARE THAT YOU HAVE IDEAS.

Saron says I HAVE TAKEN SOB MUCH JOY IN
SEEING FIRST-TIME VOTERS COMING
OUT AND SAYING I'VE NEVER VOTED
IN THE CITY OF TORONTO BUT I'M
GOING TO BE VOTING FOR YOU.
AND SEEING MY CAMPAIGN GAIN
TRACTION WITH COMMUNITIES IN 26
CITIES AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE
THERE IS AN EXCITEMENT TO
ACTUALLY MAKE HISTORY IN THE
CITY OF TORONTO AND TO SEE A
SHIFT.
IF THERE'S ONE MESSAGE I HAVE
FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF
TORONTO, IT IS THAT JOHN TORY'S
MACHINERY CAN BE BEAT WITH OUR
MASS ORGANIZING.

Steve says LET ME GET TO KNIA
FOR THE LAST WORD.

Knia says MOST ENJOYABLE PIECE IS WHEN
I MEET PEOPLE ON THE STREET WHO
AREN'T INTERESTED IN VOTING AND
THEY DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING
YOU HAVE TO SAY AND THEN AFTER
A COUPLE OF GOOD WORDS, THEY
STOP, THEY LISTEN, AND THEN
START DISCUSSING POLITICS WITH
YOU AND THEN THE TRUTH COMES OUT
ABOUT WHAT THEY REALLY CARE
ABOUT, SEEING THEM SAY, YOU KNOW
WHAT, I'M GOING TO VOTE THIS
ELECTION.
JUST ENGAGING THE NONVOTER INTO
VOTING IS WHAT I ENJOY THE MOST.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin; Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says SUPER.
Mr. DIRECTOR, THAT IS EXACTLY
WHAT I WAS GOING TO ASK FOR. A
THREE-SHOT OF SARAH CLIMENHAGA,
SARON GEBRESELLASSI, AND
KNIA SINGH. ALL CANDIDATES FOR
MAYOR OF TORONTO. THE 22ND ISN'T
FAR AWAY SO WE WISH THE THREE OF
YOU WELL IN THE LAST WEEK OF A
VERY LONG CAMPAIGN, ACTUALLY.

The guests say THANK YOU.

Steve says THANKS FOR COMING
INTO TVO TONIGHT.

Watch: Also Running for Mayor of Toronto