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What you should ask candidates at Oct. 21 meeting

Are you ready for election day, Oct. 27? Do you know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to you?

The Leaside Property Owners’ Assciation’s constitution does not allow us to endorse specific candidates. However, the LPOA is offering an election page on our website this year, in an effort to assist candidates in making their messages available, and to provide you with contact information if you’d like to reach them directly. We’ve invited each candidate to supply a 500-word message for our election page.

As well, the LPOA is holding two municipal election debates, both at Leaside Gardens’ William Lea Room. On Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. the mayoral candidates will square off, and on Tuesday, Oct. 21, also at 7:30 p.m., the candidates for city council will be there to make their pitches and take your questions.

Before you cast your vote, make sure you know where they stand, what they’re promising to do to help our community, and how they’ll do it.

Here are some questions I hope you’ll ask:

What will you do to make the residential streets of North and South Leaside safer, both now and after the LRT on Eglinton is built? What measures will you support to reduce both speeding and through-traffic?

The TTC plans to eliminate most of the surface bus routes along Eglinton once the LRT is built, which would reduce Leasiders’ access to convenient public transit. Will you take on the TTC to maintain a reasonable level of service?

Will you work to halt the encroachment of more retail in the Leaside Business Park? How will you do this?

Where do you stand on the Ontario Municipal Board? Are you in favour of replacing the OMB with a more Toronto-compatible alternative?

When a developer applies to build in Leaside, Section 37 payments are sought to help the community. Who should decide how much those payments should be, and who should decide where that money is spent?  Should the local community have a say?

If you are our councillor, will you commit to regularly attend ratepayer groups’ monthly meetings, or at least to send someone from your office to inform and to answer questions?

What about improving infrastructure such as water and sewer lines? What about replacing lead water pipes where they still exist? Do you support providing city loans so that homeowners can afford to replace lead pipes on their property?

What is your position on the application for a large Costco store and gas bar on Overlea Blvd., and why?

What is your position on bicycle lanes, both in Leaside and throughout the city? Separated lanes, or just painted lines? What is your stand on bicycling safety (including the common practice of bicyclists going through stop signs or on sidewalks, for instance).

These are just some of the questions you might ask. Do not be shy about holding out for real answers!  Let the candidates know that we’ll hold them to their promises.

On Oct. 27, please vote. It’s important.